Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Miscellaneous Single Episodes
Show: Grand Marquee: Haunt Me a House
Date: Aug 21 1947

CAST:
ANNOUNCER, George Stone
LARRY, smooth-talking / JIM AMECHE
HELEN, slightly daffy
SCHULTZ, elderly, hard-of-hearing
VOICE (2 lines)
WILBUR, mousy, effeminate
MRS. KLUMP, imperious

MUSIC:

THEME ... THEN IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

The National Broadcasting Company's GRAND MARQUEE! GRAND MARQUEE -- lighted by stars -- twinkling, glowing, blazing with myriad lights and colors against the night sky. The National Broadcasting Company's mammoth billboard announces another exciting evening in the world of make-believe!

MUSIC:

FILLS PAUSE ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

ANNOUNCER:

Tonight the GRAND MARQUEE announces a gay and fantastic comedy-drama by Mary McSkiving and Ralph Hunter entitled, "Haunt Me a House," starring Jim Ameche. But before the curtain rises, here's a greeting and a word of introduction from our star himself, [X] Jim Ameche!

SOUND:

APPLAUSE

AMECHE:

How's it goin', Stone? And good evening, ladies and gentlemen. You might call tonight's play an adventure in the world of make-believe, that strange world where houses are actually available, if you're not too particular where you live. Anyway, it all began the day Larry and Helen set out to sell a house -- a feat which is truly remarkable when there are really no houses for sale.

SOUND:

TRANSITIONAL PAUSE

HELEN:

Please, Larry! Not so fast! I can't keep up with you!

LARRY:

A real estate man! Starving right in the middle of a real estate boom! All because I can't get a house to sell!

HELEN:

Well, you sold one house in the past year.

LARRY:

Uh huh. Our own house.

HELEN:

Yeah. Oh, Larry, wouldn't it be wonderful if, say, we were walking along like this and suddenly saw a nice, substantial-looking house--

LARRY:

Yeah, in a quiet, suburban neighborhood like this, all shaded with trees.

HELEN:

Yes, handy to transportation, and all modern improvements.

LARRY:

Empty and just waiting for a live real estate man to take over -- and with a big, beautiful sign--

HELEN:

That said "For Sale by Owner," so you'd know no other agent had it. You know, like-- Like that sign over there.

LARRY:

Oh, yeah. And just that kind of a house, too, so I could-- Hey. Hey, Helen--

HELEN:

Don't interrupt our daydream.

LARRY:

Daydream, nothing! Look, that house!

HELEN:

Why, it-- Larry, it's just what we were talking about, even the sign!

LARRY:

Come on! We're gonna see the owner! We're back in business!

MUSIC:

BRISK BRIDGE ... "WE'RE IN THE MONEY"

SOUND:

HAMMERS SIGN INTO GROUND

LARRY:

There. How's that for a "For Sale" sign?

HELEN:

(LOVINGLY) With your name as agent. Oh, Larry, wasn't he the loveliest man you ever dreamed of? So polite, and so eager to have you handle the sale of his house?

LARRY:

Yeah, that's what got me wondering. Do you suppose he thought we were gonna buy the place, instead of just selling it for him on a commission basis?

HELEN:

Oh, of course not. Why, look at the contract he gave you. You have the exclusive sales rights for the next thirty days.

LARRY:

Yeah. I can't see any catch in it, but with houses so scarce, why did he say, "If you can sell that house, mister, I'll give you twenty percent commission!"

HELEN:

Oh, well, maybe he thought since the house is bigger than usual, the commission ought to be bigger, too.

LARRY:

(CHUCKLES) I hate to disappoint you, dear, but real estate deals don't work that way.

HELEN:

Oh. Well, maybe he just liked your big, plain, honest face. (CHUCKLES)

LARRY:

(CHUCKLES)

HELEN:

Anyway, what do we care, as long as we get the twenty percent?

LARRY:

Well, we don't. Unless--

HELEN:

Unless what?

LARRY:

Well, I got a feeling that-- Oh, never mind.

HELEN:

(NERVOUS) Larry? Larry?!

LARRY:

What? What is it?

HELEN:

I feel eyes!

LARRY:

You feel what?!

HELEN:

Eyes! On the back of my neck!

LARRY:

Well, it's probably a loose hairpin tickling you.

HELEN:

It is not! You know how it is when someone's looking at you, and you can't see 'em; you just know that --

LARRY:

Now, you're just imagining-- Wait. There is an old fellow looking at us over the hedge. Say, he's coming over here.

