Pay the Ghost (2015) Script

Improved By: Fidel33 Sub Upload Date: October 22, 2015




There's something outside my window.

Oh, baby, you're having a nightmare, huh?


Let me put you back to bed.

I want Daddy to do it.

How 'bout we wait for him together, huh?

Come on in. Bring Bear.

I gotcha.

We'll keep each other safe.



Did you figure it out?


What you're gonna be for Halloween.


But you're gonna have to wait until tomorrow to find out.

I'll be a pirate.

Ah, good choice.

Mom helped me pick it out after we got the pumpkin.

Mom said she'd carve it with me, but I wanted to wait for you.

Oh, Well...

We'll do it tomorrow, just before we go trick or treating, okay?


I promise.

Now, go back to sleep.

Oh, and Dad...


Can you check outside my window?

I saw something.


Nope, all clear.

I love you, Dad.

I love you too, son.

I'm sorry.

I'm getting tired of going to bed without you.

If they're on the fence, I'm going to have to publish another article as soon as I can.

Are they on the fence? I don't know.

Just seems like I would've received a letter by now.

Charlie wanted to wait up for you tonight.

I think, if you don't carve that pumpkin with him tomorrow, he's going to disown you.

Can he do that?

I think he'd have a case, yeah.

And what about you?

Are you ready to disown me, too? Huh?

Can I take that as a no?

I don't want you to think I'm not mad at you, okay?

"My darling, my darling, I see it aright.

"Tis the aged gray willows deceiving thy sight.

"I love thee!"

I'm charmed by thy beauty, dear boy!

And if thou'rt unwilling, then force I'II employ.“

“My father, my father, he seizes me fast, "For sorely the Erl-King has hurt me at last."

The father now gallops, with terror half wild, He grasps in his arms the poor shuddering child, He reaches his courtyard with toil and with dread, "The child in his arms finds he motionless, dead."

Pretty good, huh?


Who is this, uh, Earl Linking'?

And his creepy daughters.

We don't know for sure.

They might be creatures out of northern mythology.

Or some Celtic lore.

Or they simply stepped out of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's nightmares.

But when you go out tonight, spare a thought for Lovecraft.

For Stoker, for Poe...

And for Goethe's Erl-King.

'Cause they were all bound by one great, and noble objective.

To scare the living shit out of you.

Happy Halloween.

Hello, hello, hello!

Hey, Mom.

Where's my little pirate?

Mom, check it out.

Wow, that's a great indoor activity.

Yeah. You...

You look amazing.

He's on fire, huh?

He's so excited.

The pirate looks perfect, thank you very much.

And we'll see you tomorrow, yeah?

Oh, yes.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween to you, too, Rosa.

When's Dad coming home?

He should be on his way right now.

Rosa take you to art class? Yeah.

I wanna see.

Charlie, that's really scary.

You wanna tell me about that?

That's the thing I saw outside my window.

I thought you told me you couldn't see it?

I kinda saw it.

It just kinda looked like that.

Can we go, already?

Where's Dad?

Yeah? Hannah...

Oh, Michael, come here, come here.

Come, look at this.

It washed ashore last week on Jones Beach.

What are those, Latin numerals?

Exactly. It's an M and a D, and possibly a C.

Sixteen hundred.

They used to engrave ships with the year they were built, which means this piece of driftwood was once part of the body of a ship that helped settle this city 400 years ago.

That's quite something, isn't it?

And so's this.

"Dear Professor Lawford."

Congratulations, Mike!

You've come a long way from that arrogant Yank who drank himself out of Heidelberg.

Thanks for recommending me, Hannah.

You deserve it, more than anybody.

I've gotta go, I have a very important appointment with a pirate.


God, it was the most incredible exhibit I've ever seen.

And they, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!

Easy on the candy, all of you, please.

Maybe Dad called and you missed it.

I will try him again.

Hi, it's Mike, leave a message, Hi get back to you as soon as I can.


You Okay?

Did you see it, Mom'? Did I see what?

The bird.

The bird?


No, I don't.

I think I'll be Robin Hood next year.

He steals from the rich and gives to the poor.

Well, that is very noble, my little man.

And I bet he keeps a little extra on the side just to himself.

I see.

Mom, can we go to the carnival, please?

No, not this year, my man.

I'm sorry, it is late, and you have school tomorrow.

Come with me. Come on, come on my prince.

I said, Draw, partner!


You're a cowboy!

