Tales from the Crypt (1989–1996)
8 user 1 critic

The Secret 

Orphan boy Theodore is adopted by the Colberts, who are an eccentric rich couple with a very dark secret. They aren't the only ones.


J. Michael Riva (as Michael Riva)


Steven Dodd (creator), Doug Ronning (screenplay)




Episode cast overview:
Larry Drake ... Tobias
Grace Zabriskie ... Mrs. Colbert
Mike Simmrin ... Theodore
Georgann Johnson ... Miss Hagstead
Stella Hall Stella Hall ... Miss Heather
William Frankfather ... Mr. Colbert
John Kassir ... Crypt Keeper (voice)
Nicolas Ostrogovich Nicolas Ostrogovich ... Joey
Jordan Metzner ... Orphan
Gary Schwartz ... Werewolf (voice)


Orphan boy Theodore is adopted by the Colberts, who are an eccentric rich couple with a very dark secret. They aren't the only ones.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

31 July 1990 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Gaines Orphanage is named after Tales from the Crypt creator William Gaines. See more »


Joey: What's the difference between boogers and broccoli?
Theodore: I don't know.
Joey: Kids don't eat broccoli.
Theodore: That's a good one.
See more »


References Silver Spurs (1936) See more »


Tales from the Crypt Theme
Composed by Danny Elfman
See more »

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User Reviews

The Secret
23 August 2015 | by a_baronSee all my reviews

Some of the episodes in this series are passable, and some are quite lame, but this one packs a punch with a surprise ending. The oldest boy in an orphanage is not a delinquent exactly but because of his behaviour - which includes midnight raids on the refrigerator - he is unlikely ever to be adopted. Until one day...

His new parents are extremely wealthy and even weirder; they live in a mansion set in its own grounds and filled with rare artefacts. The only other occupants are a fierce guard dog and the butler, the latter of whom appears has been with the Colberts since he was young, he too being an orphan.

Although he was reluctant to leave the orphanage, Theodore is overjoyed at his lavish bedroom which has a train set and all manner of other toys, plus he can eat all the cake he wants. However, he is a bird in a gilded cage, locked in and never allowed out. What is afoot? His adoptive parents have a secret, though not from their servant; they are vampires, and they have promised him he will join them if he will procure a young boy to sacrifice.

Theodore knows none of this until he is roused from his bed by the butler who has had a change of heart. They must leave in a hurry, he says, but hey are intercepted on the stairs. Even so, the boy manages to escape, or does he? Here is the twist in the tale, and what a twist it is.

"The Secret" is the mirror image of an episode screened two years later. Alas, to reveal its title would also reveal the twist herein.

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