House of Horrors

House of Horror

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jean Yarbrough
Produced by Ben Pivar
Screenplay by George Bricker
Story by Dwight V. Babcock
Starring Rondo Hatton
Robert Lowery
Music by William Lava
Paul Sawtell
Frank Skinner
Dimitri Tiomkin
Cinematography Maury Gertsman
Edited by Philip Cahn
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • March 29, 1946 (1946-03-29) (United States)

1952 (Re-release)

Running time
65 mins.
Country United States
Language English

House of Horrors (also known as Murder Mansion, The Sinister Shadow and Joan Medford is Missing) is a 1946 American horror film released by Universal Pictures, starring Rondo Hatton as a madman named "The Creeper." It was filmed in September 1945.

An entire series of Creeper movies had been planned, with this being the first, and The Brute Man (1946) being the second. However, the sudden death of the main star, Rondo Hatton, prevented any future pictures from being made. Hatton died of complications from acromegaly before either film was released; it is not known how many films were planned.[1]


Struggling sculptor, Marcel De Lange (Martin Kosleck) is depressed about the events going on in his life, and decides to commit suicide. But just as he's about to kill himself, he spots and saves a madman, named "The Creeper" (Rondo Hatton) from drowning. Shortly afterward, he takes the disfigured man into his care. Marcel also makes the Creeper the subject of his next sculpture and calls it his best creation. But as the reviews begin to break Marcel's last nerve, he has the Creeper start killing the critics. Marcel becomes obsessed with a beautiful female reporter, Joan, who is alone in thinking the deaths are related. When Marcel invites her over, she notices Marcel's sculpture of "The Creeper" and decides that Marcel must know the killer. Later, Marcel decides that she knows too much, but the Creeper is reluctant to kill her when he discovers Marcel's plan to turn the Creeper over to the police.


The Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards represent Hatton in both name as well as his likeness. The physical award is a representation of character actor Rondo Hatton, and is based on the bust of The Creeper, portrayed by Hatton in House of Horrors.


  1. Vieira, Mark A. (2003). Hollywood Horror: From Gothic to Cosmic. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. p. 102. ISBN 0-8109-4535-5.
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