The film opens with Diane Adams (Mary Woronov) walking on the Butler estate and telling a bit of the home’s history via voiceover. In 1950, Wilfred Butler was found burned to death on Christmas Eve in what was later deemed an accident at his palatial estate in the small town of East Willard, Massachusetts. One of the conditions of his will is that his house be left to his only surviving family member, child grandson Jeffrey, with the stipulation that the premises never be changed to reflect the house’s “inhumanity and cruelty” to the world. Gee, Grandpa sounds like a real upbeat guy. Twenty years later, lawyer John Carter (Patrick O’Neal) arrives in East Willard with instructions from the now adult Jeffrey (James Patterson) to sell the house for him. Several residents of East Willard take an unusual interest in the house and offer to buy it. But before the sale can be finalized, an escaped lunatic arrives in East Willard and begins calling the interested parties, saying they are Marianne Butler, Jeffrey’s long dead mother. As the mystery unfolds, the prominent folks are dispatching one by one.