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:
Cyrus LeVanu
Lynton Pargeter
Reverend Wallace Stone
Sarah Stone
Sam Nelms
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

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

5 May 2009 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


This episode was filmed in the village of Cuddington in Buckinghamshire, which was also used on location in the previous episodes Midsomer Murders: Death of a Stranger (1999), Midsomer Murders: Death and Dreams (2003) and Midsomer Murders: Bad Tidings (2004). The building which appears as the "Monks' Retreat" is in fact the "Red Lion" in Little Missenden, which has previously appeared in Series 4 episodes Midsomer Murders: Destroying Angel (2001) (as the "Red Lion") and Midsomer Murders: Who Killed Cock Robin? (2001) (as the "White Swan"). 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

very good episode
20 June 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When four people disappear without a trace, it falls to Barnaby and Jones to find out what happened in "Talking to the Dead," from season 11.

This episode combines drama and humor as Barnaby and Jones go to the village of Monks Barton to investigate. They meet a womanizing postman, a man who sees dead people, a fire and brimstone preacher, a traumatized individual who babbles, and learn about the strange lights and sounds coming from the haunted woods. A massacre of monks once took place there, and the monks have been haunting the place ever since.

The missing soon start turning corpses.

Really good episode with some good humor as well as mystery. The best scene is probably when Barnaby accidentally closes Jones into an iron maiden. When he gets him out, all Jones says over and over is, "You shut the DOOR!" And though Barnaby doesn't believe in any of this ghost stuff, his wife Joyce has an "open mind" as she says, and one can tell that Jones is somewhat nervous in the woods.

Excellent mystery. Wish this particular writer (David Harsent) did all of the scripts.

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