The Black Torment
Cast & Crew
In the spring of 1780 widower Sir Richard Fordyke returns from London to his family's country estate, accompanied by Elizabeth, his new bride, and learns that the manor tenants suspect him of practicing witchcraft. During his absence, young Lucy Judd was brutally raped and murdered; Lucy allegedly uttered Sir Richard's name before dying, and local residents claim to have seen Sir Richard in the countryside on the night Lucy was slain. Sir Richard's first wife committed suicide, and his father, Sir Giles, is a mute paralytic who is attended by Diane, the sister of Sir Richard's first wife. Disturbing events begin to occur: Sir Richard sees the ghost of his first wife in the garden; the window from which she jumped to her death refuses to stay shut; and Richard is chased by the same apparition on horseback. Mary, the maid, is murdered, and Sir Giles is found hanging from a chandelier. Finally, Sir Richard learns that he has a twin brother who, insane from birth, has been kept closeted for many years. Diane, believing that Sir Richard murdered her sister because she did not produce an heir, discovered the existence of the madman and, with the help of her cousin Seymour, the steward, whose motive is to gain control of the estate by depriving Sir Richard of his inheritance, contrived to use the mad brother to drive Richard insane. The mad brother attacks Elizabeth, and she shoots him. Seymour betrays Diane and kills her, and Sir Richard murders Seymour.
Francis De Wolff
Opened in London in October 1964.