Haunted loves a creepy dead girl, and “Gift of Evil” gets plenty out of mileage out of the trope in another load of absolute nonsense.
This recap of Haunted season 3, episode 3, “Gift of Evil”, contains spoilers.
When I made fun of the opening episode of this season, I suggested that no good has ever come of banjo music, but it occurred to me in the cold open of “Gift of Evil” that Tchaikovsky’s tinkly “Swan Lake” melody is a contender for the most unintentionally ominous musical cue. The tune plays from a music box as a pretty little girl in a pink dress is chased through the woods by some hairy men until she’s eventually cornered, dropping the box at her feet. She’s thrown off a cliff into some water and presumably drowns, while the little ballerina in the music box keeps spinning.
Emily, predictably then, claims to be haunted by a spirit in a music box. Emily was adopted shortly after she was born, which was never kept secret from her, and she remained a socially awkward kid growing up. She had a great relationship with her godmother, though, and the music box, which was engraved with her name, was a gift. A locket inside it became one of her most important possessions, a reminder of how cared for and loved she was. Not that she can fasten the thing without the aid of some ghostly hands behind her, obviously.
Any story about a haunting that involves a music box is obviously going to use the music as a cue for spooks, which Haunted season 3, episode 3 proves by having a rotten version of the little girl from the opening humming “Swan Lake”. The next time she appears, she tries to drown Emily in the bath. “Gift of Evil” gets a few played-out but quite effectively creepy scares out of this kid, who takes to cropping up all over the place. Eventually, she puts on Emily’s locket in the night and bites her neck like a vampire, but obviously not hard enough to leave a mark in the present-day.
Emily meets and falls for some dude named Ernesto, who she moves in with, along with his daughter, Jacqueline. The little girl disappeared. They lived happily for ten months until Ernesto discovered the music box, which causes him to retch and vomit. This tips Emily off to the fact that Creepy Dead Girl came from the music box, which she surely should have recognized ages ago. Creepy Dead Girl begins to haunt and choke Jacqueline, so Ernesto turns on Emily and throws her out, which is understandable. In the aftermath of this, Emily took the music box and locket to a medium, and you can trust a qualified charlatan like that to get to the bottom of such things. It turns out Creepy Dead Girl’s name was Emily. Hilariously, Emily’s godmother never had the thing engraved; it was just a second-hand lazy gift. The medium told Emily that Emily was murdered; her body washed ashore. Creepy Dead Emily tells the medium that she wants to stay with Gullible Living Emily, prompting the latter to throw the music box off a cliff and into some water — the exact same spot where the men threw Emily, as far as I can tell. Quite a coincidence, I’m sure you’ll agree.