Family mansion causes the women who occupy it to become insane.

I grew up in Northern New Jersey, and spent time as a kid watching Channel 11’s matinee movie on Saturday afternoons in the 1970’s – lots of old b&w gothics, suspenses & thrillers. The one in question may have been made in the 1950’s. The film is narrated from the point of view of the male character, who recounts his story for the viewer. The basic plot centers on a grand and supposedly haunted family mansion on a great estate. The narrator, as a young man, brings his bride-to-be to this great house against the warnings of his family that the house will cause the young woman to become insane. The couple, though, see only the stately elegance of the home and the disuse it has fallen into; they are certain the stories are exaggerations and their love can withstand anything. They move into the house shortly after marrying.

There are two scenes that stand out in my mind from this film. The first is when the young bride gets separated from her husband and finds herself in the cellar. It’s huge and labyrinthine and covered in sheets of cobwebs. She becomes lost. While she attempts to orient herself, a figure emerges from the shadows, covered in cobwebs, and stalks toward the young woman with stiff Frankenstein-like arms. The young woman, of course, screams until she is found and her fears assuaged. We, as the viewer, later see that the figure is that of a woman in a tattered, moth-eaten wedding gown.

The second scene in my memory is the final scene. Time has elapsed so that the main male role has aged to match that of himself as narrator. The viewer sees a large room, lined with windows, and a storm raging outside. Lightening shears and thunder rattles. The narrator speaks of wishing he had heeded the warnings when he was young, for he now understands their ultimate truth. Then, he says that soon, he must put her in the basement, referring to his wife. Now, we as viewers, see outlined in a flash of lightening the unnaturally rigid profile of a woman sitting straight up in bed wreathed in wild hair and staring fixedly ahead with wide, blank eyes.

Please, anyone — can someone tell me the name of this movie???

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