Seance on a Wet Afternoon

Date: 1964
Director: Bryan Forbes
Production Company: Beaver Films, Allied Film Makers

Stars: Richard Attenborough, Kim Stanley, Nanette Newman, Patrick Magee, Mark Eden
Location(s): London, Surrey

Region(s): ,


A medium convinces her husband to stage a kidnapping in order to use her ‘abilities’ to solve the crime and achieve fame.

Additional Information:

Screen captures by Phil Wilkinson

Hedley England’s findings can be read by clicking here.

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If you have any information regarding this film, any of the stills, or even better, some NOW shots please contact us.

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Following a séance conducted by Myra Savage, falling rain blurs the camera's view on a wet afternoon in south London. The location of the house at the corner of Burghley Road and Marryat Road in SW19 is well documented on other sites including IMDB.

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The titles begin and the downpour eases while Myra's clients leave on foot and by car. Marryat Road in Wimbledon.

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When the rain stops, the last Participant (Lionel Gamlin) makes his way from the house after sheltering in the porch. Looking onto Marryat Road from the property.

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More credits appear as the camera follows the Man along Marryat Road.

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Looking from the garden of the house onto Marryat Road in SW19.

The shot continues to pan, catching up with other Clients as they disperse. Facing the junction of Marryat Road and Burghley Road.

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Nick Cox provides this image which is copyright Google.

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Looking towards the north-east at the corner of Marryat Road and Burghley Road in Wimbledon.

Having schemed together, Myra's husband Billy fits a blackout board to the window in their deceased son's bedroom.

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Nick Cox provides this shot of the house. Image copyright Google.

The next day, William Henry Savage (Richard Attenborough) wheels his motorcycle combination from the garage. Marryat Road in SW19.

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Nick Cox admits that, unfortunately, greenery obscures the complete view. Image copyright Google.

Billy leaves the driveway of the house in which his domineering wife sits and waits. Facing south-west on Marryat Road, Wimbledon.

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The Marryat Road entrance to the house and garage. Nick notes that the inspection chamber covers are still in place. Image copyright Google.

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The combination is driven to a remote location away from the house. In the background is the roundabout at the junction of the B375 Wraysbury Road and the A30 Staines Bypass to the north of Staines in Surrey. The location, identified by Duncan Stacey, has been altered out of all recognition with the construction of the M25 motorway.

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Billy turns onto the old alignment of Wraysbury Road from the B376. This is looking towards Hythe End, Staines.

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Hedley England was curious about where the motorcycle and sidecar actually turned off the main road and so did some research that he shares with us. You can read his findings via the link in the Header Section of this film. (RL)

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The shot follows the combination along Wraysbury Road, back towards the roundabout and a track that forms the entrance to a disused greyhound stadium.

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Billy drives the BSA past properties that still stand on Wraysbury Road.

More of Wraysbury Road, found by Duncan Stacey.

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Duncan provided this shot from outside 26 Wraysbury Road, with "vans then and vans now". Image copyright Google Streetview.

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Billy drives onward, turning onto the track that runs south alongside the A30. In the left distance, beyond the A30, stands one of the gas holders belonging to Staines Gas Works.

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The combination moves slowly over the weed covered circuit. The remains of Staines Greyhound Stadium, located to the east of Colne Brook.

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In the left distance, vehicles on the A30 can be seen passing by. Duncan advises that the site of the stadium is now buried beneath the M25.

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Fascinated by the site of the abandoned greyhound track at Staines, Ms Hazel Louise Brooks confirms that the route of the track has been swallowed up by the M25 and a widened A30 with most of the surrounding area, including the remains of the grandstand, disappearing when excavations created a lake on the site.

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Billy steers the BSA onto a ramp beside the old grandstand.

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The combination is parked up outside the derelict betting windows to the rear of the stand. Stock car racing was also popular at the track in the late 1950s but the venue closed in 1960 to be dismantled five years later.

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Unnerved by the voices of children playing in the distance, Billy walks from the track. Staines Greyhound Stadium formerly on Wraysbury Road in Staines, Surrey.

The scene fades to find Billy as he alights from a bus. Nigel Coupe has resolved this one for us advising that, at the time of filming, the bus terminus was known as Ealing, Argyle Road and stood on Cleveland Road, Ealing W5.

