I Am a Ghost (2012) Script

[ Wind whistling ]


[ Wind whistling continues ]

[ Wind whistling continues ]


[ Door creaks ]

[ Woman crying ]


[ Static ]

[ Classical music plays on radio ]

[ Static ]

-They contrive to free you from the four walls of today for a half hour of high advent--

[ static ]

[ Big-band music plays on radio ]


[ Music continues ]

[ Birds chirping ]

[ Bangs ]

[ Clattering ]


[ Music box plays "when they've gone away" ]

[ Music stops ]

[ Soft exhale ]

[ Thumping ]

-[ Yawns ]

[ Birds chirping ]

[ Chirping continues ]

[ Mid-tempo music plays on radio ]

[ Grunts ]

[ Water running ]

Oh, god.


[ Cries ]

[ Big-band music plays on radio ]


[ Man groans ]

[ Man groans ]

[ Man groans ]

[ Grunts ]

[ Water running ]

Oh, god.

-Anything?


-Eggs, milk, cheese.

Cheese.

[ Birds chirping ]

What else?

Flowers.


[ Door creaks ]

[ Humming ]

[ Humming continues ]

-Anything?

-[ Yawns ]

[ Birds chirping ]


[ Mid-tempo music plays on radio ]

[ Yawns ]


-Emily?

-Who's there?

-It's me, Sylvia.

-Who are you? What are you doing in my house?

-We know each other, Emily.

My name is Sylvia.

Please put the lamp down, Emily. I mean you no harm.

-Show yourself!

-Emily, we do this every time.

-What are you talking about? Who are you?

-Don't leave the room, Emily.

-Come out.

I know you're in the wardrobe.

-I am not. -You are.

-I'm not.

I'm in front of the wardrobe.

-What?

-♪ I'll never leave you alone, my dear ♪

♪ you needn't be afraid, my dear ♪

♪ I am the one who protects you, dear ♪

♪ when they've gone away

♪ people come and go, my dear

-♪ babies are born and grow, my dear ♪

♪ I'll be the one who loves you, dear ♪

♪ when they've gone away

-now, Emily, repeat after me.

"I am a ghost.

"I am a ghost. I am a ghost."

-I am a ghost.

I am a ghost.

I am a ghost.

-You see, Emily, that is why you can't leave the room abruptly.

-What?

-You can't leave the room abruptly without closing off with me.

Every time you do, you lose all memory of what we're doing.

-I can't have lost all memory.

I remember who you are.

-That's a good sign.

Can you repeat to me what we are doing?

-I'm dead.

I was murdered in this room.

-Good.

Murdered by whom?

-A monster.

A demon.

He was a tall man with gray skin.

He had a look of utter malevolence on his face.

He chased me through the house, screaming the most inhuman scream.

And he had caverns for eyes.

Not that they were dark, but they were empty.

An evil hell-bent on killing me, staring at me from two dark caverns.

And he knew me but I didn't know him.

-I am the medium to the family that owns this house.

They have hired me to live with them until I've successfully rid their house of this spirit.

-Me?

-Yes, you, Emily.

You are a ghost.

-And I'm haunting my own house.

-You are haunting theirhouse.

-A family?

Sylvia, how long have I been dead?

-I can't tell you that, Emily.

-Why not?

-Because the last time I told you, you were so disturbed by that bit of information that you fled the room crying.

I hadn't heard from you for days, and when you came back, you had forgotten everything we'd learned in the previous session.

-So, I am a ghost.

And you're trying to get rid of me.

-That's a bit harsh, but yes.

-Why can't I see you?

-Emily, how much do you remember from last time?

-I remember meeting you for the first time.

I thought you were a ghost.

-Yes, well, that's every time.

-I remember you asking me how I died.

-And how did you die?

-I just told you.

-No, but how?

-The man -- the monster brought me into this room and I fell on my back on this rug.

He stabbed me with a knife repeatedly.

He plunged the knife into me over and over again.

That's all I remember.

-That's usually where the story ends.

-Apparently not! Look at me!

-I can't see you, Emily. I can only hear you.

-I can't see you, either.

It's like you're a ghost.

-Likewise.

-Can the family see me?

Are there any children?

-There are two young children, but I'm the only one who can communicate with you.

-You can speak to the dead?

-That's why they hired me.

-Are they adversely affected by my presence?

-They still feel your presence, Emily.

Doors closing on their own, cupboards slamming, frying pans moving and brooms moving as if being swept by a ghost.

-But are they adversely affected?

-Knives being thrown, mirrors shattering.

-Knives being thrown?

-Well, that's what the family witnesses.

That's why they hired me.

-Wait.

