The play begins when the Narrator walks out on stage before the curtain opens. He addresses the audience and warns them that if anyone is easily scared, they should leave now,(even though the play is not that scary to begin with).
The curtain opens to reveal Pete and Pat getting ready to spend their first night in their new haunted house in New England. Pete is calm but Pat is terrified. When they turn out the lights, they scream in horror as they are killed.
In the morning, Ashley, a real estate agent, shows the house to Detective David D. Diamond and his wife Diana Diamond. After observing the blood-stained curtains and knife stuck in the bed, the couple confronts Ashley, who pleads that she was afraid to tell them that the house is haunted and everyone who has lived there has been murdered by the ghosts. Diana doesn't care because she's always wanted to live in a special house of some kind and David thinks he might find the murders to be interesting.
In the Real estate Office next door, Miss Clarissa has caught Rick about to murder her with a frying pan for the way she insulted him by telling him that no one would ever hire him for a job and how he almost dressed up as a woman because of it. Ashley then walks in with the signed papers for the haunted house, only to be met by "Ashley, you're fired." Miss Clarissa then fires Rick and calls April in to escort them out. April begs her not to fire them but then gets fired herself.
As David's and Diana's house warming party proceeds into the evening, the Diamonds meet Ashley#2, Ashley's sister who is worried because she can't find Ashley anywhere. Finally Miss Clarissa comes, calling David "Dr. Livingstone" and him replying, "And you must be Alexis Carrington". In conversation, Clarissa reveals that she drained all the money from someone called the "Empress of Oil", who's real name is Amanda Peters and who almost kills Clarissa when David and Rick pull her away. A bottle flies through the window and Ashley#2 and Diana run outside to help Ashley who is drunk. April slips one of Diana's candlesticks into her purse. Everyone stares at Clarissa and Ashley#2 as they fight and Miss Clarissa yells that "Ashley is just a worn out puppet!" The lights go out, a gun is shot, April screams, the window breaks, and the lights come up to show a dead Miss Clarissa.
After intermission, David is right on the case. He doesn't believe ghosts have committed the murders and that someone is using the ghosts as a cover-up. April gives back the candlestick as David puts the house under lock and key. Rick remembers that Amanda bought a gun once and Amanda gives in and talks about how she kept the gun in her car and went outside to get it. However, David discovers that Amanda's gun is missing right before her two sisters, Classy and Sarah, bang on the door to be let in from the cold. They both are shocked to find Rick, who married them and then divorced. Rick says he didn't divorce them when David finds a note. Reading it, the murderer who tried to get rid of it writes how he or she planed to destroy Rick's marriages, robbed a gun store, killed Pete and Pat, and how they planned to kill everyone in New England named Clarissa. Rick unzips his leather jacket and a glove falls out. Amanda claims that he must be the murderer when David looks it over and says it to be a woman's glove.
April tells Ashley#2 that she smells like gun smoke when Ashley tells her sister that the note looks like Ashley#2's hand writing. Rick finds the other glove and slips it on Ashley#2's hand quickly. A perfect fit as Ashley#2 is revealed to be the murderer. In a vein attempt to escape, She pulls out a gun, but David stops her as the police come through the door to arrest her. The Narrator comes back on stage and thanks the audience for coming to the show, reminding them to help control the pet population and to have their pets spaded or neutered.
Breaking the Fourth Wall Edit
The play begins with one idea in mind: "There is no fourth wall!" The actors and actresses known there's a fourth wall but so do the characters. This is proven by the Narrator's continuous popping in and out of the play, which leads to the question if the Narrator is a narrator or a character. This also leads to the question if The Haunting of a House is a play within a play. Other examples of breaking the fourth wall are...
- Diana tells David to wait until the curtain is pulled. When it's not, she yells to pull the curtain.
- Rick claiming that he just got on stage.
- April yelling that she can't be fired since it's not part of the script.
- Diana comes on stage reading the script.
- David claiming that he's the producer, Sherry is the executive producer, and the Narrator is the executive producer's assistant.
- The police enter through the audience.
The Characters Edit
In order of importance...
