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The House of Fear

The House of Fear(1939)

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Remind Me

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The murder of actor John Woodford during the performance of a Broadway play closes the house when reports begin to circulate that Woodford's ghost haunts the theater. To solve the mystery, police detective Arthur McHugh poses as a producer and reopens the theater to present the play. His hunch that the real murderer will reappear proves correct when Carleton, the actor playing Woodford's part, is murdered during rehearsal. As the company is besieged by a barrage of death threats from the ghost of Woodford, McHugh coerces Richard Pierce, an actor he suspects of the crimes, into playing the dead man's part, which requires him to stand in front of a microphone where the other two murders have taken place. On opening night, McHugh discovers a cable lead that leads to a poisoned needle in the microphone, and captures the masked murderer as he is poised to shoot the lethal missle. The murderer confesses that he is in the employ of Robert Morton, the brother of domineering theater owner Joseph Morton, and McHugh expounds that the murders were part of Robert's scheme to lower the value of the theater and thus insure him profits on a crooked real estate deal, which would enable him to marry the fortune-hunting actress, Gloria DeVere. Gloria then reveals that she is actually McHugh's wife, who has been helping her husband with the investigation by posing as one of the cast members. With Morton's arrest, Woodford's "ghost" is laid to rest and the case is solved.