Eyes of Mystery (1918)

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The Eyes of Mystery was one of the first full-blooded melodramas directed by Tod Browning, who soon became an acknowledged master of the genre. Based on a short story by Roy Octavus Cohen and John U. Geisy, the film was a classic "old dark house" affair, replete with hidden stairways, sliding panels and portraits with eye-holes. Happily living with her Uncle Quincy (Frank Andrews), Carma Carmichael (Edith Storey) has no desire to return to her abusive father Roger (Harry S. Northrup). Alas, Roger insists that Carma come back to him, and the stress proves too much for Quincy, who dies of an apparent heart attack. Fortunately, Roger gets his comeuppance when he comes into possession of Quincy's supposedly "haunted" Southern mansion, where he gets the scare of his life at the hands of -- who? The trick ending in Eyes of Mystery was later emulated in Tod Browning's 1927 Lon Chaney vehicle London After Midnight and its 1935 remake Mark of the Vampire (also directed by Browning).