ELAINE ZACHARIDES

Real Name: Elaine Zacharides

Occupation: House Keeper, former Medium, former Assistant

Place of Birth: somewhere in Massachusetts

Known Relatives: None known

Base of Operations: Los Angeles, California

First Appearance: 13 Ghosts (1962)

History: Not much is known about the life and past of Elaine Zacharides. According to Plato Zorba, she was the daughter of an affluent New England family and developed her psychic ability very early in life. Terrified by ghosts in her youth, she was passed on from family member to family member in her youth, unaware that spirits were attracted to her because of her gift. As a result, she grew up to be very private and personal, eventually meeting other psychics and mediums who helped her to understand why she could see spirits. For a while, she lived with a traveling acting troupe, making costumes and taking bit parts in plays. At some point in the 1940s, she met paranormal researcher Plato Zorba, who made her his assistant and medium in researching haunted sites.

Through his career, Zacharides became increasingly alarmed as Zorba delved into the occult more and more with his research. At some point, he learned he could link or "trap" earthbound spirits ("ghosts") in his mansion near Los Angeles by confiscating personal artifacts connected to those entities. Both Zacharides and his lawyer Benjamen Rush soon realized he had trapped eleven spirits from around the world from New York, France, Italy and Tibet. Eventually, Zorba also began converting his stocks and real estate into money which he began hiding all over the money his house. Elaine was upset with his bizarre behavior, and decided she would break off her partnership with him, but the next morning, she entered Dr. Zorba's room to find him suffocated in his bed. She blamed the eleven ghosts inhabiting the house for his death and feared they might come after her without Dr. Zorba to control them.

Despite her fears, Zacharides stayed at his house to preserve it, having saved enough for herself to retire on comfortably. The mansion was left to Plato's nephew, museum curator Cyrus Zorba and his family, and she stayed with them as a housekeeper to protect them and warn them about the ghosts as they made their existence. She became friends with Cyrus's son, Buck, who was interested in ghost stories, and told him the identities of the ghosts, such as Emilio, an French chef who had murdered his wife and her lover. Although their appearances and the poltergeist activity was alarming, they didn't become threatening until Medea, Cyrus's daughter, was confronted in her bedroom. To learn what the ghosts wanted, Cyrus went to Elaine for answers, and she offered to perform a sťance to contact Plato Zorba to control them. During the sťance, Zorba's spirit spoke through Cyrus, calling out for an unknown thirteenth ghost to free the trapped spirits, but at the time, they didn't understand his message.

Unknown to anyone in the house, Buck had already found a portion of Zorba's hidden money in the house. When Rush realized this, he swore him to keep it a secret under the auspices of keeping it a secret to surprise the family later with the money. In actuality, Rush had murdered Zorba under the sliding canopy of his bed in trying to inherit his fortune. He tried murdering Buck in the same manner, but Plato's ghost confronted him and replaced him in the bed, killing him in Buck's place. With Rush as the thirteenth ghost, the earthbound spirits in the house were freed as Zorba had predicted, but Zacharides knew they would return from time to time, but they were never as terrifying as they were before.

Zacharides ended up staying on as the housekeeper for the Zorba family even through Medea's marriage and family, but the house was later donated to the city and made a historical residence through Zorba's connections to the Hollywood industry. Elaine served briefly as a caretaker and historian for the former residence. Through the new interest in paranormal research in the Eighties, she made appearances in several TV documentaries on paranormal research, particularly on Plato Zorba's work, and clashed several times with Cyrus Kriticos, a former ward of Zorba's who considered himself the one true heir of his research. While battling his claim to the research in the courts, she passed away in her sleep in 1985. She was 83 years old.

Powers/Abilities: Elaine Zacharides is a Class Two psychic. She was susceptible to psychic activity and could contact and communicate with spirits. She was also a trained medium, able to do sťances and contact human spirits, and a capable seamstress and assistant, having helped Zorba in his experiments and development of the original version of his "ecto-glasses," devices that allowed people to see ghosts through the ultraviolet range of the visible spectrum.

Comments/Trivia: Elaine Zacharides was played by actress Margaret Hamilton, possibly best known for her role as the Wicked Witch in "The Wizard of Oz" (1939).

13 Ghosts Wikia: "Elements of Elaine's character were divided and adapted into three separate characters for the 2001 remake of the movie, namely Dennis Rafkin, Maggie Bess and Kalina Oretzia. Elaine was a medium, housekeeper and assistant to Plato Zorba. The "medium" aspect of her was made into Dennis Rafkin, Maggie was made into the housekeeper and Kalina took the role of the assistant."

Cyrus Kriticos was a character played by F. Murray Abraham in the 2001 remake, "13 Ghosts."

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