Barnaby finds connections between a supposedly haunted forest, the traceless disappearances of two couples and a gang of antiquity thieves.



(screenplay) (as David Lawrence), (characters)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jane Wymark ...
Cyrus LeVanu
Lynton Pargeter
Reverend Wallace Stone
Sarah Stone
Sam Nelms
Richard Graham ...
Stanley Goodfellow
Paul Greenwood ...
John Temple
Dr Mary McKay
Elizabeth Payne ...
Nesta Goodfellow
Brian Parr ...
Colin Thomas


Postman Sam Nelms' morning delivery takes a strange turn when he discovers the occupants of neighboring cottages, the Goodfellows and Thomases have vanished, leaving half-eaten breakfasts on the table. Some years earlier the Thomases' son died in nearby Monks Barton woods,believed to be haunted, and flamboyant psychic Cyrus LeVanu arrives to perform an exorcism in the woods. The corpse of a known antiques burglar and those of the Thomases are discovered whilst Stanley Goodfellow is found,raving and apparently mad. An antiques theft ring is exposed,headed by the next victim, who manufactured ghostly noises in the woods to scare people away from his misdeeds. Barnaby knows who the killer is by now but the location of Stanley's wife,alive, by Cyrus's psychic powers shows that talking to the dead may be possible. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

5 May 2009 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


Nether Winchendon House in Buckinghamshire, used as the location for Monks Barton Priory, has also been used as a location in earlier episodes Midsomer Murders: Death in Disguise (1998) and Midsomer Murders: Garden of Death (2000). See more »


When LeVanu is being interviewed on the radio, the frequency of the station as advertised on posters in the studio (86.6 MHz) is not the frequency that Jones tunes to (93.5 MHz) when he and Barnaby listen in the car. Also, 86.6 MHz is outside the range 87.5-108.0 MHz that is used by FM radio. See more »


[first lines]
Talk Show Host: [on radio] Hello, who's this?
Julie - caller on radio: It's Julie.
Talk Show Host: Hello, Julie, how are you?
Julie - caller on radio: I'm fine, thanks. How are you?
Talk Show Host: I'm very well, thank you, and thanks for calling us.
Sam Nelms: Hello!
Talk Show Host: And I suppose you want a dedication or a request.
Julie - caller on radio: I would love one, yes.
Sam Nelms: Hello!
See more »

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User Reviews

Brilliant Episode
30 April 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Four people disappear into thin air one morning in the tiny village of Monks Barton. The postman, Sam Nelms, discovers their cottages with warm tea and breakfast still on the table - but no sign of the occupants, just traces of blood... Barnaby and Jones soon learn of the history surrounding the village and its supposedly haunted woods, where a massacre once took place. Colin and Molly Thomas, one of the missing couples, moved there after their ten year old son got lost in the woods and died. Molly Thomas, suffering a break down, believed she would be closer to his spirit there. Shortly before he died of hypothermia he was supposedly heard speaking in tongues. Barnaby remains sceptical of all the talk of ghosts and ghouls,even when an unidentified corpse is found by a colourful psychic, buried in the wood and the missing start turning up brutally murdered...

This is a fantastic episode, especially by the standards set by recent stories. The script has the right balance between humour and drama. Too often these days the line is crossed and you just end up with a pantomime (though i must confess the psychic did come close to being over the top) The solution to the mystery is very satisfying and there's one particularly grisly method of murder which i wont spoil!

All in all one of the best episodes of recent years... Maybe even ever.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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