Lady in White

Frankie Scarlatti is a kid who loves his family and Halloween.  One day he falls prey to a couple of bullies, Donald and Louie, at his school.  Just for the sheer joy they find in meanness, the two miscreants lock Frankie in the coatroom after class ends.  With no way to get free, Frankie settles in as darkness falls.

While waiting for his family to miss him, and hopefully rescue him, Frankie witnesses something miraculous.  The ghost of a little girl waltzes into the coatroom, carefree and playful.  Soon, the girl’s innocent antics turn sinister as the ghost reenacts her murder at the hands of an phantom strangler.

Frankie sees the ghostly girl carried out of the coatroom, and before he knows it, an actual person is unlocking the door.  Still hid, the boy watches someone, concealed in darkness, trying to pry the grate off the vent.  When the stranger notices Frankie, adult hands wrap around the boy’s throat until he’s unconscious.

As Frankie hovers between life and death, he sees the ghost of the little girl, again.  Her name is Melissa and she asks him for help, not in finding her killer, but in finding her mother.

Angelo, Frankie’s dad, finds him near death and rushes him to the hospital.  The boy survives and learns that his attack was not isolated– there have been almost a dozen children murdered over the years in his town.  With no clues, and unable to identify who tried to kill him, blame soon falls on the school janitor.

On his mission to help Melissa, the ghost girl, Frankie removes the grate in the coatroom.  Squirreled away inside are various objects lost from the pockets of kids, except for a class ring with some interesting initials on it that could clear the janitor and point justice in the direction of the true culprit.

Lady in White offers a little something to most everyone.  There are ghosts, creepy old ladies, and an even spookier old house.  There is the central mystery to find, and stop, the killer before it’s too late, and, most prominently, there is a healthy dose of nostalgia.  The movie is set in the 1960s, but I can almost guarantee it will make any viewer recall their childhood Halloweens.

This is a simple story, and a classic one.  With it currently out of print, it may be a little hard to find (copies of it can get a little pricey).  If you can find it, Lady in White is well worth viewing.