IMDb > The Screaming Skull (1958)
The Screaming Skull
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The Screaming Skull (1958) More at IMDbPro »

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The Screaming Skull -- A newlywed couple arrives at the home of the husband's late wife, where the gardens have been maintained by a gardener faithful to the dead woman's memory. Soon eerie events lead the new wife to think she is going out of her mind.
The Screaming Skull -- The wife of a greedy husband (trying to drive her to suicide so that he can inherit her money) comes face to face with screaming skulls... appearing everywhere.


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3.3/10   2,323 votes »
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Up 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
John Kneubuhl (written by)
View company contact information for The Screaming Skull on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
January 1958 (USA) See more »
FREE!! We guarantee to bury you without charge if you die of fright during SCREAMING SKULL! See more »
A newly married couple arrives at the home of the husband's late wife, where the gardens have been maintained by a gardener faithful to the dead woman's memory. Soon, eerie events lead the new wife to think she's losing her mind. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
"She cries, she cries in the night." See more (106 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Directed by
Alex Nicol 
Writing credits
John Kneubuhl (written by)

Produced by
John Coots .... associate producer
John Kneubuhl .... producer
Thomas F. Woods .... executive producer (as T. Frank Woods)
Original Music by
Ernest Gold 
Cinematography by
Floyd Crosby (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Betty J. Lane  (as Betty Jane Lane)
Makeup Department
Donald W. Roberson .... makeup artist (as Don Roberson)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Maurice Vaccarino .... assistant director
Sound Department
Al Overton .... sound
Mandine Rogne .... sound editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Charles Hannawalt .... chief grip (as Chuck Hanawalt)
John Millman .... lighting supervisor (as John Milman)
Kenneth Peach .... second unit photographer (as Kenny Peach)
Editorial Department
Florence Williamson .... assistant editor
Music Department
Ernest Gold .... conductor
Jerry Roberts .... music editor (as Gerald Roberts)
Other crew
Betty Fancher .... script supervisor
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
68 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Ryder Sound Services)
France:U | UK:X (original rating) | UK:PG (re-rating) (2005) | USA:Unrated | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Though it is never credited, the film is based on Francis Marion Crawford's classic horror story of the same title, first published around 1906. Interestingly, Crawford's inspiration for the tale, in turn, came from the folklore surrounding the so-called "screaming skull" that was kept on display at Bettiscomb Manor in Dorset, England. The actual skull that inspired both the story and the movie is said to be that of a black slave whose request for burial in his native country was denied following his death and was subsequently followed by strange occurrences and unexplainable shrieking noises that emanated from the wooden box in which the skull was kept.See more »
Boom mic visible: The shadow of a boom mic is visible when Jenni is talking to Reverend Snow about her mother's death.See more »
Narrator:"The Screaming Skull" is a motion picture that reaches its climax in shocking horror. It's impact is so terrifying that it may have an unforeseen effect. It may *kill* you!See more »
Symphonie Fantastique - Dream of a Witches' SabbathSee more »


Is this movie widescreen?
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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
"She cries, she cries in the night.", 23 April 2005
Author: classicsoncall from United States

"The Screaming Skull" opens with a warning and an offer for free burial services if you should die watching it - Now there's a hook! The story itself has a fairly interesting premise for a horror flick: scheming husband marries a wealthy woman with a history of mental illness, then attempts to convince her that she's going insane with shrill noises, mysterious knocking and skulls that turn up at inopportune times. Add to the formula a sufficiently creepy gardener who still cherishes the memory of the man's first wife who he was devoted to. Maybe it's just that the 1950's didn't have the technology to pull off some of the scare scenes needed to juice up this movie, the techniques used here seem contrived and mundane. But then again, when I first saw "House on Haunted Hill" as a nine year old, it gave me the heebie jeebies in the same way I'm sure this film did for young viewers of the same era.

Don't get me wrong, the film is not terrible, it just seems to get tedious at times. But there's some great atmospheric tension in the generally huge but unfurnished Whitlock home, and the gardens and pool are a nice touch. For me the best played out scene involves Eric Whitlock (John Hudson) going maniacal in the pond attempting to retrieve the hidden skull, he just wades right in clothes and all, in neat contrast to the mentally challenged gardener (director Alex Nicol in a dual role). It makes you wonder who the real dimwit was.

In it's own good way, perhaps the most shocking thing about the film: how about that neat roadster the Whitlock's make their first appearance in - gull wing doors in 1958! That at least made me jump out of my seat!

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Screaming Skull (1958)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
well constructed scary little movie mr-murph
Watched this again...........brings back fond memories. douggman99
This movie was on Mystery Science Theater 3000 Kdude9000
oh c'mon a 2.8 average? neuronboy
Same music in Kubrick's The Shining Stuart Gardner
I didn't imagine it! jrfug74
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