EXT. WINTER RIVER, CONNECTICUT - DAY
A crisp and perfect New England town. Almost too neat to be real. No visible townspeople. CAMERA EXPLORES town.
over a rickety bridge -- PAST the Maitland Hardware and Appliance store -- PAST the church -- the Historical Society -- UP over the graveyard on the hill and finally --
To the Maitland house. The perfect Victorian house surveying the tiny village. Suddenly --
A GIANT DADDY LONGLEGS SPIDER
mounts the crest of the hill beside the house, pauses to wave a spindly leg and then creeps menacingly on top of the Maitland house.
ADAM (O.S..) Well, well, you're a big fella...!
A hand -- as big as God's -- with a huge tweezer, gently reaches down out of the sky and lies, palm up, in the yard next to the house. Daddy Longlegs climbs into it. The hand rises into the sky again.
INT. ATTIC - NEW ANGLE - DAY
Reveals Winter River as a miniature town, while The Daddy Longlegs and the hand are normal size. Above the model are a homely representation of moon, sun, and stars -- a whole, tiny, mechanical universe to track the hours of the day. A large plat map of the city is prominent on the wall.
The hand is ADAM MAITLAND'S. In his late 30's, he's a solid easy-going citizen. Capra used to make movies about him.
Adam's model town sprawls across most of the attic space. Windows on either end of the attic shed good light into the warm room. Adam very carefully lifts the spider out the open window. Smiles as he drips him lightly on the breeze.
CAMERA TILTS UP FROM THE WINDOW
To see the real Winter River, laid out exactly as the model, at the foot of the hill. Adam breathes deeply and looks very pleased at the glorious town below him.
ON HIS HUGE HAND AGAIN
as it reaches into model and tweezes a tiny sign into the tiny window of Maitland's Hardware Store on main street. It reads:
ADAM AND BARBARA MAITLAND ARE ON VACATION! HOORAY!
Adam leans down and eyes the sign.
BARBARA (behind him) I'm ready!
Adam turns to see entering: BARBARA MAITLAND, 35 -- a wholesome beauty who is mellowing well. She smiles at him. Perhaps a certain tinge of sadness about her, because they don't have children.
ADAM (happy to see her) She's ready.
BARBARA (eyeing the model) It looks great.
ADAM (nodding) Thanks.
She pushes a wrapped present across the table.
BARBARA Happy vacation, honey!
Adam smiles and gives her a present he's hidden under the table. He opens his present. A can of furniture oil.
ADAM Manchurian Tung oil? (playfully grabs Barbara and kisses her) Where did you get it?
BARBARA Helen got it for me in Oslo. There's enough to refinish the gateleg table and the cherry wardrobe...
Adam hands Barbara a carefully-wrapped bundle -- she unwraps her gift... rolls of very expensive floral wallpaper. She cradles it in her arms like gold leaf.
BARBARA Oh, Adam... it's beautiful.
Adam nods, and embraces her.
ADAM Enough to do the guest room...
BARBARA (cooing) I'm so glad we're spending our vacation at home... (with a sudden resolve) ... I'm going to get started right now!
ADAM (pulling her back) Whoa!... hold on...
Barbara calms down, returning to Adam's embrace... as:
PHONE RINGS -- They freeze, then grin.
ADAM & BARBARA (unison) No one's home!
HONK HONK outside. They look at each other horrified. Peer out the window.
BARBARA Oh no.
ADAM (pointing at her) It's your turn, darling.
She shakes her head with resignation and goes downstairs. KNOCKING on door from below.
INT. STAIRCASE AND KITCHEN - DAY
CAMERA FOLLOWS Adam and Barbara downstairs. We see the rambling, old fashioned quality to the house.
Clean, sentimental, warm and floral. Some rooms in progress. They continue down the main staircase past photos of themselves, old photos of the early days of Winter River, pictures and mementos of three generations in hardware. Barbara goes to the kitchen and Adam continues down to the basement.
HER POV - A WOMAN
JANE BUTTERFIELD -- tall, gawky and aggressive peeks in the kitchen door. She's divorced three husbands and buried another for good measure. She's ruthless but is weirdly, seamlessly pleasant. She waves a legal sized paper at them, starts to come inside.
INT./EXT. KITCHEN DOOR
Barbara makes dash for it and holds it just as Jane gets a foot in. Jane smiles wildly.
JANE Hi, Barb! I'm glad I caught you. I heard you were on vacation!
BARBARA That's right, Jane. Complete vacation.
JANE Honey -- today I am three hundred fifty thousand dollars!
BARBARA No! Jane, it is 6:45 in the morning!
JANE Look at me, think of me as cash! This offer is really real! From a rich man in New York City who only saw a photograph! (rattles on) My buyer has just made a killing in condos in Manhattan, but he's got a little stress problem... (taps her head) ... so -- he wants to bring the wife and kid for the old peace and quiet.
BARBARA That's what we're looking for, too.
JANE Barbara Maitland, sweetie, just listen now. This house is too big. It really ought to be for a couple with a family.
That hurts Barbara a little. She looks at Jane.
JANE (continuing) Oh, honey... I didn't mean anything... it's just too big for you.
Jane compulsively affixes her business card, face inside. in the windowpane.
BARBARA (shutting door) 'Bye, Jane, see you in a few weeks.
is humming happily, looking for paint brushes in the ground floor storeroom. He spies a cassette deck and looks through a stack of cassettes and plays one. It is an old INKSPOTS LOVE SONG.
INT. GUEST ROOM - DAY
Barbara is starting to paper the walls already. She frowns at the MUSIC. Goes to the door.
BARBARA Oh, honey. You said no Inkspots on this vacation!
It CLICKS OFF. She goes back into the room.
INT. STOREROOM - DAY
Adam puts away the tape but keeps humming the song. He opens the shutters on a small window. ON WINDOW...
JANE (her huge face grinning at him) Boo!
He jumps back, frightened.
ADAM No, Jane.
Adam closes the shutters as Jane affixes yet another card to the window. He continues his search for a brush.
exits jauntily, flapping her contract down the lawn.
INT. MAITLAND HOUSE - DAY
Adam continues rummaging for a brush. Can't find it.
ADAM (calling to distant Barbara) Honey, come with me down to the store?
BARBARA (O.S.) What for?
ADAM I need a good brush for this Tung oil and I want to pick up a piece of the model. Let's go early before anyone sees us.
Barbara has already papered a few rolls in the guest room.
BARBARA Okay, but let's hurry back. You just run in okay?
EXT. THE HOUSE - DAY
The Victorian house from the model "in the flesh." Adam stands by the station wagon.
On the bumper of the car is a sticker reading: WARNING: I BRAKE FOR ANIMALS.
Barbara gets in driver's side. They drive off.
INT. THE CAR - DAY
Adam dusts the inside of the dashboard. Clean Clean.
BARBARA (preoccupied) Jane said we should sell the house to someone with a family.
ADAM Ah, the ever-tactful Jane.
Puts his hand on her shoulder.
EXT. THE RIVER AND BRIDGE AND HILL - DAY
We see the car coming down the hill toward the bridge.
ADAM (V.O.) We should be flattered that she wants to sell our house.
BARBARA (V.O.) I know... I just wish she'd leave us alone.
ADAM (V.O.) Let's not think about it. We'll have a nice romantic, quiet, vacation. Here comes the bridge chorus.
Car reaches the rickety covered bridge. Car shakes, bobbing up and down on every plank.
ON Barbara and Adam TIGHT -- (they've done this routine before). They sing an old Johnny Mathis song. With a lot of vibrato.
TOGETHER Chances are... When I wear a foolish grin...
EXT. DOWNTOWN WINTER RIVER - DAY
Just like the model, but real. And populated.
CAMERA PAUSES ON a gorgeous storefront with a brass lion out front. Sign above doors says --
BOZMAN BUILDING 1835
An old man polishes the lion as Maitlands drive by and wave.
BARBARA (V.O.) Wave at the lion.
ADAM (V.O.) Don't forget the balls, Ernie.
BARBARA (V.O.) (embarrassed) Adam!
Ernie looks around to see no one's looking and polishes the balls of the lion.
CAMERA SPIES A JAUNTY DOG
like Benji, peeing on the opposite corner of the lion. Maitlands drive by store with sign:
JANE BUTTERFIELD ANTIQUES REAL ESTATE TRAVEL
INT. ANTIQUE STORE REAL ESTATE OFFICE TRAVEL AGENCY - DAY
The store is bursting with antiques of all sorts, travel brochures, photographs of houses for sale, and a serve-yourself Xerox machine. LITTLE JANE, her eight- year-old daughter is drudgingly making copies.
Jane, phone in hand, rushes to the window to watch Maitlands drive by. Almost popping the cord when it reaches its end. She's waiting for the other party to pick up.
JANE Y... ello. Mrs. Deetz? Well the condition is what we country folk call, fixin'... Yes, I think they are fixin' to accept another offer. Well maybe if you offer 390,000 they'll take it.
EXT. MAITLAND HARDWARE - DAY
Adam sprints up the steps of his lovely hardware store. OLD BILL, a slightly-addled ancient barber, is napping in a chair in front of his shop, next door to Adam's. Adam fumbles with the lock, not interested in conver- sation. He drops his keys, waking Old Bill.
OLD BILL 'Morning, Adam. You need a haircut before your vacation?
ADAM No thanks, Bill.
OLD BILL How's the model coming?
ADAM Good, Bill -- Good.
Bill turns around and continues prattling even though Adam has entered. Bill prattles throughout.
OLD BILL Y'know, I was thinkin'... you said Bozman built the foundation in 1835 but y'know his grandson came in here last week and said he found a bottle with an 1836 stamp in it plastered in the foundation. (suddenly disgusted at the memory) He's got hair down to his goddamned shoulders...
INT. MAITLAND HARDWARE
Adam pulls down a few good paintbrushes and carefully picks up a small model of the Bozman building. He walks out. Old Bill continues unabated.
OLD BILL He said "Just give me a trim..." I took a scissors to him so fast... would've skimmed him clean if he hadn't...
Adam strides by quickly to the car.
ADAM See you, Bill.
OLD BILL Right.
EXT. MAITLAND'S CAR - DAY
The Maitlands drive their car out of town.
EXT. CAR AND BRIDGE - DAY
INT. CAR - DAY
Five brushes sit on the seat next to Adam. He cradles small replica of the Bozman building, complete with brass lion.
BARBARA It's a beauty.
ADAM Yeah it turned out okay. We applied for a historical plaque for it. That'll be the third one on Main Street.
BARBARA (jokingly) With all these historical landmarks in town, where are they going to put the condominiums?
ADAM (grinning) Slow down there, honey... I don't want the vibration to weaken the model.
BARBARA (nervous) Oh... I'm sorry...
Barbara starts to apply the brakes.
Just before the bridge the dog waddles out in the road. Stops to pee. Barbara swerves. As the car hits the rickety bridge, the speed is just a bit too much.
Boards RATTLE and loosen, the car skews and catches in an open slot, careens to the right, then the left and the bridge.
INT. CAR - DAY
A piling has smashed through the window on the pas- senger side, crushing the upper part of Barbara's arm. She is wailing in pain and fright.
Adam tries to help Barbara. He tries to get out of the car. None of this succeeds.
EXT. BRIDGE AND RIVER - DAY
The dog finishes, looks over at the car, walks across the bridge and steps on the one board which holds the car aloft.
The car rocks back and forth for a moment, and then slides forward toward the water.
EXT. CAR AND BRIDGE
The car plunges into the rushing water. It floats for a moment, and then sinks like a stone.
FADE TO BLACK.
INT. BARBARA AND ADAM'S LIVING ROOM - DAY
Quiet, still, expectant. There is a fire laid in the hearth. Suddenly and for no apparent reason it ignites and burns with a furious cheerfulness.
Barbara and Adam enter, dazed, wet, and bedraggled.
BARBARA Something like this always happens when we try to go on vacation. Always.
Adam leads her toward the fire.
ADAM You'll feel better when you're dry.
He holds out his hands to be warmed. Barbara comes up beside him. All this time she's been holding her injured arm with the other hand.
BARBARA This fire wasn't burning when we left the house.
ADAM How's your arm?
BARBARA I'm not sure. It feels... frozen.
She holds her arms out to warm them. One hand catches on fire.
BARBARA'S LEFT ARM
They stare at it dumbfoundedly before Adam regains his senses and snatches it out of the fire. Two of the fingers are burning like candles, and Barbara indus- triously blows them out.
BARBARA Oh, Adam.
INT. LIVING ROOM: A FEW MINUTES LATER - DAY
They are sitting on the couch together. Barbara is looking away slightly -- as one does when a doctor is drawing blood -- while Adam looks at her fingers. He frowns.
He looks at his skin. It is pale. He looks at Barbara.
ADAM You'd better sit down, hon.
BARBARA I am sitting.
ADAM I'll tell you what, Barbara. I don't think we survived that crash.
BARBARA (pause) Oh, Adam. We're home. In our own house. Nonsense. I'll make some coffee. You get some more firewood.
Adam gets up, a little absently, she follows him as he wanders to the front door. He peers out.
ADAM Let's take things extra slow. Do you remember how we got back up here?
Barbara tests her hand, clenches and unclenches her fist.
BARBARA I'm fine. My arm works fine.
Adam, exploring, opens the door, steps out on the front porch.
EXT. FRONT PORCH - TWILIGHT
Adam's face is painted with color of sunset. He stands atop the steps leading down to the front yard. Barbara stands just inside the open threshold, looking out worriedly.
BARBARA (quiet sarcasm) The end of a perfect day.
Adam starts to step down to the yard.
ADAM Honey, I'm gonna go down to the bridge and retrace our steps.
He steps off the last step into the yard and promptly disappears.
EXT. THE GREAT VOID
Adam is nowhere. There's no ground, no sky, nothing to stand on or hold onto or give boundaries or distance. Just vast nothing. Not white and not colored either. NOISE OF A CLOCK TICKING.
Adam looks about surprised, doesn't like what he doesn't see. He turns around to head back up the steps. There are no steps.
His VOICE ECHOES STRANGELY. He runs off a little in the distance, and calls again from over there.
ADAM (continuing; quietly) Where are you?
He goes even farther away.
IN THE FOREGROUND
an enormous geared wheel -- the size of a man -- rolls by, tearing up the unseamed ground. Something pours up out of the tear -- ooze or stuffing.
Adam runs forward and stares after the wheel, which is now out of sight.
TWO SMALLER GEARS
looking very much like components of a giant watch -- spin along behind him. One of them veers suddenly toward him, and though Adam jumps out of the way, the gear snags his trouser leg and shreds it. LOUD TICKING.
A PERFECTLY ENORMOUS GEAR
comes barreling toward him. Adam leaps out of its way. The gear turns, fish-tailing, kicking up ooze and stuffing.
Adam flings himself suddenly to the right, but trips into the path of the gear. As he's about to be crushed, he's suddenly jerked up to safety.
EXT. FRONT PORCH - NIGHT
It's Barbara who's grabbed him, and quite evidently saved his life -- not life, perhaps -- but existence. He's shaken, breathless.
Barbara stares at him, as if wondering what he's just been through.
ADAM (weakly) You saved my -- uh -- life... or whatever...
BARBARA Two hours.
BARBARA That's how long you were gone.
ADAM (pondering that) ... Hmmm?
INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Barbara leads Adam into the house.
ADAM Anything happen while I was away?
BARBARA Yes, it did. Yes, it did. I made a couple of small discoveries.
stands by the mirror over the hearth mantle. On the mantle is Barbara's prize collection of porcelain horses. Adam comes to stand beside her. They look into the mirror, and there is no reflection of them.
Barbara picks up one of the horses, and trots it through the air. The horse is imaged in the mirror.
BARBARA (continuing) There's that, and there's this.
She picks up an ancient, leather-bound book. It's yellow and worn, about the size of the Boy Scout manual.
CLOSEUP: Its title is HANDBOOK FOR THE RECENTLY DECEASED.
ADAM (reading) Handbook for the recently diseased.
BARBARA Deceased. I don't know where it came from. Look at the publisher.
