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Several murders have happened in and around Charles Kessler's (Bela
Lugosi) house, but the killer never left any clues and apparently had no
motive ... but then, maid Cecile (Terry Walker) is murdered as well, and
this time everything leads to Ralph (John McGuire), the fiancé of
Kessler's daughter Virginia (Polly Ann Young) who once had an affair with
Cecile, and he is effectively tried, convicted and hanged for the crime,
and only Kessler and Virginia ever believed in his innocence.
But of course he was innocent, because you know, the Kessler household
is a weird one: Kessler was once, many years ago left by his wife, and
now, every year on their wedding day, he pretends she's still here and
talks to her invisible self. However, Kessler's wife (Betty Compson) is
not really dead, she had an accident and has since been hidden from
everyone by Kessler's gardener Jules (Ernie Adams) in his basement, where he
nursed her back to health and plans to eventually return her to Kessler
once she's well enough - why he does that I don't know, he is not
portrayed as a madman anyways ... Mrs Kessler however believes that her
husband was responsible for her accident (if that's true or not we never
find out) and sometimes visits him at night to haunt him - and everytime
he sees her, his brain just shuts down and he kills someone. Ironically
though, his next victim is Jules the gardener ...
In the meantime, Ralph's twin brother Paul (also John McGuire) has come
to pay a visit to the Kesslers and find out the truth, and he is welcomed
by the family with open arms, even by Kessler, who doesn't know that he is
really the killer. Before long, after Kessler almost kills his daughter
too, suspicion falls upon Kessler's faithful butler Evans (Clarence Muse),
and the police is just about ready to nail him ... when Mrs Kessler pays a
surprise visit, and when he sees her, right in front of the police,
Kessler turns homicidal again and tries to kill the police Ltd Williams
(George Pembroke). It's only when Mrs Kessler dies for no apparent reason
that Kessler stops in what he's doing and instantly has forgotten all
about it ... but seems to have no problems being arrested for murder ...
In writing, this film might sound even sillier than when seen, but
compared to other Monogram horrors, this actually isn't too bad at
all, an effective, even atmospheric little thriller that only occasionally
loses itself in just one plottwist too many. And of course, Bela Lugosi is
great as always.