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Nigel continues to say that the stop opposite Hollingbourne Gardens remains in situ and that the park, railings and roadway are very much the same. Nigel also provides this shot of the stand today but had to be content with a 297 instead of a 65. (RL)

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The middle aged man passes a Mother and Child as he walks purposefully towards a private school.

Appearing through the bushes, Billy removes his overcoat as he looks across to the school attended by pupils of wealthy parents. St. Georges College off Station Road, Addlestone in Weybridge, Surrey.

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A shot from John Hicks showing the amount of development that has taken place in the intervening years . . . more pupils, more money. (RL)

After the bell sounds, Chauffeur (Godfrey James) escorts Amanda Clayton (Judith Donner) to a waiting Rolls Royce. St. Georges College, Weybridge.

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John Hicks preferred not to take his Roller that day. (RL)

Billy approaches and tells the Chauffeur that he is required to collect a letter from the Headmistress.

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For those going up in the world John Hicks provides this picture. (RL)

Getting into the driving seat, Billy drives the Silver Cloud away with the frightened Amanda in the back. St. Georges College in Weybridge, Surrey.

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Neither John Hicks nor anyone else's posh cars appear in today's shots. (RL)

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The Rolls speeds along the school driveway. To the left stands the lodge on the old route from St. Georges College to Weybridge Road.

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With the ten year old Amanda banging on the partition behind Billy, the Silver Shadow approaches a junction. Bob Inman recognised the corner of the B376 Wraysbury Road and Church Street in Staines adding

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Bob also provides this picture which shows that, at this point, the high St. Mary’s churchyard wall has been lowered since filming. Image copyright Google.

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The car leans as Billy understeers around the corner. Bob Inman identifies this as looking along Church Street from Wraysbury Road with the high wall of St. Mary’s churchyard to the left and the railings of the Lammas Recreation Ground to the right.

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Back on the main road, the Rolls is driven towards the disused dog track. Looking west along The Glanty in Egham, Surrey with the roundabout at the intersection of The Avenue, Egham Bypass, Windsor Road and Staines Bypass ahead and The Coach & Horses public house to the left of centre. This small section of road still exists as part of Woodhaw. (PW)

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The shot cuts to what we are led to believe is a reverse point of view . . . but the car is returning from whence it came. The Glanty with The Coach & Horses to the left and the still standing Victoria Hotel, currently a burger outlet, visible beyond. The area has been transformed to create a widened A30 and the M25 Motorway. (PW)

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Now looking back the other way again! To the centre stands Runnymede Lodge at the corner of The Glanty and Woodhaw in Egham. The building is hidden from the road these days. (PW)

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Continuity resumes as the car leaves The Causeway in Staines at the roundabout with Staines Bridge to the left, The Hythe straight on and Chertsey Lane and Thorpe Road out of view to the right. (PW)

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Bill drives through a more rural environment.

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The Rolls Royce nears the disused track where Billy uses chloroform to render the schoolgirl unconscious before taking her back to the house. Looking towards the roundabout at the junction of the B375 Wraysbury Road and the A30 Staines Bypass to the north of Staines.

Holding Amanda captive at home, Myra Savage (Kim Stanley) arrives outside the Clayton's house where she asks a Policeman (Ronald Hines) for directions. Peek Crescent in Wimbledon SW19 located by Nick Cox.

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Nick found the relatively unchanged entrance to the fine house. Image copyright Google.

The Constable looks towards waiting Journalists as he talks with Myra. Peek Crescent with a property on Marryat Road in the left distance.

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Nick Cox provides this picture of the same scene. Image copyright Google.

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When Myra explains that she has information for the family, the Officer makes his way toward the house. Peek Crescent in Wimbledon

Myra follows the Policeman to the front door as a Newspaper Photographer attracts her attention before taking a picture.

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The driveway and house in Peek Crescent sent to us by Nick. Image copyright Google.

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The Constable calls to Myra as she leaves after failing to persuade the Claytons that as a professional medium she can help find their daughter.

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Having read a coded message in the evening paper, Billy poses as Longfellow and phones Charles Clayton to arrange collection of the ransom.

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Billy catches the bus home as a police car speeds towards the recently vacated telephone box. Looking along Piccadilly from Piccadilly Circus in W1 with the Swan & Edgar department store to the right.