ADAM (he does and reads) Handbook for the Recently Deceased Press.
BARBARA (finally admit- ting it) I don't think we survived the crash.
INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
Adam is already in bed, reading from the handbook. Barbara is getting ready for bed -- going through a ritual of sorts that they practiced every night of their married lives.
BARBARA I don't like situations like this. I hate it when I'm not in control. So just tell me the basics.
ADAM This book isn't arranged that way. What do you want to know?
BARBARA There are a thousand things... Why did you disappear when you walked off the front porch? Is this a punishment? Are we halfway to heaven or are we halfway to hell? And how long is this going to last?
ADAM I don't see anything about "Rewards and Punishments" or "Heaven and Hell." (frustrated) This book reads like stereo instructions! Listen to this... 'Geographical and Temporal Perimeters... Functional perimeters vary from manifestation to manifestation." This is going to take some time.
paces, she trips on her wallpaper rolls. Kicks them.
BARBARA I knew I'd never finish the guest room. Adam, we just can't stay in here forever!
They look at each other, the question hangs in the air. Can't they?
Adam stands and walks to the window.
ADAM (thoughtfully) Maybe we should set up a normal routine.
She looks at him like he's nuts.
ADAM (continuing) I mean, let's try to nail down something in our lives. A regular schedule. We can keep track of time and go on with our projects up here in the attic.
She shakes her head, exasperated. Flops down on the bed.
BARBARA Oh, God, maybe this is all just a bad dream.
ON ADAM - TIGHT - a somber look comes across his face.
ADAM I'm afraid not, honey.
Barbara looks up at him, questioningly.
BARBARA Why? What's wrong? Adam?
She stands and joins him at the window.
THEIR POV THROUGH THE WINDOW
In the distance we see an automobile funeral procession threading its way toward the nearby cemetery. Head- lights are on. We recognize Jane's car in the line.
REVERSE ON BARBARA AND ADAM
TIGHTER ON PROCESSION
It arrives at the gravesite. We see some familiar faces, Ernie, and Old Bill the Barber. Jane and little Jane watch as two identical coffins are carried to- gether, to two open graves.
ON BARBARA AND ADAM
She drops her head sadly on his shoulder. He leans his face slightly into hers.
INT. ATTIC - DAY
Adam is setting up a small monument in the model town cemetery. It reads: ADAM AND BARBARA MAITLAND/UNITED IN LIFE/UNDIVIDED IN DEATH.
ADAM I wish I had a better view of the cemetery from up here. I don't know which area is the best placement for us.
Barbara, trying to clean, lets out a frustrated YELP! She paces.
ADAM (continuing) Cabin fever, han?
BARBARA I can't clean anything. The vacuum is out in the garage. I can't leave the house. Why don't they tell us something? Where are all the other dead people in the world? Why is it just you and me?
ADAM Maybe this is heaven.
BARBARA (looking at the dusty walls) In heaven there wouldn't be dust on the wallpaper.
ADAM Hon... I didn't want to die, but really, this is fine with me. Look, we never have to wash dishes again.
BARBARA Dishes? We haven't eaten in three weeks! Adam, I'm not like you. I really need to be around people, get out to the church and go grocery shopping.
ADAM But I'm not hungry, are you?
Barbara shakes her head and picks up the Handbook and pages through it desperately.
BARBARA I keep having this feeling that something has got to happen.
CAR DOOR SLAMS outside. Adam and Barbara look at one another. Run to window.
EXT. MAITLAND HOUSE - DAY
Jane Butterfield is staring up at the old house.
INT. ATTIC - DAY
Adam, from his angle, can just barely see her.
ADAM God, it's Jane.
BARBARA What's she doing here?
ADAM I don't know. (shouting) Jane, Jane, up here!
EXT. MAITLAND HOUSE - DAY
Unhearing, Jane heads for car. SOUND OF WIND UP. Blows her dress. Little Jane straggles along with her like an apprentice.
INT. ATTIC - DAY
Barbara watches Adam, and shakes her head. He stops.
BARBARA She can't see you, right?
BARBARA (continuing) In the book, Rule Number Two: the living usually won't see the dead.
ADAM Won't? Or can't?
BARBARA Just says "won't." Wait a minute. Here it says "the living are arrogant... they think they'll never die, so they refuse to see the dead."
ADAM Arrogant. That's Jane all right...
Barbara sighs and nods.
BARBARA At least we won't have to worry about her.
Adam smiles and goes to his model.
EXT. MAITLAND HOUSE - DAY
Jane drives away. CAMERA HINGES to see a FOR SALE sign. Across it -- another smaller banner. It reads: SOLD!
INT. MASTER BEDROOM - MORNING
The Maitlands are asleep. CAMERA EXPLORES the room a bit. It is getting slightly tatty. Adam rolls over, pulling the covers off Barbara. We see:
ON BARBARA -- she is hovering off the side of the bed.
An OMINOUS RUMBLE -- like a 4.0 earthquake shakes the house. GLASS RATTLES, the ceramic horses on the mantelpiece jump around. Barbara falls to the floor. They look at one another with horror. They leap up and run downstairs.
INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
The RUMBLE BUILDS TO A CLIMAX, there is a LOUD METALLIC SQUEAL, and then a CRASH... just as Barbara and Adam arrive.
THE FRONT DOOR
smashes open revealing a moving van ramp.
A TEN-FOOT ELECTRIC-BLUE ITALIAN LEATHER COUCH
slides smoothly down the ramp. On the couch sits DELIA DEETZ.
The couch CRASHES into the base of the staircase, smashing the newel post and several of the balusters. Barbara cringes. One of the balusters falls at Delia's side. She grasps it like a scepter.
Two MOVING MEN rush down the ramp.
MOVING MAN #1 Sorry about that, Mrs. Deetz.
DELIA Don't worry. It was going anyway.
Delia is relentlessly New York, relentlessly fashion- able, relentlessly thin -- totally self assured.
She is also a woman with a mission -- to gut Barbara and Adam's house and remake it in her own very upscale image.
Delia's gaze is on the living room, but she looks through Adam and Barbara as if they weren't even there (which to her eyes they're not).
Still holding the baluster, Delia gets up off the couch and moves into the living room, surveying it with an odd mixture of ambition, and resolution.
the two Moving Men bring in a matching blue leather armchair. In the armchair sits LYDIA DEETZ.
Lydia, age 14, is a pretty girl, but wan, pale and overly-dramatic, dressed as she is in her favorite color, black. She's a combination of a little death rocker and an 80's version of Edward Gorey's little girls.
She has a couple of expensive cameras around her neck -- and is already taking photographs of the moving men. Lydia is cool, Lydia is sullen, Lydia is her father's daughter by his first marriage. Lydia is usually about half-pissed off. But underneath... we like her a lot.
The Moving Men still hold up the chair, waiting for Delia to decide where she wants it.
DELIA (continuing) Jesus. Who lived here? The Waltons?
TIGHT ON Lydia -- calmly surveys the house.
Delia signals wearily that the Moving Men can put the chair down anywhere.
DELIA (continuing) Get all this other crap out of here.
Lydia hops down out of the chair, and comes farther into the living room.
DELIA (continuing) Where is your father?... probably in the kitchen.
That's the cue for CHARLES DEETZ, who comes in through the swinging door, and across the dining room... a ner- vous but basically pleasant man, CHARLES DEETZ is intent on attacking rest and relaxation with the same vengeance that earned him millions in real estate.
CHARLES The noise in that kitchen. Noisy refrigerator, noisy faucets... We'll have to replace it all. I want no humming in the house.
exploring on her own, gazes around the living room with growing pleasure, she backs up for a good angle to photograph.
CAMERA HINGES -- She is standing with her back right up to Barbara -- who is horrified at this creature.
CHARLES (to Lydia) What do you think, honey?
LYDIA Delia hates it.
Lydia gazes at a dusty maze of spider webs.
LYDIA (continuing) I could live here.
A movement makes Lydia turn around and scream. It is Delia. Not Barbara.
DELIA Settle down, Lydia. I wonder where we are going to get counseling for you out here.
A VIOLENT FALSETTO SCREAM turns the Deetz family's attention to the front windows.
OTHO (O.S.) Help! Oh help!
OTHO'S MASSIVE BODY
Wedged in the window frame. The short, stubby legs, dressed in the world's largest pair of Georgia Armani slacks, protrude into the living room, waving fran- tically. Expensive Italian loafers are kicked off the feet, revealing a pair of expensive patterned socks. By their feet shall ye know them.
DELIA It's Otho!
CHARLES Otho, why didn't you just come in the door?
Otho's voice comes as if from a great distance.
OTHO (O.S.) It's bad luck. And I believe hugely in luck.
DELIA Hold your breath and we'll pull.
Delia turns to Charles and Lydia for help -- doesn't get it -- and at last pulls Otho into the living room single-handedly.
All this while the Moving Men are variously carting out the handsome old furniture and bringing in the hideous new furniture.
Otho is Robert Morley at his most obscenely fat and faggoty. But he's not all fat and fun -- this customer carries nasty emotional weight as well.
holds onto the curtains for support as he is pulled through the window. And when he is at last all the way through, and upright on his feet, he suddenly gives a tremendous yank. The whole drapery apparatus, including valences, crashes to the floor.
OTHO That was the single most unattractive window treatment I have ever seen in the entire of my existence.
DELIA (starry eyed) I'm so glad you could leave the city to consult me, Otho.
Otho is looking around the room with an eye of quiet horror.
OTHO Yes, of course you are. Well, Otho had an intuition. Call it a hunch -- that it was going to be a fabled monstrosity of a house. And it certainly is. Charles, you're lucky the yuppies are buying condos, so you can afford what I'm going to have to do to this place. We are talking from the ground ups'ville!
CHARLES That's fine, Otho. Just keep me out of it. I am here to relax and clip coupons. And goddamnit, I mean to do it.
He exits to find solace in a quiet corner of his house. During this speech, Otho has been surreptitiously pos- ing for Lydia's camera. She clicks the shutter.
OTHO (ignoring her) Is the rest of the house as bad as this?
DELIA The rest of the house is probably worse. When can you and I get started?
OTHO No time like the present, as my wicked stepmother used to say.
Out of the pockets of his size 56 Georgia Armani jacket, Otho takes two cans of spray paint -- the kind the graffiti artists use -- and shakes them as if they were castanets. They certainly sound like it.
OTHO Delia, let's get this show on the road.
INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY
At one end, near the stairs leading up to the attic, Barbara and Adam are slumped against opposite walls.
BARBARA Adam, we are in hell. I hate these people.
ADAM They make Jane look good.
BARBARA Is this a punishment for something we did in life? What can we do?
ADAM (determined) We're not completely helpless. I've been reading the book. There's a word for people in our predicament, honey.
Barbara looks at him.
BARBARA (continuing) Ghosts!
Barbara is shocked at the reality.
Otho and Delia come up the stairs at the end of the hallway.
OTHO We're dealing with negative entertainment potential here. I mean, there's absolutely no organic walking flow-through.
Otho looks down the hallway. It's empty. Adam and Barbara are no longer there.
DELIA What's wrong?
OTHO I thought I saw something.
DeLia turns and spray-paints on the wall -- in luminous orange -- the word MAUVE.
OTHO (screaming with delight) You read my mind! I love clients who can read my mind. I don't think people realize how strong a connection there is between interior design and the supernatural.
DELIA (fawning) I know... I read your book, The Haunted Tapestries of the Waldorf.
Delia opens the door and they step inside another room.
DELIA This will be Lydia's room.
INT. LYDIA'S ROOM - DAY
It's not Lydia's room yet, of course, because it still has the Maitlands' furniture in it. Barbara had partly wallpapered it before the accident. Her tools are still there.
DELIA What do you think?
DELIA Viridian? What is...?
Otho spray-paints the word VIRIDIAN on the wall -- plus the word BLUE GREEN -- and Cr2 03, right over a picture of Adam and Barbara as kids.
OTHO Blue-green! Hydrated chromic oxide! Remember I'm schooled in chemistry. I was a hair analyst! Briefly. Interior design is a science, Delia! Think of me as Doctor Otho. (looking at wall) And this patient is truly sick!
DELIA Of course, her favorite color! How beautiful!
Delia smiles. Behind Delia and Otho, the room's closet door swings slowly open with and ominous CREAK.
DELIA AND OTHO
turn that way, with a suggestion of dread. Inside the closet, Barbara's corpse is suspended from the ceiling by a belt. The corpse twists with a CREAK, and Barbara grins ghostly -- and slowly tears off her face, leaving nothing but muscle and bone beneath. Her eyeballs dangle on her cheeks.
Delia and Otho stare aghast.
DELIA Oh my God!
OTHO We just have to pray that the other closets are bigger than this one.
He walks over. Looks inside.
OTHO (continuing) Were these people dwarfes? (sic) (spies something) Oooooo!... Look!
He finds, neatly hung in plastic, the Maitlands' wedding outfits. Totally captivated by this powerful image, he peers through the plastic at them. Holding each up to Delia. Barbara watches wide-eyed at them.
OTHO (continuing) Ozzie... (holding up her dress) ... and... Harriet! What happened to these people?
Delia slams the door in Barbara's contorted face.
DELIA They died.
INT. HOUSE - SAME TIME
Delia and Otho come out of Lydia's bedroom and go through the bathroom. Disgusted, they continue on to the study.
reaches out and turns the knob. The door swings omi- nously open on Charles' study. This had been Adam's reading and birdwatching study. Bird posters on the wall, books everywhere. Straight out of Better Homes and Gardens 1963.
OTHO Ooo. Deliver me from L.L. Bean!
There is one slight difference, however, because on the rag rug in the middle of the floor lies Adam's headless corpse. Standing over him, holding in one hand a long knife and in the other Adam's blood-and-gore dripping head is Barbara -- with a maniacal look on her face. Behind them, Charles is thumbing through Adam's Audubon collection. He sits up like a cornered animal protect- ing his territory.
CHARLES (to Otho and Delia) This room is off limits. I don't want either of you to touch one piece of furniture in here. This is my room.
INSIDE THE ROOM
The eyes of Adam's severed head open and look up at Barbara -- she stops screaming.
ADAM'S HEAD They don't see us. They can't hear us.
Outside, Delia is shaking her head.
DELIA The woman who lived here had the aesthetic instincts of Betty Crocker.
BARBARA I'm going to get her.
DELIA I cannot convey to you the extent to which this house bores me.
OTHO (looking around scientifically) Once you cover up the wallpaper, knock down a few walls, alter the traffic patterns, and -- perhaps -- think about an inground pool -- the place might just be livable. What's on the third floor?
DELIA Attic space.
OTHO Let's see. We could turn that into a media room.
They head up the stars to the attic.
INT. STUDY - SAME TIME
Adam's head has a look of terror on it.
ADAM'S HEAD Oh, God. I forgot to lock the attic door!
Adam's headless body jumps up off the floor and rushes out of the room.
INT. STAIRCASE TO ATTIC - SAME TIME
Otho and Delia climbing. The headless corpse careens past them, around the bend in the stairs and out of sight.
OTHO Did you feel something?
Delia shakes her head.
OTHO (continuing) I felt a cool wind.
The expression on Otho's face suggests he knows more than he's telling.
INT. LANDING OUTSIDE ATTIC DOOR - SAME TIME
The headless corpse rushes through the open door into the attic.
INT. ATTIC - SAME TIME
The headless corpse slams the door shut, turns the key in the lock. Then he slumps against the locked door in an exaggerated stance of relief.
INT. ATTIC LANDING - SAME TIME
Delia tries the knob. The door is locked.
OTHO You don't have a key?
DELIA Maybe Charles does.
OTHO I have a feeling there's some very interesting space behind this door.
DELIA (sarcastic) Probably the world's largest Reader's Digest collection! C'mon, let's have some chablis, Otho, I'm laid bare by this experience. Entirely bare.
INT. STUDY - SAME TIME
Barbara still holding Adam's head.
Charles still calmly leafing through the Audubons.
ADAM'S HEAD Whew! That was close.
BARBARA I cannot witness this.
