The Van Gogh crashing to the floor, the Victorian clock with an ominous presence, the dour housewife – are these the workings of an unhinged mind or the pieces in a ghostly puzzle?
Gifted pupil, Oswin boards with his cousins in a spooky Edwardian house. His favorite cousin, Gemma, thinks it may be haunted, but her loud-mouthed, older sister, Beryl, insists that there is no such thing as ghosts! When Beryl talks of having Gemma sectioned under the mental health act, Oswin decides to prove her wrong, to prove that ghosts do exist and that their house is haunted. He builds some nifty gadgets and gets Gemma to keep an accurate recording of her ghostly experiences. Despite Beryl's constant interfering, they begin to gather evidence that there is indeed paranormal activity in the house…
“And that is why I say,” Beryl scolded, “Don’t look at the clock like that!”
“Because there’s nothing there.”
He nodded again.
“And Gemma doesn’t need to see people thinking they’ve seen things too.” Beryl took another enormous bite of her toast and chewed slowly. With deliberation. Staring hard at Oswin.
He longed to point out while her mouth was full that Gemma hadn’t seen him see the shadow on the stupid old clock. But he nodded instead. Politely.
Once Beryl had swallowed, she laughed, brushed imaginary crumbs off the table and said, “Sorry, Oswin! I just had to get that straight with you. We want you two to be friends, but don’t encourage her in any airy-fairy stuff, please! Just snakes and ladders and other innocent games will do. It’s very important that Gemma is not led astray. Ghosts and that sort of thing do not exist. It’s a proven fact.” She smiled again.