HELEN:

Oh, Larry! Maybe he wants to buy the house! (FRIENDLY, TO SCHULTZ) Hello!

SCHULTZ:

(APPROACHES) You folks lookin' for somebody?

LARRY:

Well, not exactly. You see, I'm Larry Adams, real estate man; I'm gonna sell this house!

HELEN:

You see, so if you're interested then maybe you could just--

SCHULTZ:

One at a time, now, one at a time! You're gonna what?

LARRY:

I'm gonna sell this house.

SCHULTZ:

How's that again?

LARRY:

I said, I was going to sell the house! Sell the house!

SCHULTZ:

No need to shout about it; I heard you the first time. Jim Schultz is the name. I'm the watchman. Say, you know, you two are pretty lucky, at that.

LARRY:

If you mean our having this house to sell, we are lucky.

SCHULTZ:

'S what I said, 's what I said! Lucky you've got it to sell. Just think if you had to live in it!

HELEN:

Why, what's wrong with it?

SCHULTZ:

Nothin'. I ain't never put no stock in all the crazy talk that's goin' around.

HELEN:

But-- What's the talk about?

SCHULTZ:

I told you. Nothin'. Nothin' you can put your finger on, anyway. Come to think of it, though, you can't put your finger on any ghost, can you?

HELEN:

(STAMMERS) Ghost!

LARRY:

(HIGHLY AMUSED) Oh, ho, ho, ho, ho! I get it! Haunted, huh? Thank goodness, I thought maybe there was something wrong with the plumbing!

SCHULTZ:

Nope. That would be easy! But with ha'nts -- ha! -- ain't no way you can handle ha'nts!

LARRY:

Well, I'll handle 'em. If there are any spooks in there, and they like the place -- I'll sell it to 'em.

SCHULTZ:

You'll do what?!

HELEN:

He said he'd sell it to them!

SCHULTZ:

Sell it to them, yes. Well, it's your neck, if you want to stick it out. Yep, I 'member another fella that talked like that.

HELEN:

Oh, Larry, maybe he's right. We don't want any trouble. If he says that--

LARRY:

And we're not going to have any. If the ghosts won't buy the place themselves, they'll have to move out, because I'm gonna have a customer moving in.

SCHULTZ:

Yep, yep, yep. Sounds just like the other fella. Well, I'll be gettin' along. I wouldn't be caught dead in this place. And something tells me, ya could be!

MUSIC:

BRIDGE ... OMINOUS

HELEN:

Larry, why don't we go back to the apartment? We've been at this house all day!

LARRY:

Yes, and got two hot prospects already! Come on, let's take another look inside.

SOUND:

CREEEEEEAK! OF FRONT DOOR SLOWLY OPENED

LARRY:

Mmmmmmm. Dark.

HELEN:

Yes, well, let's come back in the morning.

LARRY:

Now, come on--

HELEN:

(TERRIFIED) Larry, I can't! Something's holding me back!

LARRY:

Will you quit kidding?

HELEN:

I'm not kidding! Larry, quick! It's dragging me back!

LARRY:

How could--? Well, of all the-- Look at your purse. You caught the handle on the doorknob.

HELEN:

Ohhhh! (CHUCKLES SELF-CONSCIOUSLY) Whew! Well, I could've sworn something had me by the arm and was dragging me away.

LARRY:

(DRY) Sometimes I wish that had happened on our way to the altar.

HELEN:

Larry Adams! Why, Larry Adams, I ought to--

LARRY:

(CAUTIOUS, LOW) Oh, Helen! Sshhh. Stand right where you are.

HELEN:

Hm?

LARRY:

There's something moving behind that drape.

HELEN:

Why, there's a-- Oh, there is! Come on, quick!

LARRY:

There's no use running. (CALLS, NERVOUS) We - we see you there! Now, come out or I'll - I'll shoot!

HELEN:

(LOW) Shoot? What'll you shoot him with?

LARRY:

(LOW) I'll make him think I've got a gun! (CALLS) All right! I'm gonna count to three!

HELEN:

(LOW) What if it's anyone we know?

LARRY:

(LOW) Hand me that vase; I'll throw it. (CALLS) One! Two! Three!

SOUND:

SMASH! OF VASE BREAKING ... SQUEAL! OF CAT WAILING

HELEN:

Oh, it's a cat! Why, Larry Adams!

LARRY:

What'd I tell you?! Letting your imagination run away with you!

MUSIC:

BRIDGE ... "TIGER RAG"

HELEN:

Oh, am I glad to be back in the apartment, knowing we won't have to go back to that scary place again!

