Tales from the Crypt (1972)

From Television and Film Character Encyclopedia

While taking a tour of a crypt, five strangers are told their fate by the Crypt Keeper.


Horror, Anthology

Horror, Supernatural


The Crypt Keeper - Sir Ralph Richardson

Guide - Geoffrey Bayldon

And All Through The House

Joanne - Joan Collins

Husband - Martin Boddey

Daughter - Chloe Franks

Maniac - Oliver MacGreevy

Reflection of Death

Maitland - Ian Hendry

Wife - Susan Denny

Susan - Angie Grant

Tramp - Frank Forsyth

Motorist - Peter Fraser

Poetic Justice

Grimsdyke - Peter Cushing

Elliot - Robin Phillips

Father - David Markham

Neighbor - Robert Hutton

Helen Carter - Melinda Clancy

Police Sergeant - Clifford Earl

Councillor Ramsey - Edward Evans


Mrs. Carter - Ann Sears

Postman - Dan Caulfield

Vicar - Manning Wilson

Wish You Were Here

Jason - Richard Greene

Enid - Barbara Murray

Gregory - Roy Dotrice

Detective - Hedger Wallace

Pallbearer - Peter Thomas

Blind Alleys

Rogers - Nigel Patrick

Carter - Patrick Magee


Attendant - Tony Wall

Harry the Cook - Harry Locke

Greenwood - George Herbert

Character thumbnails with links to profiles

Detailed Synopsis

Joanne, Maitland, Elliot, Jason and Rogers are taking a tour of some catacombs along with others. The Guide warns everyone to stay close together and then tells the history of the catacombs during the reign of Henry VIII. He again warns them to stay close so they don't lose their way. Joanne notices her brooch is missing and Maitland helps her find it. They find out that while waiting for Joanne to find her brooch, the rest of the group has left them. Jason suggests one way which leads to a dead end and a door suddenly opens. They go inside the room on the other side of the door and when Rogers suggests they go back, the door suddenly closes. The Crypt Keeper appears and when they start asking him questions, he tells them they will have their answers "all in good time". He has them sit down and asks Joanne why she came to the crypt.

And All Through The House

Husband sneaks into the living room with some presents for the Christmas Tree and as he is reading the newspaper, he is hit in the head with a poker by Joanne. Joanne takes Husband's keys from his pocket and opens a safe and pulls out a life insurance policy and starts to read it. Daughter calls down to Joanne from her room and Joanne tells her she will be right there. Joanne starts to clean the area but goes upstairs when Daughter calls to her again. Daughter asks if Santa has come yet and Joanne tells her to go to sleep. Joanne goes back downstairs and opens the present Husband had put under the tree, revealing it to be the same brooch she almost lost in the crypt. She goes back to cleaning her murder scene when a bulletin comes on the radio warning about an escaped Maniac wearing a Santa costume. The Maniac walks to the house and knocks on the front door and tries to open it. Joanne sees him and starts to lock all of the doors when she realizes she can't call the police with Husband's body still in the house. She tosses Husband's body down the basement stairs and comes up with the idea to try and blame Maniac for Husband's death. After cleaning the living room she starts to call the police when she notices Daughter's room is open. She looks for Daughter and Daughter rings a bell behind the entryway curtain. Daughter tells Joanne she let Santa in and Maniac runs after Joanne and strangles her to death.

Joanne starts to tell The Crypt Keeper she had no intention of, but then trails off. The Crypt Keeper then questions Maitland about his plans.

Reflection of Death

Maitland tells his Wife that he is ready to leave so he can make his appointment in the morning. He says goodbye to his children and then to Wife. He drives to the Hillside apartment complex and goes to Susan's apartment and uses a key to get inside. He hugs Susan and she tells him the movers came and picked up all of her furniture. They get back into Maitland's car and drive off. As they are driving, Susan offers to drive when she notices Maitland seems tired. Maitland wakes up from a nightmare and shortly after yanks on the steering wheel when he sees a truck coming towards them. The car crashes and Maitland starts to crawl away from the burning vehicle after he can't find Susan. He comes across a Tramp who screams and runs away from him and then a Motorist who quickly drives away when he sees Maitland. Maitland walks to his home and knocks on the door. His Wife answers the door and then screams and shuts it closed. Maitland looks at the nameplate under the doorbell and sees the name is no longer Maitland, but Wilson. He walks over to the window and sees his Wife being comforted by another man. He then walks over to the Hillside apartment complex and goes to Susan's apartment. He rings her doorbell and she answers the door. She asks who it is and when he tells her his name, she says it can't be Maitland as he died in a crash two years ago which left her blind. Maitland looks at himself in the glass of Susan's table and sees he is dead and screams. He wakes up from the nightmare and is back in the car, which then crashes as he yanks the steering wheel to avoid an accident.

