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The Haunted Strangler (1958)

Grip of the Strangler (original title)
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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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Cast overview, first billed only:
James Rankin
Cora Seth
Barbara Rankin
Supt. Burk
Vera Day ...
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


Their wild beauty marked them for death by . . . The Haunted Strangler 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?


John Croydon wrote this film and First Man Into Space (1959) back-to-back. 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

Solid performance from the Master
19 August 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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

I love that this film was given the star treatment by Criterion. It's definitely not one of the better-known Karloff films, which is a bit of a shame, because it's at least as good as anything he did for AIP. Maybe horror fans need to pay more attention to Criterion.

The simplicity of the transformation is great. Apparently the originally script called for more of a "possession" angle, and then it developed into more of a physical thing -- sort of Jack the Ripper meets Jekyll and Hyde. And Karloff nails it. By simply taking out his dentures, he successfully plays two very different people.

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