A shirt is hung out as a signal to Billy whilst the police call on Myra. The garden of the house at the corner of Marryat Road and Burghley Road in Wimbledon.

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Nick Cox tells us "This view of the house and back garden is the best I could get from Bing maps and it clearly shows the colour banding of the property and the attic windows". Image copyright Microsoft.

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Having removed her from the house, Billy drives around carrying the drugged Amanda in his bike's sidecar. Just out of shot to the right is Millward's restaurant and this is looking onto Mile End Road from Aberavon Road in E3. The former bank in the background is now occupied by a bookmaker.

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Looking between more up to date cars from a similar viewpoint. (PW)

Billy turns off the busy roads, taking the combination into narrow entryway. Chris Matheson advises that this is looking onto Morgan Street, London E3.

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Chris has provided us with a shot that he took a few years back of 19 Morgan Street which stands opposite the gates through which "Dickie Darling" rode his bike adding that "no one has ever seen the gates open!" (RL)

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The long gone entryway leads to a parking area at the rear of properties on Aberavon Road and Rhondda Grove in Mile End.

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Looking around as he cuts the engine, Billy dismounts. In the right background can be seen the rear of the Odeon Cinema at the corner of Aberavon Road and Mile End Road.

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Billy removes his crash helmet. Behind the wall stand homes on Aberavon Road.

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Leaving the unconscious Amanda in the sidecar, Billy makes his way from the car park. The still extant car park flanked by Aberavon Road and Rhondda Grove in E3.

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Not far from the car park a number 25 bus begins to move away from a stop. Mile End Road in London E3.

Billy jumps onto the platform of the departing bus. Peter identifies this as the Odeon Cinema at 401 Mile End Road in Mile End which closed in 1972 and was also seen in 'A Place to Go'.

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Peter found this image on the Cinema Treasures website. Copyright unknown.

In the West End, oranges are bought from a market stall. Some sources claim that this is Berwick Street Market but Richard Lovejoy points out that its the side of the Globe Theatre, now known as the Gielgud Theatre, on Rupert Street W1 near the corner of Winnett Street.

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The poster advertising Peter Shaffer's production Private Ear / Public Eye gives the location away and this comparison by RL shows that the doors look much the same.

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Detective Sergeant Beedle (Gerald Sim) calls on Myra. Marryat Road and Burghley Road intersect in the left background.

As the Detective Sergeant asks Myra about the missing child, her husband makes his way through the West End. Outside the Globe Theatre at the corner of Rupert Street and Shaftesbury Avenue located by RL.

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Indeed, once the Globe, now the Gielgud. Richard Lovejoy.

The Globe Theatre at the corner of Rupert Street and Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1.

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Following continuity, Peter took this.

Billy heads to check that Mr. Clayton is waiting at the agreed location while at home, Myra is is questioned and the house searched. In front of the Globe Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue W1.

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Peter completes the scene by panning right.

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The gents lavatory entrance once graced the small roundabout in the centre of Cambridge Circus in W1.

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Cambridge Circus at the intersection of intersection of Shaftesbury Avenue, West Street, Charing Cross Road, Romilly Street and Moor Street.

Vehicles are avoided as Billy crosses the busy road. Alkit used to be on the corner of Shaftesbury Avenue and Charing Cross Road, London W1 advises JT,

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Cambridge Circus it is. Note the triangular pediment over the former Alkit shop entrance. Image provided by Nick Cox.

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Holding a BOAC bag containing the ransom, Charles Clayton (Mark Eden) waits to be contacted. This is the north eastern corner of Leicester Square W1.

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From the shadows of a theatre entrance, Billy looks across at Clayton. Outside the Warner Theatre on Cranbourn Street in WC2.

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A plainclothes Police Officer (Stanley Morgan) keeps watch. Outside Frizell's at number 1 Cranbourn Street.

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The view now by Peter.

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Billy makes a move, crossing to where Clayton is waiting near a telephone box. Again, the north eastern corner of Leicester Square with the Warner Theatre and Cranbourn Street to the right.

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Stepping back for a wider shot, Peter captures the same location.

