Kevin Malone



The job ad seems too good to be true: "Attractive young couple, well educated and well connected, will receive free housing, generous living allowance for minimal services." What's the catch?


  • There is a hint of the Garden of Eden in the sheltered life the couple has. When they seek forbidden knowledge they lose it. There are religious hints in the butler named Priest, the rose gardener, the lamb for dinner, etc.
  • "I wonder if it is possible for a man -- even a rich man -- to be possessed and not to know it." This seems to be the truth behind the man who calls himself Kevin Malone. Probably he was a rich man who bought the house, and the ghost of the murderer, the real Kevin Malone, possessed him and made him re-enact his life as a servant.
  • Marcella becomes a maid, possibly possessed by Betty Malone. Given Kevin's attitude toward younger women, she is likely to be murdered next. Then advertisements will go out again and the cycle will repeat.
  • Marcella is the name of a saint, from a noble family in ancient Rome. She had been rich but devoted herself to asceticism. She was martyred by being beaten to death.
  • The first drink the narrator is served in the house is a "john collins." The real cocktail name is Tom Collins and there is a hoax about a non-existent person associated with that name (see the link).

Unresolved Questions

  • Are there other ghosts among the staff? Is Priest a ghost?

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