Barbara distractedly puts Adam's head on a bookshelf. His headless body fumbles with the books and finally reattaches the head.
INT. STUDY - DAY
Adam turns away from the window.
Barbara, fuming, moves around Charles making wild gestures.
BARBARA What's the good of being a ghost if you can't frighten people to death?
ADAM Oh, honey...
BARBARA No, I'm not putting up with this.
She storms out of the room.
INT. KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER
Barbara storms in, as if straight from the room up- stairs. She heads straight for the back door. Just as she opens the door, Adam rushes up.
ADAM Barbara, honey! Don't go out there. You don't know --
BARBARA Nothing can be worse than this...
She flings open the door and steps outside. She promptly disappears.
EXT. SURFACE OF SATURN'S MOON TITAN - DAY
Barbara plunges into the dusty surface of Titan with an enormous Saturn looming in the sky. She looks around with wonder and some fear.
A SULFUR VOLCANO
erupts in the distance. A meteor CRASHES with a lurid EXPLOSION. As from a great distance she hears Adam's VOICE. Like THUNDER.
She turns slowly in the yellow dense sand that covers the surface of this distant moon.
Adam is trudging towards her. Behind him, hovering isolated in the air, is the kitchen door.
BACK TO SCENE
Adam at last catches up with her. Surveys around them.
BARBARA Oh Adam. Find somebody. I'm getting all yellow. Do something!
Something is burrowing rapidly toward them through the sand. The Something could be right out of "Dune".
BARBARA AND ADAM
stare for a moment, then Adam grabs her and pulls her toward the kitchen door. But the kitchen door has moved, so they veer in the new direction.
The Something follows them and rises out of the sand.
It is a very big, very nasty, and very hungry SNAPPING SANDWORM. It ROARS and lunges at them.
slightly angered at it, instinctively bats at it.
is momentarily stunned at Barbara's audacity. It freezes and shakes its loathesome head.
bats at it again. Adam is wide-eyed, tries to pull her away. The Sandworm recovers and ROARS after them.
grabs Barbara and tries to escape, but they slip and sink in the sand.
They make it to the door just in time, swing it open and hurl themselves through. The door shuts with a BANG just in front of the ROARING SANDWORM.
rears and ROARS in frustration, HOWLING to the ringed planet.
Barbara, weeping, throws herself in Adam's arms.
BARBARA Oh, Adam, don't ever leave me alone.
ADAM You left me.
BARBARA I know. I'm sorry.
She hugs him tight.
BARBARA (continuing) I just realized that I could have been killed alone. Don't ever leave me, honey.
Both contemplate that horror.
BARBARA (continuing) We're trapped in this house forever... with those... people.
ADAM You can't say that for sure. It could be a transitional thing. Like a post-life crisis. We just have to be tougher with them. Come on. Have some brandy. Spirits?
BARBARA (a tentative smile) Death didn't improve your sense of humor.
They head for the dining room.
INT. DINING ROOM
Adam has his arms around Barbara's shoulder. They walk in the door and stumble upon the Deetzes at their dinner. Lydia's back is to them. Barbara and Adam back out of the room but stop to listen.
INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT
The Deetz's around the dining room table. There are candles and good china laid out-- but they're eating out of Chinese take-out boxes.
DELIA I can't believe that we're eating Cantonese. Is there no Szechuan up here? Hunan?
CHARLES There's only one Chinese restaurant out here, darling, the owners are Irish and Irish people happen to cook Cantonese. They don't know better.
LYDIA I plan to have a stroke from the amount of MSG that's in this food.
DELIA This is our first meal in this house, Lydia. Why don't we all do our little private parts to make it a pleasant one?
CHARLES Lydia, relax. We'll build you a darkroom in the basement.
LYDIA (dramatically) My whole life is a darkroom! One... big... dark... room.
Delia rolls her eyes and nods. She's been through this before.
DELIA Nonsense... you'll go to school, maybe meet a farm boy.
Delia laughs. Charles smiles.
LYDIA (doleful) Yeah, maybe if he's nice, he'll let me hang myself from a rope in his barn.
CHARLES Lydia, in a couple of years this whole town will be filled with people like us.
DELIA We'll be the art center of summer New York. I'll start sculpting again... I'll teach those gallery bastards to refuse my sculpture. And when Otho and I get through with this house, you people are not going to recognize it.
LYDIA (dramatically) I say let's keep it the way it is.
Delia stares at Lydia.
CHARLES (smiles) Good idea!
Delia shifts her glare to Charles.
LYDIA I do. I really like it. I mean, it's already sort of like somebody's home, isn't it? Their couch is comfortable and doesn't stick to your legs. It smells like a real home, not a French whorehouse.
DELIA Lydia, at your age, you are so young. (back to business) Charles, we need to call that awful Jane Butterfield tomorrow and get the key to the attic door. Can't you find a way to hold back some of her commission?
CHARLES We're going to have a lot to do tomorrow... The Goodwill truck is coming.
DELIA ... and whatever is up there in that attic goes away with it.
CHARLES Should have it fumigated, too. I saw a fly today.
Lydia looks at them with a mixture of sadness and anger.
OUTSIDE THE DOOR - ON THE STAIRS
-- listening, sit Barbara and Adam. A tear rolls down her face.
INT. ATTIC - DAY
Adam and Barbara are lying down on the floor, peering out of one of the small windows overlooking the front yard of the house. The handbook open in front of them.
EXT. FRONT YARD - ADAM AND BARBARA'S POV - DAY
The entire front yard is alive with workmen and their vehicles. Plumbers, electricians, cable TV men, etc. In the road on front of the house are several cars of rubbernecking locals, astonished by all the activity. The City has come to Town. Moving men continue to move in the Deetz' modern, expensive and ugly furniture. They collide with Goodwill men coming out with the Maitlands' lovely antiques and personal possessions.
INT. ATTIC - DAY
Adam and Barbara just look at one another as if to say "We're next!" Adam leafs through the handbook furi- ously.
BARBARA Look in the index...
ADAM Not really... what's this?
Adam pulls from the book an ancient, yellowed, crumbling handbill. He carefully opens it.
ON handbill -- very primitive, crude, red printing.
ADAM (V.O.) (reading) Having difficulty adjusting? Is death a problem and not a solution? Unhappy with eternity? Troubled by the living? Call Betelgeuse, the bio-exorcist. That's Betelgeuse, Betel...
The remainder of the sheet is torn off.
ON Barbara -- fingering the torn edge. Looking in the book for the remainder. No luck.
BARBARA That's it? No number, or instructions?
ADAM Nothing. The bio-exorcist? I don't get it...
Charles, away from the chaos outside is calmly steeping a mug of herb tea. His solitude is interrupted by a 2500 lb. Vulcan range breaking through a too-small kitchen window.
CHARLES (shouting through the window) What the hell are you trying to do out there?
DELIA - OUTSIDE
is berating the inept crane operator and shrieks periodically at some fine art movers who are struggling under her horrid modern welded steel sculptures.
snaps photos of the mayhem. She stops to scan the whole house.
When her gaze reaches to top of the house, she suddenly glimpses Barbara and Adam's faces in the window.
BACK TO SCENE
Lydia blinks hard. Her mouth drops open. She looks all around -- as if she'd just seen a ghost or two.
JANE BUTTERFIELD'S CAR
pulls up. Little Jane sits in the front seat, burdened with an enormous stack of collated and stapled copies.
Lydia catches sight of Jane and runs over.
Little Jane locks her door, in fear of Lydia-the strange. Lydia stares at her.
LITTLE JANE Are you a boy or a girl?
LYDIA I only speak to vertebrates.
LYDIA What happened to the people who used to live here?
LITTLE JANE (ratty little voice) They drowned!
JANE Yes, they were family. I was devastated. (beat) Here, darling.
Jane hands a key to Lydia.
LYDIA (impressed) Is this the key to the attic?
JANE That's a skeleton key. It'll open any door in that house. Will you give it to your father? (handing her a business card) And you might mention that I single-handedly decorated the house. In case he needs advice in that area. Come see me.
Jane goes away.
Lydia's face sobers as she looks up at the now empty attic window.
DELIA (O.S.) Help! Get off me!
Lydia drops the skeleton key into her pocket surrepti- tiously. She follows Delia's SHRIEKING.
EXT. HOUSE - DAY
Lydia rounds the corner to see Delia, pinned flat against the house by one of her horrid steel sculp- tures. Two movers are struggling to free her. Lydia snaps a quick photograph.
They finally free Delia. She clutches at her head, just short of tearing her hair out.
DELIA You jerks! That is my art, and it is dangerous! You think I want to want to die like that? (seeing Lydia) Lydia. Moving is a family affair. So buckle down now and go get Mommy some drugs.
LYDIA Any particular kind?
DELIA Joke! Joke! Aspirin!
Lydia walks off toward the house.
INT. ATTIC - DAY
Barbara is half-hiding on the edge of the window.
BARBARA That little girl saw us.
ADAM She couldn't have. We can't make them see us.
BARBARA But she saw us. I could feel it.
ADAM (pause, thinking that over) That's all we need.
INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - DAY
Lydia looks up the stairs at the attic landing. She's a little scared. She decides to go up the dark stairs.
IN THE HALL
At the end of the hall stands Charles, directing men who are carrying books into the room that will be his study.
He continues on.
A BLAST of STEAM
fills the hallway, because workmen are already going at the wallpaper. Lydia emerges from it. Looking up at stairway to attic, mounting courage.
INT. STAIRCASE TO ATTIC - DAY
Lydia creeps upward, taking the skeleton key from her pocket. FLOORBOARDS SQUEAK.
INT. ATTIC - DAY
Adam works on his model. He hears the SQUEAK, looks up confidently.
ADAM (whispering) Don't worry. I've locked it.
Barbara smiles and knits while rocking in her chair.
INT. ATTIC LANDING
Lydia quietly inserts the key in the lock of the attic door. She turns it. The key is stiff. She turns harder. It's stuck. Lydia tries the door -- it's no go. She turns the key again. This time it goes all the way around.
INT. ATTIC - DAY
Barbara and Adam, surprised by the key, look at each other, carefully, very quietly, stand up and tiptoe toward door.
ON THE SCREEN OF AN OLD TV SET
in the corner of the attic -- Suddenly -- a ghostly image POPS ON.
ON TV - A BIZARRE, SMALLISH FELLOW
outfitted in a too-big cowboy hat, bad wig, and over- sized sunglasses appears on screen singing very quickly. (It's a heavily disguised BETELGEUSE.)
the CAMERA QUICKLY PANS an assortment of tombstones a la Cal Worthington.
BETELGEUSE (singing) Have the living got you down? Betelgeuse! Are they jacking you around? Betelgeuse! Have you broken out in hives 'Cause you're tired of their jive? I will drive them from your hive... Betelgeuse!
CAMERA TILTS DOWN a flashing tombstone with "BETELGEUSE" written on it. Adam rushes over to shut it off. He can't find a plug. He looks around behind set... no workings inside at all. He peers around to the screen. It is blank. Suddenly -- Betelgeuse POPS ON AGAIN.
BETELGEUSE Say it once... Betelgeuse Say it twice... Betelgeuse. The third time's a charm... Betelgeuse! Come on down!
He POPS OFF. Adam and Barbara stare at each other.
INT. LANDING - DAY
Lydia listens. Did she hear something? She puts her hand on the knob and tries to turn it. It's stuck.
Then the key eerily pops out of the lock and falls on the floor.
Charles' head suddenly appears behind her. Scares her.
CHARLES What are you doing?
Adam is holding on tight to the knob of the door. With her knitting needle, Barbara has poked the key out.
The two stand absolutely still, listening, terrified of the living intruders.
INT. ATTIC LANDING - LYDIA AND CHARLES
LYDIA I was just trying to open the door. Mrs. Butterfield brought over a skeleton key.
CHARLES Let me have it.
INT. ATTIC - DAY
Barbara and Adam tighten.
ON THE LANDING
LYDIA But it doesn't work.
She hands her father the key. He looks at it and throws it in the corner.
CHARLES Skeleton keys never work. Anyway, this can wait. We'll get a crowbar later. Where's your mother?
LYDIA (very quick de- cisive delivery) Stepmother.
CHARLES I'm going down to relax. I want a noise-free zone. Do you understand? Noise-free.
He goes down the stairs.
CHARLES (irritated, over his shoulder) What?
LYDIA I'm lonely.
A BLAST OF STEAM from below drowns out her words. Charles stops and turns around. The BLAST STOPS.
TIGHT ON LYDIA
She is resolved.
Charles continues. She begins to follow slowly.
behind Lydia. WIDEN as Adam rushes out the door, grabs the key and rushes back in again. Lydia hears some- thing but doesn't see.
Barbara and Adam have moved away from the door.
ADAM (looking through the handbook) We need some help. I found something this morning. Here. Emergencies. (reads) "In case of emergency, draw door."
BARBARA Draw door? I don't know why we keep looking in that stupid book.
Adam takes a piece of chalk and draws a little door on the exposed brick of the chimney.
BARBARA (continuing) You don't actually think this is going to work?
Adam draws a doorknob. Then he tries to turn it. The door, perhaps to his surprise, fails to open.
BARBARA Yet another triumph for Adam and Barbara in the afterlife. Why don't we try this Beetle guy??...
He looks at book, then writes on the door: KNOCK AND ENTER. He exchanges a glance with Barbara. She's even more skeptical than before. Turns away in disgust.
Adam knocks on the door, and turns the knob. Nothing. She is more disgusted. Adam goes back to the book.
ADAM (continuing) Aha! Knock three times.
He knocks three times. Turns knob. The chalked door swings magnificently open.
Behind is an eerie light source, SOARING MUSIC, maybe even a heavenly choir singing pear-shaped syllables.
Barbara and Adam look at one another again. They hold hands and step tentatively through.
Their figures are lost in the blinding light.
They start to shut door after them.
ON THE ATTIC LANDING
Lydia is staring at the light pouring from under the attic door. It suddenly goes out.
She is dumbfounded. She listens.
ON THE LANDING
Lydia speeds down the steps.
INT. CHARLES' STUDY - DAY
Charles, fiercely intent on relaxing, paces like a catfish out of water. Ralph Lauren in K-mart. He stretches. He sits uneasily in an easy chair, tries like hell to get comfortable. Finally, he puts a book under his bottom to get sitting straight. Looks around tapping his fingers. What to do? Looks at watch.
He takes down a book from Adam's library, it is an Audubon book of birds. He whips through it like it's the comics and then looks around for more.
He finds the "Illustrated Walden" by Thoreau. He speed reads it.
He is now really bored. Goes to the fireplace, tries to light it. Cannot do it. Goes to desk and writes:
OTHO-INSTALL GAS FIRE LOGS IN STUDY.
He studies bird posters. Finds beautiful cardinal picture.
Takes field glasses and looks out window.
Spies big ugly-looking ratty bird devouring something.
horrified. Wrinkles his nose.
Lydia enters. He jumps.
CHARLES Jesus Christ!
Lydia is shocked.
CHARLES (continuing) Darling, can't you see I'm relaxing in here!
LYDIA Well I just wanted to tell you what I saw.
CHARLES Lydia. What the hell is the point of my moving up here if you people won't let me relax? Go help your mother.
Charles returns to field glasses, spies something. She looks at him in frustration.
LYDIA (on her way out) Fine. Maybe you can relax in a haunted house. But I can't.
She exits. Charles peers after her, brow furrowed. Looks out again at the village. Uses his field glasses to get a better look.
It is the Bozman Building. Ernie is out front pol- ishing the brass lion.
He thinks. Moves the field glasses to punctuate his discovery of the building. (His eyes never leave field glasses throughout the following.)
CHARLES Nice building... Bad paint. Good lines... bad roof. Good parking... hmmm???
That really registers with him. Without looking, he dials a familiar number on the phone with one hand, lifts the receiver. He clacks his teeth together pur- posefully.
SECRETARY'S VOICE Botco International.
CHARLES Yes, I'd like to speak with Maxie Dean.
SECRETARY'S VOICE He's not in right now.
