Necromancy is the practice of magic involving communicating with or raising the dead.
It’s after the war and a newly wed couple is looking for a home. John (Alec Faversham) and Phyllis (Anne Howard) have searched everywhere but there is nothing available. Finally they find a realtor (David Keir) who has one house that is for sale. The house is a large old home that once was resplendent but has been empty and unkempt for years. They buy the house and begin restoring it to a livable condition.
Soon they are hearing spooky noises and bumps in the night. Then they start seeing ghosts. John does a little investigating and discovers that the house was built by Rinaldo Sabata. Sabata was a Necromancer. He even has a plaque on his house saying so. John also finds some old love letters in the basement from a sailor written to Marianna, Sabata’s wife. There is a dark history to the house. It is said that Sabata had killed his wife and the sailor.
John calls on a friend of his, Dr. George Clinton (Valentine Dyall), for help. George is an expert in spirits. John and Phyllis tell George everything they’ve seen and John gives him all the history he has found on the house. George agrees that the house is haunted and agrees to help.
“The Ghost of Rashmon Hall” AKA “Night Comes Too Soon” was released in 1946 and was directed by Denis Kavanagh. It is a British film based on the story “The Haunters and The Haunted” by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. It is an obscure little haunted house movie and is only about 52 minutes long. The music fades in and out, but the dialogue sound is clear.
Valentine Dyall was a British Actor that did a lot of radio work. Someone referred to him as the British Vincent Price due to his deep resonant voice. He or his voice was featured in many British films and TV series. Some may know him as the Black Guardian in the Dr. Who series between 1979 and 1983.
The US title for the film is "The Ghost of Rashmon Hall." The leaf of a book shown in the movie reveals the real name is spelled "Rammelsham Hall", which is also how the characters pronounce it. Besides nipping and tucking the movie, the American Distributors mucked up the name of the estate and in conjunction with that the name of the movie.
The acting is kind of stilted and the dialogue is a little strange. I suspect due to the fact that the American version has been edited. There are a few parts where things are not explained or are assumed. I assume those are the nipped parts of the film. It doesn’t take a lot away from the movie but I would like to see the British version and see if it is more complete. I believe the original British movie was closer to 58 minutes long.
Despite the movie’s faults I found myself intrigued with the film and I couldn’t tell you why. There was just something stark about it. Almost like an amateur film in a real haunted house which could be closer to the truth than you realize. It is said that the film was shot at a mansion haunted by King James I. There is an eeriness to the overall atmosphere of the movie that drew me in. I don’t think it’s for everyone but I was glued to it.