[ Sighs ]

I was in this room ready to tidy up a bit, and suddenly, you called out to me.

Now I'm dead?

I was about to clean and now I'm dead.

Do you see how this is perplexing to me?

-What did you do before you came in here?

-I don't know. -Think.

What were you doing right before you came in here?

-I don't remember.

[ Sloshing ]

[ Sloshing stops ]

I know that earlier, I had eggs.

And then I went to the store to buy more groceries.

And then I cleaned the house.

-These are all memories of things you did while you were alive, Emily.

Don't you see that?

-And at some point, I bought flowers.

-Hauntings are nothing more than emotional imprints in time.

If a man were to frequent various places in his house long enough, he would leave his scent.

What you're experiencing is a sort of scent that you've left behind.

-Scents? Imprints in time?

Well, if haunting is nothing more than imprints in time, shouldn't the living be able to haunt a house, as well?

Sylvia?

-I'm here, Emily.

I just don't know how to answer that question.

-I feel like I just woke up from a dream in which I was alive.

-Essentially, you did.

[ Sloshing ]

-So, can I just leave, then?

-Do you know how?

-I could just walk out the front door.

-No.

You can't leave this room without closing off with me or you'll forget ever-- -I'll forget everything, right.

I can see the front door from here.

Sylvia, how do we close off?

-Well, we have yet to close off.

We've never closed off.

-Oh.

-Before you leave, you have to walk through me.

-What does that mean?

-Exactly as it sounds.

You must pass through my body before you walk off.

-That doesn't sound so difficult.

-You always say that.

-Oh.

But then what happens?

-You flee.

Before I can get any more information out of you, you flee the room, and the next time I see you, you don't remember anything.

-I promise I won't do that this time.

-You said that last --

[ sloshing ]

All right.

-So, where are we now?

-We're in your mother's room.

-No, I know where we are.

I mean, where are we as far as getting me out of the house?

-I don't know.

It's different for every spirit.

Every soul has a different solution.

-Oh.

And have you banished many spirits?

-I wouldn't call it banishing, Emily.

I'm guiding you into the next place.

-Well, have you guided many ghosts?

-I've guided every spirit I've met.

-So, guide me out of here, Sylvia.

-I've been trying, Emily.

I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

-Well, what's the first step?

-The very first thing I have to do is build rapport with the spirit and to get them to acknowledge that they are dead.

-I've done that.

-Yes, and usually that's enough to send them, but it's not working for you.

-What if I were to close off with you and try to walk out the front door?

Can we at least try?

-All right.

You have to pass through my body.

-All right.

-I'm in front of the bookcase.

Where in the room are you?

-I'm on the far side of the room.

-All right. I'll come to you.

-No!

-Emily, stop.

[ Disembodied voices speaking ]

[ Big-band music plays on radio ]


[ Birds chirping ]

[ Bangs ]

[ Clattering ]


[ Music box plays "when they've gone away" ]

[ Music stops ]

[ Soft exhale ]


[ Thumping ]

[ Birds chirping ]

-[ Yawns ]


[ Chirping continues ]

[ Mid-tempo music plays on radio ]

[ Grunts ]

[ Water running ]

Oh, god.


[ Cries ]

[ Big-band music plays on radio ]

[ Static ]

-Emily.

[ Static continues ]

Emily.

[ Static continues ]

[ Distorted ] Emily!


[ Groans ]

[ Groans ]

[ Floor creaks ]

[ Groans ]

-[ Grunts ]

[ Water running ]

Oh, god.

-Anything?


-Eggs, milk, cheese.

Cheese.

What else?

Flowers.

[ Birds chirping ]


[ Door creaks ]

[ Humming ]


[ Humming continues ]

-Anything?


-[ Cries ]

[ Mid-tempo music plays on radio ]

[ Static ]

[ Yawns ]


-♪ I'll never leave you alone, my dear ♪

-Who's there?

-♪ You needn't be afraid, my dear ♪

♪ I am the one who protects you, dear ♪

♪ when they've gone away

-♪ people come and go, my dear

♪ babies are born and grow, my dear ♪

♪ I'll be the one who loves you, dear ♪

♪ when they've gone away

-now, Emily, repeat after me.

"I am a ghost.

"I am a ghost. I am a ghost."

-I am a ghost.

[ Rattling ]

I am a ghost.

I am a ghost.

-Welcome back, Emily.

-I'm guessing we didn't close off.

-No.

-I must've been gone a long time.

-Not as long as the other times.

-I still feel like I'm waking up from a dream.

-In essence, you are.

-That song.

-What about it?

-You used that the last time to calm me down.

What is it about that song?