CHARLES Well tell him that Charles Deetz called.
He hangs up and continues to spy on Bozman Building. Clacks his teeth.
CHARLES (continuing) My God what I could do with that parking.
TIGHT SHOT - BARBARA AND ADAM
Very still, they look cautiously to the right and left -- just with their eyes. They're astounded by what they see, though we don't yet see it.
ADAM ... Not what I expected when we walked through that door.
BARBARA No. But it's somewhere without big worms.
CAMERA DRAWS BACK and we find that Adam and Barbara are in:
INT. WAITING ROOM - DAY
The most unpleasant waiting room that you ever remember waiting in. Fifties furniture with broken legs, couches propped up on telephone books.
Standing ashtrays with dirty stand. Linoleum floors patched a hundred times. National Geographics with the covers torn off. The "Take a number" registers in the millions.
AS THE CAMERA COMPLETES A CIRCLE OF THE ROOM
We see a RECEPTIONIST. She's the quintessential 50's receptionist -- tight sweater, bullet-breasted bra, bleached hair, red lipstick. She's wearing a ribbon across her breast reading "MISS ARGENTINA" and there are knife slashes across both wrists.
RECEPTIONIST You don't have an appointment, do you?
ADAM W... We didn't know how to make one.
BARBARA An appointment for what?
RECEPTIONIST What do you want?
BARBARA We need some help.
RECEPTIONIST Already? You just bit the big one nine months ago and you want help?
ADAM Nine months? What difference does that make?
RECEPTIONIST (shrugging) Good luck. You're going to use up all your help vouchers.
ADAM Help vouchers?
RECEPTIONIST D-90's. You spend a hundred and twenty-five years on earth, actually, in that house, during which you get only three class-one D-90 intercessions with Juno. You probably haven't even read through the manual completely yet.
BARBARA Why three?
Behind the Receptionist holds up both hands each of which have only three fingers on them.
TYPIST Rule Number Three. Everything comes in threes...
RECEPTIONIST You'll have to wait if you don't have an appointment.
BARBARA How long do we have to wait?
ADAM Wait for who?
RECEPTIONIST For Juno, your caseworker. Not that it matters to your type. But there are all these other people here ahead of you. I'd say 3 hours.
The waiting room is now filled with people. Dead people, some in fairly awful states. A cornucopia of carnal shreddage.
Adam and Barbara look around for a moment, then very quietly, they reach out to grasp hands.
RECEPTIONIST (continuing) Number 54 million, six hundred one. Ferndock.
CAMERA PUSHES IN CLOSE.
INT. ATTIC LANDING - DAY
Lydia kneels down with a screwdriver, a nail file, an ice pick, and a credit card. She inserts nail file into the door. She struggles, and after several attempts -- finally uses the ice pick and POP! The door swings open ominously.
INT. ATTIC - DAY
Lydia enters. The room is dim, and filled with dust motes. There are shadows in all the corners.
She bumps into a switch which engages the model sun and moon and that eerily illuminates the model town. She's frightened, then entranced.
She peers at it from different angles, her fear for- gotten. She notes small tools scattered around an unfinished area. She continues around the model, oblivious to everything else. Then...
She kicks something. Ducks under the table and comes up with something, holds it up to the light. It's the handbook. She looks through it. Finds the marked page... looks at the chalk door.
INT. OFFICE - DAY
Barbara and Adam are still holding hands, as if they hadn't moved. Like waiting for an IRS audit.
BARBARA (to Adam) Is this what happens when you die?
The Receptionist overhears. She points at Barbara.
RECEPTIONIST This is what happens when YOU die. (points to another corpse) That is what happens when HE dies. That is what happens when THEY die. It's highly personal. And I'll tell you something... if I knew then what I know now... I wouldn't have had my little "accident!"
She holds up her wrists and smiling at her little joke, wriggles them indicating her slashes.
OTHER CORPSES (all together) Amen!
Barbara and Adam look at them. Corpses resume doing what they were doing. A GRINDING NOISE O.S. -- The Receptionist looks up.
Barbara and Adam also look O.S.
A Message delivery wire GRINDS along loudly on a pulley. The actual message is held in the hand of the MESSENGER, a flattened corpse, suspended as if on a shirt clothesline, tire marks on his face and clothing. A major roadkill. Dust and gravel ground into him. He smiles wanly at Barbara and Adam as the Receptionist takes a message on a piece of paper and reads it.
RECEPTIONIST Maitland, party of two! Take your handbook and go to the sixth door.
Barbara and Adam upset at the loss of their handbook...
BARBARA We forgot our handbook.
INT. ATTIC - DAY
Lydia is studying the handbook with intense interest.
CHARLES (O.S.) (from distant downstairs) Lydia, Delia needs your help!
Lydia gives one more look at the book, and then goes to the door quickly and silently.
CHARLES (O.S.) Right now, Delia says!
INT. OFFICE - DAY
RECEPTIONIST (shaking her head in disgust) Out that way, through the typing pool, down the corridor, sixth door on your left. Sixth door. Two threes. (shaking her head) Airhead.
Adam and Barbara walk through a door.
INT. TYPING POOL - DAY
A vast room of desks arranged in a grid, straight out of "How To Succeed In Business"... Each desk is occupied, too, but most of the secretaries are merely skeletons, or mouldering corpses slumped over their typewriters.
Only one secretary, somewhere in the vast grid, is typing slowly, with long pauses between words.
The Messenger on his return trip, parallels Barbara and Adam as they walk along. Barbara can't look at him.
MESSENGER How do I look? There're no mirrors on this side.
ADAM (trying to be pleasant) Fine, you look fine.
MESSENGER Thanks. I've been feeling a little flat.
He laughs at his own joke as he goes back through the very, very narrow slot in the wall where the line runs. Adam and Barbara look to the right and left. A vast stack of files slips off a desk and spills out onto the floor.
INT. CORRIDOR - DAY
Barbara and Adam enter corridor.
Empty, like a hotel corridor, but all the doors are of different types -- a revolving door, a dutch door, church doors. They walk past a waist-high window, covered by a roll-up shade.
BARBARA A hundred twenty-five years! I can't believe it. I can't believe they didn't tell us.
She bumps into the shade and it rolls up FLAPPING. She stares in through the window. Adam peers in it too.
A smouldering, mist-filled room. From the smoky plasma floats an occasional tortured soul. Unspeakably SAD MUSIC wafts from within. They get only a glimpse of the bodies in this horrible human soup.
BARBARA Adam, look at this.
Suddenly, floating up from below, immediately on the other side of the window, a white-crepe face emerges. It seems to be that of a woman, her eyes are red and blue tears rim them. Her pale skin is covered with a flaking crust of salt. She wears the saddest look ever. Her mouth opens plaintively but no sound comes.
BARBARA (continuing) Oh, Adam... what is this?
A reflection joins them on their side of the window.
A SINISTER LITTLE JANITOR
wizened and efficient, pulls the shade down firmly.
SINISTER MAN That's the lost souls room. A room for ghosts who have been exorcised. Poor devils. That's death for the dead. It's all in the handbook. Keep moving.
The man scuttles off. Adam and Barbara walk on sadly, until they come to a door that looks exactly like the swinging door between the kitchen and dining room of their house.
ADAM This is it... the sixth door.
Puzzled -- Barbara pushes it.
INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT
Everything is dark, quiet -- but the furniture is obviously not theirs, and neither is the decoration. Adam and Barbara exchange glances, and push on through into the living room.
INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Quiet, dark. Everyone's asleep.
ADAM My God, we're back home.
BARBARA Look at this, everything is different down here. All our furniture is gone.
ADAM How long do you suppose we were waiting?
JUNO Three months.
A spot comes on, revealing JUNO -- their caseworker. She's an older woman, no nonsense about her. Over- dressed in an outfit that includes a blouse with ruffled cuffs. We will at some point catch a glimpse of her slashed throat -- she smokes heavily. Occa- sionaly smoke puffs from her cut throat.
JUNO I'd nearly given up on you. I was about to leave. I do have other clients.
BARBARA Are you Juno, our caseworker?
JUNO Yes. I evaluate individual cases and determine if help is needed, deserved, and available.
BARBARA We need help. We deserve help.
ADAM Are you available?
JUNO No. (beat) What's wrong?
BARBARA We're very unhappy.
JUNO What do you expect? You're dead.
ADAM We'd like some help in getting rid of the people who moved in here. Barbara and I worked very hard on this house.
BARBARA We probably wouldn't mind sharing the house with people who were --
JUNO -- like you used to be?
ADAM But these people --
He indicates a particularly bad piece of Delia's sculp- ture. Juno walks around it shaking her head.
The following conversation takes place as Barbara and Adam follow Juno as she looks around the house and ends up in their attic space.
JUNO Things seem pretty quiet here. You should thank God you didn't die in Italy. (checking the file) The Deetzes. Okay. Have you been studying the manual?
ADAM We tried.
JUNO The Intermediate Interface chapter on Haunting says it all. Get 'em out yourself. It's your house. Haunted houses don't come easy.
BARBARA We don't quite get it.
Juno's watch BUZZES, she stops it.
JUNO I heard. (refers to her file) Tore your face right off! Bad news. It obviously doesn't do any good to pull your heads off in front of people if they can't see you.
ADAM We have to start simpler, is that it?
JUNO Start simply. Do what you know. Use your talents. Practice. We only help those who help themselves. Just do a little at a time. And of course, practice, practice, practice. It's tricky but -- you weren't murderers by any chance, were you?
JUNO Pity. Murderers seem to have an easy time of it. Just look at Amityville. (reminiscing) He was one of my boys. Didn't have to give that one any lessons. From day one... But I must be off... I've got a plane load of football players crashed in the midwest... they need a lot of help, just with the basics.
Points at her head indicating dumbness.
BARBARA If... we have trouble. What about the guy in the flyer? Betelge...
JUNO (quickly interrupt- ing her) Don't say his name, you don't want his help.
Adam and Barbara look at each other. Puzzled.
ADAM & BARBARA Well... We might...
INT. ATTIC - NIGHT
Juno peers into the model cemetery with interest. A FLY BUZZES around her. Juno blows it away. Fly flees.
JUNO No you don't! He does not work well with others.
BARBARA What do you mean? What's he do?
A grave look comes over Juno's face as the light changes to suggest someone telling a ghost story around a campfire.
JUNO I wasn't going to bring it up -- but rather than have you stumble into it and make another mistake, I'll tell you -- (she nervously puffs her cigarette) He was my assistant, but he was a troublemaker... He went out on his own as a free- lance bio-exorcist -- claims to get rid of the living... got into more trouble -- you remember the Chicago Fire...
Adam and Barbara look at each other. Juno continues.
JUNO (continuing) He was demoted to a Grade-6 malevolent spirit. He's been imprisoned on that plane ever since... in fact, I believe he's been sleezing around your cemetery lately. He can only be brought back by saying his name three times.
Adam and Barbara attempt to interrupt --
JUNO (continuing) But I strongly suggest that you remove the Deetz's yourself.
She takes a final drag on the cigarette and smoke billows out the hole in her throat. Juno starts to FADE.
ADAM And if we need you again, how do we...?
Juno fades. Gone. Barbara goes to the model, looks at the cemetery.
BARBARA That guy is in our cemetery. Oh, Adam.
ADAM (holds her shoul- ders, calms her) Look, she's right. We'll just start simple, honey, be tougher. I feel... confident. C'mon.
CAMERA FOLLOWS ACTION - OVER THE MODEL
The FLY BUZZES. It lands and crawls along into the model of the cemetery.
resplendently green and iridescent, pauses and fiddles with its hairy parts. Starts to walk by.
VOICE Pssstt! Over here!
Fly stops. Tilts its multi-eyed head.
Two hands come up from the earth of that grave holding a candy bar.
VOICE I can't use this. You should have it. Flies get so little respect anymore.
THE FLATTERED FLY
walks over to the grave. In a flash, the hands grab the struggling fly and dance it like a doll over the grave and then pull it into the earth.
FLY Buzzz! (turns into) Help me! Help me!
A MANIACAL LAUGH grows from the grave. WIND BLOWS as the Fly disappears. Ivy whips away from the grave- stone. We see, for the first time, the chiseled name:
CLAP OF THUNDER.
INT. CHARLES' STUDY - NIGHT
Charles is on the phone. He has drawings laid out in front of him. He is at his most urban persuasive, and oddly relaxed -- he is finally in his own element.
CHARLES Maxie, have I not always made you money? I think that is the only real question here.
INT. MAXIE'S OFFICE - NIGHT
New York office, cool design, black couch, and MAXIE DEAN, a 55-year-old, super tan, white-haired wheeler dealer. Sign says: CHAIRMAN of BOTCO INDUSTRIES. Maxie looks rich and he looks cool as he talks to Charles. Behind him, Sarah, his rich-looking blonde wife, is looking at herself in a mirror.
MAXIE Well, Charles -- no one has made me money like you. Until your nerves went, you were a demon. It is just that... Winter River, Connecticut is, you'll forgive me, no fucking where. Why would I invest that kind of money to buy an old building way the hell up there?
CHARLES Not a building! That's the beauty of it. I think I can buy the whole town. These people don't know the value of their property!
MAXIE Then we own a whole town full of nowhere.
CHARLES No, No -- C'mon, Max, you know me. I've got plans. You gotta come up here and see, then I'll tell you about it.
Maxie isn't much interested.
MAXIE Well, sure, Charles, but I am busy here... you know how it was when you were active.
This burns Charles. But he swallows it. He hears something in the corridor outside -- a kind of LOW MOANING.
CHARLES (into telephone) Just a minute, Maxie. Somebody.
MAXIE No listen... we'll talk about this visiting later, I gotta go, I gotta meeting on the Japanese joint venture.
CHARLES (torn between the MOANING and Maxie) Great idea, Maxie! Those Japanese could run it for us. Listen, think right about it, will you? We've almost got the house ready, you bring Sarah with you and I'll show you.
MAXIE Yeah yeah, we'll think on it. Bye ya, Charles. You relax up there, ya hear?
Maxie hangs up. Shakes his head.
MAXIE (continuing) Putz! Inter River? My ass.
INT. CHARLES' STUDY - NIGHT
Charles hangs up frustrated. MOANING INCREASES. He goes to the door and flings it open.
A figure is right there in the doorway -- A ghost under a sheet. But a "designer" sheet. He wails away like a banshee. Eyeholes cut in sheets, Charles jumps, re- covers.
CHARLES Oh, Jesus, Lydia! Is Connecticut so boring that you have to think up shit like this?
ON Barbara, she stands back away from the door observ- ing skeptically.
CHARLES (continuing) I had Maxie Dean on the phone! Darling, Dad's found a way to make some money here while I relax, so scram!
He slams the door, turns around. Then turns around again, and jerks the door open. The ghost is retreat- ing, beaten.
CHARLES (continuing) And your mother is going to kill you when she sees that you cut holes in her $300 sheets. You provoke her you know. I mean she can be an unreasonable bitch. But you do provoke her.
He SLAMS the door again.
INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - NIGHT
Adam helps Barbara on with her sheet.
BARBARA God, this is so corny. Have we been reduced to this? Sheets?
ADAM Think of them as death shrouds. And the moaning is important. Really moan! (imitating Juno) Practice, practice, practice.
INT. MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT
Television still going, Delia asleep with curlers. Adam and Barbara glide inside, go over and stand beside the bed.
ADAM Deep breath... and...
INT. LYDIA'S ROOM - NIGHT
She has her ever-present camera around her neck. Sud- denly hears MOANS from her parents' room. Thinking it is sexual, she cringes. Covers her ears.
LYDIA Gross! How can he stand that woman? (louder) Hey, cut it out! I'm a child! For God sakes!
The NOISE gets weirder. Lydia gets interested.
INT. MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT
Adam and Barbara moan and groan. Delia doesn't stir.
BARBARA I feel really stupid.
ADAM It's not stupid. We're ghosts. Do you want this woman for breakfast for 125 years? Moan louder!
Barbara moans louder and more weirdly.
Delia stirs, sits up, but doesn't open her eyes.
