Murdoch and Crabtree investigate the death of Reginald Chilton, the Member of Provincial Parliament from Toronto East who died from a fall from an upper floor at the Provincial legislature, Queen's Park. The guard on duty at the time, Briggs, swears he saw a ghost push Chilton over the railing. Samuel Jenkins of the Toronto Gazette informs the police that he was investigating Chilton's unscrupulous business dealings. Crabtree for his part wants to explore the supernatural elements of the case but Murdoch dissuades him. Dr. Grace says Chilton definitely died from the fall but it appears that he fell backwards over the balcony as if he had been pushed. A second man, Dr. Ansel Fraser, dies in a similar fashion and the police focus on the Provincial Secretary, Thaddeus Walsh. As far as the ghost is concerned Murdoch is convinced the apparitions are very human. Written by
It is said that men sweat but ladies glow. Both are true in this tale.
It's late evening at Queen's Park, the Provincial Legislature building. Reginald Chilton, a Member of Provincial Parliament, is startled to hear his Christian name whispered loudly by a woman's voice, and hurriedly prepares to leave his upstairs office. The night watchman, Howard Briggs, sees a woman, glowing blue-green, and tries to follow her. (The building has a reputation for being haunted by several female ghosts.) Making his way along the corridor, Chilton again hears his name whispered, and speeds up his walk. Briggs, pursuing the glowing woman, reaches Chilton's floor, just in time to see her push Chilton over the railing to his death, several floors down. Next morning, the MPPs and their staff find themselves mingling with the Toronto Constabulary and Dr Grace, who are there to investigate. Constable Crabtree is captivated by the prospect of investigating ghosts, of course, and tells Murdoch that he believes that ghosts are tortured souls unable to find rest because someone in life did them a terrible injustice. Murdoch is exasperated by this.
Samuel Jenkins, a reporter with the Toronto Gazette breezes into Police Station 4, offering Murdoch information. For quite some time he had been looking into Chilton's corrupt dealings in real estate and his attempts to gain from his position in the Provincial Legislature. He suggests there may be a connection with Chilton's mysterious death.
Crabtree can't resist encouraging Briggs and the women in the typing pool to tell tales about the building's ghosts. One typist called Lorraine says she saw the glowing woman the previous evening. Murdoch is far from impressed with Crabtree's report, and sends him to Dr Grace who says Chilton's injuries are consistent with a fall backwards over the balcony. George then shares his theory that a ghost did it, and Dr Grace, smirking, encourages him to pursue the line of enquiry, despite Murdoch's disapproval.
Following up Jenkins' lead, Murdoch has discovered that ownership of the land he mentioned is indeed concealed by nested shell companies. He asks Crabtree to look into the historic ownership of the site. Before doing so, Crabtree insists Murdoch and Brackenreid hear his theory. He has learned that the Legislature was built on land formerly occupied by an insane Asylum for women, which explains the ongoing haunting of Queen's Park by female ghosts. His superiors tell him to stick to tasks he is given, and send him off to City records.
Crabtree visits Dr Ogden to enquire if she has information about the old women's Asylum, and she points him to the archives. He returns to Police Station 4 carrying a large wooden box, hiding it under his desk before reporting on the land. Decades before Chilton owned it, it belonged to a farmer called Herbert G Marshall who passed it on to his daughter Abigail. She married Thaddeus Walsh, the Provincial Secretary, who inherited it when she died. It was Walsh who sold it to Chilton. Murdoch and Brackenreid visit Queen's Park to question Secretary Walsh, who is extremely annoyed by the implication that he was involved in Chilton's death. The Inspector sends Crabtree to research the shell companies, looking for the names of Chilton or Walsh in the papers.
Both Dr Ogden and Dr Grace call in at Police Station 4 and ask George if he is making progress with his ghosts, but he tells them he has been ordered to desist. Dr Grace feels he should persevere, since she found so much adrenaline in Chilton's bloodstream that it suggests he had suffered an extreme shock shortly before death. "As if he had seen a ghost?" George asks, and Dr Grace concurs, going on to suggest the two of them should maybe spend a night at Queen's Park, ghost hunting. Crabtree has a better idea: Murdoch's time-lapse camera keeping watch. While they are there, an elderly man asks them for directions to Walsh's office. Moments later, they hear a scream, and race to find him dead on the stairs. In his pocket is a note inviting him to meet Walsh, and to tell nobody of the arrangement.
Next morning, Murdoch questions Secretary Walsh, who denies knowing the dead man or writing the invitation. Crabtree is delighted when it seems that the camera did indeed capture a picture of a glowing figure. Fortunately, perhaps, his conversation with Murdoch is interrupted by a woman reporting her husband missing. At the morgue, she identifies the man: her husband, Dr Ansel Fraser. Back at Police Station 4, Crabtree tells Murdoch that Dr Fraser used to work at the old Asylum, so Murdoch gives in and asks him to look through his box of Asylum archives for any connection with Chilton.
So, will Crabtree finally identify the ghost? Or will Murdoch prove that the glowing woman is no ghost at all, but a real, live, flesh-and-blood person? If so, how is she making herself glow? Is this affair about crooked land dealing, or is George right that there is a tortured soul unable to find rest until a past injustice is put right?
This story is a wonderfully different kind of mystery for Murdoch and co. to solve. Real science will once again be at the heart of his detective work. The scriptwriters really are to be congratulated again for their creative vision and ability to convey complicated matters of science in accessible ways.
This episode shows all the main characters being true to themselves throughout, and would be an ideal taster for anyone new to the show.
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