Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Season 4 Episode 29

Banquo's Chair

Aired Sunday 9:30 PM May 03, 1959 on CBS

Episode Recap

A wealthy woman named Miss Ferguson was murdered two years prior in the dining room of her townhouse, and a retired Scotland Yard detective is determined to force the lead suspect - her nephew and sole heir, John Bedford - to confess. The detective is upset that the case was never closed, and although he is retired, he wishes to nab the perpetrator on the two year anniversary of the crime. He stages an elaborate hoax using the house's current owner, a stage actor, and an actress named May Thorpe to play the ghost of Miss Ferguson. Bedford arrives and is seated at the table so that the former detective's, actor's, and host's backs are all to the kitchen. While the men are dining on pheasant, Bedford is horrified to see the spectre of his murdered aunt appear, retreat, and reappear several times. The other men feign surprise at Bedford's reactions, until finally the rattled nephew stands up and screams at the spectre, "Stop it, or I'll kill you again!" As Bedford is cuffed and led outside, May Thorpe arrives and apologizes for being late. The men stare at each other in shock as the actress asks if she is too late to give her performance.