The Black Torment (1964)

35mm, Eastmancolor
mono, English

A British film directed by Robert Hartford-Davis.

Plot Summary

In 1780, Sir Richard Fordyce returns to his ancestral home in the village of Tiverton with his newly-acquired second bride Elizabeth to face hostility from his staff and the local villagers. It seems that while he was away, a doppelganger has been raping and murdering his way through the neighbourhood and the locals are muttering about witchcraft. To make matters worse, the ghost of Fordyce's first wife rides around the grounds yelling “Murderer!”


Directed by: Robert Hartford-Davis
© MCMLXIV [1964] by Compton-Tekli Film Productions Limited
Michael Klinger and Tony Tenser present a Compton-Tekli production
Produced by: Robert Hartford-Davis
Associate Producer: Robert Sterne
Original Screenplay by:Donald and Derek Ford
Director of Photography: Peter Newbrook
Editor: Alastair McIntyre
Music Composed and Conducted by: Robert Richards
Sound Mixer: Bert Ross
Sound Recordist: John Aldred
Wardrobe Supervisor: Elsa Fennell
Make-Up: George Partleton
Hairdresser: Joan White
Art Director: Alan Harris

Heather Sears (Lady Elizabeth)
John Turner (Sir Richard Fordyce)
Ann Lynn (Diane)
Peter Arne (Seymour)
Norman Bird (Harris)
Raymond Huntley (Colonel Wentworth)
Annette Whiteley (Mary)
Francis de Wolff (Black John)
Joseph Tomelty (Sir Giles)
Patrick Troughton (stable hand)
Roger Croucher (apprentice)
Charles Houston (Jenkins)
Derek Newark (coachman)
Kathy Macdonald (Kate)
Bill Cummings, Frank Hayden, Jack Taylor (soldiers)
Edina Ronay (Lucy Judd)

Alternative Titles

Estate of Insanity – USA
Das Grauen auf Black Torment – West Germany
Horror en la mansión Fordyke – Spain
La morte nera – Italy
Le spectre maudit – France



  • Alien no.13 (January 1965) p.27 – review (Vision film review by J. Ramsey Campbell)
  • Castle of Frankenstein no.6 p.56
  • Castle of Frankenstein no.18 p.62
  • The Daily Cinema no.8872 (5-6 February 1964) p.12 – note (More thrills and chills at Shepperton)
  • The Daily Cinema no.8873 (7-8 February 1964) p.8 – note (Production-wise)
  • Mad Movies no.1 (June 1972) p.unpaginated – credits, review
  • Video Watchdog no.14 p.18 – review


  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.158
  • Creature Features Movie Guide Strikes Again by John Stanley p.46 – review
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.132-34, 133, 141, 170, 237, 373
  • Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby p.116
  • Feature Films, 1960-1969: A Filmography of English-language and Major Foreign-language United States Releases by Harris M. Lentz III p.40 – credits
  • Horrorshows: The A-Z of Horror in Film, TV, Radio and Theatre by Gene Wright p.137 – credits, review
  • by Walt Lee p.38 – credits
  • Uneasy Dreams: The Golden Age of British Horror Films, 1956-1976 by Gary A. Smith p.38