|“||Well, as they say: there's no business like show business.||„|
|~ Cyrus regarding Margaret Shelburne (aka The Dire Mother).|
Margaret Shelburne, chosen to be The Dire Mother by millionaire Cyrus Kriticos, is a minor villainess, yet major character in the horror film Thir13en Ghosts. She is also the mother of Harold Shelburne, The Great Child.
She was portrayed by Laurie Soper.
Margaret was a 3 feet tall midget since her childhood, being dressed like a doll by her own mother, sometimes. She searched for sustenance at a carnival, owned by a man named Jimbo, being shown as a freak for an audience to laugh at her. One day, at the circus, she was raped by another freak, the "Tall Man". The result of that act was her son, Harold, whom she loved more than life itself, spoiling him since his baby years, making him barely able to care for himself and become disabled. One night, some of the freaks decided to play a little joke and kidnapped Margaret, keeping her in a plastic bag. Enraged, Harold chased after them, ransacking the circus in the process, but when he reached the freaks, it was too late: Margaret was already dead, suffocated by the bag she was in, her son and the other freaks doomed to die shortly after.
Margaret is never seen apart from her son, constantly seen feeding or holding hands with him. She wears a worn-out doll clothing, and is incredibly small due to her condition, especially in comparison with her son. Her face is completely wrinkled due to her age. On her own, she is harmless. But since she is with the Great Child, she is a dangerous ghost.
Role in the movie
Margaret is only seen twice before the climax, and always by Harold's side. She is finally seen at the climax, leaving the house with her son and the other ghosts, crossing over after being released from the Ocularis Infernum.