“There is a force in all of us that science knows nothing about.”

Dr. Warren Chapin (Vincent Price) has made a discovery that… lets face it is scientifically impossible. He is a pathologist who is researching fear. He believes that fear is caused by a parasite that lives in each of us and attaches to the spine. The “Tingler”. He does experiments. On his wife. On himself with LSD. And he does autopsies on death row inmates. He concludes that the tingler is real and can kill you. You die of fright. But if you scream it breaks the tingler’s hold on you. Ah Huh.

He meets Oliver “Ollie” Higgins (Philip Coolidge) during an autopsy of Ollie’s brother-in-law. Ollie runs an old movie house that shows silent movie. Ollie and his wife live over the theater. Ollie’s wife Martha (Judith Evelyn) is a deaf mute with OCD and faints at the sight of blood. Someone scares her to death. If you can’t scream how do you stop the “tingler”? Dr. Chapin autopsy’s Ollie’s wife and finds the tingler. He extracts it and puts it in a box.

Much later, after his wife tries to kill him with it, Chapin decides that it is dangerous but he is unable to kill it. He believes in order to kill the tingler he needs to put it back into Ollie’s wife’s body. He brings it back to Ollie’s house. The tingler escapes into the theater below. Lots of screaming. On screen and off.

"The Tingler" was released in 1959 and was directed by William Castle. More psychological thriller than horror some people may find it a little slow however, here are some fun facts about “The Tingler”. Due to William Castle’s bizarre idea, some of the seats in the movie theater showing the movie were wired to vibrate. Not all the seats were wired, only some and at different intervals so if a lot of people were screaming some of it was an associative reaction. Castle also paid some people to sit in the audience and to scream or faint on cue.

The tingler looks like a cross between a pincher bug and a centipede and comes from the spine of people so where is it on our “create a monster” list? It isn’t. Only William Castle could come up with something like this. Seeing Vincent Price act like he’s on an LSD trip was interesting. As was the red blood in the tub of a black and white movie. And the blood covered hand coming out of the tub was a very visual effect.

The budget was around $400,000 and it grossed over 2 million. At the time of the movie LSD was not an illegal drug. You can buy a tingler on Etsy.