The film opens with a wonderfully demented scene involving magician John Duquesne (played by the late, over-the-top closeted gay actor Cesar Romero) performing a ghastly trick involving his wife Melinda and a very sharp object.
After the prologue, we find out that poor Melinda has gone missing. We also learn that the new library has been dedicated and "casual labor" rules have been clarified by an official. Thank heavens!
Flash forward a bunch of years and Duquesne has suddenly died. His estranged daughter Cassie (played by Debbie Reynolds lookalike and future John McCain supporter Connie Stevens) shows up at this funeral, and later attends the read of his will-at the Hollywood Bowl.
Cassie must spend seven nights in her father's mansion in order to inherit his estate. A reporter named Val Henderson (played by future Disney star, Jesus freak and gay marriage opponent Dean Jones) takes an interest in her, but we are not sure if his aim is true because he doesn't let on that he's with the press.
Things get off to a spooky start when Cassie flips a light switch and something surprising happens. Here's a spoiler-free hint: the lights don't turn on.
But Cassie can't take a joke, and any time she encounters one of her father's scare tactics, she calls on Val to save her. So Val begins to spend the nights with her in the house-in his own room.