The Turn of the Screw has been the subject of numerous adaptations and reworkings in a variety of media, and these reworkings and adaptations have, themselves, been analysed in the academic literature on Henry James and neo-Victorian culture. It was adapted to an opera by Benjamin Britten, which premiered in 1954, and the opera has been filmed on numerous occasions. The novella was adapted as a ballet score (1980) by Luigi Zaninelli, and separately as a ballet (1999) by Will Tucket for the Royal Ballet. Harold Pinter directed The Innocents (1950), a Broadway play which was an adaptation of The Turn of the Screw, and a subsequent eponymous stage play, adapted by Rebecca Lenkiewicz was presented in a co-production with Hammer at the Almeida Theatre, London, in January 2013. A new musical theater adaptation of the story had its world premiere in the Washington DC area in February 2015.
There have been numerous film adaptations of the novel. The critically acclaimed The Innocents (1961), directed by Jack Clayton, and Michael Winner's prequel The Nightcomers (1972) are two particularly notable examples. Other feature film adaptations include Rusty Lemorande's 1992 eponymous adaptation (set in the 1960s); Eloy de la Iglesia's Spanish-language Otra vuleta de tuerca (The Turn of the Screw, 1985); Presence of Mind (1999), directed by Atoni Aloy; and In a Dark Place (2006), directed by Donato Rotunno. The Others (2001) is not an adaptation but has some themes in common with James's novella.
Television films have included a 1959 film directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Ingrid Bergman; the West German Die sündigen Engel (The Sinful Angel, 1962), a 1974 adaptation directed by Dan Curtis, adapted by William F. Nolan; a French adaptation entitled Le Tour d'écrou (The Turn of the Screw, 1974); a Mexican miniseries entitled Otra vuleta de tuerca (The Turn of the Screw, 1981); a 1982 adaptation directed by Petr Weigl primarily starring Czech actors lip-synching; a 1990 adaptation directed by Graeme Clifford; The Haunting of Helen Walker (1995), directed by Tom McLoughlin; a 1999 adaptation directed by Ben Bolt; a low-budget 2003 version written and directed by Nick Millard; the Italian-language Il mistero del lago (The Mystery of the Lake, 2009); and a 2009 BBC film adapted by Sandy Welch.
Literary reworkings of The Turn of the Screw identified by James scholar Adeline R. Tintner include The Secret Garden (1911), by Frances Hodgson Burnett; "Poor Girl" (1951), by Elizabeth Taylor; The Peacock Spring (1975), by Rumer Godden; Ghost Story (1975) by Peter Straub; "The Accursed Inhabitants of House Bly" (1994) by Joyce Carol Oates; and Miles and Flora (1997)—a sequel—by Hilary Bailey. Further literary adaptations identified by other authors include Affinity (1999), by Sarah Waters; A Jealous Ghost (2005), by A. N. Wilson; and Florence & Giles (2010), by John Harding.
For several months beginning in December 1968, the ABC daytime drama Dark Shadows featured a storyline based on The Turn of the Screw. In the story, the spirits of Quentin Collins and Beth Chavez haunted the west wing of Collinwood, possessing the two children living in the mansion. The story led to a lengthy flashback to 1897, as Barnabas Collins traveled back in time to prevent Quentin's death and stop the possession. Despite his early tenure as a malevolent spirit, Quentin became a very popular character on the show.
The Turn of the Screw is occasionally alluded to in the Star Trek universe. Star Trek: The Next Generation's 7th-season episodes "Sub Rosa" is a loose science fiction adaptation of the story, centered around Doctor Beverly Crusher's encounter with a supposed ghost, and featuring minor characters named Quint and Jessel. In two early episodes of Star Trek: Voyager ("Learning Curve" and "Persistence of Vision"), Captain Kathryn Janeway is briefly seen on the holodeck acting out scenes from an untitled gothic novel which seems to be an amalgam of The Turn of the Screw and Jane Eyre.