Paranormal activities are a great subject for filmmakers. Often, in such horror films, the angle of psychological distortion is added to keep you guessing whether the paranormal element is real or just a figment of the character’s imagination. The Ghost Within, directed by Lawrence Fowler and co-written by Geoff Fowler, is a decent horror film that keeps the viewers engaged throughout. The performances are not too great, but the questions like ‘Do ghosts exist?’ and ‘What are they after?’ ensure that the film keeps us engrossed.
The Ghost Within‘s story revolves around a young married woman named Margot, who is on the verge of losing her mind because of the recurring nightmares regarding her sister’s death 20 years ago. She visits her paternal home with her husband, Mason, with the intent of uncovering what happened to her sister, Evie. Soon, Margot starts to feel haunted by Evie’s ghost and has the burden of proving that the ghost is real before she is put away in a mental asylum.
Plot Synopsis: What happens in ‘The Ghost Within’?
Margot Richardson, wife of author Mason Richardson, denies that there is something wrong with her even though all the evidence points to just that. Nightmares disrupt her sleep, and Mason is just about to throw in the towel with respect to the marriage. Margot has an inkling that people suspect something is wrong with her. So, she gets defensive, even toward her therapist, who wants her to get better. She was once admitted to Abingdon Asylum but had made some progress over the last 5 years. The continued relapses over the last year had her fearing that she would lose her mind eventually. The therapist clearly states that people who had a traumatic childhood can have recurring nightmares, but Margot doesn’t admit it, as she fears being locked up in the psych ward again.
Margot has her own explanation for the nightmares. She pins it on the news that the old caretaker Douglas, who looked after her paternal estate, had died, and it triggered something in her regarding her past. Memories, buried deep within Margot, started to come to the forefront. The medication may have made her forget, but according to Margot, knowing the truth about her past was the only way to overcome the nightmares. Based on the therapist’s advice, she moved into her paternal home with Mason. She gets advised that living in the house where the traumatic incidents occurred may help her recover those memories and find the truth, but she gets warned that it can cause irreparable damage as well, and she will then have to be admitted again.
What does Margot think happened in the house?
She remembers her time in the house as being mostly pleasant. Although she lost her mother when she was quite young, the bond between her and her father managed to make up for it. Evie, her sister, had a facial deformity, but Margot remembers that her father never let that become an issue. He encouraged both girls. Evie wore a mask to hide her appearance, but her father wanted her to face the world bravely, and if anybody mocked her, she knew not to be friends with them. Margot remembers all of this, yet when Mason asks how Evie died, she responds by saying that her body was found buried in the woods and that her father took all the blame. She doesn’t actually believe that her father could ever kill Evie. In Margot’s memory, the stepmother, who seemed disgusted with Evie’s appearance, could have murdered her and left the poor father to take the blame.
Why does Margot approach Barton Bailey?
As soon as Margot starts to get comfortable in her father’s house, she gets haunted by Evie’s presence. First, she gets locked out of a room, and Mason has to rescue her, and then she starts to see writing on the wall that reads “Father Lied.” She starts to see Evie’s spirit as soon as the clock reads 9 minutes past 9. The clock cabinet seemed to get opened, and a ghastly-looking Evie seemed to emerge. Margot was terrified and wanted help desperately, and it didn’t help that Mason was having an affair with Greta, his agent, who was helping him get his book published. Margot suspected him of cheating on her, but she had bigger problems on hand. She had no one she could rely on to verify that whatever she was experiencing wasn’t a hallucination.
Mason was rarely home, so she found a group that helped people connect with spirits. The group turned out to be a scam, and the methods they were claiming to use to connect people to otherworldly spirits were busted by a scientist named Barton Bailey. He and his son worked in a private capacity to bust such charlatans so that common people didn’t lose their hard-earned money on these unscientific schemes. Margot was now getting scratch marks on her body, which meant Evie’s spirit was getting close. Margot had no choice but to ask the unbeliever Bailey to inspect her case, for she was certain that her case was unlike what he had studied in the past. Bailey refused at first but accepted later to take a look at her special condition.
‘The Ghost Within’ Ending Explained: How did Evie die?
Mason had been rejected by all the leading publications, and his book wasn’t going to be published anytime soon. When he saw the grandeur of Margot’s father’s estate, he realized that she was actually wealthy. Mason was bewildered by her decision not to use her father’s money. His whole struggle of begging the publisher to read and publish his books could have ended, but Margot didn’t budge. Mason told Greta that soon Margot would end up in a mental asylum, and he would inherit the wealth as her husband. When he saw Bailey’s calling card in the house and inferred that Margot had been in touch with him, Mason approached Bailey and asked him to take her case and prove that she was mentally insane. After that, Mason would pay him up with Margot’s money. The plan was set in motion, and Bailey had committed to certifying Margot as a deranged woman in dire need of psychiatric care, but the twist came when his son’s equipment recorded a supernatural presence.
Bailey, who had solved hundreds of such cases and found them to be just some trickery or pure hallucination, couldn’t come up with any scientific explanation for what he had experienced, and yet he wrote that Margot was indeed insane. He ordered his son to delete the audio file where Evie clearly tried to communicate with Margot. His son confronted him and made him change his stance after he questioned his integrity as a person.
During The Ghost Within‘s ending, Bailey arrived at Margot’s place, but this time with Holy Water. Evie had grown so powerful that when Mason tried to leave the place, she murdered him, and now it was Bailey who was probably going to get killed. She wasn’t against him, but she just wanted Margot to confront the truth, which she had repressed and wasn’t willing to face. Bailey got attacked before he could sprinkle the holy water on her, and Evie showed up in front of Margot. She made her see what she had done to her. Margot saw the truth for herself. Evie had died of suffocation after Margot locked her in the clock cabinet. Margot wanted to seem cool in front of her friends, and because they made fun of Evie because of her disfigurations, she tried to one-up them and played a cruel prank on her sister. She locked her in the clock cabinet, and because Evie trusted her, she didn’t resist. Evie cried and begged Margot to open the cabinet, but she didn’t. Ultimately, she died there when the clock read 9 minutes past 9. This is why Margot saw her spirit at exactly this time.
At the end of The Ghost Within, Margot didn’t suffer any consequences, physically at least, as Margot’s father took the blame for Evie’s death in an effort to save Margot. This was the truth that had been haunting Margot for so long. She had tried to twist the story in her mind but now she remembered what had truly happened. Evie wanted to punish Margot for being so cruel and breaking her trust, which is why she wanted to take Margot away with her. In the end, Bailey arrived and passed the Holy Water to Margot, who sprinkled it on Evie, but she wasn’t going to let Margot go unpunished. Even though Evie was burning, she snatched Margot away into the ‘otherworld’, and Bailey saw her getting dragged away.