-In one of our sessions, you taught me that song.

-My mother used to sing it to me.

Why would I have taught it to you?

-I asked you to.

I told you that the only way for me to jog your memory is if I repeat something that you specifically taught me.

-I hate that song.

-[ Chuckles ]

I see the lights turning on.

-Oh. Sorry.

-Don't apologize. I'm used to it.

So, why do you hate that song?

-My mother used to sing it to me.

-You hate your mother?

-I do.

My family left me in this house, you know.

-I know.

-To die.

-I did my research, Emily. I know.

-Are you sure I can't just leave this house?

I just went grocery shopping.

-Emily, you're not fully grasping what's happening.

You didn't go grocery shopping.

You're just passing through a memory.

-But I came back with eggs and cheese and flowers.

-That grocery store probably doesn't even exist anymore, Emily.

-But I can see sunlight streaming in through the windows. -That's not real.

-So, if I were to open that door, what would I see?

-Emily, do not leave the room.

-I know.

I promise I won't leave without closing off.

What if I would open that door and leave this house, never to come back?

-I really don't know.

I've never done that or allowed any of the spirits to do that.

But where would you go?

-I don't know.

Perhaps I'll be like one of those legends in which a lady haunts the roads and lakes.

-[ Chuckles ]

You don't really want that, do you?

-Well, you want me gone, don't you?

-Emily, I don't expect you to believe this, but I'm more concerned with guiding you to where you have to be than the well being of this family.

And on the roads and lakes is not where you're supposed to be.

-Why don't we close off and I try to go outside?

-I don't know.

-What's the worst that can happen, Sylvia, honestly?

I'm a ghost.

-First, we don't know what will happen if you leave this house.

Second, you keep fleeing before we can close off.

-I promise I won't flee.

-You said that last -- fine.

But you have to walk to me now.

-Fine, where are you?

-I'm standing on the rug.

-All right.

Should I just walk over it, then?

-Yes.

-Will it hurt?

-No spirit has ever told me that it was unpleasant.

-[ Gasps ]

[ Grunting ]

Oh, my god.

-Emily, are you all right?

-Dementia praecox.

-Dementia praecox?

-Dementia praecox.

-Dementia praecox?

[ Choir singing "amazing grace" ]

-♪ That saved

♪ a wretch like me

♪ I once was lost

♪ but now...

-[ Echoing ] People are often afraid of what they don't understand.

Electricity's improving our world.

Electricity's our friend.

Okay, I'm just gonna dab a bit of this on your temples here.

I know it's cold.

I apologize.

All right. There we go.

[ Machine whirring ]

-What's that noise?

-Shh. It's just the machine getting warm.

Electricity's just light.

It's just light.

-[ Breathes heavily ]

I can't see. I can't see.

-You'll feel better on the count of three.

-Please! I'm scared! -Two, one.


-Don't look back.

[ Sloshing ]

[ Sloshing ]


-[ Gags ]

[ Panting ]

I can breathe now.

I feel so awake.

So conscious.

-What are you feeling?

-I died.

I died right here in a pool of my own blood.

-Yes, you know that.

-But this time I know I won't forget.

I can't.

The pain is too strong.

I had a terrible childhood.

My mother used to tell me that I had a demon inside of me and that I needed to be exorcised.

-What behaviors did you exhibit to make her say that?

-I don't know.

I would black out, and before I knew it, 10 minutes would've passed.

I didn't even know what happened.

-What would happen in those 10 minutes?

-Awful things.

I remember waking up from a blackout and my hand was wounded and bleeding.

One time I woke up from a blackout and I was choking my younger sister.

My father wanted to take me to the doctor, but my mother just wanted to throw me in a lake.

After my father died, my mother found it unbearable to deal with me.

One morning, I woke up and she and my younger sister were gone.

It didn't dawn on me until three days later that they weren't coming back.

They left me here to die.

They left me here to die.

-Emily.

I understand what it's like to be different.

Believe me.

You say that your mother wanted to throw you in a lake?

Well, guess what?

My mother actually left me in the woods.

She'd had enough of my talks with the dead, my unholy talks with the dead.

You and I are not unlike each other.

You have to trust me.

-I just walked through you.

I'm pretty sure that I trust you.

Besides, what you have is a talent -- a gift.

-It's all I know how to do.

I do it because I can't do anything else.

-Sylvia, what should be happening right now?

-Usually, you see a light and I guide you into it.

-Light? Really?

It's as it's been written?

-Yes.

-Well, I see no light.

-And I can still hear you, so I know you're not ready to walk into the light.

-Sylvia, do you think I could try to leave this room?

-In my experience, after spirits close off with me, they can freely walk about without any memory loss.

