In modern-day London, Christopher Maitland (Cushing), a collector and writer on the occult, is offered the skull by Marco (Wymark), an unscrupulous dealer in antiques and curiosities. Maitland learns that the skull has been stolen from Sir Matthew Phillips (Lee), a friend and fellow collector. Sir Matthew, however, does not want to recover it, having escaped its evil influence. He warns Maitland of its powers. At his sleazy lodgings, Marco dies in mysterious circumstances. Maitland finds his body and takes possession of the skull. He in turns falls victim as the skull drives him to hallucinations, madness and death.
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