Ghosts! A haunted house! A dead serial killer! Unscrupulous real estate partners! And an Ancient Unnamed Evil who needs another victim! Throw in a creepy priest, a goofy cocktail waitress/ghost rights’ activist, a sick mother, denied health insurance claims, and some bleeding walls and you’ve got nice guy Richard Scarry’s problems in a nut shell – and the premise of The Selling, tonight’s Halloween feature, starring  guests, writer/producer/actor Gabriel Diani and actor/producer Etta Devine.

Richard is too nice to be a real estate agent–he tries to talk clients out of mortgages that are too large for them, but to no avail. Facing the high cost of his beloved mother’s medical care, Richard agrees to go in on flipping a house with his business partner. The only hitch: It’s haunted, something rival agent, perky blond Mary Best, declined to state when they bought the place. The beautiful 1906 home with stained glass windows and all original tiles and  built-ins is very haunted with all the conventions of horror movie haunted houses delightfully skewered for comedic effect: Bleeding walls, creepy voice, slamming doors, exploding sewer-filled toilets, frightening apparitions, and swarms of stinging insects. Plus Richard is starting to have dreams–very, very scary dreams.

Desperate to sell the house, Richard and his partner Dave enlist Richard’s old Sunday school teacher Father Jimmy (Barry Bostwick, who starred in another horror sendup Rocky Horror Picture Show ) who fails miserably at the task of clearing the ghosts (though he does dress well for the part!). When the ghosts drive out Father Jimmy, Richard turns to ghost rights’ activist and blogger Ginger whose presence draws the murderous ghost of the Sleep Stalker, a 1950s serial killer who once lived in the house.

Luckily a pair of witches interested in supernatural manifestations buy the house, but now the Ancient Unnamed Evil who possessed the Sleep Stalker has now taken over Richard’s body, and needs a thirteenth victim to complete its full manifestation in the physical form and cause untold chaos on earth…

Playfully underscoring the perils of the real estate market while gently reminding us of the need for health care reform, The Selling is a smart funny, horror comedy that made me laugh out loud.