And you thought your family was weird.
~ Cyrus regarding Harold Shelburne (aka The Great Child).

Harold Shelburne, chosen to be The Great Child by millionaire Cyrus Kriticos, is a major character, yet minor villain in Thir13en Ghosts.

He was portrayed by Cary Ernst Harth.


Before Death

Harold was the son of Margaret Shelburne (The Dire Mother), a 3 feet tall midget, who worked as a circus freak due to her size and her doll-like appearance. Harold was born after his mother was raped by the "Tall Man", another circus freak. He was always spoiled by his mother like a little baby, and as a result, was infantilized and wore diapers his entire life. His life was rather rough, as him and his mom were mocked at every turn and teased and tormented relentleslly even by the other freaks because of the poor parenting his mom did. One day, some of the circus freaks decided to play a joke on him by kidnapping Margaret. Enraged, he ran after them, only to find out his mother accidentally died by suffocation in the bag she was being kept in. Harold went completely berserk and chopped the kidnappers with an axe, along with destroying the entire carnival, making the circus almost lifeless. Then, he displayed the freaks' parts for remaining paying customers to see. The carnival owner, Jimbo, after hearing about his employees' deaths, ordered a massive crowd to tear Harold to shreds.


Harold's ghost is never apart from his mother, who is always seen by his side. He has pale-white skin and wears a food-stained bib and big diapers, nothing else. He still wields the axe he used to kill the freaks, and has a small tuft of blond hair on his head.

Role in the movie

As most of the ghosts, Harold and his mother are never seen attacking someone, only scaring them for another ghost to appear and complete the job. He is then seen in the climax as one of the ghosts who carry Cyrus to his death in the Ocularis Infernum. He is finally seen leaving the machine with Margaret and the other ghosts, crossing over after gaining freedom.



  • An alternate death for Harold and Margaret was proposed, but excluded from the final product. Harold would suffocate Margaret in her sleep by rolling over her in her bed, leaving him with no sustenance at all (as he cannot do anything without his mother), until he finally starved to death. 
  • He is usually considered to be an anti-villian, as his mother was killed by his enemies during the night, and is mentally disabled. Unlike some of the other killer ghosts, his motives were considered to be more understandable for those reasons.
  • While it is not stated, it's implied that his toddler-like state was in part genetic, as his dad was a circus freak as well.

External links


           13 ghosts logo.png Villains

Cyrus Kriticos | Kalina Oretzia

Billy Michaels | Dana Newman | George Markley | Harold Shelburne | Horace Mahoney | Isabella Smith | Jimmy Gambino | Margaret Shelburne | Royce Clayton | Ryan Kuhn | Susan LeGrow

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