Adapted from R. A. Dick's novel, a widow moves into a haunted house and forms a friendly partnership with the spirit of a late sea captain.
In London the widow Lucy Muir (Gene Tierney) tells in-laws Eva and Angelica that she is leaving her late husband's house with her daughter Anna (Natalie Wood) and her housekeeper Martha (Edna Best). The landlord Mr. Coombe (Robert Coote) tries to discourage Lucy from renting a house on the coast that is haunted by a sea captain who committed suicide; but she rents it anyway. Lucy finds windows come open. After a nap she talks to the ghost, and Captain Daniel Gregg (Rex Harrison) appears. He says his death was accidental, that it is his house, and that he wants it to be for retired seamen. Lucy cries and says she loves the house. He says she can stay, but he is not leaving. Because of her daughter, he promises to stay in the bedroom, reminding her he has no body. He tells her to move his painting in there and tells her not to be ashamed of her figure.
Daniel tells Lucy that she did not love her husband. Eva and Angelica visit but cannot see or hear Daniel. They say her gold mine has stopped paying dividends. Lucy responds to Daniel's comments and offends them. They ask her to come back, but Daniel wants her to stay. Lucy is glad to stay, and Daniel makes sure they leave. Lucy plans to take in lodgers for income, but Daniel suggests she write a book about him. He calls her Lucia and says he is there because she believes he is. He tells his story, and she types.
They finish the book, and Daniel urges Lucy to see men. She goes to the publisher Sproule (Whitford Kane) and meets Miles Fairley (George Sanders), who gives her his appointment. Sproule tells her to go, but Daniel gets him to read her manuscript. Sproule likes it, and Lucy says the captain is away on a voyage. Sproule says he will publish it. Miles gets a cab for Lucy in the rain and says he writes children's books. On the train Daniel is jealous.
Lucy finds Miles painting her picture, and he kisses her. Lucy walks away and talks with Daniel, who warns her. Martha tells Lucy that Miles is not good enough for her. Miles and Lucy kiss as Daniel watches. While Lucy sleeps, Daniel says he is going away and that it was a dream. Sproule gives Lucy an advance of 100 pounds. Lucy reminds Martha that she is marrying Miles and asks her to move Daniel's portrait to the attic. Lucy goes to London and calls on Miles but meets his wife, who says this has happened before. Lucy cries, and Martha consoles her. Lucy recalls that it was one year ago that she came there.
A few years later Anna Muir (Vanessa Brown) returns with her fiancé. She says that Lucy was happy with Daniel and that she talked with him too. Lucy says they made him up. Many years later Lucy tells Martha that her granddaughter is engaged. In the final scene Lucy dies and goes away with Daniel.
This romantic comedy is a positive ghost story that
hints at the reality of disincarnate entities who often hang around
familiar places and influence others after having cut their own