Tom & Leona Ogilvy pull up to the house left to him by his late cousin Zachariah. More importantly, there is a new Queen of Night Gallery. Sorry, Joanna Pettet, Barbara Anderson as Leona is unbelievably hot. There is nothing that could make this a less than average episode as long as she is in it.
The crabby housekeeper Miss Patience starts their tour in the attic. Tom becomes interested in a large chest, but Miss Patience tells him Zachariah’s last words were that the chest was “not to be moved, and under no circumstances is it to be opened.” Also, that someone would be coming for it.
Tom redecorates the attic to be his writing workspace since Starbucks had not yet been invented. One day as he is working, the light dims and the chest begins moving and levitating. Normally a bouncy and gravity-defying chest is a good thing, not so much here.
That night, it possesses Tom so that he is summoned from bed to the attic without him recalling it. During a storm, it also types a message on his typewriter. The next morning, Tom finds the message. He calls Leona up to read it.
For it must come to pass that a young woman shall with a white liquid scalding hot pressed to her lips and thence forced down her throat on a Sabbath day night be executed by the young man, her everlasting soul in forfeit.
He accuses Leona of writing it, but finally decides some kids broke in and typed it as a prank. He tells Leona, “Get ye to the scullery.” She sees the chest rocking, but doesn’t think it worth mentioning.
The next day, Leona has the chest hauled away to a warehouse. Not having the chest there is as disturbing to Tom as actually having it there. He has trouble concentrating on his book, pacing around the creaking attic. Suddenly, the chest is back in its place. He hears Leona screaming downstairs and she claims something attacked her.
So this time, they put the chest in a storage shed and nail the door shut. They begin cruelly sniping at each other. He berates her for not even being able to keep food in the house, and she berates his writing. He grabs a pan of boiling milk from the stove and moves to force it down her throat. I guess that was the prophesied “white liquid pressed to her lips” which is bit of a let-down, I must say.
Downstairs, Leona answers a knock at the door expecting trick-or-treaters. Instead it is ghoulish figure who says he has come for the chest. It is cousin Zachariah who shows himself to the attic. I could post a picture, but there are none with Barbara Anderson also in it, so why bother.
The next morning, Tom realizes that the message on the typewriter was a warning from Zachariah. He says that finally rid of the chest, he can get back to work and they will live happily ever after. Naturally, he goes back upstairs and the chest is there again with a note that says “It will be called for.” i.e. Zach will be back in one year on Halloween. They get back in the car and leave behind the house with a sign posted that it is for Sale or Rent.
Sadly my assertion that this could sink no lower than average due to the presence of Miss Anderson was put to the test. There are so many unanswered questions, but they are not interesting enough to demand answers. There just isn’t much going on here. Except this: