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|Bela Lugosi||Dr. Mirakle|
|Leon Ames||Pierre Dupin (as Leon Waycoff)|
|Brandon Hurst||Prefect of Police|
|D'Arcy Corrigan||Morgue Keeper|
|Noble Johnson||Janos The Black One|
|Arlene Francis||Woman of the Streets|
|Sidney Fox||Mlle. Camille L'Espanaye|
|Samuel S. Hinds|
The film is set in the 19th Century in Paris. A mad scientist, Dr. Mirakle (Bela Lugosi), abducts young virgin women and injects them with ape blood, in order to create a mate for his talking sideshow ape Erik (Charles Gemora, the gorilla performer).Young Pierre Dupin, a young naive medical student and detective (Leon Ames—credited as Leon Waycoff—in the role of Poe's standard detective icon, C. Auguste Dupin), his fiancee Camille L'Espanaye (Sidney Fox, in the role of an original character in the short story), and their friends Paul (Bert Roach) and his girl Mignette (silent film actress Edna Marion, in her last film role) visit carnival sideshows, including Mirakle's sideshow where he exhibits Erik. Both master and servant are enchanted by Camille, whom Mirakle plans to become Erik's mate. He invites her to come and take a closer look at Erik, who grabs Camille's bonnet. Dupin tries to get it back, when Erik tries to strangle him. Mirakle backs him off and offers Camille to replace the bonnet. But Camille is reluctant and suspicious to give the doctor her address, so, when they leave, Mirakle orders his servant Janos (Noble Johnson) to follow her.