Adam and Barbara are excited then... disappointed as Delia fumbles on the bedside table for the remote con- trol device, and without opening her eyes, turns off the television set. Then she turns over, and is lost to the world totally.
Barbara sighs. She and Adam walk toward the door. When they open it however, Lydia is standing there in her pajamas -- she snaps a FLASH Polaroid -- and Adam and Barbara jump backwards with yelps of fright.
LYDIA Sick! Sexual perversion! If you're going to do weird sexual stuff you ought to stay in your bedroom, okay?
Lydia starts back into her room. Then looks at the developing photograph. Something catches her eye.
Lydia yelps with fear.
LYDIA Holy cow! No feet!
She screams. Adam and Barbara scream. Lydia rushes back toward them, starts flashing pictures.
Adam and Barbara run around and are pushed into a corner. Polaroids fly everywhere.
Lydia runs out of film. She stares at them, panting with fear. A standoff.
LYDIA (continuing) A... Are you the guys who're hiding out in the attic?
ADAM (fake terror voice) We're ghosts.
LYDIA (skeptical, cautious) W... What do you look like under there?
Adam and Barbara pull shut bedroom door, go out into the hall -- as if to keep from waking Delia with their conversation.
INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - NIGHT
All three stare at each other tentatively.
ADAM Aren't you scared?
LYDIA I'm not scared of Ralph Lauren. Those are sheets. Are you gross under there? Are you "Night of the Living Dead" under there? Like all bloody veins and pus?
LYDIA "Night of the Living Dead?" It's a movie.
BARBARA (pulling off the sheet) If I had seen a ghost at your age, I would have been frightened out of my wits.
LYDIA You're not gross. Why were you wearing a sheet?
BARBARA We're practicing.
ADAM You can actually see us? Without the sheets?
LYDIA Is this like a trick question?
BARBARA Tell the truth.
LYDIA (offended) Of course I can see you.
ADAM Nobody else can.
LYDIA I'm wearing contacts... Also I read through the "Handbook for the Recently Deceased." It says that live people ignore the strange and unusual... I, myself, am strange and unusual.
BARBARA (tenderly) You look like a regular girl to me.
Lydia blushes. Barbara smiles warmly. She is begin- ning to like Lydia.
ADAM You read our book? Could you follow it?
Lydia nods her head.
LYDIA Why are you creeping around Delia's bedroom?
ADAM We were trying to scare your mother.
LYDIA Stepmother. I'm very sensitive about being related to reptiles.
LYDIA (continuing) You can't scare her. She's sleeping with Prince Valium tonight. (defiantly) I stole the key to your attic, you know.
Adam and Barbara look at each other.
BARBARA Maybe we better talk.
INT. ATTIC ROOM - NIGHT
Adam's rigged up the moon, and stars, too. Adam and Barbara and Lydia stand just beyond the fringes of the town, dimly lighted giants.
LYDIA You did this? You carved all these little figures and houses and things?
ADAM (pleased) I certainly did. I'd finish it too, but... I don't get out much.
LYDIA And this used to be your house, I bet. Why do you want to scare everybody?
ADAM We want to frighten you away. (a little embarrassed) So that you'll move out.
LYDIA You don't know the Deetz's very well, do you? My father bought this place. He never walks away from equity. Why don't you leave?
BARBARA We can't. We haven't left the house since the funeral.
LYDIA Funeral. God, you guys really are dead! (fascinated) What was it like? The funeral. Did you cry?
ADAM We weren't there. The handbook says funerals aren't for the dead.
LYDIA God, if this is true this is amazing! I kinda like it up here. Can I visit you sometimes?
ADAM Well, I don't know... We don't get many visitors.
BARBARA You know you're really a pretty girl.
CHARLES (O.S.) Lydia!
LYDIA I better go...
BARBARA Wait... I don't think it would be a very good idea if you told your parents that we're up here.
ADAM Unless you think it would scare them off.
Lydia starts to exit.
ADAM (continuing) You tell them that we are desperate horrible ghoulish creatures who will stop at nothing to get back our house.
LYDIA (looks him up and down) Wait a minute, what if this is a dream? Can you do any tricks to prove I'm not dreaming?
Barbara shakes her head, a little ashamed.
LYDIA (continuing) Well, if you are real ghosts, you better get another routine, those sheets suck!
She sneaks a smile at Barbara and exits.
EXT. HOUSE - DAY
A big ugly machine is doing something unnecessary to the yard.
INT. DARKROOM/BASEMENT - DAY
The FAST-TICKING CLOCK is a timer. Lydia is making Polaroid enlargements. She's quick and expert at this. She's examining a print with a magnifying glass.
INT. UPSTAIRS BATHROOM - DAY
Delia shrieks. Going through the dirty clothes, she's just come across the sheets with the eye holes in them.
DELIA Lydia! Lydia! My hands are shredded from doing the laundry, and now I have to deal with your vandalism!
INT. DOWNSTAIRS HALLWAY - DAY
Lydia, pounding up from the basement with the wet print, collides with Delia, rushing down from the sec- ond floor with the scissored sheets.
DELIA Lydia, honest to God I'm going to kill you. I'm having a party tonight. I'm cooking, I can't get servants. Do I need angst? No, I certainly do not!
Lydia speeds by her.
DELIA (continuing) You owe me three-hundred bucks, Lydia! Don't go running to your father, you worm.
INT. CHARLES' OFFICE - DAY
Lydia rushes in. Charles is working furiously on a word processor, amidst an array of maps and plans.
LYDIA Dad. Do you believe me?
CHARLES Yes. Except when you creep around in your mother's --
CHARLES ... sheets.
LYDIA Well this is... I mean, this is the weirdest --
CHARLES Lydia, I don't know what it is with you and these pratical jokes, but --
LYDIA This is not a joke! That sheet was full of ghosts.
She hands him the photo. He looks. Lydia points out...
LYDIA (continuing) No feet.
LYDIA (continuing) You don't believe me. That sheet was full of ghosts. They live here.
Charles begins to scroll through computer program.
CHARLES (dismissing it) Very clever, Lydia. Now would you please -- I'll tell you what... I know! You're bored, right? You take that camera and your bike and photograph every building in town. Don't tell anyone what it's for... (handing her a wad of bills) Here, take some cash and go do it. How's that? You want to stretch, don't you?
Lydia exits, with determination. Charles looks up on the wall and runs his finger over a plat map of Winter River, just like Adam's in the attic.
CHARLES (continuing) Look at the size of these lots...
Adam peers at the map, puzzled.
ADAM What is this guy doing?
Barbara follows Lydia out. Adam thinks, intrigued. Exits.
INT. KITCHEN - DAY
Delia is frantically preparing for the evening's dinner party. Lydia is very much in her way, trying to show her the photographs. Delia isn't looking at them.
DELIA I can't believe you are doing this to me! Ghosts. I am giving a dinner party for seven people tonight. Otho has agreed to come back for the demolition of the attic. My agent, Bernard, is bringing some woman who writes for "Art in America." In fact, no one here tonight has not been in "Vanity Fair." Except you.
LYDIA (resigned) I told them you were too mean to be afraid.
DELIA Don't you dare talk to others about me. I'm an artist! The only thing that scares me is being embarrassed in front of my friends. Do you know how hard it is to get civilized people to set foot in this part of Connecticut? Not a solitary word of this pubescent tripe to anyone.
Lydia exits angrily.
CAMERA HINGES. Barbara is watching, horrified at Delia's occupation of her (Barbara's) kitchen. Adam appears.
BARBARA Lydia's trying, but they don't believe her.
ADAM She's got photos, Barbara.
BARBARA Adam, you had a photo of Big Foot!
ADAM This is different. Eventually she'll take someone to the attic. And then what? We've got to try to contact this guy Betelmyer. We gotta get some help, hon.
INT. ATTIC ROOM - LATER - DAY
Adam looks intently through the book.
Barbara's eye is caught by something in the model cemetery. She moves over and sees a small gravestone lit up by neon.
Adam comes over. Looks.
ADAM I didn't do that one... Hmmm.
BARBARA It's him. Look... Betelgeuse... Betelgeuse...
She looks at Adam, "should I?" Adam chews his lip thoughtfully.
ADAM Go ahead... third time's a charm.
BARBARA (after a deep breath) Betelgeuse!
ZAP! They are transported into the model graveyard.
EXT. INSIDE THE MODEL GRAVEYARD - NIGHT
WIND BLOWS -- With shovels and lanterns, Adam and Barbara are unlikely gravediggers. The mechanized clouds move in the sky across the mechanical moon, throwing weird shadows everywhere. Ground fog creeps slowly along the graves. It is so eerie.
BARBARA What happened?
ADAM Three times. Powerful number.
BARBARA (standing in front of grave) Bet... el... geuse. What an awful name. I thought it was like -- you know. The juice of beetles.
Adam cringes too.
BARBARA (continuing) Where is he? What do we do?
Adam looks down at the grave. Knocks on the stone. Nothing.
ADAM Has anything been simple so far? From the look of the shovel, we dig.
BARBARA Oh, Adam. I don't have gloves. My nails keep getting longer. I'll break them.
Hands her a shovel anyway. She digs.
EXT. INSIDE THE MODEL GRAVEYARD - LATER - NIGHT
They're almost down six feet. By now they are both almost out of sight in the grave. Inside the grave -- Adam suddenly hits wood.
BARBARA It's about time.
They lean down and brush dirt off a brass plate on the coffin.
ADAM I guess we open it.
BARBARA Maybe we should knock first?
A slight TREMOR shakes them. They look at each other and try to scramble from the grave.
They just barely crawl out when a mouldering corpse springs out of the grave and jumps on Barbara's back, and plants a thousand-year-old kiss on her lips. She screams and burbles. Adam pulls the corpse off her back. The corpse does a Three Stooges hammer on Adam's head.
Adam staggers backward, unhurt but shocked. All three stop.
ON THE CORPSE
Something unreal about him, almost mechanical. Then the corpse, grinning insanely at them, flies straight up into the air over their heads. He CRASHES against the tombstone...
And Adam and Barbara see the corpse is only a huge marionette on a string and pole. A LAUGH comes from behind the gravestone.
steps out. He looks like someone who just crawled out from under a rock. This is one slippery customer. Betelgeuse speaks in a rapid polyglot, choosing words and phrases from every slang in the world. Barbara is mighty uneasy.
BETELGEUSE All right. Who are you?
BETELGEUSE You're the dead.
ADAM Aren't you dead?
BETELGEUSE Hell no! I'm rolling. I'm a businessman. I'm the man what am. Beeetel Jooose! Who do I gotta kill?
ADAM You don't kill anyone.
BARBARA Just get some people out of our house.
BETELGEUSE Bio busting. I love it. Who do I gotta kill? Family -- right? Obnoxious, I bet. (contorting face) Mommie, daddy, piglets.
BARBARA Just one daughter.
BETELGEUSE Hey you've been on Saturn! (brushing yellow dust off her) I hate those Sandworms! Yecchhh! I've lost a lot of buddies to Sandworms. (back to work) So a daughter? She got good legs? God I love a young leg.
Air blows up Barbara's dress, exposing her legs. He leers.
BARBARA She's only fourteen...
ADAM ... acts like she's thirty-five.
BETELGEUSE (rubbing hands) How does she feel about short old men with dirty ears?
Barbara is grossed out and increasingly uneasy. Beetle Juice senses it and gets back to business.
BETELGEUSE So you, the dead, want me, the undead, to throw the live guys -- Mommie, Daddy and Lolita, who might not mind a tumble with an older guy, out into the cold? Even though they have paid hard casharoonie for your dump?
ADAM But... the Deetzes are destroying our house.
BETELGEUSE (scolding sarcasm) You Maitlands are the backbone of the afterlife. So what's my cut?
ADAM Can you scare them off?
Beetle Juice looks offended.
BETELGEUSE Me, scary? You be the judge.
He swirls his face and shoulders into a horrifying image. Pleased, he laughs at himself.
BARBARA (decisively) Honey. Let's go.
ADAM Go? What d'ya mean? We need help.
BARBARA No, we don't. We can work something out ourselves. We just have to try harder.
BETELGEUSE Hold on. Let's not be squeamish, missy. You rang my bell, you gotta lick the pump. I'm rolling!
grabs Adam. Betelgeuse is getting mad. Not pretty.
BETELGEUSE Folks, be reasonable here. I'm at your service. You be the judge. I'm a harmless guy. Try me.
BARBARA Home. Home. Home!
They are gone. Betelgeuse is furious.
BETELGEUSE You fresh corpse creeps! Who do you think you are?... Walking away from a professional?
walks to a tree and kicks it hard. The whole huge tree falls, KABLOOM!
INT. ATTIC - DAY
A small tree falls in the model. Adam, across the room, walks over and straightens it.
He looks at Barbara who is poring over the handbook. Making notes. Counting out procedures.
ADAM Honey, I think that was a mistake.
BARBARA I am not going to expose that little girl to that... pervert down there.
ADAM How'd you do that?
BARBARA (proud of herself) Just a hunch... remember things come in threes -- three times in, three times out... I'm getting the hang of this stuff.
ADAM I think we really pissed him off.
BARBARA I don't care...
ADAM But we let him out.
BARBARA I've changed my mind... I feel really confident. We're getting better at this stuff. We can scare them off ourselves -- tonight! I've got an idea. You're going to love it... I'm going to hate it.
turns to look down at the model again. Straightens the tree. Turns away. We can see a tiny light moving through the tiny model forest towards the house.
ADAM (V.O.) Okay. But that Betelgeuse sure seemed mad.
BETELGEUSE (V.O.) (singing) Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go!
INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT
Dinner for seven, as promised. Everything looks very nice. Deetzes are in control and in their element. The element is neurotic-chic.
Some of the guests are affecting distaste for having had to make the long drive to Connecticut. There's a bitchy feud going on between GRACE, the "Art In Amer- ica" writer, and BERNARD, Delia's agent, that threatens to become a full-scale war.
Otho is drunkish and engaged in his third favorite occupation -- direct attacks on the personal weaknesses of his friends. He's singled out his victim, BERYL, the editor for Ballantine, a frail-looking woman who is dressed "artistically."
OTHO (to Beryl) Well, darling, you can only have a hysterectomy once, so why don't you tell us what you really went into the hospital for last week? Or dare I ask, is that a nose "nouveau?"
CHARLES (privately; to Otho) Otho, you've got to help me get Maxie Dean up here. I have a deal that could make all of us very comfortable.
OTHO He's a cloven-hooved beast!
CHARLES He's your cousin.
OTHO I am ashamed to say he is. Look, nothing short of giving away free sacks of money would get him up here, Charles. And Sarah? Forget it. You can't get her out of Bergdorf's with plastic explosives. (still on Beryl's case) I just hope it wasn't yet another of your dreary suicide attempts. You know what they say about people who who commit suicide. In the afterlife, they become civil servants.
BERNARD Otho! I didn't know you were into the supernatural?
OTHO Of course you remember! After my stint with the living theatre. I was one of New York City's leading paranormal researchers until the bottom dropped out of the business in '72.
BERYL (sick to death of this blowhard) Paranormal... Is that what they're calling your kind now?
Lydia watches Otho thoughtfully. Suddenly very cur- ious.
Delia senses that Lydia might talk ghosts here.
DELIA (a threat; quietly to Lydia) Don't you dare.
LYDIA I saw some ghosts.
DELIA (interrupting) Lydia tried to play a most amusing joke on me this afternoon.
LYDIA It wasn't a joke.
DELIA Tried to convince me that this house is haunted. Kids. Kids. Kids! I love them.
Otho's glance sharpens at this. Everyone else listens.
GRACE By ghosts?
LYDIA By what else?
DELIA (laughing it away) In sheets yet. Designer sheets. They --
Charles, seeing things aren't going well for Delia, proposes a toast.
CHARLES I propose a toast to our intrepid friends. Who braved the expressway and fourteen toll booths to visit us. May your buildings go condo.
All lift their wineglasses. All drink. All synchro- nously spit out their wine. All together now...
Charles lifts the wine bottle from the cooler. Disgust spans the room.