A New England detective.
Manager and owner of New England Real Estate.
An employee of Miss Clarissa; sister of Ashley#2.
Sister of Ashley.
Accountant for Miss Clarissa.
Miss Clarissa's secretary.
The "Empress of Oil"; sister to Classy and Sarah Peters.
Murder victim; husband of Pat.
Murder victim; wife of Pete.
Ex-wife of Rick; sister to Amanda and Sarah Peters.
Ex-wife of Rick; sister to Amanda and Classy Peters.
Doctor; sister of Dr. Arrest.
Doctor; sister of Dr. Cardiac.
The Time and Place Edit
It is unclear what time the play takes place, but there are aspects that help...
- The library doesn’t have a typewriter or a computer. A typewriter is available though.
- The soap operas Dallas, Dynasty, and Knots Landing are on television.
- The show Happy Days is on TV.
- The movie Tootsie is out it theatres.
This means the play can be anywhere from the 40's to the 80's. Most likley the 80's in order for the shows and movies to be released but the characters could be breaking the fourth wall. There is a time line of events however:
- David and Diana are married.
- Rick marries Sarah and gets a job with Miss Clarissa.
- April get her job with Miss Clarissa as well as Ashley/ Ashley moves to New England/ Rick thinks Sarah leaves for Mexico and marries her sister, Classy.
- Ashley#2 comes to live with her sister and finds out that Miss Clarissa is going to fire her.
- Amanda begins building her oil empire/ Classy gets a note ending her and Rick's marriage.
- Pete and Pat move into a haunted house.
- The events of The Haunting of a House.
As for the place, it is defiant that The Haunting of a House takes place in New England. Where in New England is a different story. Rick works on companies in Rhode Island but it doesn't mean they are in Rhode Island. They could be in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Vermont.
- When the Narrator walks out on stage before the play begins, he walks out to the tune of Alfred Hitchcock's famous music.
- Miss Clarissa calls Rick "Tootsie" because he almost dressed up as a woman to go find a job.
- When Rick, April, and Ashley are fired, Rick states that they should at least have an Oompa-Loompa song to play them out of the building.
- When Sherry asks how Amanda wants her martini, Amanda says "Shaken, not stirred".
- At the party, David refers to the cul-de-sac as a little knots landing.
- Miss Clarissa addresses David as Dr. Livingstone while he addresses her as Alexis Carrington and asks if her husband J.R. is around. Clarissa then tells him she'll schedule a little play date for him and Mrs. White.
- Because of his leather jacket, Clarissa calls Rick Fonzie.
- When drunk, Ashley calls Miss Clarissa a stupid Barbie doll and also gives two thumbs up when she sees Rick.
- When the lights go out, the gun shot, window break, woman screams is based on the same sounds from a scene in the movie Clue.
- The two doctors, Dr. Cardiac and Dr. Arrest, are named for the heart condition known as a cardiac arrest.
- The following lines...
Amanda: David let me out!
David: I can't. The door is locked. There is no way out. We have to known who did this. We can't leave.
April: If you leave, I'll say you killed her Amanda.
Amanda: Oh, David, I'll make you sorry for even touching that lock. One day, when I have you to myself...
David: Amanda I am a happily married man.
...were based on lines said in another scene from the movie Clue.
- Sarah states that Miss Clarissa looks like Dixie Carter, who is famous for her role as Julia Sugarbaker on the show Designing Women. (In the original production, "Dixie Carter" was changed to "Jennifer Aniston" to make the play more modern, orignally being written for an older audience.)
- When the curtains close at the end, Pete sits on a stool and states that the play was about a haunted house, yet no ghosts where shown, and that that meant they were in The Twilight Zone.
- The Narrator ends the play by asking the audience to help control the pet population and to have their pets spaded or neutered, which is how Bob Barker ended each episode of The Price Is Right.
The Series Edit
The Haunting of a House is part of a series of plays that's in the process of being written. The series follows the life of Detective David D. Diamond and Diana and their adventures in New Enlgand. The series follows ...
- The Haunting of a House
- The Game of Murder