I couldn't find my cowboy hat, but boy, you guys look great.

You make a great pirate, Charlie.

Where were you?

Mom said you were gonna meet up with us.

I apologize, my phone died.

Come on, let's go to bed.

Mom, can we go to the carnival, just for a bit, please?

Oh, let me take him.

Just give us a half an hour.

Come on, Kristen. Okay, okay.

Okay, but would you do me a favor and put him to bed, tonight?

He is hopped up on enough sugar to last him until Christmas and I have to finish some client designs tonight.

Of course. All right.

I got it.

You got what?

Drum roll, please.

I got tenure.

Oh, my God!

Oh, my God, I'm so proud of you!

Does this mean that we can go'?

Yes, it means you can go.

It means that we will celebrate tonight.

Everything's going to be better now.

You boys have fun tonight.

Come here.

Candy please, young man.

Come on, already. Hey, let's do it.

Hey, Professor? Uh huh?

Keep your chaps on, yeah?


Let's go, Dad.

Smile, Dad.

You having fun?

This is awesome.

You see those skeletons?

Pretty scary, huh'?



All right?

I'm sorry we didn't carve pumpkins together.

It's okay.

I know you got a lot of work to do.

No, it's not okay.

I promised I'd be there, and promises dads make to their sons are special things.

You know you're the most important person in the world to me, right?


Let's get some ice cream!




I really need you to stay close to me, and I need you to look where you're going, okay?

Let me, let me take that.

Come on.

What kind of ice cream do you want?

Swirled cone with rainbow sprinkles.

Sounds good.

Dad, can we pay the ghost?

Pay the what?


Right, uh, yeah, a swirled cone with rainbow sprinkles, please.

Okay. Six bucks.


Keep the change.



Next! Did you see where my son went?


Charlie. Who's next?


Where are you?





Let him go!

What are you doing?


Charlie, where are you?


This is my son's hat!

The boy that was wearing this hat, did you see him? Sir, are you okay?

My son was wearing this hat!

Sir... Hey, Buddy! Charlie!

Officer, Officer, this is my son's hat.

He's missing!

When did you see him last?

He was right here by the ice cream truck, he was right next to me.

Have you tried calling him'?

He's seven years old, he doesn't have a phone.

Sir, do you live around here?

Maybe he just went home.

Charlie! Mike what's wrong?

Is he here? What's wrong, what's wrong?

Where's Charlie? Where's Charlie!

I was holding his hand, I looked everywhere!

What are you telling me? Are you saying you left him?

Jesus Christ, Mike!


Charlie! Charlie!

Charlie! Charlie!

Charlie, where are you?


Can you hear me?

Any problems at home?

Any reason why Charlie might wanna run away?



We've issued an Amber Alert, sent Charlie's stats out over the wire.

Every cop in our zone will look out for him.

Usually these cases are solved within 24 hours.

So, try and sit tight.

Go home to your wife, we'll be in touch.

Good night.

Good night, sir.



How could you lose him'?




Where have you been?

Do you see it?

See what, Charlie?

At the window.

There's nothing there.

Look again.



Hi, you've reached the voice-mail of Kristen Lawford.

Please leave me a message, and I'll get...

During a late night travel.

Where does Ichabod Crane find himself, but in Sleepy Hollow.

With just the very name, Irving establishes the mood and tone, foreshadowing the horror which is to come.


How are you holding up?

Can't motivate myself.

Can't motivate my students.

You know, Charlie would've been in second grade now.

All I had to do was protect him.

Isn't that what a father does'?

He protects.

I couldn't even do that.

Mike, listen to what you are saying.

You can't keep beating yourself up.

It won't bring him back.

My son isn't dead.

I feel him.

And until I know what happened to him, I am not going to stop looking for him.

Would it help if you took another leave of absence?

No. Please, I need this.

Just try to hang in there, Mike.


Taxi, yo!

Hi, Rhonda, new fliers.

Mike, we still have that pile from last time.

Is Detective Jordan around?


He's kinda busy right now.

I'll just be a second.

Hi, Mike Lawford's coming in.

Jesus, Mike, you can't just come into my office any time you want to.

On October 30th of last year, there was an offender.

Colin O'Malley, he was released from Rikers Island.

He served 15 years for kidnapping, abducted a neighbor's kid on 10th and Avenue A.

I'll double check that.

October 28th, Maxwell Porter was released from Sing Sing.

They let this guy go, Mike... three days before Charlie disappeared.