ON bottle -- it bears the familiar spread wings of Thunderbird!
BERYL Thunderbird wine? My God, Delia, don't you even have a Safeway up here?
DELIA (horrified; but recovering) Joke Joke! Charles get the good wine and I'll serve the shrimp. It's a joke.
Delia stares a spike through Lydia. Delia and Charles rush into the kitchen. Otho looks at his glass and peers at Lydia.
INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT
Delia rushes to get the sushi. Charles finds some good wine.
DELIA (rapidly; furious) Lydia switched wines. Charles -- if you do not agree right now, to boarding school, you can forget having what you call sex -- ever again in your natural lifetime.
He nods reluctantly. She rushes back to guests.
INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT
Lydia is looking around curiously. Delia and Charles rush back in with sushi and good wine. Delia pours for Bernard, the obvious connoisseur. He tastes the wine. All wait. Is it Kerosene du Pape? He smiles. All smile.
Otho is more interested in Lydia's story. He leans toward her...
OTHO Now, Lydia... Favor us about your ghosts.
DELIA No! Do not encourage this little... person.
OTHO Oh, Delia, lighten up!
DELIA She's been without therapy up here and I will not allow her to ruin...
Something comes over her -- she straightens, then crouches a little, her hand sweeps across in front of her, almost mechanically. And then our Delia Deetz, unable to help herself, leaves the whitebread world behind and possessed, sings in someone else's voice, a rich, NEGRO TENOR.
DELIA "If I didn't care, More than words could say."
Lydia's eyes widen. MUSIC UP. All the guests are spellbound.
Charles, too, has the beat -- The Ink Spots in his eyes. In a voice not his own.
CHARLES "If my every prayer, did not begin and end with just your name."
Delia is shocked. She looks at Lydia.
DELIA For God's sake, stop me...
She is cut short by her powerful inspiration.
DELIA "I could not be true to you beyond compare."
ALL THE GUESTS
except Lydia, are possessed to become the chorus. They stand by their chairs, they spin in perfect Motown choreography.
EVERYONE (except Lydia) "Shoo doo wop. Shoo doo wop."
DELIA "If I didn't care... for you..."
EVERYONE "Shoo doo wop. Shoo doo wop."
A look of sheer delight comes across Lydia's face, unlike anything we have previously seen. She dances and claps her hands in time with the music. She is in teen heaven.
NOTE: Delia and the guests are fully aware of their singing/actions, but helpless to stop themselves. While it is funny, it is nevertheless just a little frighten- ing.
Lydia excitedly looks around the room to see if she can see the ghosts. She can't.
Now the song pauses... Everyone tries to recover for a shocked second. Instead, the tempo changes.
As the tempo quickens, the guest/chorus is syncopated like alternating pistons as they are pushed and pulled into their chairs. They sing throughout.
crashes to its end. Bernard looks down at his shrimp cocktail. The shrimp draped over the rice roll suddenly rears up like a hand and, making a tiny fist, grabs his dangling tie and... smash --
WIDER -- All the guests are punched by the shrimp, back over their chairs to the ground. They are stunned. Suddenly everyone runs frightened into the next room.
EXT./INT. ATTIC ROOM - NIGHT
Adam and Barbara with huge smiles on their faces, dance the bugaloo then hug and kiss on the landing in front of the attic. Door is open.
TOGETHER We did it!
ADAM Let's watch 'em scatter.
They enter the attic and run to the window. Look out over the front yard.
YARD OF HOUSE - THEIR POV - NIGHT
filled with the cars of the guests, as well as Delia and Charles' vehicles.
ADAM (O.S.) Any minute now. They'll all run screaming.
BACK TO SCENE
They wait. Nothing moving outside.
BARBARA Your Ink Spots were wonderful!
Adam smiles proudly.
ADAM And your shrimp was remarkable.
BARBARA My shrimp? I did the wine. Didn't you do the sushi?
ADAM N... No, I just did the Ink Spots.
BARBARA (V.O.) Who did the?
Timid KNOCK at the door of the attic.
Barbara glances at Adam. They don't know what to do.
LYDIA (from outside the door) It's me. Lydia.
Adam, puzzled, goes to the door and opens it. Lydia is standing there, sheepish.
LYDIA (continuing) They'd like for you to come downstairs. Delia says you can pick any sheets you want.
INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
The guests are sitting expectantly. The photographs are being passed around. The wheels are turning in Charles' mind -- he sees a gold mine. Everyone speaks at once.
DELIA It does indicate a marvelously urbane sense of humor on the part of these ghosts -- that they actually appear in sheets!
OTHO We're dealing with Tracy and Hepburn here, a very sophisticated pair. We must protect them, treat them with respect. Nurture them.
CHARLES People will pay big money for this. Right, Grace?
GRACE (nodding) Charles, I want to know why you didn't tell me about this --
DELIA (now changing her tune) We were waiting for proof. Lydia's photographs...
Charles is scheming.
BERNARD (skeptical) What are you all talking about? We... we just got a little drunk, that's all.
OTHO No matter how drunk you get, you cannot sound like the Ink Spots. (to Charles) Charles, this is it! You can get Maxie Dean up here now.
Charles plots and plans.
OTHO His wife Sarah loves the supernatural. I did a reading for her just last week. Told her her jowls would tighten soon. I mean she will make him sprint up here in his helicopter if you can produce ghosts for her.
BERYL The "Enquirer" has offered fifty thousand dollars for absolute proof of life after death. I'll send them over.
BERNARD I'm Delia's agent! I've lost money for years on her work. If anything actually happened here, I'll handle it, thank you. But not until I see some real proof.
Lydia appears at the base of the stairs. Everyone stops squabbling, looks at her expectantly.
LYDIA They don't want to come down.
OTHO Why not?
Bernard shakes his head as if all this were an elaborate hoax. He harumphs!
LYDIA I think the reason is they were trying to scare you, and you didn't get scared --
DELIA Of course we weren't scared. (looking around) Just a little startled. One of those shrimp dropped down my Kamali.
Bernard is now convinced this whole business was a put- on.
BERNARD (shaking his head) Total collective hallucination.
BERYL I was a little tipsie.
DELIA This was not a hallucination, people. This was real, really totally real.
GRACE Of course, they were rather spectacular effects -- for Connecticut, I mean.
OTHO All presences have a home space. A place where they live, so to speak. Where do they hide out?
LYDIA (reluctantly) The attic.
CHARLES The attic room is locked --
LYDIA They're ghosts. They do what they want.
OTHO Fabulous! Otho Fenlock's "Locked Door" ghosts! Probably committed suicide up there -- hanging like beeves from the rafters. I'm totally enchanted.
Bernard gathers Grace and Beryl and walks out the door.
BERNARD Delia, you are a flake. You have always been a flake. I'm packing up and going back to the tricks of the city. That I can manage. If you must frighten people, do it with your sculpture.
They exit. Delia is horrified and embarrassed.
DELIA Wait! I'm going to get to the bottom of this! Lydia, is this some high-tech trick of yours? I want you to take us up there tout sweet!
INT. LANDING OUTSIDE OF ATTIC
Delia, Charles, Otho and Lydia -- creep, creep.
DELIA (whispering) Shhh. They're in there? God, they live like animals. This is where they've been hiding out?
Lydia nods. Delia suddenly, brashly pounds on the door.
DELIA (shouting) All right, you dead people! Come on out, or we'll break down this door and drag you out on the ropes you hanged yourself with!
LYDIA Shhhh. They didn't commit suicide.
DELIA It doesn't matter. What matters is I've got a roomful of guests down there, who think I'm a fraud. (to Lydia) I am going to teach you something here Lydia. You've got to take the right tone in things like this, or people -- whether they're dead or alive -- people will walk all over you. (loud) Come on out, or I will make death so miserable that you will wish you had never lived!
Delia pounds on door, which opens with an eerie CREAK.
INT. ATTIC - DAY
Lydia is pushed in first. She looks around. Delia, Charles and Otho come in next, carefully. One by one they straighten up and look around.
DELIA (whisper) So where are they, Lydia?
Lydia shrugs, looks around.
CHARLES (off-handedly) Answer your mother.
LYDIA Listen, you guys. These ghosts are really nice people. I think we scared them off. Let's just leave them alone. Okay?
Charles is suddenly transfixed. He stares at the model.
CHARLES It's the whole damn town.
They gather around. Lydia is a little sad as she looks at the empty room and the model.
OTHO Look at that detail!
DELIA Look at the tiny figures.
CHARLES Look at all that parking!
LYDIA Come on. Leave their stuff alone.
OTHO They're not here, Lydia?
She shakes her head. Otho spots the handbook. Palms it.
DELIA I have never been so embarrassed... They haven't gone for good, have they?
Delia is suddenly out the door, urging them all outside.
DELIA (continuing) Everyone out of there. If they're in there somewhere, I don't want to scare them away. Come on now, stay out of there. We've got work to do.
Otho pockets the handbook secretly as everyone exits. Delia carefully closes the door.
CAMERA EASES OVER TO THE WINDOW
We see two pairs of hands, white-knuckled, gripping the window sill from the outside.
EXT. HOUSE - NIGHT
Barbara and Adam are hanging outside the window. CAMERA EASES BACK to see that instead of hanging from the house --
They are hanging from a ledge over The Inferno --
circles of rosy hell. Several devilish Monsters slaver up at them, hoping for new meat for the furnace. Small geysers spurt foul gasses.
BLOW hard on Adam and Barbara. They struggle to hold on and pull themselves back up and into the window.
ADAM Juno, help! Juno!
After nearly falling, Adam barely saves Barbara and they finally make it up, and disappear into the window.
INT. ATTIC LANDING - NIGHT
Delia, Charles and Otho all start down the stairs, one by one. All are holding the handrail.
DELIA Lydia, I will never forgive you for embarrassing me in front of my social inferiors. You help us with these ghosts or you'll be sorry.
LYDIA I'm sorry already.
CHARLES (fixing on Otho) Now, let's get back to business. I I want to get Maxie Dean and Sarah up here immediately. I can make history here! I'm going to turn this sleepy little backward town into a leading supernatural research center... and amusement park.
LYDIA (disgusted) I cannot believe this.
CHARLES Delia will cook...
Delia glares at him.
CHARLES (continuing) I'll bring the wine... and the business plan. And Lydia -- you'll bring the ghosts.
LYDIA (frustrated) I can't bring the ghosts. They're not here!
CHARLES ... Otho, could you actually... do something with them?
OTHO (pats the handbook under his coat) Perhaps... if I were properly motivated...
LYDIA That's slavery and murder. You don't know them. They're nice people!
POV -- down the handrail, as they walk downstairs. Lydia lags behind, sullen.
LOWER END OF THE HANDRAIL
lifts, and turns. The handrail has become a long, fat, diamond-backed snake -- unlike any we have ever seen. It flashes terrifying steel teeth and a red-feathered comb. It turns and HISSES at them.
She screams as she looks down at her hand on the rail -- it grips the scaly, throbbing, dripping body of the snake.
just gets longer and nastier as it turns back in the air, up the stairs toward them. Its tail circles Delia and spins her like a top. When she stops -- the snake gives her a big wet snake kiss.
snaps Otho in the behind. It hurts.
rears up and spreads a red-comb and HISSES loudly.
of them fall over each other trying to escape.
hovers horribly over them. Grabs Charles in its coils and squeezes him hard -- his fearful face reddens, then it suspends Charles over the edge of the stairs.
SNAKE We've come for your daughter, Chuck!
leers at Lydia and drops Charles like a rock over the bannister. Charles screams.
Grins at a terrified Lydia.
rears back for a strike, when suddenly, like thunder. One word is heard.
BARBARA Betelgeuse! Betelgeuse! Betelgeuse!
looks up with familiar eyes. At top of stairs stands an angry Barbara.
What happens next is almost too fast for the eye to see.
shrinks and turns back into the regular mahogany hand- rail.
or his outline, whips up the stairs, through the door, and is gone like a rocket.
BETELGEUSE RRRatt shit!
OTHO AND DELIA
rush downstairs -- Lydia is terrified. She runs away.
LYDIA I hate you! I thought you were my friends.
BARBARA No, wait!
Lydia screams and runs down the stairs.
LYDIA (screams) I hate all of you!
Slowly, Barbara returns to the attic.
INT. ATTIC - NIGHT
Adam and Barbara are exhausted. Agitated.
ADAM Great choice we've got here. We get to spend the next century either hanging out that window or doing parlor tricks.
Adam is working with the model town. Barbara is pac- ing.
ADAM Maybe they'll leave now. That snake was a pretty nasty customer.
BARBARA He might have hurt somebody.
ADAM But he didn't. We've got him where we want him.
ON THE MODEL
A column of water shoots high in the air.
Adam rushes over to the model -- looks down.
INT. MODEL - DAY
Betelgeuse has run a beat-up old pickup into a fire hydrant. He stands nearby, hopping mad; shakes his fist at Adam.
BETELGEUSE You pansy-assed cretins! How dare you do that to me. I coulda finished the job!
IN THE ATTIC
Barbara and Adam, obviously disturbed, look at one another with concern.
BETELGEUSE (V.O.) (thin and pip- ing voice) Why did you stop me?
BARBARA I don't like Charles Deetz particularly, but you could have killed him.
BETELGEUSE Hey, I've been bottled up for six hundred years. Every dog has his day. This is my town. I need a night to howl.
ADAM This is my town.
BETELGEUSE You wish! I nearly scored with that little blonde. I need me a short little queen.
Angry, Barbara reaches down into the model and plucks Betelgeuse up.
Barbara lifts him up toward her, squeezing him slightly.
BARBARA You leave her alone, you horrid little prick!
CLOSEUP - BETELGEUSE IN BARBARA'S HAND
Betelgeuse grins. Suddenly large spikes shoot out all over his body, piercing the skin of Barbara's palm and fingers. Barbara's blood is a rich pink.
She squeals and releases the evil spirit and he plum- mets.
EXT. MODEL - DAY
Betelgeuse lands on the town common. Betelgeuse is defiant.
BETELGEUSE Go ahead. Make my millenium!
We hear the tinny strains of "Honky Tonk Angel" as if from down the street. He turns around to follow it.
BETELGEUSE This burg got a cathouse? I'm getting anxious if you know what I mean. Six hundred years and all.
He turns the corner to a whorehouse, with women -- women with demon horns -- hanging out of the window, beckoning. Betelgeuse rubs his hands together and swaggers inside.
INT. ATTIC - DAY
Barbara aghast, watching this from above.
BARBARA Adam! Why did you build a whore house? Have you ever been to...?
ADAM I didn't --
He doesn't finish -- a strong WIND blows through the attic, nearly knocking Barbara and Adam over. They close their eyes against the gale.
When they open their eyes again, they're no longer in the attic. They're in --
INT. JUNO'S OUTER OFFICE - DAY
A cubicle in a much larger office. Miss Argentina swishes by.
RECEPTIONIST God, you have got her steaming now.
She exits. There are other special workers. The place is really, really busy. Adam and Barbara sit down to wait. Juno storms through with a sheaf of papers. She sees them. She is steaming mad.
JUNO The whorehouse was my idea. I want Betelgeuse out of the picture! We've got some serious talking to do.
BARBARA About what?
JUNO You people have really screwed up! I received word that you allowed yourselves to be photographed. And you let Betelgeuse out and didn't put him back, and you let Otho get ahold of the handbook.
ADAM Handbook? When...?
JUNO (continuing tirade) Never trust the living! We cannot have a routine haunting like yours provide incontrovertible visual proof of existence beyond death.
ADAM Well, we didn't know --
A BUNCH OF FOOTBALL PLAYERS
follow Juno like hungry dogs.
DUMB #1 Hey, Coach, where's the men's room?
JUNO (frustrated) I'm not your coach. He survived.
DUMB #2 You don't need a men's room. You're not no man no more. But Coach, let me get this -- What's our curfew over here?
They start squabbling. Juno has to wrangle them into another room.
JUNO (frustrated) I'll be right back.
INT. KITCHEN - DAY
Charles sits at the table with a small bandage on his head. Delia takes off her Gucci belt and whips it on a chair absent-mindedly.
