When Professor Hiram Otis gets a research grant to study in England, his family is thrilled to learn that they will live in a real castle called Canterville Hall. The castle's most notable feature turns out to be the ghost of Sir Simon de Canterville (Patrick Stewart), who died 400 years ago, visible only to Virginia Otis (Neve Cambell), 16, and her two younger brothers. Though he goes through the motions of being terrifying, Sir Simon turns out to be a rather friendly fellow once proper introductions have been made. He gives Virginia helpful advice on her blossoming romance with Francis, a young neighbour, and even agrees to perform 'Hamlet', playing the role of the ghost, of course. Eventually, Sir Simon confies his situation to Virginia: he is doomed to haunt the castle forever, unless a "Golden Girl" can be convinced to travel to the Other World and plead his case before the Angel of Death. Virginia, feeling that after 400 years there is no time to be wasted, immediately agres and the two disappear into the fireplace. Will the Angel of Death grant Sir Simon's wish, or will Virginia be forever trapped in the Other World?