-So, I could try to leave the house?

Sylvia?

-I heard you.

I just don't know if it's a good idea.

-Oh, let me.

I have a good feeling about this.

[ Birds chirping ]

[ Chirping continues ]

[ Chirping stops ]


[ Screams ]

[ Panting ]

[ Rattling ]

[ Door creaks ]

[ Humming ]


Sylvia, I opened the door.

-Really? What did you see? -Nothing.

-What do you mean?

-It was pure black.

No, it was blacker than black. It was nothing.

-Darkness? -Darkness implies a feeling.

No, this was nothing all at once.

A vast sea in a tiny grain of nothing.

And I screamed. I screamed out of fear.

-I'm often terrified of night myself.

-No, Sylvia, this was different from night.

I've seen night and I've seen blackness.

This was nothing, and I've never experienced anything more frightening.

Did you see that?

-I can't see anything you see, Emily.

-I just saw myself in the hallway.

-This happens when you close off.

You become tremendously conscious, and now that you have full consciousness, you can see each of your memories as they've been imprinted in time.

-So, you're saying that...

Eggs, milk, cheese.

Cheese.

What else?

This is crazy.

Flowers.

Insanity.

[ Chuckles ] Absolutely mad.

Sylvia? Can you hear me?

[ Birds chirping ]

No memories here.

Sylvia?

I'm in my bedroom and there's no one here.

[ Clatters ]

Have I no memories implanted here?

So, are you telling me that these are all nothing more than reflections of myself?

They aren't real people?

Are you telling me they can't hear me?

Are you telling me that they can't hear anything?


[ Clatter ]

[ Yawns ]

Sylvia, I just saw myself in every room in the house.

-Yes, Emily.

Those are your impressions on the house.

-My impressions?

-Yes. Were they illuminating?

-It was frightening.

One of them looked right at me and another one heard me, I think.

-That's impossible.

-I'm telling you, it happened.

It -- it was pure horror staring at myself.

-I can imagine.

-Sylvia, I'm scared.

I'm scared to see what happens in this room.

-Emily.

-I don't...I was murdered in this room.

-Emily.

-I don't know if I can handle seeing that.

-You weren't murdered, Emily.

-I-I beg your pardon?

-You weren't murdered.

-I don't understand.

-I did more research on you, and it looks like you were not stabbed repeatedly by a man nor a monster.

-Research?

-As a child, you were diagnosed with dementia.

-Dementia?

-A special kind of dementia -- dissociative identity disorder, also known as multiple personality disorder.

You were taken by your parents to the doctor who diagnosed you.

You would have short spells in which you were someone else, someone violent and inhumane.

But when the spell lasted longer than a day, you were taken back to the doctor, and he diagnosed you with what he called dementia praecox, now known as dissociative identity disorder.

-Also known as multiple personality disorder, yes.

I don't see how that means anything.

-Emily, you weren't killed by a man.

You killed yourself.

You stabbed yourself repeatedly on that rug in this room.

-No.

-Yes, Emily.

This changes everything.

-How?

-Because you may have closed off with me, but you haven't closed off with yourself if you don't remember committing suicide.

-I was killed by a man in this room.

-I know you think that, but my research says --

-your research?!

I know what I saw and I know what I felt!

-Emily, as you go through your memories in this house, are you able to relive the murder?

-No, but I remember it!

-Yet here we are in your mother's room where you died, and you see no other version of yourself dying.

-I'm unclear on what you're implying.

-You saw yourself in every room in this house except this one.

Why is that?

-I'm not the one with the answers, Sylvia.

I'm not the one with the gift.

-Emily, my aim is not to insult you --

-you're calling me crazy!

-Emily, you're talking to a disembodied voice, and I converse with dead people.

I think we both transcended the boundaries of sanity.

-All right. Yes.

I can see myself in every room in this house but this one.

I don't know why.

I don't know why any of this is happening.

-Do you remember having another personality?

-Like I said, I would black out, and when I would wake up, I would be in horrible situations.

-Like having a bloodied hand. -Right.

-Or choking your sister. -Right.

-Emily, you lived your whole life with a demon -- a monster inside your body, and when you killed yourself in this room, you released not one soul, but two into this house.

-Well, that's illuminating.

Sylvia?

Where are you?

-I'm sitting at the writing desk.

-So, what does this mean?

-It means that I've been trying to guide half of a person into the afterlife.

-Half of a person. -Yes.

You may have released two souls when you died, but they are still two halves of the person who lived.

I can't guide you into the light without your other half.

I can't guide you into the light without the monster.

-The very mention of him chills my bones.

