Video: Michael Jackson’s Other “Thriller”

The 36-minute opus Michael Jackson’s Ghosts featured gyrating mayors, funky skeletons, and, yes, benevolent children.

It’s no secret that the King of Pop was also the king of elaborately-staged music videos with high production values. With those epic-scale video montages came price tags that made Sony music execs choke on their caviar dinners.

While music videos normally took about $300,000 to produce, Jackson’s vision for his music commanded upwards of around $3 million, which he was forced to put up himself because nobody wanted to support a production that massive. In an interview with FOX Business, former VH1 President Ed Bennett said, “He was a genius at marketing and promotion without focusing on [money] deliberately. His art really spoke for itself.”

But, while we’ve been hearing about his 1982 video for “Thriller,” Jackson had a ton of other short-form videos, including his most recent one in 1997 aptly-named Michael Jackson’s Ghosts.

Jackson plays a skeletal ghoul that haunts a mansion on a hill. He is confronted by the town’s mayor who calls him “weird” and “creepy” and demands that he stop impressing his ghoulish dance moves upon their children. Hmm, sound familiar? Anyway, 20 minutes of dancing later, Jackson wins over the hearts and minds of the locals, forcing the mayor to go nuts and jump out the window.

The special effects are a bit lame (then again, everything in 1997 was a bit lame). If anything, the video showcases some of the singer’s slickest moves.

Check out the video in its entirety while it’s still up: