List of adaptations of The Monkey's Paw

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English author W. W. Jacobs' "The Monkey's Paw" (1902) inspired many adaptations and parodies; some are listed here.

Film, television or theatrical adaptations[edit]

  • The Ramsay Brothers television show Zee Horror Show had one episode named "Taveez" which was based on this story.
  • The segment "Wish You Were Here" from the 1972 film Tales from the Crypt is an adaptation.[1]
  • The 7th Season of HBO's Tales from the Crypt retells the tale in the 3rd Episode, "Last Respects"
  • Bob Clark's Deathdream is inspired by the short story.[2]
  • Michael Scott directed and starred in a short film version.[3]
  • The Are You Afraid of the Dark? episode "The Tale of the Twisted Claw" is based on the story.[4]
  • The story also inspired an episode of Brandy & Mr. Whiskers.[5]
  • Short film directed by James Henschen. Filmed in 2003. Tribalfilm[6]
  • A variant of this story, using a genie in a bottle, was featured in The Twilight Zone episode "The Man in the Bottle".[7]
  • In an episode of The Monkees, titled "The Monkee's Paw", a nightclub magician sells the band a cursed monkey's paw in revenge after they unwittingly force him out of a job.[8]
  • The Ripping Yarns story "The Curse of the Claw", first broadcast in 1977 and starring Michael Palin, is a spoof in the style of Monty Python, and is loosely inspired by "The Monkey's Paw".[9]
  • The main idea was used in a season 5 episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer entitled "Forever" in which Spike and Dawn Summers attempt to revive Joyce Summers. The episode even ends similarly to the original story, with Buffy opening the door to reveal no one there after she convinces Dawn to end their dead mother's revival.[10]
  • "Treehouse of Horror II" - In the 1991 Halloween episode of The Simpsons, one of the stories is about how Homer gets a monkey's paw that grants him four wishes. Each member of the Simpson family (except Marge who actually heeded the warning of the vendor) makes a wish, which have terrible consequences. In a humorous twist, Homer gladly gives the paw to his neighbour Ned Flanders, only for Ned's wishes to (apparently) go off without any of the usual consequences, causing Homer to grumble "I wish I had a monkey paw."[11]
  • The Cartoon Network show I Am Weasel featured an episode in its fourth season entitled "The Baboon's Paw" in which Weasel's sidekick, I.R. Baboon, has the power to make his wishes come true through the use of his own paws, having been told they are lucky after attempting to buy a monkey's paw in Chinatown.[12]
  • Bhusan Dahal's 2008 film Kagbeni is based on the story, but with a few changes made to adjust with the locality.[13]
  • The anime television series/light novel Monogatari story arc, Suruga Monkey, contains an oddity explicitly (albeit incorrectly) believed to be the monkey's paw, with references to its twisted wish-making powers backfiring at the person wishing. However, in contrast to the monkey paw, the wishes are not fulfilled in a way contradicting the intentions of the wish-maker, but actually obeying them.[14]
  • The 21st episode of the seventh season of The X-Files, "Je Souhaite", is a remake of the monkey's paw myth in which Mulder seems to solve the puzzle.[15]
  • The book Prom Nights from Hell: a novel consisting of five short stories written by Meg Cabot, Stephenie Meyer, Kim Harrison, Michele Jaffe and Lauren Myracle. Myracle's "The Corsage" is an adaptation of "The Monkey's Paw".[16]
  • The manga series xxxHolic has a story about a teacher who buys a monkey's paw from Yuko's shop.[17] It was also adapted into the anime series episode "Contract".
  • The K-Horror movie Wishing Stairs recasts the story with the family replaced by a trio of students at an all-girls' school and the monkey paw replaced by the eponymous stairs.[18]
  • The first episode of the second series of the British comedy The League of Gentlemen contains a reference to the monkey's paw in the shape of a magical toad which when squeezed will grant the squeezer a wish; it is used by the Dentons to wish for their nephew's return and a self lowering lavatory seat.[19][20]
  • The cartoon series Adventure Time references the concept directly in the second episode of the fifth season, "Jake the Dog," when heroes Finn and Jake meet a wish-granting being named Prismo. Because he likes Jake, Prismo warns that all his wishes have a catch, "like a monkey's paw thing", and helps guide him into making a wish that will only have negative consequences for the villainous Lich.[21]
  • The 2013 horror film The Monkey's Paw is based on the W.W. Jacobs short story. The film stars Stephen Lang, C.J. Thomason, Corbin Bleu, and Charles S. Dutton, and was released in theatres and on demand on 8 October 2013.[22]
  • An operatic version of the story was adapted by composer Jonathan N. Kupper in 2009. Excerpts of the piece were showcased as part of Opera Vista's new opera competition in Houston, Texas in 2010; and a full production was premiered by The Microscopic Opera Company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2011.[23]
  • A spoof in the cartoon series Rick and Morty, season 1 episode 9, "Something Ricked This Way Comes". The monkey's paw is used to save the life of the devil who lost his will to live after he was outwitted by Rick.[24]
  • The 2017 horror film Wish Upon utilizes the concept by swapping the monkey's paw for a music box that can grant seven wishes. The music box comes into the possession of high school student Claire (Joey King), who uses the wishes for fortune, friends, love and revenge. People close to her suddenly begin dying horrifically, and she learns that others who have had the box before have died in freak accidents.[25][26]
  • The wish-gone-wrong theme had been used in the "bad" endings of the 2007 video game S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. At the end of the game, the player may reach the Wish Granter, a legendary object resting deep inside the Chernobyl Sarcophagus that is said to grant any wishes to whoever manages to find it. However, the wishes inevitably turn out twisted and corrupted. For example, if the character wishes the Zone to disappear, he is shown standing in the middle of a sunny field, only to be revealed to have gone blind (the wishes depend on various circumstances, such as the character's reputation and financial condition).[27]
  • An episode of the BBC anthology series Inside No. 9, first broadcast on 6 February 2018, features a story based on "The Monkey's Paw".[28]