LARRY:

Oh, I told ya I'd sell it. Took me only a week, too. Those first prospects fell through, but the minute Mr. Montgomery saw it--

SOUND:

PHONE RINGS, RECEIVER UP

LARRY:

(INTO PHONE) Hello? -- Oh, yes, Mr. Montgomery, I was just going to bring the papers over.

HELEN:

(PLEASED) Oh, swell, Larry -- he's taking it!

LARRY:

(INTO PHONE) Uh, what?! But, Mr. Montgomery, you said-- Well, but - but even so, that doesn't mean that-- Well, that's ridiculous! -- Oh no, no. I'm not doubting your word, but common sense should tell-- (BEAT, RESIGNED) I see. Yes. Yes, okay, Mr. Montgomery. Goodbye.

SOUND:

RECEIVER DOWN

HELEN:

Oh, Larry, don't tell me that he--

LARRY:

Yes, just like the others. For the fiftieth time we've got that spook-infested pavilion back on our hands!

HELEN:

But Montgomery said he'd buy it. Why, they even moved in.

LARRY:

That was my mistake. I should've gotten the money first.

HELEN:

Oh, well, what happened this time?

LARRY:

Just three hours after they moved in, they started hearing the clanking of chains. And footsteps coming from nowhere.

HELEN:

Oh, why don't we just give it up?

LARRY:

What? Eating?

HELEN:

You know what I mean. What good does it do having a house to sell if the ghost in it keeps scaring the customers away?

LARRY:

Mmmm. You're right. As long as the-- (AN INSPIRATION) Say. Say, I've got it!

HELEN:

Got what?

LARRY:

The solution! Start packing, honey. We're gonna move in that house ourselves and scare the ghosts away!

MUSIC:

BRIDGE ... OPTIMISTIC

SOUND:

KNOCK ON WOOD (SHAVE AND A HAIRCUT)

LARRY:

Come in!

HELEN:

(CHUCKLES) No, Larry. That was me -- knocking on wood.

LARRY:

Now, look, you said you'd act sensible out here. For the umpteenth time, I tell ya there's no such thing as ghosts. Now, let's forget it. I'm trying to read.

BIZ:

HELEN AND LARRY WHISPER THE FOLLOWING--

HELEN:

Larry? Larry?

LARRY:

Yes?

HELEN:

Do you think it'll come again tonight?

LARRY:

Do I think what will come again?

HELEN:

That thing. That thing that clanks around upstairs while we're downstairs.

LARRY:

I hope it does. Because, if it does, I'll get it if it's the last thing I do.

HELEN:

But, Larry--

LARRY:

Now look, there's nothing to be afraid of.

HELEN:

Then-- (STOPS WHISPERING) --why are we whispering?

LARRY:

(ANNOYED) I don't know why we're whispering! Why do we do any of the silly things we do?

HELEN:

Temper, temper! Just because your nerves are on edge, you always--

LARRY:

My nerves are not on edge! This is a perfectly normal, peaceful living room. We're perfectly normal, peaceful people. If you insist on imagining--

VOICE:

(ON FILTER; LONG, LOUD BURST OF EVIL LAUGHTER) I am your host -- the Ghost!

HELEN:

(SCARED) Larry--?

VOICE:

(FILTER) Friends, have you tried Silky Smooth sandpaper to vanish goose pimples and leave you with that rough, outdoor-ish look?

LARRY:

Now, who turned that radio on?

HELEN:

I did, when you said you wanted to read. It just takes a little time to warm up. Did it just startle you, dear?

LARRY:

Oh, no. No, I always tremble this way.

HELEN:

Oh, Larry, what are we going to do? We need that commission.

LARRY:

Fat chance o' getting it. I see now why he offered me twenty percent.

HELEN:

Ohhh. Then you finally admit that it is haunted--?

LARRY:

I admit nothing except that a lot of silly rumors are keeping me from selling a perfectly good house.

HELEN:

But, Larry, we heard those noises ourselves. We've heard 'em every night!

LARRY:

There you go. That's exactly the kind of rattle-brain chattering I mean. Why, every screwball in the country knows about this place by now. This, uh-- This letter's an example. From the Hands Across the Psychic Void Society.

HELEN:

What do they want?

LARRY:

Just this place for their headquarters. Said they heard it was "suited" for their "unusual work."

HELEN:

Honestly? Well, let me see the letter.

LARRY:

Oh, okay, if you want to waste your time on-- Oh, I guess I left it at the apartment; all I've got is the envelope.

