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The Haunted Strangler (1958)
"Grip of the Strangler" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Crime, Mystery, Horror  |  24 April 1959 (Netherlands)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 825 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 23 critic

A researcher investigating a notorious serial killer who was hanged 20 years earlier seemingly becomes possessed by the long dead strangler.



(as John C. Cooper) , (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Haunted Strangler (1958)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
James Rankin
Jean Kent ...
Cora Seth
Elizabeth Allan ...
Barbara Rankin
Supt. Burk
Vera Day ...
Tim Turner ...
Dr. Kenneth McColl
Diane Aubrey ...
Lily Rankin
Max Brimmell ...
Newgate Prison Turnkey
Leslie Perrins ...
Newgate Prison Governor
Jessica Cairns ...
Asylum Maid
Dorothy Gordon ...
Desmond Roberts ...
Dr. Johnson
Roy Russell ...
Medical Superintendent
Derek Birch ...
Guyse Hospital Superintendent
Peggy Ann Clifford ...


A writer investigating the execution of a serial killer known as "The Haymarket Strangler" 20 years previously begins to suspect that the wrong man might have been hanged. However, when he picks up a scalpel used by the murderer, he finds himself possessed by the killer's spirit and begins committing similar murders. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


KING OF THE MONSTERS! KARLOFF IN HIS NEW HORROR HIT! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Crime | Mystery | Horror


Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

24 April 1959 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

The Haunted Strangler  »

Box Office


£70,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


While director Robert Day and the make-up man were discussing how to achieve Boris Karloff's metamorphosis without undue complication or expense, the actor volunteered that he could achieve the effect by taking out his dentures. See more »


One scene shows an evidence box from the Jack the Ripper case but the Haymarket Strangler that starts the movie took place in 1860 and the rest of the movie is 20 years later(1880). The Ripper killings were in 1888, 8 years after the movie takes place. See more »


James Rankin: You mean he killed while in some sort of trance?
See more »


Referenced in Haunted Memories (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Dr. Boris and Mr. Karloff!
2 January 2006 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

The fabulous BBC couldn't possibly start the new year 2006 better than by showing this little known but surprisingly gripping 50's chiller. "Grip of the Strangler" is excellent (but scandalously underrated) with one of Karloff's most impeccable performances and a gloomy Victorian atmosphere. The screenplay is a extra violent variation on the famous "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" story, with Boris as a respected novelist investigating a serial-killer case that took place 20 years earlier. According to his research, the person who got executed was actually innocent, and he intend to use the case to make a statement regarding the lousy defense poor people receive when they're on trial. He discovers a LOT more than he bargained for, however, and he as well as his family are about to meet the real Haymarket Strangler... This film contains a lot of tension, engaging plot-twists and some very grim moments. The opening sequence, for example, is extremely disturbing as it shows a public hanging where a crowd of socially low classed people are laughing hysterically (!). The make up effects on the mad-raving killer are genuinely scary and the filming locations really fit the obscure nature of the Victorian era. There are nasty cemeteries, dark police archives and – above all – the Judas Hole; a sleazy nightclub where there's little left to the imagination. Great shocker, definitely one of the best story-driven horror films since Val Lewton's finest productions of the early 40's. A must for all fans of classic horror!

12 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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