The Screaming Skull (1958)

From Television and Film Character Encyclopedia

The skull of a woman haunts the new wife who married the dead woman's widower.


Genre

Horror, Psychological

Characters/Groups

Eric Whitlock - John Hudson

Jenni Whitlock - Peggy Webster

Rev. Edward Snow - Russ Conway

Mrs. Snow - Tony Johnson

Mickey - Alex Nicol

Marianne

Character thumbnails with links to profiles

Detailed Synopsis

Eric Whitlock and Jenni Whitlock drive to Eric's former wife's house. Eric shows her around and Jenni is excited about the peacocks that live on the property. They walk inside and Eric explains to Jenni that there isn't any furniture, because his former wife Marianne had removed all the old furniture, but died before she could buy much new furniture. As they hug, Mickey watches them from outside. They go back outside and Eric tells Jenni about Mickey and how Mickey and Marianne used to spend lots of time gardening together. A car pulls up and Rev. Edward Snow and Mrs. Snow get out and introduce themselves to Jenni. Mrs. Snow gives Jenni a basket full of groceries they brought and Jenni invites them to dinner. Mickey goes to a portrait of Marianne and asks her to send everyone away. Eric tells Mrs. Snow about Jenni's traumatic past. Jenni asks Rev. Snow about Mr. Mauer, who he mentioned when he arrived and Rev. Snow tells her, Mr. Mauer is the executor the estate. She asks how Marianne died and Rev. Snow tells her, Marianne died when she slipped and fell and drowned in the pond. As Rev. Snow and Mrs. Snow leave, Mrs. Snow tells Rev. Snow that Jenni is very wealthy. Jenni wakes up in the middle of the night to loud banging noises and Eric not in bed. She gets out of bed and walks to where the noise is coming from and finds an unlocked window banging open and closed. She closes the window and turns around and sees the portrait of Marianne and screams. Eric finds her and then both find a puddle of water with a lily pad on it. She tells him that she is starting to have bad feelings again and Eric tells her that she is cured and Mickey must have done it. She tells him she heard a high pitched scream and he throws a rock at the peacocks, making them cry out loudly.

The next day, Eric leaves to go into town. Jenni asks Mickey to show her Marianne's gravestone and they leave flowers at its base. Mickey tells Jenni that Marianne cries in the night and then runs away. Eric doesn't come home and during the night, Jenni has a nightmare. She wakes up and hears a scream and goes into Marianne's portrait room and a cabinet opens, revealing a skull inside. Jenni's hand is suddenly scratched and she starts to hear more noises. She goes back to the portrait room and throws the skull out the window. She goes back to the bedroom and hears a banging noise and when she opens the front door, the skull is just outside and rolls towards her. She screams and faints and Mickey climbs out of the bushes and runs away. She wakes up in bed from Eric waking her up and he tells her he didn't find a skull when he found her. Jenni tells him, she wants him to call Dr. Anne in New York and she wants to go back to the asylum. He tells her she should talk with Rev. Snow and he believes Mickey is the one behind everything. He explains that Mickey hates him for taking Marianne away and now, probably hates Jenni also. The next morning, Jenni tells Rev. Snow about what happened and he tells her, it was all her imagination. She tells him she hated her mother and wished her dead and that her parent's bodies were never found. Rev. Snow takes Jenni with him, while Eric goes looking for Mickey. Eric goes to pick up Jenni and Rev. Snow suggests he take Jenni away from the house, but Eric thinks it best if Jenni stays. Eric sees Mickey and chases after him and catches him. He accuses Mickey of placing the skull, but Mickey insists it wasn't him.

Eric and Jenni burn Marianne's portrait and as it burns, a loud scream is heard. As they are spreading the ashes into the ground, Jenni rakes up the skull, but Eric tells her there isn't a skull. Jenni faints and Eric smiles as he picks up the skull. He hides it in the pond, but is seen by Mickey. In the evening, Jenni and Eric discuss her trip back to the asylum. Rev. Snow stops by and Eric tells him that Jenny is going back to the asylum and that she once tried to commit suicide. Jenni says bye to Rev. Snow and tells Eric that Rev. Snow believes the skull may be real and is going to come in the morning with a group of men to search for it. Eric goes to look for the skull, but it is gone. He sees Mickey and chases after him again and asks him where the skull is and starts to slap him. Mickey says Marianne took it and when Eric leaves, Mickey pulls the skull out from under some plants. Eric runs to Marianne's grave, but can't find the skull. Mickey shows Rev. Snow and Mrs. Snow the skull and tells them Eric hid it in the pond. As Jenni is looking for Mickey to tell him goodbye, she sees the ghost of Marianne and runs away. Eric goes into the house and gets a noose ready for Jenni. He hears her scream and as she runs to him, starts to strangle her. There is a knock at the door and when Eric opens the door, Marianne's ghost is waiting outside. It follows him inside and he throws a piece of furniture at it. The skull follows him and he runs outside and it continues to chase him until it bites him in the throat and he falls into the pond. Jenni regains consciousness and Rev. Snow and Mrs. Snow arrive at the house. Jenni tells them Eric tried to kill her and Rev. Snow finds Eric dead in the pond. He leaves with Mrs. Snow and Marianne and wonders if Eric murdered Marianne. Mickey goes to the pond and tells the spirit of Marianne everyone is gone and she can rest.