HELEN:

Oh, well, let me see that. Hmmm. (READS) "The Hands Across the Psychic Void Society; Two-one-oh-seven--" Say, this is exciting!

LARRY:

Yes. It would be to you. Now, let's just settle down--

SOUND:

GHOSTLY MOAN ... CONTINUES IN BG

HELEN:

Larry! Do you hear that noise?

LARRY:

That settles it! If that sound is in this house, I'll find it if I have to tear the place down! Come on!

HELEN:

You think I'm going up--? Larry, wait, I'm coming!

SOUND:

THEIR FOOTSTEPS UP THE STAIRS

LARRY:

Sounds like it's coming right from the head of the stairs. Say, look!

HELEN:

What?

LARRY:

I thought we left that bedroom door open when we came down.

HELEN:

We did. Remember, you purposely went back to open it.

LARRY:

And now it's closed!

SOUND:

GHOSTLY MOAN ... CLOSER NOW

LARRY:

Maybe--

HELEN:

Larry, it's coming from in there. Come on, come on, let's get out of--!

LARRY:

No. We're gonna settle this here and now. Get in back of me. We're going in there!

SOUND:

DOOR CREAKS OPEN WIDER ... RATTLE! OF CHAINS

HELEN:

There is somebody!

LARRY:

Drop that chain and--!

SCHULTZ:

(STARTLED EXCLAMATION)

LARRY:

(SURPRISED) Schultz!

HELEN:

It's the night watchman!

LARRY:

All right. Start explaining.

SCHULTZ:

I reckon you're the one to do the explainin'. Sneakin' in on me. Of all the low, connivin' tricks. Not even knockin', not even--

HELEN:

(APOLOGETIC) Well, we didn't mean to. You see, we just--

LARRY:

Helen, cut it out. We're in the right! I shouldn't even listen to his story before calling the police.

SCHULTZ:

Before doin' what?

HELEN:

He said, "Before calling the police."

SCHULTZ:

I know what he said; I ain't deaf. Go ahead, call the po-lice. I'm supposed to be here on these premises. Here's my watchman's permit, right there.

LARRY:

Fine, fine. Now, show us your permit to rattle chains and moan like a banshee.

SCHULTZ:

Well, might as well tell ya, might as well tell ya. I had to do it. Either that or break up the club.

HELEN:

What club?

SCHULTZ:

Well, a bunch of us boys sort of get together and play pinochle and swap lies. Been meetin' here. Only vacant place here in the whole darned neighborhood!

LARRY:

(REALIZES, AMUSED) Ohhh. Oh, I get it. If we sold the place, that'd mean--

SCHULTZ:

Sure! No place for us boys to go of an evening!

HELEN:

Ohhh, then it was you all the time. There really isn't a ghost.

SCHULTZ:

Ghost?! Lady, if there was a ghost, Jim Schultz would've been out of this place here long ago -- by the dead rattle!

LARRY:

(LAUGHS) What did I tell you, Helen? There had to be a simple explanation. We'll have a new owner in this place tomorrow now that the great mystery is solved.

HELEN:

Well, all right, but you can't tell me that some of those noises weren't the real thing! Ghosts, I mean!

LARRY:

And now, Mr. Schultz, if you've finished your haunting--

SCHULTZ:

Sorry, but I ain't got no time to be gossipin' with ya. I got to get along and break the bad news to the boys.

LARRY:

Yes, that's what I meant. And if you meet any other spooks, will you tell them we're not at home?

SCHULTZ:

What's that?

LARRY:

I said, "If you see any--"

SCHULTZ:

Bad habit you got, young fellow! Bad habit! Always repeatin' yourself! Sure, I'll tell 'em. Goodbye.

SOUND:

DOOR SHUTS

LARRY:

Oh, at last! Now we can sell this place. And what a cinch! No more ghosts, no more dragging of chains, no more mysterious--

SOUND:

THUMP! THUMP! OF INCREASINGLY FAST, LOUD GHOSTLY FOOTSTEPS

LARRY:

Oh, no. Oh, it couldn't be! I saw Schultz leave!

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS OUT ABRUPTLY FOR-- A GHOSTLY SCREAM!

HELEN:

Larry! Larry, there is a ghost!

MUSIC:

BRIDGE ... MYSTERIOSO

LARRY:

Now, Helen, there's no use going all to pieces. There's an explanation for this. There has to be.

HELEN:

You bet there's an explanation. This house is haunted! You can't talk me out of it this time and you can't blame the watchman, either.

