Bob Crane and Jo Anne Worley, as a faltering American couple in London, buy a “House—With Ghost” in the Night Gallery segment reviewed here.
Season 2 Episode 9—aired 11/17/71
“House—With Ghost” **
Teleplay by Gene R. Kearney • Story by August Derleth
Directed by Gene R. Kearney
Bob Crane as Ellis Travers
Jo Anne Worley as Iris Travers
Bernard Fox as the Ghost of Mr. Canby
Eric Christmas as Chichester
Alan Napier as the Doctor
Trisha Noble as Sherry
American Ellis Travers (Bob Crane) has recently moved to London with his wife Iris (Jo Anne Worley) and already he has a young British woman as his mistress. Sherry (Trisha Noble) is impatient with Ellis and wants him to leave his wife.
He thinks he may have found the perfect solution: move with his wife into a haunted house and let things take care of themselves. After all, Iris has an interest in ghosts and she is also prone to dizzy spells. One good scare and she could “accidentally” suffer a fatal fall down the stairs.
And those stairs seem to be the stairs featured on several previous Night Gallery stories such as “The Cemetery,” “Certain Shadows on the Wall” and “The Doll.” Night Gallery sure got its money’s worth out of that one staircase.
Ellis finds out that his wife’s condition is actually terminal and she only has months to live. He phones Sherry and explains this to her, but she doesn’t want to wait for him one more day, let alone several months, to be free of his wife and breaks up with him over the phone.
As soon as he is hung up on by Sherry, we hear a scream and see that Iris has been yanked out of bed by the unseen ghost and thrown down the stairs to her death. Just as planned. Except for the fact that his girlfriend has just broken up with him.
And aside from the fact that the ghost, the house’s previous owner, Mr. Canby (Bernard Fox) materializes and informs Ellis that in exchange for getting rid of his wife, he’s going to charge him $2,000 a month for the rest of his life.
Wondering what need of money a ghost has, the late Mr. Canby explains that after his death, his widow cut someone out of his will—his own “bird on the side,” to whom he’d promised that same sum.
This story is played somewhat lightly at times but it neither succeeds as comedy or as horror and is one of the least-memorable segments on the series. Not horrible, just not much of anything at all.