Maurice Allington (Albert Finney) owns an upmarket country restaurant 10 miles outside Cambridge. Formerly an inn, The Green Man in the tradition of many old buildings, is reported to have had at least one ghost. Dr. Thomas Underhill, a 17th-century Doctor of Divinity, was rumoured to have been the perpetrator of a number of unsavoury crimes, not least of them being the horrific murder of his wife, and his spirit is said to haunt the medieval restaurant. Maurice, however, believes only in the spirits which come out of a whisky bottle and uses the tale of Dr. Underhill and his associated ghosts simply as a spine-chilling 'hors d'oeuvre' in his already successful restaurant. Only his teenage daughter, Amy and daughter-in-law, Lucy, believe that there is something more to Maurice's ravings than delirium tremens alone. Obsessed by the concept of death and the exciting prospect of inner peace and immortality assured by Underhill, Maurice overlooks the single and most important thing in his life - and in Underhill's death - something very precious which Underhill had contrived to take from him at the outset. The true horror of Underhill is then revealed.