If I released two souls into this house, why haven't I seen him?

-You're only reliving memories, Emily. Remember?

-Yes, I remember, Sylvia, but I closed off with you.

I'm cognizant now. -You're not cognizant.

You're just connected to me, and you wouldn't be reliving his memories.

You can only relive your own.

Why do you think you blacked out when you were alive?

-I lived with a man inside me.

-Yes.

And we need to find him.

-I wouldn't know where to begin.

-I don't know either.


-Oh, god.


[ Cries ]

How long has it been since you've spoken with me?

-A day.

-So our times are in sync now.

It feels like it's been a day for me.

[ Bangs ]


-Why do you think this is of interest?

-Because I have no memory of what may have frightened me here.

-But do you remember what the staircase leads to?

-The attic.

-Why haven't you gone there?

-I never went there. I'll never go there.

That's where my mother threatened to lock me if I was unruly.

-Did she ever do so?

-No. Empty threats.

-Maybe you were simply frightened of the attic because of what it represented.

-Possibly.

[ Wind whistling ]

[ Door creaking ]


Sylvia, I just had a fright.

I went to the attic to see what was there and there was nothing.

Nothing.

It's just an empty attic, but a wave of emotion came over me.

Suddenly, I felt fear and anger and sadness.

It hit me like a recovered memory.

Sylvia, I don't know what that attic was, but there was no one there.

Sylvia?

Sylvia?

Sylvia?

Sylvia?

Sylvia?


Sylvia?

[ Creaks ]

-[ Distant ] This is a house for the living, not the dead.

Seek the light. Go to where you belong.

-Sylvia?


-[ Screams ]

-Sylvia! Sylvia, help me!

-[ Screaming ]

-[ Gasps ]

-[ Screaming continues ]

[ Growling ]

[ Screaming ]

-Stop!

[ Panting ]

-[ Growling ]

You haven't found me.

I've come to you.

I've lived in your body for my entire life, living your insipid existence, hearing your futile pleas for answers -- answers to questions you could never muster the intelligence to ask, answers that you wouldn't be able to handle had you received them.

I had to answer to your stupid name as it was called, lashing out whenever I could.

I tried to escape you, but you kept me at bay.

I've been called a demon and a monster, and yet I'm the victim.

I hoped for release when I killed you.

I hoped for freedom and light and all I attained was a prison -- an attic to house me when I was unruly.

A place where I could relive all of the worst memories of our life.

For this reason, I sought you.

For your death, I yearn.

For your death, I hunger.

[ Screams ]


-[ Screams ]


Oh, god.

[ Glass shatters ]


[ Screams ]

-Your god is dead.

-[ Screams ]

-[ Screaming ]


-Sylvia!

Sylvia, help me!

Sylvia, help me!

Sylvia!

-[ Distant ] This is a house for the living, not the dead!

Seek the light! Go to where you belong!

[ Clatter in distance ]

This is a house for the living, not the dead!

Seek the light! Go to where you belong!

-Oh, god!

-[ Screaming ]

-No, I don't want to die!

Oh, god!

[ Screams ]

[ Music box plays "when they've gone away" ]

Sylvia!

Sylvia, help me!

[ Glass shatters ]

No, I don't want to die!

Oh, god!

-This is a house for the living, not the dead.

Seek the light. Go to where you belong.

[ Thumping ]

This is a house for the living, not the dead.

Seek the light. Go to where you belong.

-Sylvia, are you doing it? Are you guiding us?

Sylvia!

Sylvia, help me!

Sylvia, I'm frightened.

I don't know what to do.

-This is a house for the living, not the dead!

Seek the light! Go to where you belong!

This is a house for the living, not the dead!

Seek the light! Go to where you belong!

-Light? What light?

-This is a house for the living, not the dead!

Seek the light! Go to where you belong!

This is a house for the living, not the dead!

Seek the light! Go to where you belong!

-Sylvia, I'm scared. There's no light.

Everything's going dark.

-This is a house for the living, not the dead!

Seek the light! Go to where you belong!

This is a house for the living, not the dead!

Seek the light! Go to where you belong!

-Sylvia, can you not hear me? I'm scared!

-This is a house for the living, not the dead!

Seek the light! Go to where you belong!

-[ Howling ]

-This is a house for the living, not the dead!

Seek the light! Go to where you belong!

-[ Howling ]

-This is a house for the living, not the dead!

Seek the light! Go to where you belong!

-Everything will be fine.

Everything will be fine. Everything will be fine.

I am a ghost. I am a ghost.

I am a ghost. I am a ghost.

I am a ghost. I am a ghost.

I am a ghost.


[ Music box plays "when they've gone away" ]