  • Industrial/goth band the Electric Hellfire Club released a song called "The Monkey's Paw" on their album Witness.[29]
  • The song "Monkey's Paw" by the band Smalltown Poets speaks of consequences one must pay from getting one's wishes over obedience to God.[30]
  • The story was the subject of a humorous song by the same name on Laurie Anderson's 1989 album Strange Angels.[31]
  • Warren Zevon begins his 2001 song "Genius" singing about a "bitter pot of je ne sais quoi" which he stirs using a monkey’s paw.[32]
  • Horrorpunk band The Misfits have a song based on the story on their 2011 album The Devil's Rain.[33]
  • Artists Scott & Raven's 1987 single – "The Monkey Paw (A New Dance Kraze)" on Columbia Records.[34]
  • The Vocaloid song series Shuuen no Shiori references the legend in the song "Aimless Imitation Chair Stealing Game".


  • The Monkey's Paw Trilogy by Ralph Lagana, Jr, is an original companion novel to W. W. Jacobs's short story.[35]
  • The 4 August 2010 edition of the web-comic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal features a severed monkey's paw that grants wishes with consequences.[36]
  • Strip #284 of the web-comic VGCats features a severed monkey's paw that grants wishes with consequences.[37]
  • I Wish by Scottish horror author Johnny Mains is a modern re-telling of the story, set in Glasgow.[citation needed]
  • Cursed by Benedict Jacka, introduces a monkey's paw that the main protagonist Alex Verus has to deal with. The monkey's paw is mentioned several times in the books series afterwards.[38]
  • In Candy Gourlay's story Shine Candy made her own version of the story. Set in the island of fictional island of Mirasol, where a babysitter called Yaya retold the story to her child she is babysitting named Rosa. In a chapter.[39]
  • The 1983 Stephen King novel Pet Sematary (and the 1989 film of the same name) elaborate on a key theme of The Monkey's Paw: that it is ill-advised to resurrect the dead.[40]
  • Jodi Taylor's book White Silence features the story of the Monkey's Paw - the sum of £200 becomes £50 and is used as a salutory lesson about the value of a life.


  1. ^ "Tales From The Crypt - 1972".
  2. ^ "Deathdream (1972) - Bob Clark - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  3. ^ "The Monkey's Paw". 14 September 2006 – via
  4. ^ "'Are You Afraid of the Dark' - 'The Tale of the Twisted Claw' - Chicago Tribune".
  5. ^ "Brandy & Mr. Whiskers".
  6. ^ "The Monkey's Paw". 15 November 2003 – via
  7. ^ "The Twilight Zone: The Man in the Bottle (1960) - Don Medford - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  8. ^ "The Monkees: Monkees Paw (1968) - James Frawley - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  9. ^ "Ripping Yarns: The Curse of the Claw (1977) - - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  10. ^ "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Forever (2001) - Marti Noxon - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  11. ^ "Cooking The Simpsons: Monkey's Paw Turkey Sandwich".
  12. ^ "I am Weasel: The Baboon's Paw".
  13. ^ "Coming of age with Kagbeni-Nepali Times".
  14. ^ "The Inauthenticity of Senjougahararagi: Bakemonogatari 08 (Suruga Monkey Arc Ends, Senjougahara Steals Show Again)". 31 August 2009.
  15. ^ "The X-Files: Je Souhaite (2000) - Vince Gilligan - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  16. ^ "Prom Nights from Hell - Teenreads".
  17. ^ Clamp (October 2004). xxxHolic: Vol. 3. ISBN 978-0-345-47181-9.
  18. ^ "Wishing Stairs (2003) - Yoon Jae-Yeon, Yun Jae-yeon - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Interview with The League of Gentlemen". the Guardian. 10 February 2001.
  21. ^ Sava, Oliver. "Adventure Time: "Finn The Human"/"Jake The Dog"".
  22. ^ "THE MONKEY'S PAW - British Board of Film Classification".
  23. ^ "microscopic-opera".
  24. ^ "Rick and Morty - Something Ricked This Way Comes".
  25. ^ Wish Upon Official Trailer #2 MovieClips on YouTube
  26. ^ "Wish Upon (2017) - John R. Leonetti - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  27. ^ perochialjoe (12 April 2012), STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl All Endings, retrieved 19 September 2017
  28. ^ "TV Review: Inside No. 9 - Tempting Fate".
  29. ^ "Witness the Millenium by The Electric Hellfire Club".
  30. ^ "Smalltown Poets - Monkey's Paw Lyrics - MetroLyrics".
  31. ^ "Monkey's Paw - Laurie Anderson - Song Info - AllMusic". AllMusic.
  32. ^ "Warren Zevon - Genius Lyrics - MetroLyrics".
  33. ^ "Monkey`s Paw - MISFITS".
  34. ^ "Scott & Raven - The Monkey Paw (A New Dance Kraze)".
  35. ^ "The Monkey's Paw Trilogy".
  36. ^ "Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - 2010-08-04".
  37. ^ "VG Cats - Update is credit to team!".
  38. ^ Jacka, Benedict (7 June 2012). "Cursed: An Alex Verus Novel from the New Master of Magical London". Little, Brown Book Group – via Google Books.
  39. ^ "Interview: Author Candy Gourlay ~". 4 August 2014.
  40. ^ "Movie Review - - Review/Film; A Cat and a Toddler Give Reincarnation a Bad Name -".