The shot follows Billy as he walks past Clayton. The north side of Leicester Square with the Jacey Cinema in the background. Peter tells us that the cinema, formerly a Monseigneur news theatre, closed in 1978 and became a casino in 1983.

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Peter found a redesigned Leicester Square in front of the Casino replacing the Jacey cinema.

Satisfied that instructions are being adhered to, a newspaper is purchased before the next part of the plan is carried out. Leicester Square WC2 with the building site in the background where the Swiss Centre was soon to be constructed.

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Yes says Peter, and here's the proof with the Swiss Centre's replacement to the north west of Leicester Square.

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Back at home, the Detective Sergeant continues to look around the house while, in town, Billy approaches a Post Office. The junction of St. Martin's Place and William IV Street in WC2 located by Ruth Patterson.

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Peter provides this comparison.

Having made a phone call to Clayton, Billy leaves the Post Office. Ruth Patterson identifies this as the Post Office that stood at the corner of St. Martin's Place and William IV Street. 'Bunny Lake is Missing' also features a scene outside the building.

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Ruth Patterson's comparison shows that there are no more stamps or all night posting.

Acting on further instructions from Billy, Clayton leaves the call box. Leicester Square in London WC2.

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The north east corner of Leicester Square taken from the north side with the Odeon cinema in the right background.

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With the plainclothes Officer following, Charles Clayton makes his way from Leicester Square.

Billy crosses the road from the Post Office and heads to rendezvous with Clayton. The corner of St. Martin's Lane and William IV Street with The Chandos public house to the centre located by Ruth Patterson.

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Turning from the Post Office, Ruth captures the same corner with a redesigned pub.

Charles Clayton heads to a nearby Underground station. The Standard public house numbered as part of Piccadilly but opposite The London Pavilion on what would be more recognisable as Piccadilly Circus.

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Peter found a very rebuilt location. The shop with the awning is where the pub once stood.

The distraught father enters Piccadilly Circus station.

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Yes, this is the same location as the screen capture! Peter advises that the property has been rebuilt and the station entrance replaced but this is what it looks like now from ground level.

Turning a corner, the plainclothes Officer continues to tail Clayton. Same location, different viewpoint. Piccadilly to the left, Regent Street on the right. 'Darling' and 'Brannigan' featured the same location.

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Not too dissimilar now.

The Officer enters the station. Piccadilly looking back along Coventry Street towards Leicester Square.

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And a similar modern view.

Billy passes Wyndam's Theatre at the corner of Charing Cross Road and St. Martin's Court to enter Leicester Square station.

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Peter took this comparison from ground level.

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The street signs highlight the location.

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Taken from ground level after Peter found his way there.

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Getting off a train, Billy arrives at Piccadilly Circus station as Clayton and the plainclothes Policeman descend from the booking hall. This should be the westbound Piccadilly Line platform as the journey started at Leicester Square.

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As Billy passes Clayton at the bottom of the station's escalator bank, Myra answers questions about him at home.

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Having made his way through the maze of passageways, a nervous Billy looks back as he waits on a stairway leading from one of the platforms.

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Grabbing the BOAC bag from Clayton whilst mingling with a crowd of passengers, Billy jumps onto a departing train and travels back to Leicester Square. This is Piccadilly Circus station.

Leaving Leicester Square station, Billy jumps onto an approaching bus. This entrance to the station at the corner of Charing Cross Road and Great Newport Street in WC2 is also seen in 'Turn the Key Softly'.

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The same station entrance on Charing Cross Road taken by Peter.

Myra watches Detective Sergeant Beedle leave before removing the shirt from the washing line. Facing the garage of the property on Marryat Road in Wimbledon.

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Now a substantial hedge between the houses in this capture from Nick Cox. Image copyright Google Streetview.

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Billy returns to the house after fetching coal while Myra tucks the still unconscious Amanda into bed. This is the garden of the house on on Marryat Road, Wimbledon.

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The Man seen at the start of the film returns to take part in another séance. The the corner of Marryat Road and Burghley Road with a street sign giving the location away.

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A Woman (Maria Kazan) joins the Man and the two walk towards the Savage's house. Marryat Road, Wimbledon.

The participants enter the house where Mrs. Clayton has also arrived for the séance. The the corner of Marryat Road and Burghley Road in SW19.

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Nick Cox provides this image which is copyright Google Streetview.