The Crypt Keeper accuses Maitland of being in a hurry to leave his wife and children and when Elliot accuses The Crypt Keeper of playing games with them, Elliot's story starts.

Poetic Justice

Elliot stares in contempt at all of the children gathered at Grimsdyke's home. After performing a Punch and Judy routine for the children, Grimsdyke tells Helen Carter that his wife's middle name was Helen, and she preferred to be called Helen. Elliot starts to complain about Grimsdyke to his Father and belittles Grimsdyke's profession and calls his house an eyesore. Father says that he has offered to buy Grimsdyke's house, but Grimsdyke wants to die in the same house his wife died in. Elliot continues that Grimsdyke's home ruins the neighborhood and depreciates the value of their property. Elliot looks out the window and sees Neighbor working on his prize roses. During the night, Elliot digs up the Neighbor's roses and then returns home and tells Father what he has done. The next morning, Neighbor tells the police it was Grimsdyke's dogs that dug up his roses. As Grimsdyke's dogs are taken away, Grimsdyke begs Police Sergeant not to take them away, but the Police Sergeant tells him it is a court order and the dogs don't have licenses. In the evening, Grimsdyke does a seance with his dead wife and she warns him about danger. The next day, Father has a meeting with Councillor Ramsey and convinces him to fire Grimsdyke even though he is two years from retirement and will lose his retirement pay. Elliot smirks to his Father as he sees Grimsdyke coming home early to his empty house after being fired. As Grimsdyke is eating a simple meal next to a framed photo of his wife, he hears a dog barking and finds his dog Jamie, who had run away previous to his other dogs being taken away, outside. Father and Elliot have a meeting with Mrs. Davies, Mrs. Carter and Mrs. Phelps and accuses Grimsdyke of being dirty and possibly a pedophile. The mothers then all tell their children not to go to Grimsdyke's house anymore. Elliot tells Father that they will only need to do one more thing to Grimsdyke and then says he is going to send him Valentine's Day cards from "everyone" in town. The Postman hands Grimsdyke a handful of letters and as Grimsdyke excitedly sits down to read them, they are all in rhymes which wish him to leave among other cruel notes. Later, Elliot notices Jamie whining and Father mentions he hasn't seen Grimsdyke since Valentine's Day. They go to his house and find Grimsdyke hanging from the ceiling in a closet. The Vicar gives Grimsdyke's eulogy as members of his neighborhood watch, including Elliot, Father and Councillor Ramsey, and nearby the neighborhood children sit with Jamie. As he is writing, Elliot finds the left over Valentine's cards he didn't send Grimsdyke and burns them. A hand and then body erupts from the ground at the grave of Grimsdyke. As Elliot is writing, the corpse of Grimsdyke walks up to him and strangles him. Father wakes up to find Elliot dead and a piece of paper next to him. He reads the piece of paper and finds Elliot's heart wrapped up in the bottom of it.

Elliot admits to The Crypt Keeper that he doesn't like Grimsdyke. Jason asks what he is doing locked in the crypt and The Crypt Keeper tells his story.