LARRY:

But it doesn't make sense. I was out here in the hall almost before the noise stopped. There was no one on the stairs, no one in the hall, and the front door's locked. And no place where anyone could possibly have hidden.

HELEN:

Doesn't have to be. Ghosts are invisible.

LARRY:

Oh, that's ridiculous.

HELEN:

All right, then. If it wasn't a ghost, what was it?

LARRY:

Well, it was-- It was-- Well, I don't know what it was! I'm gonna try to figure it out tonight. Come on, let's call it a day before I--

SOUND:

HUMAN FOOTSTEPS PACING AROUND ON THE FRONT PORCH ... CONTINUES IN BG

HELEN:

Larry? Larry, do you hear that? Somebody out on the porch.

LARRY:

Well, maybe it's someone who saw that "For Sale" sign.

HELEN:

Wait, Larry. Now, I'm not going to have you out there facing a visitor from -- the other world.

LARRY:

Now, wait. Just because somebody came up on our porch-- Well, maybe I ought to take this poker along, though.

HELEN:

You don't have to go out! It's coming in!

LARRY:

Stop calling it "it"! Could be something human. I hope!

HELEN:

Oh, no, no. It'll be something sort of misty and ethereal. It'll look at us with horrible eyes, and then--!

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS OUT WITH -- CREEEEEEAK! OF FRONT DOOR OPENING

LARRY:

Quick, get behind me.

WILBUR:

(MEEKLY) Oh, dear, pardon me. I - I just wanted to see if anyone was home. (NERVOUS LAUGH) Goodness, you - you are, aren't you?

LARRY:

It, uh, does look that way, doesn't it?

HELEN:

(PLEASED) Oh, you're alive.

WILBUR:

Alive? Well, yes, if you count breathing and paying taxes, I am.

LARRY:

Well, what was it you wanted?

WILBUR:

I hate to disturb you, but that "For Sale" sign out in front.

HELEN:

Oh, you mean you're interested in buying the house?

LARRY:

(JUMPS INTO SALES MODE) Why, of course he means that! Come right in! Only too glad to show you what a wonderful bargain you--!

WILBUR:

Ohh, I'd better wait. You see, my mother-in-law--

MRS. KLUMP:

(CALLS, FROM OFF) Wil-bur!

LARRY:

Is, uh, that-- ?

WILBUR:

Uh, yes. That's her.

HELEN:

Oh, well, you shouldn't have made her wait outside.

WILBUR:

Made her? Oh, goodness, you don't know my mother-in-law! Oh, dear. Here she comes.

MRS. KLUMP:

(IMPERIOUS) Wilbur? I thought I told you to call me if they were home. Can't I trust you? (SEES LARRY & HELEN) Oh. Hello. You people own this place?

LARRY:

Uh, well, I'm - I'm the agent for it, Mrs., uh--?

MRS. KLUMP:

Klump. Agnes B. Klump. Now, I believe in getting right down to business. I'm interested in leasing this property.

LARRY:

Leasing it? Oh, wouldn't you be interested in buying it? You know, values are going up!

MRS. KLUMP:

Young man, are you trying to tell me what to do? Do you or don't you want to lease this place?

HELEN:

Oh, he doesn't, he doesn't. I know, you see, he--

LARRY:

Stop, wait, Helen. At least we'd get some money out of a lease, and, uh-- (TO MRS. KLUMP) Well, yes, I do want to lease it.

MRS. KLUMP:

Well. That's better. I won't decide tonight. I have another prospect to look at in the morning.

WILBUR:

Uh, but, mother, don't you think maybe if we waited--?

MRS. KLUMP:

Wilbur Teasley! There's nothing to wait for! Now, I've made up our minds! It's no sense my paying rent on one apartment and you and Lucy paying on another!

WILBUR:

But, Lucy and I have been getting along all right for years.

MRS. KLUMP:

I told you, it's settled. You and Lucy are coming to live with me. (TO LARRY) Well, young man, are you going to show us the house?

HELEN:

Oh, you'll like the house. Er, that is, if you aren't, uh-- Ohh, I'm sure you're not.

MRS. KLUMP:

Not what?

LARRY:

Helen, why don't you go and read a good book while I show them the house?

HELEN:

Well, I just thought I ought to tell them--

LARRY:

(INTERRUPTS, IN FULL SALES MODE) I'm sure you two will want to see the kitchen first! Now, it's right through this handy little hall and chock-full of the latest improvements. And also there's lots of cupboard space and here's your beautiful tile sink and a double drain board. In fact, everything--!

