Mine to Kill by David Wagner | Script Revolution

Mine to Kill

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Page Count: 
123pp

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Based On: 
The Great Amherst Mystery by Walter Hubbell
Logline: 
In 1878 Nova Scotia, a teenage girl is possessed by six demons, including one that starts fires. Based on a true story.
Synopsis/Details: 

In the late summer of 1878, Esther Cox, 18, goes for a wagon ride with a handsome 28-year-old man named Bob McNeal. When McNeal's wagon reaches a remote area, he pulls a gun on Esther and tries to force her into the woods. Fortunately, another wagon happens down the road at that moment, and McNeal has to end his attempted assault. Nevertheless, the experience traumatizes Esther and triggers in her, or attracts to her, a malevolent force that nearly kills her and her family in the village of Amherst, Nova Scotia.

Later the same night, Esther is awakened by something moving in her bed. She thinks it is a mouse, but after a thorough search, she traces the movement to a box under the bed. Esther pulls out the box and is frightened when it jumps into the air several times. She is even more frightened when she finds that the box is empty.

The next night, Esther's body begins to swell. Just when she thinks she is about to burst, a loud, thunder-like noise comes from under her bed and shakes the entire room. At that moment, Esther's swelling goes down, she resumes her natural appearance, and she falls into a deep sleep.

The following night, Esther's swelling returns, but this time, continuous pounding noises are heard in her bedroom, and Esther's pillow and blankets repeatedly fly off the bed. Members of Esther's family have to sit on the corners of the bed to keep the blankets on the bed.

Esther's family calls a doctor, who doesn't believe anything he has heard about Esther's experiences. To the doctor's surprise, everything happens again in his presence, and this time, an invisible hand scratches words into the wall above Esther's bed -- "ESTHER COX YOU ARE MINE TO KILL."

The doctor tries treating Esther with sedatives, but nothing works. The pounding sounds move to the roof of the house, and the noises are so loud that neighbors think someone is striking the roof with a sledgehammer. The local newspaper begins covering the story, and crowds show up at the house to experience the strange phenomena for themselves.

Next, Esther hears the voice of a man who tells her he had once lived on the earth, but that he has been dead for several years and is a ghost. He also tells Esther that he is going to set her house on fire that night.

Esther tells her family what she has heard, but no one believes her -- until lighted matches start appearing out of thin air and setting fires all over the house. Esther and her family must stay awake all night to put out the fires.

The next day, a fire breaks out in the cellar while Esther and her sister are home alone. The two young women are unable to put out the fire by themselves and must quickly get help from neighbors.

A short time later, the malevolent spirit appears to Esther and tells her he will burn down the house that night unless she leaves. The house sits so close to other houses in the village that if one house catches fire, all the houses will burn. Esther's brother-in-law finds her temporary lodging in the home of the tavern owner, whose house sits apart from the rest of the houses in the village.

Meanwhile, a young actor named Walter Hubbell reads a newspaper article about Esther's experiences. Between acting jobs, Hubbell travels around the country exposing fraudulent mediums and spiritualists. He decides to investigate Esther's case.

When Hubbell sees objects moving by themselves and hears the mysterious noises in Esther's house, he soon becomes Esther's biggest ally. He tells Esther that there is money to be made from her misfortune, and he convinces her to go on a lecture tour with him. The audiences, however, seem to think that Esther and Hubbell are either sacrilegious or fakes, and in one city, a mob literally runs the two out of town.

While staying in the house with Esther and her family, Hubbell discovers that he can communicate with six unseen spirits. He finds that the fire-starting spirit is named Bob Nickle and was 60 years old when he died; a female spirit named Jane Nickle is either Bob's wife or his sister; Maggie Fisher is a spirit almost as evil as Bob; Mary Fisher is Maggie's sister; Eliza McNeal claims to be the deceased sister of Bob McNeal, the man who tried to assault Esther; and Peter Teed is an old man who tries to stop the others from breaking things.

Soon Esther's landlord hears about all the fires that have started in the house, and he insists that Esther move out, or he will evict her entire family. Esther goes to live and work on a farm a couple of miles from the village.

For a while, everything goes well for Esther on the farm. Then one day, the barn burns down shortly after Esther is seen leaving it. She is arrested. The jury does not believe Esther's "ghost" defense, and she is convicted of arson and sentenced to four months in jail.

While Esther serves her sentence, she is visited by a young man named Adam Porter, who claims that he has felt a strange kinship with her since he first read about her in the newspaper. Esther and Adam grow close.

A month later, the judge commutes Esther's jail sentence because so many of her friends and neighbors have come to her defense, declaring that they have witnessed the supernatural events firsthand. Esther, her family, and Adam, are happy.

Esther and Adam marry and have a son.

Then Adam dies mysteriously...

Submitted: August 24, 2016
Last Updated: March 25, 2017

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The Writer: David Wagner

David Wagner graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with a BA in Graphic Design and Media Arts. David's short film, I LIKE INSIDE BETTER, was a recent Official Selection of the Red Rock Film Festival in Utah. Go to bio

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