Dr. Denner's daughter, perhaps?

A college student rents a room from a professor that has a small door from behind which she hears noises at night.

Production DetailsEdit

Directed by: Tom Savini

Written by: Michael McDowell

Dr. Denner: Fritz Weaver

Gail Aynsley: Roberta Weiss



A symphony is playing as you see the inside of a posh house.  A knock comes at the door.  When there is no answer, there comes another lock.  As the knocking continues, I man closes his book and goes to answer the door.

The door is opened and a young female college student is there.  She greets Dr. Denner and tells him that she called him earlier.  He remembers and addresses her as Miss Aynsley and she insists on simply Gail.  

Dr. Denner lets her in and she enters the house, looking around. He mentions to her that he has the last available place in town. Gaile drops her books and mentions that she should have been looking for a place earlier.  She mentions that she is a fine arts graduate student and Dr. Denner mentions that he teaches vetinary class.

As Gaile picks her books up, Dr. Denner tells her there is a reason the room is available.  He is, in fact, a very strict landlord. He needs to be quiet and he wants no television, radio or boyfriends. Gail mentiones she only has a slide projector and only runs it at night.  After she assures him that she does not have a boyfriend, he takes her to the third floor and lets her know it is all for herself.

Dr. Denner tells her about the rent and that the room used to be his daughters.  Gail sees a small door and asks him if it is a closet.  he says that it was once a closet but it is locked now.  He lost the key but lets Gail know that if she does not have enough room that she can keep her things in a downstairs closet.  He leaves as Gail asks why the door is so small.  The assumption is that he approved the room.

Gail is seen putting her things away in her room.  She plugs in a night light and then hears a sound on the other side of the door.  It sounds as if something is moving around in there.  Dr. Denner turns the lights off downstairs and kicks  a box as if he is angry. Gail is tossing and turning in bed.


Gail comes downstairs as Dr. Denner is getting ready to leave.  She tells him that he never gave her keys and he tosses them to her.  He lets her know they are labeled and he has to get to his office.  She tells him there was a rat in her room, but he lets her know that the only rats in the house are the ones he keeps in formaldehyfe.  Gail insists it was alive and he assures her that there are no rats in his house and leaves.

Gail goes up to her room and tries to see if one of her keys will work in the lock.  She gets a mouse trap, opens the door and puts the trap in the room.  While watching her slides, Gail hears the trap go off in the closet.  She tries to open the door but it will not budge.

As Gail is sleeping, her nightlight goes out.  Something opens the closet door from the other side and comes out, scampering around the room.  The sound wakes Gail up and she takes a flashlight from under her pillow and looks around.  Approaching the closet, she finds the door open once more.  She opens it but is unable to see anything.  Gail heads back to bed and lays down with her eyes open.  The camera moves downward and the eyes of the thing in the closet are seen under her bed.

In the morning, Dr, Denner knocks on Gail's door.  Upon opening it, he offers her a ride to campus if she wants it.  Gail tells him that there is a rat in the closet and she managed to get the door opened.  When he asks Gail how.  Gail says the bedroom key works on the door also.  She attempts to open it and it does not work.  Dr. Denner assures her that the closet door has not been opened in years, but she tells him that she put a mouse trap in the closet.

For the first time, Dr. Denner looks concerned.  He asks what she caught with the trap, but she tells him nothing.  Dr. Denner asks her if she thinks the rat appropriated the trap for its own uses.  He tells her that rats are not raised on rutabagas and Gail does not understand this.  Dr. Denner explains that they are brain food. Rats can avoid traps, he tells her, but they cannot move furniture.  Gail continues to try to convince Dr. Denner that something is in the closet, but he dismisses her and they leave.

Once the room is empty, something pulls Gail's luggage under her bed.


Gail enters her room, reading her mail.  She hears the closet door unlatch and she runs over to it.  Upon opening it, she see lots of clothes for a little girl in the closet.  She feels around and the mousetrap snaps her hand,  Gail runs off from the closet and the door closes on its own as blood drops onto her white shoe.

Gail's telephone is ringing as she is once again trying to open the closet door to no avail.  She begins to get very frustrated as she hears the professor's car door slam.  

Dr. Denner tells Gail that the room was his daughter Margaret's room.  She moved away and married a man who paints rooms even though he put her through college and graduate school and now lives in Montpelier, VT.  He tells her that his wife had a lump in her breasts and two mastectomies, and the chemotherapy killed her.

When Gail tells Dr. Denner she cannot get the closet door open, he tells her that is why he put the standing wardrobe in her room.  She is adamant that something is living in the closet.  He gives her a look as if he thinks she is crazy.

Later that night in her room, Gail hears the closet door unlatch and she immediately sits up with her flashlight.  As the door creaks open, she gets up and makes her way over to it, crawling on the floor.  Shining the flashlight in the closet, Gail finally sees the creature that lives in there.  She screams as the creature kills her and then pulls her into the closet.

Dr. Denner is on the phone with Gail's father.  He tells him that he saw her but is not sure what happened.  Dr. Denner is not willing to look at her things or try to find her, because he is only her landlord.  To get off the phone with her father, he tells the man that he is having a root canal.

Dr. Denner cries out and pain, and upon looking down, sees the creature that killed Gail.  He talks to the creature as if it was his daughter.  He picks it up and tells it that he is going to tuck it in and tell it a story.  He takes the creature up stairs, speaking baby talk to it.

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