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In this eerie and effective early horror film from prolific genre director Antonio Margheriti, Alan Foster (Georges Riviere), an American tourist visiting England, takes a bet from a Lord Blackwood and his guest, Edgar Allan Poe, to spend the night in a haunted mansion. The rationalist Foster, who does not believe in the supernatural, is soon drawn into a world of ghosts and phantoms, doomed to eternally replay the horrifying murders that climaxed a long-ago love triangle. Foster also finds himself in love with one of the protagonists, the beautiful Elizabeth (Barbara Steele), and it is a love which ensures that he never leaves the haunted castle alive. It's a marvelously atmospheric gothic thriller, one of the best Italian horror films of the decade, and quite properly made the enchantingly spooky Steele -- fresh from Mario Bava's La Maschera del Demonio -- even more of a horror icon. Riccardo Pallotini's evocative camerawork enhances the mood tremendously, and the shock scenes, though perhaps too tame for modern audiences, are nonetheless strikingly effective. Silvano Tranquilli co-stars with Margaret Robsahm, Henry Kruger, and Umberto Raho.

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