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Name That Trauma:: Geoff C. on a Screaming Mother and a Skeleton Brother

September 27th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 4 Comments

Hi Kindertrauma!

Love your website and have been enjoying your posts for many years. I’m finally going to submit my Name That Trauma that’s been haunting me for 40+ years. I was very young so some details may be inaccurate but I’m open to any suggestions.

A woman returns to her family home after being away for many years. The interior of the house looked vaguely gothic with two or more floors and big rooms. The mother and other family seem very hostile to the returning woman.The family members speak of her brother (or maybe father?) who never leaves his room and is never seen. A tray of food is delivered to his room every day and then picked up outside the door with empty dishes. There’s extended build-up and mystery about the never seen brother, climaxing with the woman finally entering his room where she of course finds his skeleton propped up in a chair. The mother (?) comes flying into the room after her discovery screaming “You must die! You must die!” while wielding a knife or ax.

Obviously this sounds like Psycho by way of Burnt Offerings with a touch of Silent Scream but it’s none of those. I know several of the plot points sound like Hammer’s “Scream of Fear” but it’s not that either – though it’s entirely possible that I’ve mixed that one up with another movie or TV show. I saw the movie sometime between 1972 and 1977 (based on where we were living when I saw it) so I was no older than 7 and I’m sure my memory isn’t entirely reliable. I think it was in black and white but that might have just been our TV at the time. The “You must die!” part is what has stuck with me over the years. It’s so campy and over the top it’s hard to believe it’s not from some well-known movie.

Appreciate any help or suggestions from you or your readers!

All the best,

Geoff C.

Tags: Name That Trauma!




4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 GrokensteinNo Gravatar // Sep 27, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Possibly partially “Paranoiac!” (Hammer; 1963) but you’d be surprised how many movies and TV shows used the idea.

    In fact, I’d recommend researching “Mummies at the Dinner Table” and “Madwoman in the Attic” at TVTropes.org, with this caveat: for all their listings, their lists are still incomplete. (For example, “Mummies” has no mention of Roddy McDowall’s “It!,” a modern take on the legend of the Golem that’s practically ruined by its tacked-on blatant swipe of the Norma Bates reveal.)

  • 2 GeoffNo Gravatar // Sep 28, 2017 at 1:33 am

    Thank you, Kindetrauma, for posting my question! And thanks for your suggestion, Grokenstein. I was not familiar with that site – nice resource! I’ll try Paranoiac! Since both are Hammer films maybe there was a double feature with that and Scream of Fear and I blended the two. I’ve also wondered if it could have been an episode of an anthology show like Circle of Fear or Thriller or something. So frustrating to have a fairly detailed memory of it but no answer…

  • 3 kathryngraceNo Gravatar // Sep 29, 2017 at 10:43 am

    It sounds like The Blancheville Monster (1963).

  • 4 GeoffNo Gravatar // Sep 29, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    Thanks for the suggestion, kathryngrace. Looks like a fun movie either way!

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