He only did seven years. Mike...

Seven years!

For abducting and molesting an eight year old boy on Stanton.

I will double check it, Mike.

You'll double check it?


Every, and I mean every registered offender, in every borough and surrounding county has been double and triple checked.

Now you know this.

Now, I'll take a look at these names just in case we missed something.

But the fact still remains, that you're the last person to be seen with your son.

Oh, my God.

You keep pointing the finger at me

'cause you haven't found jack shit all year.

Well, in three days it's Halloween again!

And every child will be out, and every predator knows it, and one of them took my son.

And this is what you guys do, isn't it?

'Cause you're too fucking lazy to do your jobs.


This is Charlie's file, Mike.

And this is just what's on paper.

Computer's got at least 20 times that.

Each week I put it out over NCIC.

Child abuse squad, human trafficking, FBI.

I am in constant contact with all of them.

NYPD may be a lot of things, Mike, but one thing we are not is lazy.

Now is there anything else?

Find my son.


Hey, hey, stop!





Hey, wait!






Let me in, let me in.

Charlie. Charlie!




Excuse me.



Uh, outside, on the wall, it says, "Pay the Ghost."

What are you talking about?

Uh, the graffiti.

"Pay the Ghost."

Does anyone know what that means?

Cover the fires!

Cover them.

What was that?

Nobody knows.

She always comes out just before Halloween.

What does "Pay the Ghost" mean?

I saw it written outside.

Come with me.

What does it mean?

Just what it says, I guess.

Time's up, you need to leave.


I really... I really need to talk to you.

It's not a good time.

I've got some client designs I gotta finish.


So, when I saw it, on the wall, the graffiti, I remembered something that Charlie said to me, on that day, just before he...

Yep. He asked me, "Dad, can we pay the ghost?"


So, what are you telling me, Mike?

I mean, we're in a city that's full of graffiti, right'?

Did he ever say anything like that to you?

Kristen, have you been hearing anything, or seeing anything that might make you think or feel that Charlie might be trying to communicate with you'?

I don't know what's happening to me, but I really think that Charlie might be reaching out to me.

Okay, I can't do this with you.


I can't do this. Kristen, please!


Kristen! I can't do this.

I know how it sounds, but isn't it possible?

Have you seen him?

Have I seen him?

I see him every day.

I see him on the street, I see him in the subway, I see him in his little school when I pass his friends.

I see him when I'm in the grocery store.

But every time I get closer, ifs not him.

It's never him!

You had to take him to that stupid fair.

He was my boy. I know.

He was my son. I know.

He was... I know.

Then why didn't you protect him'?

Look how tall that guy is!

Smile, Dad.

You having fun?

This is awesome.

Yeah, it is.


Are you all right?

I need to talk to you.

Urn, I think you were right about Charlie.

I think he is trying to reach out to us.

Come on in.

What if I'm imagining it?

Maybe this is all in my head, maybe it's just...


You didn't imagine it.

You didn't.

It's real.

I've been doing some research.

Pick a date.

Any one.

Charlie's birthday.


These are all the children who went missing on July 15th in New York City over the last six years.

Most of them have been found.

Now let's try your birthday.

Most of these children, too.

But if you try Halloween?

Only about half of the missing children have been recovered.

Why are you showing me this?

What if all of these missing children, on Halloween, in New York City, what if they're all connected'?

What if there's something behind it?

How would we find out?

I have the address of Alexis Moldanado, she disappeared on Halloween two years ago.

I think we should go talk to her family.



Excuse me.

Mister Moldanado?

We wanted to ask you about your daughter.

You see, our son is missing, too.

Just give me some fucking money, man.

He was taken last year on Halloween.

Gracias, amigo.

I gotta pay the ghost.

Did your daughter say that?

I was there, at Devon Bodega.

And she said to me, "Papa, podemos pagar nosotros a phantasma."

"Can we pay the ghost?"

I was distracted.

I can't remember shes in front of me.

Next thing I know, she's just gone.

And one year after, I started to hear things.

And then I see her.

It's just flashes.

It's real quick.

But she's there.

It's her, I know it's her.

What happened?

It stopped.

Just like that.

She disappeared on Halloween two years before Charlie.

Just before she vanished, she said to her father, "Can we pay the ghost?"

Now that, is exactly what Charlie said to me before he disappeared.

What the hell you talking about?

Look it up.

On every other night of the year, more missing children are eventually found.

But on Halloween ifs different.

