Adaptation of Henry James' gothic tale about a governess hired by a charming bachelor to look after his young niece and nephew. The story unfolds in Victorian England, in a grand mansion in the rural countryside. The naive young governess is charmed by her employer and is determined to make a success of her first appointment, despite his strange stipulation that she never contact him. Her first impressions are all good -- the house is beautiful, the children are charming, and the job is a perfect delight. But then she sees the ghosts of the former valet, Peter Quint, and a previous governess, Miss Jessel. She becomes convinced that the children can see them as well and communicate with them, and that their souls are in danger. She feels that she alone can save them, setting the stage for a battle of good and evil.