William Shatner’s A Twist in the Tale – Plot Synopsis: A Ghost of our Own

William Shatner’s A Twist in the Tale – Plot Synopsis: A Ghost of our Own



Laura Bradley and her two daughters Jenny (10) and Alison (13) are travelling in great excitement to their new home – the mysterious Bradley House, an unexpected inheritance from a great-uncle they never met. But their taxi driver, the surly Alfie Noakes, is rather less than welcoming: he tells them Bradley House is well-known in the neighbourhood as haunted – and that nobody ever stays there long …

Jenny loves Bradley House from the moment she sees it: she has a curious sense of being in her rightful home there. Alison just thinks it’s spooky; Laura thinks the house is probably, and regrettably, going to be far too expensive to maintain. But Jenny wants desperately to stay, particularly when they uncover the full-length portrait in the Hall of Jonathan Bradley, circa 1780, a stern-faced captain of the Royal Navy. Great-great-great-great-Uncle Jonathan, who vanished in sinister circumstances two hundred years before: is he the famous ghost? Well, at any rate, he’s family!

But does Uncle Jonathan want the modernday Bradleys to stay? From the moment of their arrival strange and alarming events seem to be conspiring to force them out: shadows are half-glimpsed peering from windows, a flowerpot falls from the roof and comes dangerously close to felling Laura, footsteps are heard moving around in the dead of night …

Jenny is not one to be thrown off the scent of a good mystery by a little fright. She is determined to track down the source of the footsteps, whether it be ghostly or mortal – and accordingly she creeps back into the house when Laura and Alison are in town, and discovers hiding in a locked room two stowaways – the cat Bartholemew and the brave and resourceful Tommy, a little boy of about her own age who has run away from the orphan’s home he was placed in, and until the Bradleys’ arrival had been roughing it in the empty house. Tommy is afraid that Jenny will tell Laura about him, and he will be sent back to the Home – but Jenny promises him she will not reveal his presence to anyone: he can go on hiding just as before.


Laura, meanwhile, has been seeking advice on the possibility and wisdom of a sale from the apparently kind and decent solicitor James Pardoe – whose interest in the case seems to be partly motivated by his interest in Laura. Alison, too, is adjusting rapidly to the new town: on the steps of the library, waiting for Laura, she meets a new friend and fellow budding intellectual – Nigel Hargreaves (13).

Laura comes home worried. Not only would the house be a monster to upgrade and maintain, but Pardoe feels that due to its reputation she is unlikely to make any money even from a sale – though he has managed to find an interested buyer for her, at a depressingly low price …

Laura’s worry turns to outright horror as all three Bradleys are woken by terrifying noises in the night. Finally the chandelier crashes down right in front of where they are huddling together for safety, and Laura has had enough – she wants the girls to leave the house with her right now. But of course Jenny knows what the others do not – that Tommy is also here, and that if the place is really being haunted by a malevolent presence she cannot leave him behind. Despite Alison’s protestations she dashes back into the house – and is captured by the man faking these so-called “hauntings”: the Apparition turns out to be none other than their unfriendly taxidriver, the ruffian Alfie Noakes.

But why is Noakes so keen on forcing the Bradleys to sell? With poor Tommy held as prisoner and hostage, Noakes gloatingly reveals all. In fact, the estate of Bradley House is worth a fortune – particularly if the house could be torn down to make room for a new development … The unnamed buyer is Noakes himself – together with his partner, the deceptively sweet James Pardoe, Noakes is out to make a mint. But if Jenny wants to see her friend alive again, she’d better hold her tongue – and make sure Laura signs Pardoe’s papers of sale tomorrow …


Very subdued, Jenmy rejoins her angry mother and sister. Reluctant as she is to leave Bradley House itself, furious as she is to have her family cheated out of its rightful inheritance in this way, it seems she has no choice but to go against all her own wishes and inclinations and try to persuade Laura to go with Pardoe’s duplicitous suggestion.

However, Alison has been suspicious of the lawyer from the start. With Nigel’s help, she discovers the truth about the worth of Bradley House. Despite Jenny’s tearful pleas to leave well enough alone, Alison and Nigel burst into the solicitor’s office just as Laura is about to sign the papers – and spill the beans. Poor Mr. Pardoe, who had been driven to desperation by mounting debts, confesses all.

But his contrition may have come too late for Jenny, who has raced back to Bradley House to save Tommy. Thwarted, Noakes turns nasty on both of them – especially when he receives a call from Pardoe telling him the game is over, he’d best give himself up. He seizes Jenny – she will be his hostage to freedom …


At this desperate juncture, the real ghost of Bradley House enters – not Bartholemew, not Tommy, not Noakes, but Uncle Jonathan himself. “Unhand my niece, you knave!” – and Noakes flees for his life.

So the immediate danger is averted. But there still remains the problem of how the Bradleys can afford to maintain their ancestral home. Nothing easier, Uncle Jonathan tells Jenny – and in one stroke their financial embarrassments and the two-hundred-year- old mystery of his disappearance are solved. Jonathan takes Jenny to a secret room that no one else has ever known of: and there sits Uncle Jonathan’s skeleton, still in his naval uniform, still with its hand poised over the chest of gold coins he had been in the midst of counting at the moment of his death.