On Halloween, more missing children are never found.

I know how I sound, but there is something different, something mysterious out there, and it's taking children on Halloween.

I'm sorry, Mike, but I really don't have time for this.

He believe you?

Would you?

Carol, I need you to search the city database.

I need a printout of all the missing children cases from October 31st in the last five years.

Just get me the ones that haven't come back.

Well, you're home.

Want to come in?

It's your house, too.

Order dinner, have some wine.


Mrs. Wen?


It's about your daughter, Mia.

You find something about Mia?

Can we talk in private?

Just for a minute.

Mrs. Wen, it's possible that there may be a link to another case.

It may help us find out who took Mia.

Two days ago, something else happened.

Tell me.

I saw her.


It was late at night, I was closing store.

And I think to hear Mia's voice calling, "Mama..."

I ran through traffic to get to her, but when I arrived, Mia was gone.

Is it possible that you just imagined it?

It must have been somebody else.

Mia would not have run away from me.

What does that mean'?

What you heard her calling?



Mama, save me from the ghost.

♪ I wonder why ♪

♪ I know I'd never ♪

♪ Never let go ♪

♪ Once ♪

♪ Once it was mine ♪

♪ If love's a tear ♪

♪ I wanna cry ♪

♪ If it has wings ♪.

♪ I wanna fly ♪

♪ I know I'd never ♪

♪ Never let go ♪

♪ I know I'd never ♪

♪ Never let go ♪

♪ Once it was mine ♪

♪ Once it was mine Once it was mine ♪ I don't know.

They were wearing old costumes.

Was Charlie one of them?

I mean, there were so many of them, I don't know.

Maybe it's time to bring someone into the house.

Like a psychic or a medium or something.

Those people are frauds.

On the phone I asked if you could locate an object?

Yes, uh...

He used to take this everywhere with him.

He still sleeps with it.

He used to.

So, how does this work'?

It's about tapping into the right frequency, that's all.

If something was here, I won't need to find it.

I just need to let it find me.

No, nothing.

Is there any other rooms that he spent a significant amount of time in?

When we first moved in he had a hard time sleeping.

He spent a lot of time in our room, sure.

It's here.

What's here?

It has all the children.

What children? Do you... Charlie?

She saw it.

The thing that takes the children.

The thing that has my son.

That thing that has your son.

You told me that woman was flying around your ceiling.

I believe in facts, logic.

And all I know is that a lot of bad shit happens around you, Mike.

And until I figure out what the hell happened around here, don't be leaving town any time soon.

I'm sorry, are you implying that my husband had anything to do with this?

I'm just doing my job.

I'm really sorry.

I can't sleep.

Can you?

Yeah, I'm gonna try.

I'm just gonna...

I'll be downstairs.

Hey, Mike...


Good night.




You Okay?

I'm cold, Dad.

It's cold here.


She's coming, Dad.

I'm scared.

Please save me.

I will.

I will, Charlie.

Tell me where you are.



It's okay, ifs okay, it's okay.

It's okay.

What happened?

You were cutting yourself.

You don't remember?


I heard Charlie's voice.

He said, "Come and save me."

Where? Where is he?

Mike, what is that?

Jesus Christ.

It doesn't appear to be Greek or Roman.


"The Celtic Goddess", the most revered of all Celtic symbols."

There were no Celts in America.

And their original culture ceased to exist over 1,000 years ago, so...

There was a small group of Celtic reconstructionalists that immigrated from Ireland.

New York was a big trading post by then.

What happened to them?

The influenza epidemic in New York, 1679.

"When it struck, it devastated the population."

Some colonists accused an Irish woman of using black magic to bring about the deadly epidemic.

"They burned her at the stake."

Does it say in there what her name was?

Not in this document, but I'm sure I could find it.

I'll check the archives tonight.

This happened when New York was still a rural settlement, 300 years ago.

At that time, the trading post would've been just along this park, right?


There's an old church in that area.

Saint Joseph's. It's here.

A small Irish community still gathers there each year to celebrate Halloween in the Celtic tradition.

Tonight. Can we go there?

What do you think you're going to find there?

I don't know.

Happy Halloween, Jordan.

What've you got for me?

You're not gonna believe it.

Got a real trick or treat for you.

You ready for this?

What the hell am I looking at, Ray?

Her organs or what's left of them anyway.

It's like she's been set on fire, from the inside, like spontaneous combustion.

Excuse us.