DELIA I feel like we've been at war, Charles.
CHARLES At least insofar as we have our first casualty. Me.
DELIA Otho'll know what to do.
CHARLES What's he going to do? Viciously rearrange their environment?
DELIA Otho knows just as much about the supernatural as he knows about interior design.
CHARLES Let's hope he knows how to produce those damn ghosts for Max and Sarah... Because I've bought options on property all over town. I need Max's financing...
DELIA Just don't tell Lydia.
CHARLES Why not?
DELIA I think she's in with them.
INT. LYDIA'S BEDROOM - DAY
It's dark. The bedroom curtains have been closed. DRAMATIC OPERA MUSIC builds throughout.
Lydia melodramatically dressed in a long black dress appears carrying a candle. She is softly crying.
She sits at her dressing table, the candlelight shows her writing paper. She begins a very dramatic letter.
LYDIA I am alone.
She looks at it and crumpling the paper, starts again.
LYDIA (continuing) I am utterly... alone. You have sealed my fate with your betrayal. I can no longer stand to be used like a puppet between two deceitful worlds. By the time you read this, I will be gone, having jumped off...
She scratches that out.
LYDIA (continuing) ... having plummeted off the Winter River Bridge. Then you will know that I am no longer a toy in your petty feuds. Goodbye, Lydia.
A tear falls on the paper as she folds it and puts it in an envelope. OPERA MUSIC BUILDS AND CONTINUES.
INT. CHARLES' OFFICE - DAY
Lydia slowly makes a copy of the suicide note. The green of the Xerox light falls eerily on her sad face.
INT. HALLWAY - DAY
Lydia at bottom of attic stairs.
LYDIA'S POV - STAIRS AND DOOR AT TOP
They look ominous. She starts upward.
INT. ATTIC ROOM - DAY
The door opens and Lydia peers in.
The room is empty. Lydia comes inside.
LYDIA Are you here?
She hears SOMETHING. Looks all around the room. Nothing.
LYDIA (continuing) Mr. and Mrs. Maitland? I've come for the last time? (laying note on table) Where are you? Barb...
BETELGEUSE (V.O.) They're dead.
Lydia looks around, then peers into model.
BETELGEUSE (V.O.) (continuing) Think small. I'm talking to you.
EXT. MODEL TOWN - BUILDING ROOF - DAY
A tiny Betelgeuse on the roof of a building, wearing a silk dressing gown, looking like he just dragged him- self out of bed. One of the horned whores is nude, sunbathing in the corner, and Betelgeuse drapes a blanket over her. Lydia's face looms enormous in the sky.
BETELGEUSE Cookie, they are dead, dead, deadski.
LYDIA Of course they're dead. They're ghosts.
BETELGEUSE No, I mean they've gone. Decamped. Split. Vanished.
LYDIA Where'd they go?
BETELGEUSE The happy hunting ground. Who cares?
LYDIA Are you a spirit too?
BETELGEUSE Sort of. High spirit. Heh heh. Listen, cookie, I've been trapped in this burg for hundreds of years. All I want is to get out.
LYDIA I want to get in.
BETELGEUSE You do? Over here? On my side?
LYDIA I think so.
BETELGEUSE (scheming quickly) Well, yes, of course. It's great over here. You'll meet all the greats. James Dean. Sid Vicious...
LYDIA Well, it can't be any worse than my life here.
BETELGEUSE (sinister, encouraging her) That's right. They treat you like scum, I bet?
BETELGEUSE I can't help you from this side, but here's how we do it. So simple. Say my name three times. That's all. I'll be all yours. Then I'll bring you over here in style.
LYDIA I... I don't know what your name is.
BETELGEUSE Minor problem. The rules. I can't tell it to you. But.. do you know how to play charades?
BETELGEUSE Of course you do.
He holds up two fingers in a V.
LYDIA Two words.
Betelgeuse holds up one finger.
LYDIA (continuing) First word.
Betelgeuse puts two fingers on his arm.
LYDIA (continuing) Three syllables.
BETELGEUSE No, dummy. Two.
LYDIA Your fingers are so small I can't see them. First word -- two syllables.
He points behind her.
LYDIA (continuing) I don't know what that signal means.
BETELGEUSE It means look behind you, bimbo.
Lydia looks behind her. A greet beetle the size of a Volkswagen is crouching. Its feathery antennae reach out toward her menacingly. Lydia yelps.
BETELGEUSE Good girrrl!
POP! The beetle disappears. Betelgeuse holds up two fingers.
LYDIA (still shaken) Second word. Be careful.
Apprehensive, she jumps when a simple carton of orange juice materializes. Orange juice pours out into a ghostly glass.
LYDIA Breakfast? Orange?
The orange juice disappears. He shakes his head.
LYDIA Breakfast beetle? Beetle? Beetle fruit? Fruit bat? Fruit Battle? Volkswagen? Fruit wagon?
BETELGEUSE Good thing you are a beautiful kid. You are dumb!
Betelgeuse does the signal for "Now Put Them Together."
LYDIA I am not! Beetle... Juice?
BETELGEUSE (jumping with delight) That's it!
LYDIA Your name is Beetle Juice? Yecch! That's as bad as Deeelia Deeetz.
BETELGEUSE It's spelled different, but basically... Now you said it twice, just one more time. And I'll be free. (sinister) And then you'll be free.
Lydia, puzzled, gets the magnifying glass and peers at him.
ON HIS UGLY FACE BIG IN THE GLASS
Betelgeuse jumps in the air, his robe parts -- we don't see anything, but maybe Lydia does.
LYDIA God, you're anatomically correct!
BETELGEUSE Just say it.
LYDIA (recognizing something about him) You were the snake! Right? I know. It was you.
BETELGEUSE You've got to say it!
LYDIA No I don't. I don't take orders from Smurfs.
BETELGEUSE How'd you like to be married to... the King...?
Lydia doesn't get it.
BETELGEUSE (continuing) ... Elvis?... (boasting) You know, ever since he came over he and I have been just like this. (crosses his fingers) I can arrange it. Just say my name one more time.
She thinks about that one. Shakes her head.
LYDIA No, No... I need to talk to Barbara.
BETELGEUSE Well, cookie, just say my name. I can get her. (rubbing his horny little hands together) That and so much more...
Lydia walks around thinking for a moment.
LYDIA Who else did you say is over there?
INT. JUNO'S OFFICE - DAY
Juno staring at them, hard.
JUNO Yes... or no? Do you want the Deetzes out or in?
BARBARA What about Betelgeuse?
JUNO Forget him. He'll remain with his whores until someone calls him. You need to worry about people like Otho. There are a lot of phony trance mediums. They usually can't make the formulas work, but if Otho stumbles on the right words in that handbook... he could hurt you. As in -- exorcism.
They both look puzzled.
JUNO (continuing) In plain English -- that's death for the dead. I don't care what it takes, just get them out of there now. It's not pretty, but -- that's death!
Adam stands to go.
JUNO (continuing) Wait a minute. Let's see what you're going to do...
They look at Juno.
JUNO (continuing) ... to scare her. I want to make sure it's not some silly parlor trick.
Barbara looks at Adam.
ADAM I'll do the hard part, hon.
reluctantly pulls on his face, and contorts it into a living, breathing, horror. Juno is even a little repulsed.
JUNO Not bad. Not bad. Now you? Go ahead.
She reluctantly does with her face a minor version of Adam's horror.
JUNO (continuing) Okay. You look great! Now go clean house. And don't forget the photographs and the damned handbook.
Barbara and Adam slowly stand and walk out the door. Barbara/Monster looks back pleadingly. Football players flood into Juno's office. One PARTICULARLY DUMB PLAYER has a revelation. (He's pretty grisly, maybe sat too close to the engine.)
PARTICULARLY DUMB PLAYER Coach! Coach, I don't think we survived the crash!
Barbara and Adam look at each other and continue out the door.
OUTSIDE JUNO'S OFFICE
They enter a long dark hallway. They suddenly find themselves standing in front of Lydia's room. Adam/ Monster looks at Barbara/Monster as he grabs the door- knob. She stops him. Tears fall down her sad ghostly face.
BARBARA Adam. I can't do it. I like that little girl.
ADAM/MONSTER It's too late. Sometimes things just work out this way. We have to, honey.
BARBARA/MONSTER No we don't. We can rebel or something. We'll just stay up there in our room. I'll read, you can build on the model. Come on.
She rushes up the stairs, toward the attic. He follows her.
ADAM/MONSTER Wait. We can't, honey. Our house...
She gets to the door. Grabs the handle.
BARBARA I want to be with Lydia!
She throws open the door.
INT. ATTIC - DAY
Lydia is standing over the model, about to say Betelgeuse's name.
LYDIA Okay. Beetle... J...
Barbara/Monster, horrified, screams!
BARBARA/MONSTER ! Lydia, stop!
Adam/Monster runs to grab her. Lydia is terrified. Screams.
ADAM/MONSTER No, don't say it!
BETELGEUSE Say it! Rat shit!
Betelgeuse slips off the roof into a patch of thorny bushes.
INT. ATTIC - NIGHT
Lydia screams, Adam/Monster tries to calm her. Lydia struggles and, thinking she is being attacked, runs out the door. Smack into Barbara/Monster.
Barbara catches her, frightens Lydia even more. Barbara holds onto her as she struggles. Barbara/ Monster slowly changes back into regular Barbara. Lydia sees who it is and she hugs her. Like mother and daughter.
ON ADAM - slowly returning to himself. He smiles slightly at the scene.
BETELGEUSE (O.S.) You lily-livered bleeding hearts!
BARBARA I'm so sorry we frightened you. What were you doing?
LYDIA He... Beetle Jui...
Barbara quickly puts her hand over her mouth.
LYDIA (continuing) He said if I let him out he would take me over to the other side to find you.
BARBARA No, Lydia, we're dead.
LYDIA I want to be dead, too.
BARBARA (shocked) No you don't! No... Lydia... Why?
LYDIA (after a pause, dramatically but for real) Life is just... unliveable...
Barbara hugs her. She fumbles for words. This is an unusual situation, a dead person talking a live person out of killing herself. She rocks Lydia a little. Barbara looks at Adam.
BARBARA Lydia, believe me... we know... all the hard stuff is the same over here. You're going to be who you are... whether you're alive or dead... and over here -- it's... It's flat... there's no food, no colors... you can't smell the flowers. (thinking) If we knew then what we know now... we'd have been more careful...
ADAM (in the style of the dead receptionist) ... we wouldn't have had our little accident.
Lydia looks at Barbara lovingly.
BARBARA So never let Beetlejuice out -- never. Besides... (looking at Adam) We're thinking about letting everyone stay... you and your father and mother can stay too.
LYDIA (smiles and says slowly) Step... mother.
is not sure, huffs around a little. He is trying to change back into Adam, except for his nose, which remains like a beak for a minute. Finally, it changes too.
Lydia and Barbara laugh at him.
Without noticing Lydia, Otho and Charles push in through the door and grab the model. They take it out the door.
Adam is beside himself. Doesn't know what to do.
Barbara stops him from taking action.
ADAM What is going on?
LYDIA Really. I don't know.
Adam looks suspiciously at her.
LYDIA (continuing) I really don't. I'll go find out.
She runs out the door.
BARBARA Be careful.
INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT
Lydia runs through the hallway and into the dining room.
INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT
Lydia walks into a presentation in progress. Sitting around the table are Otho, Maxie, and Delia. Sarah Dean is there, too. She looks around Lydia hoping for ghosts. Sarah is heavily made up, smells bad.
Lydia's photos of the sheeted ghosts are blown up and standing on a nearby easel. Charles, over the model with a pointer, is lost in mid-sentence.
CHARLES -- In short, I've got options to buy enough of Main Street to control the city council for a hundred years. And at the prices I'm talking about, if it all fell apart tomorrow, we just move out and sell to the Arabs and we still come out... I've talked to Ed Cornwall about a wax museum, here... in Thanksgiving Park... Ed's the man who made the talking Jesse Jackson statue. And I've got a museum dedicated to 50 Great Moments in the Paranormal -- and parenthetically, D-Con wants to the right to start an insect zoo here in the old hardware store. (seeing Lydia) Lydia, did you finally decide to join us?
They all give her an oily smile.
CHARLES Honey, I am just finishing the first phase presentation about our little project here. Then we'll take a stretch and invite our friends... to meet your friends.
Sarah gets Maxie's attention and unable to contain her excitement, silently urges him to get on with the ghosts.
SARAH Are they here yet?
MAXIE Yes, Charles, let's cut the bullcorn. We're here to see ghosts. This whole ghost town museum and such like follows a train, if you've got the engine... so let's see your goddamned engine.
Everyone looks at Lydia.
LYDIA They're... not here anymore.
CHARLES (smiling apologetically) Nonsense, every time she says that, the paint peels, and some wild creature tries to kill us.
SARAH (motioning) We've got these pictures, Lydia.
LYDIA No, really... they said they might come back and all of us could live in peace if you agreed not to tease them or make them do silly tricks.
Sarah is disappointed. She goes to Maxie. Delia takes over.
DELIA She's become a little emotional about all this. No counseling up here. But we aren't relying on her. No, we rely on professionals. We have... Otho.
The whole room turns to Otho. Who is scribbling some- thing and mumbling.
CHARLES Are they still here, Otho?
Otho looks up; he missed the question.
DELIA Are they still here, Otho?
OTHO Oh, they're still here. They're just not showing up.
CHARLES They're probably guilty about what they did to me.
DELIA Not these people! They are ruthless!
MAXIE I don't care from guilt. I just want to see them.
CHARLES Otho, can you do it?
OTHO It's tricky, but I think I can handle it.
He dramatically produces the handbook.
Lydia begins to think about this scene and she shifts to another point of view.
LYDIA Wait a minute! What am I worried about? Otho, you can't even change a tire!
OTHO (taking the challenge) I'll need something personal of theirs.
LYDIA You'll have to go to the Goodwill.
Delia gets an idea.
EXT. HOUSE - NIGHT
The moon stares down icily through gray clouds. Wind up.
INT. ATTIC - NIGHT
Barbara is looking out the window.
BARBARA (wistful) You know, I've been thinking. I could teach Lydia to sew.
ADAM Little black party dresses?
BARBARA (punching him playfully) Ah, Adam, you don't know anything about little girls. She's just... missed out on some love, that's all...
ADAM (huffy) Let's see if she can get my model back.
BARBARA You can build another one... with her.
Adam isn't convinced. Barbara motions him to sit next to her.
BARBARA (continuing) Come here, I want to talk to you.
INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT
Delia carefully brings out a big plastic bag. Lays something out on the dining room table.
DELIA I'm deeply sentimental about... weddings.
Lydia stands to see: Delia carefully lays out Barbara's white wedding dress. Then next to it, Adam's wedding tux.
Lydia looks at it. A chill runs through her.
LYDIA (hushed realization) Their wedding clothes.
OTHO (dramatically) Their wedding clothes.
Otho then holds up the handbook.
SARAH The "words".
INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Lydia is nervous now. Otho lights a candle and Delia turns out the lights.
OTHO Hands vermillion / start of five bright cotillion / raven's dive nightshades promise / spirit's strive, to the living / let now the dead... come alive.
Nothing happens. Lydia nervously turns away.
LYDIA (sarcastically) Doo wah.
Then a SIZZLE, a TINY CRACKLE, along one side of the square.
INT. ATTIC - NIGHT
Barbara with her arm on his shoulder, talks to Adam.
BARBARA We've been given a gift here, honey. A real live little girl. She likes us a lot. She needs us. Maybe that's why we died so young, to keep us from getting so... attached to things. The house, antiques, your model. Look at us. We didn't have room for anyone.
ADAM (after a long thought) What makes you think she likes me?
Barbara slowly smiles. He does too.
He turns to Barbara. CAMERA HINGES WITH him to see --
Her face is frightened. She cannot speak. She reaches out to him -- but is disappearing. He reaches for her but she is suddenly -- GONE.
INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT
Varicolored lightning bolts shoot from every corner of the square. A gasp from everyone but Lydia.
