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The Haunting Of Billop House

    by Joe Simonelli


       

Synopsis

Thriller Play Script: 'The Haunting Of Billop House' by Joe Simonelli

Based on the alleged hauntings of the Conference House on Staten Island, New York, the play opens in the basement kitchen of the revolutionary war manor house. Built in the 1650’s, it is the oldest existing manor house in New York State. The historical building, which offers seasonal tours, is cared for by Janet.

As the play opens there is a voice-over by Larry Landers, Janet’s brother-in-law, who is a famous playwright and novelist specialising in ghost story thrillers.  He is visiting his sister-in-law over a winter weekend. Also in attendance are Janet’s daughter Olivia and her college classmate, George, who are visiting for the weekend.

After the voice-over Larry is seen following his niece Olivia down the stairs into the basement kitchen area. Featuring a large hearth, this was where meals were prepared during the revolutionary war period, as Olivia explains the history of the house to her uncle. They are soon joined by Janet and eventually George. 

Scene Two begins with George and Olivia sneaking downstairs that same night at 3am to try out a Ouija board. The board signals an ominous warning about Christopher Billop, a Revolutionary War British Colonel who still haunts the house. As a women’s scream is heard upstairs Larry enters and reprimands the youngsters for using such an occult device in such an old house. Janet then joins them after being frightened by the cat jumping out at her upstairs. As the four further discuss the history of the house it is decided that Janet will undergo regression therapy given by Larry to try to uncover the secrets of the house.

The next afternoon Janet is regressed back to a past life in both France in the 1800’s, as well as a housemaid in the Billop house during the Revolutionary War. Having great difficulty leading Janet back to the present, it is decided to try one more regression the next day. In that regression more is revealed about the dark history of the house.

As Janet emerges from the second regression the power in the house goes out and the four are plunged into darkness as the door leading to the basement slams shut, effectively locking them all in the basement.

As they frantically search for a way out, with their cell phones having been drained of all power, George suddenly becomes possessed by the spirit of Christopher Billop who menaces and threatens the others to leave the house. As George comes back to himself it is decided that they all will leave the house. Janet begrudgingly agrees to leave also, albeit only temporarily, as she is still the caretaker of the house.

Left on stage alone, and this time unprompted by any hypnosis, Janet again reverts to the persona of the revolutionary housemaid who comforts Captain Billop by promising that no other outsiders will again trespass in his house. 

Characters

(2m, 2f)

  • Larry Landers - 45-55, a famous thriller playwright and novelist  
  • Janet Landers - 45-55, Larry’s sister in law, care taker of Billop House 
  • Olivia - 20, Janet’s daughter
  • George - 21, Olivia’s boyfriend from college 
     
  • Captain Billop - A phantom

       

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