In this chilling tale of melted madness, “Professor Henry Jarrod” (Vincent Price, master of the macabre), has devoted his life’s work to his waxen masterpieces for a New York museum in favor of art for art’s sake instead of commercial success. However, “Matthew Burke” (Roy Roberts), his financial backer does not share the same sentiment, seeking items of sensation and horror to increase profits instead. “Jarrod” professing his love for his wax children and shunning the very thought of desecrating their beauty for the sake of money, seeks a new partner who shares the same vision. One is found, but due to business obligations, will be unable to fulfill this buyout for several months. Unwilling to wait, “Burke” and “Jarrod” quarrel, and a deliberate fire is set by “Burke”, a struggle ensues, leaving “Jarrod” unconscious to face the flames in a fiery death along with the demise of his beloved figures. “Burke” escapes the blaze, leaving “Jarrod” and the museum engulfed in torrid flame, hell-bent on collecting the insurance money. Miraculously, the Professor survives the horrible incident, and with the help of “Igor” (a young Charles Bronson), a most imposing deaf-mute, rebuilds his enterprising realm of wax, this time with a new intention, the “Chamber of Horrors”, featuring crimes and murders of past and present. One of them holding a hideous scene with his former business partner dangling from a rope with a cloaked, disfigured killer seen leaving the crime, suicide or murder?
At the opening of this house of horror, “Sue Allen” (Phyllis Kirk), during her visit makes a horrifying discovery leading to the truth behind “The House of Wax”, that the waxworks are all wax-coated bodies of “Jarrod’s” victims, who himself has become terribly disfigured in the fire and is the hooded killer behind it all. The endgame is now a question of inevitable death as the option of escape has departed during police pursuit. And in the midst of the madness, “Jarrod” himself falls headlong to his death into the boiling wax below, having opened the door to his darker side of revenge and murder, and not for the love of his talent and adoration of his beloved creations.