Circle of Fear: Season 1, Episode 22

The Phantom of Herald Square (30 Mar. 1973)
"Ghost Story" The Phantom of Herald Square (original title)

TV Episode  |   |  Horror, Thriller
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Art student Holly Brown is sketching in Central Park one day when James Barlow introduces himself to her. He offers to take her to lunch, and, intrigued, she accepts. Holly is charmed by ... See full summary »



(story) (as Ed DeBlasio) , (teleplay & story), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Phantom of Herald Square (30 Mar 1973)

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Episode cast overview:
James Barlow
Sheila Larken ...
Holly Brown
Murray Matheson ...
Old Man
The Old Woman
Dennis Lee Smith ...
Judie Stein ...


Art student Holly Brown is sketching in Central Park one day when James Barlow introduces himself to her. He offers to take her to lunch, and, intrigued, she accepts. Holly is charmed by James and begins seeing him, but as soon as she does, she finds herself terrorized by an old man. As her relationship with James grows, she is surprised to discover the connection between James and the old man. But even bigger surprises are awaiting her when she discovers the truth about James. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Horror | Thriller




Release Date:

30 March 1973 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Last show of the series. See more »


References The Phantom of the Opera (1925) See more »


Seem To Miss So Much (Coalminer's Song)
Written by Bruno Kirby (as B. Kirby Jr.) and Sam Fox
Performed by David Soul
See more »

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User Reviews

Ghost Story: THE PHANTOM OF HERALD SQUARE {TV} (James H. Brown, 1973) **1/2
2 May 2014 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

After 13 episodes featuring Sebastian Cabot introducing tales of the supernatural from Mansfield House, William Castle's "Ghost Story" not only dropped this device but also saw its title changed to CIRCLE OF FEAR (lasting for a further 9 weeks)!; by then, apart from Richard Matheson, former Hammer Films scribe Jimmy Sangster (now relocated to Hollywood) had been roped in as Story Consultant – and, in fact, he personally co-wrote this particular and rather misleadingly-named entry which effectively brought the enjoyable series to an abrupt close. What we have here is a Dorian Gray-type narrative in which an old man (Victor Jory) sells his soul – to a sinister (albeit fictional) company a' la John Frankenheimer's SECONDS (1966), whose director is continually spying on his clients via a telescope and has goons follow them around to ensure they abide by their contract! – in order to regain a youthful appearance (under the guise of David Soul)…only he is able to obtain this 'service' by making a succession of women fall for him and drain their own energy (thus making them old before their time)! The thing is that every night he reverts to his real age – by which time he has become weary of the situation and simply wants to die…so that he deliberately terrorizes his own young self's latest conquest into leaving him and save herself! She obviously does not understand, nor does she suspect the truth (even if he constantly excuses himself so as not to spend the night with her), and is further confused whenever an elderly woman approaches her lover in the street and, vehemently dismissed by him every time, eventually commits suicide! One night, however, he does stay on and 'turns' before her very eyes (effectively rendered in the dark – and it helps that Jory and Soul actually have similar physiognomies); ultimately, he has his contract fixed: apparently harbouring genuine affection for his current girlfriend, the protagonist chooses to end his misery by his own hand and, in this way, averts a cruel and unwitting fate for his art student lover. A definite low-point here, though, is an incongruous and recurring love song employed for the couple's deceptively idyllic meetings.

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