The Ghosts Of Windham Falls
screenplay synopsis by
"Twin Peaks" meets "Our Town"
Lila Green, a successful historical fiction writer, outwardly appears to be a giggly, deliriously happy sixty-two-year-old woman — but is she really? Is she possibly just delirious?
The charming little cottage she recently bought abuts an ancient graveyard in the Massachusetts town of Windham Falls. It came with one caveat though: the owners must carry on the tradition of feeding the flock of wild turkeys that gather there, and have as far back as anyone can remember. And it is in this graveyard that Lila Green's life takes an unexpected turn. One morning while performing this mandatory but delightful ritual, a spirit buried there long ago follows her home and Lila's new book transforms from being one of historical fiction, to being one of historical fact.
Having been a writer for decades, Lila has exhausted her character naming so she innocently begins to "borrow" names off the tombstones. On a rainy day after feeding the noisy, hungry turkeys she affectionately calls "The Children I Never Had, Thank God", she sits down to write her new novel. Stuck, she goes to the kitchen, looks out the window overlooking the cemetery and says, "Mary Abbott (her new main character she found on a tombstone that morning), talk to me, tell me your story". She experiences an odd electrical-like shock from her toes to her nose, and a woman's deep voice loudly whispers, "I thought you'd never ask!" Flabbergasted but not afraid, Lila runs back to her study, boots up her computer and her fingers begin to fly across the keyboard. Through Lila's fingers and before her very eyes, Mary Abbott's story from hundreds of years ago begins to unfold.
Mary, the graveyard ghost, daily begins to share the story of her life struggles in the 17th century. And as her story grows, Lila becomes aware she is learning firsthand the verbal history of the early years of Windham Falls — and it is one hell of a story. It seems one morning a mysterious stranger appeared, and the town and its settlers' lives were never, ever the same.
With Mary's encouragement, other ghosts begin to follow Lila home from the cemetery and tell their dark but amusing true stories. They become such chatty little players in ancient Windham Falls' growing cast of characters that on some days Lila has to shoo them back to the cemetery and tell them to take a number.
Fascinated and obsessed by it all, she researches the town's history on the internet and at the local library. As more of the ghosts' stories come to light, out of curiosity she attempts to interview their modern-day descendants: oddly, they all clam up. While Lila is trying to figure out why, she finds baffling gaping holes in the town's recorded history. Then the lives of the long ago inhabitants begin to intersect with the lives of their contemporary descendants. And on some days, the living and the dead show up at Lila's little cottage at the same time. The revelations of the living are contradicted by the dead, which Lila finds both puzzling and personally intriguing.
As Windham Falls' amazing story is revealed, the pivotal role of the ancient mysterious stranger and even the importance of the graveyard wild turkeys become clear. And Lila Green, lucky writer and spirit medium extraordinaire, has the privilege of sharing the story of Windham Falls' incredible past with the world.
"The Ghosts Of Windham Falls" is conceived as a limited series. Registered WGAE 2019