ON LYDIA -- she is looking away. She turns to see:
ON THE DRESS
Barbara's wedding dress floats over the table and fills slowly, painfully, with the arms, legs and finally the frightened face of Barbara. A lightning bolt flares.
Lydia rises slowly to her feet, unable to resist.
More lightning bolts.
OTHO As sudden thunder / Pierces the night; As magic wonder / Mad affright Rives asunder / Man's delight: Our ghost, our corpse and we Rise to be.
Lydia walks slowly toward Barbara.
She is in pain, she is very slowly aging. She speaks, but no words can be heard. Not even by Lydia. But we can see she is calling for... Adam.
LYDIA Stop it!
Lydia screams for Adam.
LYDIA Adam. Adam.
OTHO (louder) As flies the lizard / Serpent fell; As goblin vizard, / At the spell Of pale wizard, / Sinks to hell; The buried, dead, and slain... Rise again.
INT. ATTIC - NIGHT
In a lightning flare we see: Adam searching for Barbara. He rushes out into the hallway.
ADAM Barbara! Barbara? Ba...
His last plaintive call becomes mute as he too begins slowly to disappear.
INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT
On each of the watchers one by one, scared but delighted too. No one is watching Lydia.
ON LYDIA -- tears well up in her eyes.
She is slowly aging. Now a bewildered Adam appears, floating in his wedding suit. Seeing his Barbara, now older than he is, Adam reaches for her hand...
ON HANDS -- as he grasps her hand, it seems to be made of white crepe; it wrinkles and nearly collapses.
Adam... puzzled, calls her name silently.
DELIA What's happening to them?
OTHO I don't know.
CHARLES Are they suffering?
LYDIA (screams) They're dying.
MAXIE They're already dead. They can't feel a thing.
Obviously not true.
ON BARBARA -- she looks down slowly at Lydia and with effort makes a loving smile. She reaches out toward Lydia.
Completely helpless now, Lydia weeps openly and then something comes over her. She rushes across the room. Stares down at the model.
LYDIA Where are you? Help us! Please. Betelgeuse!
A CRACK OF LIGHTNING.
EXT. MODEL TOWN GRAVEYARD - NIGHT
Someone, or something, like the figure of death in the Goya drawing, is perched atop the gravestone of Barbara and Adam Maitland. The graves beneath him are open. The figure turns... it is Betelgeuse. He is filing his talons casually.
He speaks with a ghastly rasp.
BETELGEUSE So... You're ready for me now?
LYDIA You've got to help them.
BETELGEUSE Can you help me?
LYDIA (frightened) ... I will.
BETELGEUSE Then I'll help them. For a price.
LYDIA W... What is it?
BETELGEUSE (his words echo horribly Be... my... queen!
LYDIA (repulsed) Your qu...? But you're...
BETELGEUSE (smiling devilishly) I'm beeyoo-teeful.
She is chilled. Steps back. She turns back to the Maitlands who are continuing to age. Looks back to the model.
LYDIA ... All right... Betelgeuse...
He doubles in size. The tombstone crumbles beneath him...
LYDIA (V.O.) (louder) Betelgeuse...
WIDER ON GRAVEYARD
He doubles in size again.
ON BETELGEUSE - TIGHT
He looks up at her confidently.
DINING ROOM - NIGHT
Barbara and Adam's corpses are nearly at the end of their ropes.
CHARLES All right, that's enough. Can you stop this now?
Otho doesn't answer.
CHARLES (continuing) Otho?
OTHO It's too late, Charles. I'm sorry.
INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT
Lydia peers at the model. Betelgeuse is transforming. There's a LOW RUMBLE. The model town starts to shake.
INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT
Lydia backs away. Betelgeuse's head, now human-size, rises from the center of the model town.
TIGHT ON HIS FACE
His grin is malevolent and malicious. It's showtime, folks!
BETELGEUSE Attention, K-Mart shoppers!
-- who have been focused on the Maitlands now turning around to the model.
Betelgeuse begins a bright but sinister Carnival Barker's pitch. His shoulders now are clearing the model.
BETELGEUSE Welcome to Winter River!
Sarah rushes over to the model, thinking this is more of the show. Maxie follows.
BETELGEUSE Hel LO Piggies! Welcome to Winter River! See the Museum of Natural Greed. The Monument to Bored Businessmen! Come closer!
Suddenly Betelgeuse's arms elongate, swell and CRACKLE.
ON MAXIE AND SARAH
Their eyes grow wide.
TIGHT ON BETELGEUSE'S HANDS
They split, unfurl, and transmutate into two, shiny, huge sledgehammers.
He grins, his eyes sparkle in anticipation. CARNEY MUSIC UP.
BETELGEUSE (roughly to the tune of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town") You better not sell, you better not buy...
ON MAXIE AND SARAH
Behind each of them, a graduated CARNIVAL BELL RINGING GAME STANDARD erects itself.
BETELGEUSE (still singing) Or old Uncle Beetle Claus will be makin'... you... fly.
Betelgeuse swings his hammer/hands and sends Max and Sarah zooming through the roof. GONG. GONG.
BETELGEUSE (in style of game show host) Yowser, yowser. Well, who do we have here tonight?
He looks up at the suspended Maitlands.
BETELGEUSE Let's have a hand for the Maitlands, Barbara and Adam. They deserve a rest.
Wispy shadows by now, but still alive/dead. They fall in a heap on the floor. NOTE: They immediately start to regenerate themselves.
BETELGEUSE Well, we'll get back to them after they recover from their flight.
Filling out again, he struggles to stand, but falls. Barbara shakes her head, trying to regain her focus.
BETELGEUSE (looking around) My God, what ugly wall dressing. Who is responsible for all this ugliness? (spying Otho trying to hide) Otho, it's you! Watch out for the taste patrol!
He waves and the door opens. A little Italian gentle- man appears.
OTHO No. Noooo! My God. It's Giorgio Armani!
GIORGIO Before youa getta started herea, I joost wanta to saya, Otho, don'ta weara my stuff? Okay? Youa too fat for human-type clothes. Ita makes my designs looka like aircraft covering!
Otho is horrified. Suddenly he looks down and sees his clothing has transformed into a polyester nightmare. He runs out the door screaming. Betelgeuese laughs with delight then focuses on Lydia.
BETELGEUSE Let's leave this crazy world behind us. I'll take you out in style!
Sound of eerie WEDDING MARCH. The fireplace changes into an expressionist altar.
His leering horned whores walk like bridesmaids, in step, through the door. They rush toward Lydia.
Frightened, Lydia is assaulted and pulled forward by these ugly handmaidens; she suddenly looks down and sees she is now clothed in a blood-red wedding dress. Lydia screams!!
BARBARA No... No!
Adam's eyes widen.
LYDIA (frightened, but hurling the incan- tation to make him disappear) No... Betelgeuse. Bet...
Betelgeuse waves a hand and Lydia's mouth freezes. Delia and Charles plead with the recovering Maitlands.
DELIA (frantic) Please, can't you do something! Please!
ON BARBARA AND ADAM
Adam, not fully recovered, heroically tries to speak -- but his jaw falls off. An exhausted Barbara tries to help him reattach it.
Betelgeuse looks at Lydia.
BETELGEUSE You know if we're going to get married, we're going to need witnesses!
Betelgeuse shifts his glare to Charles and Delia. From Behind, Delia's horrid sculptures come to life and attack Charles and Delia. The sculptures twist around them, forcing them to watch the hideous spectacle.
Adam and Barbara are rapidly trying to recover as the ceremony begins.
A DEATH-MASKED OLD PREACHER
slides down the fireplace, ready to perform the service, speaks with a hissing death rattle.
PREACHER Do you, Betel...
His mouth drops and is frozen.
BETELGEUSE Uh-uh! No one says the B word!
PREACHER Do you, _____________, take this woman to be your wedded wife? To honor...
BETELGEUSE (interrupting) You betcha!
Lydia screams and struggles.
PREACHER And... you? Do you, Lydia, take this man?... er, uh... man... to be your lawful wedded husband?... In sickness...
Lydia struggles. Her screams are muffled and distant. Betelgeuse grabs her and shakes her.
BETELGEUSE You don't have to answer him, snookums. I'll do it for you. (eerily, speaking in her voice) I'm Lydia Deetz and I'm of sound mind. The man next to me is the one I want. You asked me... I'm answering. Yes. How I love that man of mine.
Adam, now fully regenerated, moves toward them. He shouts the incantation.
Betelgeuse turns to him and with a sweep of his hand, Adam's teeth (as if they were false), fly out of his mouth and CLATTER to the floor. Adam, toothless, musters up his ghost powers and --
ON TEETH - TIGHT -- they rare back and continue shouting...
Mayhem breaks out. A furious Betelgeuse stomps at them with his feet. The teeth scuttle under the model.
BETELGEUSE (angrily, to old man) Now move it, pops!
Speechless, Adam heroically charges toward Betelgeuse, ready to strike him. Betelgeuse spins on him and waves his hand. SOUND OF RUSHING WIND.
He has been zapped into his model town.
Barbara screams and jumps at Betelgeuse.
Betelgeuse turns on her, eyes flashing.
A gag comes over her mouth.
Adam is running around the streets trying to get out of the model. He looks up into the sky, sees a red glow and THUNDERING WEDDING MUSIC. He doesn't know what to do.
She tears away her face (like tissue) and tries to say his name again...
More angry, he waves his hand.
Her lips are zippered shut.
Desperate, Adam gets an idea. He runs over to the truck Betelgeuse had crashed earlier, jumps in and tries to start it.
She unzips her mouth and tries again.
Fire darts from his eyes....
A chromium steel plate is riveted across her mouth. She screams wordlessly behind it.
Adam finally gets the truck started.
Struggling with her mouth, frustrated to the breaking point, she looks all around the room and rushes to the window and CRASHES through into the night.
Adam sees Barbara rush out. He looks back at Betelgeuse, floors the gas pedal and goes for one last shot.
BETELGEUSE (angry) Now, let's get rolling!
PREACHER Then, by the authority vested in me by...
A RUMBLE comes from outside. Everyone notices but the Preacher. He stutters to finish the wedding.
BETELGEUSE By me! Get on with it!
LOUDER NOISE from outside. Now nearly DEAFENING.
PREACHER Yes... by him. I now pronounce you man and...
The truck is racing up to Betelgeuse's foot. Adam bails out just in time as the truck hits Betelgeuse's foot and EXPLODES, giving him a distracting hot foot, then --
Through it -- amidst a cloud of yellow dust -- CRASHES the sand worm. Barbara rides him bareback. Barbara struggles to control the ROARING worm. She pulls on his ears and looks around for Beetle Juice. Seeing him, she spurs the Worm after Beetle Juice.
Beetle Juice struggles, trying to run from the worm. But Barbara and the worm outmaneuver him, corner him, and when the worm reaches him, he opens his hungry mouth and gulps Betelgeuse in one mouthful.
BETELGEUSE Rrrrat shit!
Barbara leaps off, as the Sand Worm continues down through the floorboards of the house
Betelgeuse is gone. Adam is back to full size. Charles and Delia are no longer held by the sculptures. Lydia runs back to her family and Adam and Barbara. The dust settles.
ON HOLE - JUNO
peers into the room. She pulls the whores through the hole.
EXT. MAIN STREET - WINTER RIVER - A BRIGHT DAY
BIRDS SING. Ernie polishes the lion. Old Bill sleeps. People stroll.
EXT. MISS SHANNON'S BOARDING SCHOOL - DAY
A lovely white boarding school with long, green lawn. A BELL RINGS. Girls come out the front door. Say goodbyes. Lydia walks out too, carrying books.
LYDIA 'Bye, Serena. See you later.
Lydia walks along Main Street of Winter River.
EXT. JANE BUTTERFIELD'S ANTIQUES/TRAVEL/REAL ESTATE
Jane is getting out of her car -- Little Jane follows.
JANE Hellooo! How's school?
LYDIA (not particularly interested) It's okay. How's the dirt business?
JANE Well, I'm expecting a call from your parents. I have some news for them.
Jane hears PHONE RING from inside, rushes in to answer it.
LYDIA Tell them I'll call them tonight.
EXT. MAIN STREET - WINTER RIVER - A BRIGHT DAY
Ernie polishes the lion. Lydia passes.
LYDIA Don't forget the balls, Ernie.
He looks around, surprised.
INT. JANE BUTTERFIELD'S ANTIQUES/TRAVEL/REAL ESTATE
Jane screams into the phone.
JANE What do you mean no? After all I've done for you. I don't do this for my health you know.
CAMERA EXPLORES a row of photographs of houses for sale.
ON PHOTOGRAPH -- of the old Maitland house. It is delapidated and haunted-looking. A legend reads: Fixer-Upper's Special."
BACK TO JANE -- she is frustrated.
JANE I have here a bona fide offer of $250,000.00 for that dump.
Little Jane is now at the Xerox machine. The NOISE irritates Big Jane and she throws a wad of paper at Little Jane. Little Jane gets mad and throws her papers into the air and exits.
INT. NEW YORK APARTMENT - DAY
We recognize the furniture. It's the Deetzes'. Delia is on the phone to Jane. Charles comes in with the Wall Street Journal. He fidgets, taps his fingers, as he reads and pours coffee -- all at once.
DELIA (whisper to Charles) It's Mrs. Butterworth again.
Charles picks up the extension.
CHARLES Listen to me, Jane. We don't want anyone looking at the house. We don't want it painted, the yard mowed, the trees trimmed, nor do we want it termite inspected. It's not for sale.
INT. JANE'S STORE - DAY
Jane listens. Silent. Thinking.
JANE Well. Okay for now. When will you sell it?
INT. NEW YORK APARTMENT - DAY
DELIA (smiles) Never, honey. Never.
She hangs up. Looks at Charles.
DELIA (continuing) Some people never know when to leave things the way they are.
INT. MAITLAND HOUSE - DAY
SOUND OF SWEEPING -- CAMERA eases up -- Barbara is sweeping. Adam working on his model.
ADAM What time is it?
BARBARA 3:30 I guess.
ADAM Give or take a year.
The KITCHEN DOOR SLAMS. Barbara looks up at Adam. They smile.
ADAM Did you get the paint?
LYDIA'S VOICE I got it. And I took pictures of the new church for you, too.
BARBARA How'd you do on the science test?
LYDIA (hangs her head) It was gross. They wanted me to dissect a frog. I told them no way. I said it was against my religion. I got a C.
Adam frowns a little.
BARBARA How did you do on the math test?
Lydia looks down coyly.
ADAM We studied all day yesterday. Don't tell me...
LYDIA I got an A!
They grin with pride.
LYDIA (continuing) So can I?
ADAM (shaking his head) Uh-uh. Only if you got above a C on science.
LYDIA Oh, go on...
BARBARA Oh, Adam, don't tease her. You never got an A in science in your life!
ADAM All right.
ON LYDIA -- she puts down her books. Loosens her collar, ruffles her hair and waits.
ADAM (continuing) Okay.
Lydia looks down. Lydia begins to levitate.
She lifts her head and leaves the white bread world behind! In a voice as deep and soulful as Percy Sledge:
LYDIA "When a man loves a woman. He can't keep his mind on nothin' else."
Behind her ghostly images of the football players appear as back-up.
FOOTBALLERS Oooooo. Hummm oooooo.
LYDIA He'd change the world for the good thing he's found. When a main needs a woman, He cain't keep his mind on nothin' else. If she's bad, he won't see it, she can do no wrong.
MUSIC CONTINUES OVER:
A great pile of sand with the whorehouse in the middle. An irritated Betelgeuse crawls out on the roof. Hating the singing he shakes his fist at the sky -- loses his footing and tumbles into the sand. Terrified, he scrambles to get out.
A moving coil under the sand sends him scurrying inside again. The Sandworm SNAPPING right behind him as he runs back out on the roof.
CAMERA TILTS UP to see house. It is the perfect, New England house. CAMERA PULLS BACK from the model -- out the window of the real house.
Outside the real house -- we see it is dilapidated, and undeniably, the perfect haunted house.