Hello, welcome, welcome.

I don't think I've seen you folks here before.

We were wondering about the song.

Can you tell us about it?

Of course.

It's the Portal song, it's played during Sawan.

It's meant to honor and welcome the spirits.

This place was home to the first Sawan celebration in the country.

The first Halloween.

Our son was abducted last year on Halloween.

I'm sorry to hear that.

For almost a year after he disappeared, there was nothing.

Then two days ago, we began to hear his voice.

Moments when we could see him.

I'm just a school teacher from Bayside.

We get together here every Halloween for fun.

I'm truly sorry, but I don't know anything about your son.

No, no, please.

No, wait, please can you tell us about the Celtic Goddess?

I did something to myself last night without having any memory of it.

Oh, no.

Do you recognize this symbol?

This is the waxing moon.

You can tell because the crescent faces left.

It means Maiden.

And the waning moon'?

The crescent faces right.

It means Crone.

It's the most devastating of all the Pagan symbols.


It is said that hate made her forget her true nature as a mother.

Could she have taken our son'?

It is believed that there was one day a year, when the Crone could take someone to the other side.

The final day of Sawan, when the boundary between the two worlds dissolves and she returns to take three children on Halloween night.

So, the Crone is a ghost and you pay the ghost with your child.

That's why the children burn dolls tonight.

It's an offering, so they won't be taken.

So, if our son was taken, does it mean that he's dead?

All that I can tell you is that at the beginning of Sawan, as the door between the two worlds slowly opens, only the children taken the previous year can still reach out to this world.

And they are the only ones who can be saved.

But only until midnight, that's when the portal between the two worlds closes again.

Two hours.

Where, where do we find him?

Legend says that in the days before Halloween, the Crone can be heard crying for her lost children.

The crying woman.

I know the place.

That's why I saw him, he tried to show me.

To bring me there.

All right. Mike.

Yes, Hannah?

I found her name. Annie Sawquin.

Her name was Annie Sawquin.

Tell me.

She was a young widow with three children, living on the first New York settlement.

Get inside! Now, children.

On Halloween night of 1679, an angry mob approached her home.

The influenza outbreak had infected most of the settlement, and many people blamed Annie's family because of their Celtic beliefs.

The crowd broke into their house, looking to punish her and the children for the misery they were suffering.


Where's the young ones, Annie?



But ultimately, they were discovered and captured by the mob.

On the same night, they burned them at the stake.

As the children cried out for mercy' their mother was forced to watch on in horror.

With her last breath, she swore to return every year on that day and replace her three slaughtered children with those from the living.

That's all the information I have, Mike.

Thank you.

Watch out!

It's 10:15.

You need you to go find Charlie.

He needs you, I'm fine.

Stay here, buddy, we're gonna get you fixed up.

Only when I know you're all right.

She going to be okay'?

She'll be fine, sir.

We're gonna need to do some X-rays, though.

Let me clean that up for you.

Police are on their way.




Anybody here?



Somebody there?

Can somebody help me?

Why is everybody gone?

It's Halloween.

Ghosts are all out.

Why'd you come back'?

I need your help.

How do I find the crying woman?

What do you want from her'?

My child back.

Give me your watch.

You wanna cross over to the other side or not?

You can see?

I'm blind as a bat.

Not deaf.

Take me to her.

The portal is open.

What you're looking for is on the other side.

You better be back before midnight.

What happens then?

Halloween's over.

You're not back, you'll be trapped in there.

Oh, wait.

Might need this.

A lot more than I do.

You will pay!

Annie Sawquin.


Charlie, I'm here, son.

I'm here.

Where are you, Charlie?

My son.

My boy.

Is it really you, Dad?

I missed you so much.

I'll take you home now.

Can we come, too?

This is Mia and Pablo, Dad.

We were brought here together.

There's no time.

We have to stay together.

Come on, keep moving.

We're almost there.

Get behind me.




Help him!

Dad, the bridge!

Come on!

Let's go!

I got you.

Put your arm around my neck.

I got you, Dad.

Let's go home.



Come here.

Oh, my goodness.

Where were you?

Where were you?

At the Halloween Fair.

Dad and I had so much fun.

There it is.

I thought I lost it.

He doesn't remember anything'?

Dad promised me next year I can be a superhero.

You'll be a superhero.

You're gonna be a great superhero.

Why are you crying?

I'm really happy to see you.

That's all, that's all.

I'm just happy to see you.

Thank you.