SOUND:

CRASH!

WILBUR:

Oh, dear. What was that?

LARRY:

That? Oh, uh-- Mice!

MRS. KLUMP:

Mice?!

LARRY:

Well, just a couple of them, of course. Don't be frightened.

MRS. KLUMP:

Young man, I'm not afraid of any living thing and I've seen enough of the house. I'll let you know in the morning.

WILBUR:

Mother, I still think it would be better if Lucy and I--

MRS. KLUMP:

Wilbur! I told you about thinking! (MOVING OFF) Now come along. We've spent enough time here.

WILBUR:

Uh, yes, ma'am. I'll come. (TO LARRY) Goodness, sometimes I get so homesick.

LARRY:

You mean, for your old boyhood home?

WILBUR:

No. Just home sick. Sick of home. 'Cause she's always there!

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

LARRY:

Now look, Helen, when Mrs. Klump gets here, don't start those mysterious hints about something being wrong with the house.

HELEN:

But, Larry, she only wants to lease the place. I thought you were going to sell it.

LARRY:

So did I, before those screwy noises started -- noises no one can explain.

HELEN:

Well, that's just it! If you'd wait a little while, then--

SOUND:

KNOCK ON DOOR

LARRY:

Oh, here's Mrs. Klump now. I'm done waiting. I'll get some commission from the lease, instead of losing everything. Now, remember -- no kibitzing.

SOUND:

FRONT DOOR OPENS (NO CREAKING)

WILBUR:

Heigh-ho!

HELEN:

Oh, it's Mr. Teasley.

WILBUR:

Ahhh, yes. Please, I want to talk to you before mother gets here. She's parking the car.

LARRY:

She, uh, hasn't changed her mind about leasing the place?

WILBUR:

Oh, dear, no -- that'd be too good! That's what I want to see you about. Please, tell her she can't have the house.

HELEN:

All right, we'll be glad to--

LARRY:

We will not! I'm sorry, Mr. Teasley, but if I don't lease it to your mother-in-law-- Well, there goes my commission!

WILBUR:

Yes. And if we have to move in with my wife's mother, there goes my happy home!

LARRY:

Well, look, Mr. Teasley, why don't you buy the house? We could arrange payments--

WILBUR:

Oh, it isn't the money; I have that. But even if I bought it, Lucy's mother would still move in with us.

LARRY:

But if we don't lease her this house, she'll just--

WILBUR:

Oh, no. She can't. She's looked all over, and there isn't another one in town.

HELEN:

Oh, Larry, maybe you should-- Oh, oh, here she comes now.

LARRY:

Good, good. Now remember, Helen, I'll do the talking. (SALES MODE) Ahhh! Good evening, Mrs. Klump!

MRS. KLUMP:

Never mind the evening. Let's get down to business. I'm ready to sign the lease.

HELEN:

Oh, that's wonderful, we were just beginning to think we were stuck with a lemon!

LARRY:

(CLEARS THROAT SAVAGELY) She - she means-- The old lemon-squeezer in the kitchen doesn't work. She keeps worrying about it, but we'll replace it, of course--

HELEN:

No, Larry, I meant about the spooks!

LARRY:

Ohhhh, the spoons! Yes, the spoons! Oh, I'm sure there's plenty enough for three people--

WILBUR:

Uh, mother, won't you please reconsider?

MRS. KLUMP:

Wilbur -- did I ask your advice?

WILBUR:

Um--

MRS. KLUMP:

(TO LARRY) Young man, perhaps if you and I could step into the library where we could sign the lease without interruption.

HELEN:

Oh, we never go in there after dark; the library's just full of--

LARRY:

Just the place to discuss business! Yes, fine, Mrs. Klump, if you'll just come this way! I know you want to get this business settled. Now if you'll just sign here on this line--

MRS. KLUMP:

Oh, no, no. Agnes B. Klump don't go around signing things without reading 'em! Now, let's see. (READS) "The party of the first part--"

SOUND:

CHAINS RATTLE, DRAG ALONG FLOOR

MRS. KLUMP:

What's that noise upstairs?

LARRY:

Huh? Upstairs? Oh, er-- What noise?

SOUND:

CHAINS RATTLE, DRAG ALONG FLOOR

MRS. KLUMP:

That noise! Like a chain dragging!

LARRY:

Oh, oh, the chain. Well, that's, er-- That's next door. Yes, next door, the house on our right, in the garage. The man's working on his car.

MRS. KLUMP:

But that noise was from the left. And overhead!

