The Ray Bradbury Theater

Season 4 Episode 8

The Haunting of the New

Aired Unknown Sep 15, 1989 on USA

Episode Recap

A young bachelor, Charles, is woken up at 5 in the morning when his old flame Nora calls him. She's at her family manor, Greenwood, and asks him to drive the right away. She tells him that he can have the hour, free of charge, as long as the house likes him. Intrigued, Charles drives across the countryside and remembers how he first met Nora. He was in the company of the Countess and they attended one of Nora's famous parties at Greenwood. Nora greeted them at the door, naked, but the Countess stripped naked to match her. She left Charles with Nora and the two of them ended up together.

Charles arrives at Greenwood and realizes that it's quiet and unoccupied for the first time since he's been there. He finds Nora sitting outside in the garden, and she explains that Greenwood won't let her enter. When he wonders why there is no party, Nora explains that she held a party the previous evening, with 97 guests, but the house tainted their wine, collapsed their beds, and slammed the doors open. Once everyone had fled outside, the house closed its doors. Nora believes that Greenwood might accept him.

Charles goes to the front doors, which hesitantly open for him. Nora refuses to follow him inside and asks him to describe what he sees. He calls out the various paintings and furniture that he sees, and Nora explains that none of it is there. The house burned itself down four years ago. She had it rebuilt with her family fortune, but the ghost of the house contained all the conscience and guilt that everyone within it felt, and took on a life of its own. Now Greenwood wants nothing to do with all the sinners who have entered within.

Nora gives Charles the keys and says that he can stay, but only if Greenwood permits him. However, she knows that she'll never be allowed entrance and Charles will have to stay there alone. Charles accepts the challenges and makes himself comfortable in the bedroom. However, as he lies on the bed, he remembers his time together with Nora in that very bed. Smoke starts to pour into the room as the door swings open. Charles runs through the house and sees everything seemingly burned, haunted by the fire from the past. He runs outside and gets into the car with Nora, and then dozes off. They wake up the next morning and Charles admits that he's too old to change. Nora wonders if some day, an innocent young girl might stumble across the house and give it a chance to start anew.

After they leave, a young farm girl comes down the road and notices the house. As she approaches, the front doors swing open in welcome.