Attractive Ally Sheedy and suitably virile William R. Moses show up as San Francisco marrieds Susan and Mark Enright, who buy a Mendocino Victorian frame house that has an occult magnet drawing Susan to it. Production displays domestic clashes and humdrum haunting as fires inexplicably erupt, windows shut, doors lock, gadgets malfunction; yet under Walter Klenhard’s direction, it isn’t scary.
Susan and Mark, starting a bed-and-breakfast, struggle withdomestic discord that began when Mark was unfaithful back in Frisco. Susan, attracting weird deeds as though she were a lightning rod, finds a friend in neighbor Dorothy (Louise Fletcher), who cheerfully announces that both of them are “sensitives,” so there.
Now Susan’s concerned that the abrupt, violent death of the former owner was caused somehow by the supernatural, but no-nonsense Mark thinks that’s hooey. A lovely lass, Sara (Lucinda Weist), their first B&B guest, wanders around shoeless in long gowns trying to seduce Mark.
Susan checks with the historical society and discovers that acentury ago a wife was murdered in the house. Three weeks later, the dead woman’s husband committed suicide. Maybe now the dead husband longs for Susan.
Sheedy plays her role with striking confidence, and Moses, who had a longtime run as Perry Mason’s associate Ken Malansky, gives his role a becoming sincerity. Maxine Stuart charmingly plays the former owner of the house, and Fletcher gives the story some surprising substance.
The Mendocino house itself is a gem, and production designer Anthony Tremblay tries parlaying it into something frightening. Tech credits are good but the story’s not there. A ghost story’s disappointing if the blood runs thin, not cold.