LARRY:

It was? I mean, it's the acoustics! Very unusual acoustics in this house. Seems to throw the sound all over to the left, and up!

SOUND:

CRASH! OF GLASS

LARRY:

Oh.

MRS. KLUMP:

I suppose the acoustics threw that, too!

LARRY:

That? Oh, no. That's, uh, probably youngsters in the neighborhood. Playful little fellas.

MRS. KLUMP:

I'll stop that sort of thing once I've moved in. Now, let's see, where was I? Oh, yes. (READS) "The party of the first part--"

SOUND:

HEAVY "FOOTSTEPS" DOWN THE STAIRS

MRS. KLUMP:

Who in the world is that?!

LARRY:

(NERVOUS) Uh, my wife. Yes, Helen.

MRS. KLUMP:

Young man, you're trembling. And that isn't your wife -- unless she's wearing snowshoes. I'm going to see!

SOUND:

"FOOTSTEPS" STOP ... BRIEF INDICATION OF ROLLER SKATE ROLLING OFF

LARRY:

Now, wait, Mrs. Klump, it might be--

SOUND:

LIBRARY DOOR OPENS

MRS. KLUMP:

Why, there's - there's no one out here.

LARRY:

Well, there must be! I mean-- Well, of course not.

MRS. KLUMP:

But those footsteps! What happened to him?

LARRY:

To him?

MRS. KLUMP:

Yes, the person who came down those stairs! If there was a person!

LARRY:

Now, please, Mrs. Klump--

MRS. KLUMP:

Don't you "Mrs. Klump" me! No human being came down those stairs! And if it wasn't a human being--

LARRY:

But you said you weren't afraid of--

MRS. KLUMP:

I said I wasn't afraid of anything that breathed, that's alive! But a body that's not a body-- Just a cantankerous spirit floating around without any skin--!

LARRY:

You're being hasty!

MRS. KLUMP:

Hasty?! When you're leaving a haunted house, you can't be too hasty!

LARRY:

But-- The - the lease!

MRS. KLUMP:

Lease this place? Why, I'd sooner move in with the Hound of the Baskervilles! Good night!

SOUND:

LIBRARY DOOR SLAMS SHUT

LARRY:

Ohhh! My last chance! If I could get my hands on whatever is making that noise--

SOUND:

CHAINS RATTLE, DRAG ALONG FLOOR

LARRY:

There it is again. This time I'll get it if it kills me!

SOUND:

LIBRARY DOOR OPENS

LARRY:

(CALLS) Okay! I see ya up there! Stand still! (BEAT, SURPRISED) Helen?!

HELEN:

(KNOWS SHE'S CAUGHT) Ohh-- I, er-- (CHEERFUL) Hello, dear!

LARRY:

Helen. Look at me. That noise on the stairs. Did you--?

HELEN:

Sshhh sh. Don't let Mrs. Klump hear.

LARRY:

Mrs. Klump has gone away. For good. She wouldn't lease this house if we paid her.

HELEN:

(RELIEVED) Oh! Oh, well then, I won't have to use this other roller skate.

LARRY:

Roller skate?!

HELEN:

Yes! Yes, I just put it on the top step like this -- and give it a little shove like this -- and then--

SOUND:

ROLLER SKATE (HEAVY "FOOTSTEPS") STARTS DOWN THE STAIRS ... THEN IN BG, ROLLS OFF AT [X]

LARRY:

You--?! You mean--?! But I'd've seen the skate!

HELEN:

Oh, no, no. That's the best part. Look. When it reaches the bottom, [X] it rolls right under the umbrella stand and then the hall is empty again.

LARRY:

(GRIM, DISBELIEVING) You. My own wife. It was bad enough when that lunatic of a night watchman put on his act, but my own wife! Why? In the name of common sense, why?

HELEN:

I did it for you, dear.

LARRY:

For me?

HELEN:

Yes.

LARRY:

You've ruined my only chance of making any money out of this madhouse! You've chased Mrs. Klump away!

HELEN:

Of course, I had to! She was only going to lease the place, and we've got to sell it to make money.

LARRY:

Sell it to who?

HELEN:

Whom, dear. Whom. Why, to the association, of course. You know, the Hands Across the Psychic Void.

LARRY:

What have they got to do with it?

HELEN:

They're going to buy it! I wrote 'em and told them they could. Remember they wrote and asked you about it? Well, then I got their address off the envelope and I--

LARRY:

Ohhhhh, no! Do you know what was in that letter? The one that was in the envelope?

HELEN:

Yes, you told me they wanted this place for their headquarters!