Wish You Were Here

Gregory tells Jason all of his money is gone and Jason may have to declare bankruptcy or sell some of his items to pay his debts. Jason tells Enid that they will have to sell some of their things. She walks over to a statuette they bought in Hong Kong and she recalls the old man that sold it to them told them to use it wisely. Enid notices an inscription on the base of the statuette and Jason reads it. The inscription mentions three wishes that may be granted. Jason recalls the tale of the Monkey's Paw and Enid wishes for lots of money. Jason gets a call from Gregory who tells him he wants to talk to him about money. As Jason is driving he is chased by a motorcycle rider with a skull for a face. When he sees the motorcycle rider, he crashes and is killed. A Detective calls Gregory and tells him Jason is dead. Gregory tells Enid, Jason is dead and she is rich now due to Gregory's large insurance policy. She tells him she wished for lots of money and shows Gregory the statuette. Gregory recalls the story of the Monkey's Paw and tells Enid not to wish Jason back from the dead. He tells her in the story the son comes back, but as a mutilated corpse. She wishes for Jason to come back as he was exactly before the crash. There is a knock on the door and pallbearers bring in Jason's coffin. As Enid goes to open the casket, a Pallbearer tells her Jason died of a heart attack before the accident. Enid and Gregory open the casket and before leaving, Gregory warns Enid not to make another wish. Enid ignores Gregory's warning and wishes Jason to be alive and to live forever. Jason comes back to life screaming in pain and Gregory runs back into the house. Gregory tells her, Jason's body is filled with embalming fluid and Enid slashes Jason open with a sword, but he continues to live with all of his pieces wriggling.

Rogers walks up to The Crypt Keeper and demands to know what Jason saw. The Crypt Keeper tells Rogers he should heed his warning and another story begins.

Blind Alleys

Rogers and Shane arrive at the Elmridge Home for the Blind. An Attendant greets Rogers, who corrects him and tells him he is Major Rogers. The Attendant takes him to his office and when he sees no paintings on the walls mentions going to buy some at an art gallery. Rogers asks where the patients are and when the Attendant says they are at lunch, Rogers corrects him and suggests that from now on there will only be two meals and lunch will count as dinner. Harry the Cook hands Carter his meal and Rogers walks into the dining hall and introduces himself to the residents and then leaves. The residents huddle around the heaters and Carter remarks that they are stone cold as Greenwood shivers in his bed. Carter goes to get an extra blanket for Greenwood and finds the supply closet empty. He goes to Rogers now well appointed office and starts to ask if the heating can be turned on before Rogers cuts him off and says due to budget concerns all heating will be turned off at 8 p.m. Carter asks for more blankets, but Rogers tells him they cannot afford more blankets. Rogers tells Carter he has dealt with many kinds of men during his time in the Army and Carter reminds him that the residents are not soldiers. Carter suggests Rogers sell his painting to pay for fuel or more blankets and Rogers angrily tells him to leave. During a meal, the residents and Carter complain about their new lackluster meals. When Greenwood goes to get seconds, Harry tells him there are no more seconds allowed due to rationing. Carter and some residents barge into Rogers office, where Rogers is enjoying a multi-course meal with wine. Rogers tells them he is in charge and when Carter knocks over Rogers' wine bottle, Rogers sics Shane on him and Carter and the other residents run out of the office. Rogers then feeds Shane part of his steak. Greenwood asks Carter to get him a doctor and when Carter goes to Rogers office, Rogers suggests Greenwood can wait until the morning. Carter and Rogers go to check on Greenwood and find him dead. During dinner, each resident adds a portion of their bacon to a plate and then passes the plate along until it gets to Carter who hides the plate. Carter goes to Rogers office and leaves a trail of meat. Shane starts to follow the trail of meat until he is trapped in a closet in the basement. Rogers is grabbed by the residents and locked in another closet in the basement. He listens as the residents build something in the basement. The Attendant goes down into the basement and is grabbed by the residents and placed in another closet and locked up. Rogers yells at Carter to feed Shane or Shane will go berserk. After two days, Rogers door is unlocked and he finds the basement now a tunnel with chicken wire and wood. He makes his way across the tunnel towards an open door, which closes when he gets to it. He then heads in another direction but pulls back when he is cut and the lights come on revealing the tunnel walls to be covered in razor blades. Rogers makes it to the end of the tunnel and as he does Shane is released and charges at Rogers. The lights go out and Rogers is eaten by Shane.

The Crypt Keeper tells them they may go and the door they entered opens once more. Jason walks to the door and The Crypt Keeper tells them they are there for not repenting for their despicable sins. Jason then falls into a pit of fire and the others get up and walk to the open door to meet their fate.