John Russell (George C. Scott) is a composer who has just rented an old Victorian style house while recovering from the deaths of his wife and daughter who were killed in a tragic car accident.
Russell has been noticing some strange occurrences around the house. Every morning there is a persistent loud banging. One night Russell finds a bathtub full of water and what looks like a drowned boy in it. Later he finds a hidden door that leads to a room upstairs where a boy’s wheelchair has been left in a dusty room.
Russell starts inquiring about the house with the help of Claire Norman (Trish Van Devere), an agent from the historical society who owns the house.
Russell has a seance held at the house and he discovers the name of the spirit, Joseph Carmichael. Russell begins looking into who Joseph Carmichael was and why he is so pissed off.
The film is quite intense and as spooky as things get there is George C. Scott asking the ghost what it wants.
This movie won the first ever Genie Award for Best Canadian Film. It also made Martin Scorsese’s list of 11 scariest movies ever.