LARRY:

Wanted it, yes! As a gift! That letter said they were sure we'd be glad to donate this house to their worthy cause.

HELEN:

You mean--?! (APOLOGETIC) Oh, Larry, I don't see what keeps you from murdering me.

LARRY:

(BEAT) Because I don't want you haunting me. Well, that washes us up for good. We might as well pack up and get out of here.

HELEN:

Oh, but now that you know there aren't any ghosts, maybe you can really sell it!

LARRY:

Yes, if there was any time! But do you remember what day it was that we took this deal on?

HELEN:

Well, let me see, it was, uh-- Why, it was just a month ago today!

LARRY:

Right. Thirty days. I lose the sales privilege tomorrow morning. And the owner said he was through fooling with it. Either I sold it during those thirty days or he's going to tear down the house and put in a parking lot.

HELEN:

And the thirty days are up.

LARRY:

I should've known. Even if that gag with the roller skates fooled me, I should've gotten wise when I heard that chain rattling!

HELEN:

Chains?! I didn't rattle any chains!

LARRY:

Now, look, Helen. We're all done with it. Let's not start again. You were rattling chains! Mrs. Klump and I both heard it!

HELEN:

Larry, look at me. I know I've been awful, but I give you my solemn, honest word -- I never touched a chain!

LARRY:

(NERVOUS) You - you mean, there's still something in this house that--?

SOUND:

CREEEEEEAK! OF FRONT DOOR SLOWLY OPENED

HELEN:

(GASPS) And it's coming in!

LARRY:

(FED UP) I hope it's a ghost. I hope it's the scariest spook that--

WILBUR:

Yoo-hoo!

HELEN:

(RELIEVED) Ohhh, its Mr. Teasley.

LARRY:

If you're looking for your mother-in-law, she's gone.

WILBUR:

(CACKLES WITH DELIGHT) My! She was scared, wasn't she? And when your wife sent that roller skate down the stairs--! (MORE CACKLING)

LARRY:

Oh. Then you know about it?

WILBUR:

Oh, my, yes!

HELEN:

Oh, but, Mr. Teasley, there was more to it than the roller skates. There were -- chains.

WILBUR:

Yes, I know! Wasn't that lucky? I just happened to find them in the closet!

LARRY:

You--? You found them?!

WILBUR:

(CACKLES) And the way she skedaddled out that front door--! (CHUCKLES) I'll remember that as long as I live in this house!

HELEN:

As long as you live in this house?

WILBUR:

Yes! Lucy and I will love it here!

LARRY:

Now, wait. We can't have you as a guest, because this isn't our house.

WILBUR:

You - you mean I can't buy it?

LARRY:

I mean just what I said-- Buy it?

WILBUR:

Yes! Here, I've got the check all made out.

HELEN:

Oh, Larry! Look! Nineteen thousand dollars!

WILBUR:

(HAPPY) Ah, when I think of Lucy and I alone in our little haunted house--

LARRY:

Oh, but it isn't haunted! You know yourself that--

WILBUR:

Oh, yes! I know. And you know. But she doesn't!

HELEN:

You mean--?

WILBUR:

(CACKLES, TRIUMPHANT) Yes! The only place in the world where my mother-in-law won't come!

MUSIC:

FOR A FINISH

SOUND:

APPLAUSE

AMECHE:

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. This is Jim Ameche again. We hope you enjoyed tonight's story. Next week's GRAND MARQUEE is a romantic South American comedy of a young love, involving a gay caballero from Colombia and a very romantic maid from Manhattan. So try to be with us, won't you, when GRAND MARQUEE presents Virginia Safford Lynn's "Wedding in Colombia." Good night!

SOUND:

APPLAUSE

MUSIC:

THEME ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

ANNOUNCER:

Tonight's original play, "Haunt Me a House," was written by Mary McSkiving and Ralph Hunter, and produced by Norman Felton. Jim Ameche played Larry and Muriel Bremner played Helen. Others in the cast were Cliff Soubier, Hope Summers and Johnny Coons. Your announcer is George Stone. The orchestra was conducted by Joseph Gallicchio with original music composed by Emil Soderstrom. [X]

Listen again next week when GRAND MARQUEE will again blaze with light and color, high in the gay airwaves, inviting you to join our audience for a performance of "Wedding in Colombia," starring Jim Ameche!

SOUND:

APPLAUSE

MUSIC:

THEME ... TILL CHIMES

ANNOUNCER:

This is NBC, the National Broadcasting Company.

MUSIC:

NBC CHIMES