A Haunting In Venice puts Poirot against ghostly apparitions with complex climax

HITC explores the A Haunting In Venice ending following the release of Hercule Poirot’s latest adventure. Let’s get whether the ghosts are real and the Agatha Christie book it’s based on explained.

Directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh in the role of the central detective from Death On The Nile, Poirot is compelled to ignore his retirement and attends a seance that results in one of the guests being murdered. Determined to solve the case and disprove the existence of ghosts, it’s called into question whether there really could be something supernatural afoot. Now that it’s in cinema, let’s get the A Haunting In Venice ending and whether the ghosts are real explained.

a haunting in venice puts poirot against ghostly apparitions with complex climax

A Haunting In Venice trailer cr. 20th Century Studios YouTube

A Haunting In Venice and ending explained

Together with his bodyguard Vitale Portfoglio, Poirot is living in Venice but finds himself visiting a seance under the request of an author named Ariadne Oliver. They attend it at the palazzo of Rowena Drake, an opera singer.

The seance is performed by Joyce Reynolds, a medium whom Poirot is very skeptical of, believing it impossible for Rowena to contact her dead daughter Alicia following her suicide. She killed herself when her fiance Maxime ended their relationship.

During the seance, Reynolds reveals in Alicia’s voice that she didn’t commit suicide and was murdered. Poirot finds that there is a hidden assistant to the medium tucked away in a chimney by the name of Nicholas. In attendance are also housekeeper Maxime Gerard, family doctor Leslie Ferrier, son Leopold, and Rowena’s other assistant Desdemona.


After the seance, Reynolds is found dead after falling onto a statue, forcing Poirot to begin questioning the attendees. However, his faith and sanity are called into question when he believes he sees an apparition of Alicia.

From his questioning he learns that Nicholas and Desdemona have been stealing from Reynolds and Leopold has been hearing ghostly voices.

A violent eruption between the guests leads to Ferrier being confined to the music room and Poirot keeping hold of the key. Poirot begins to accuse some of being involved in orchestrating the seance and discovers that Oliver was hoping Poirot couldn’t discredit the seance so she could use this as a book plot. However, Ferrier is also later found dead.

Getting to the bottom of things, Poirot reveals that Alicia was drugged with hallucinogens, the same used on him to make him see her ghost. Rowena did the drugging as a way of keeping her daughter to herself and isolated.

Giving her too much, one day she found her dead and staged an elaborate suicide to clear her own name. She killed Reynolds because of suspected blackmail about the poisoning and the suspicion that she was trying to expose her alongside Ferrier. Additionally, she used a phone line to secretly convince Ferrier to commit suicide.

All in all, the whole thing was staged with the desire to have the seance clear Rowena’s name and vanquish anybody who may incriminate her.

She attempts to escape and Poirot spies Alicia’s ghost once again, this time appearing behind her mother. Rowena falls to her death into the canal and it looks as though her daughter’s spirit is exacting revenge, dragging her deeper.

The following day, Olga adopts Leopold, who was actually the one doing the blackmailing after the discovery that his father missed the signs that Alicia was poisoned. He blackmailed Rowena so he could help his ruined father stay afloat.

After cracking the case wide open, Poirot decides it’s right to cease his retirement and embark upon new cases.

Are the ghosts real in A Haunting In Venice?

Ultimately, the ghost of Alicia in the climactic act of A Haunting In Venice is intended to be ambiguous.

We know that Poirot was drugged in an attempt to get him to hallucinate, so it’s highly plausible that his vision of Alicia in the ending is brought upon by the drugs.

Whether the ghosts are real or not is never supposed to be concrete, but instead, they’re supposed to comment on the film’s themes of faith.

What Agatha Christie book is A Haunting In Venice based on?

A Haunting In Venice is based on Agatha Christie’s 1969 novel Hallowe’en Party.

The novel is actually set in England and not Venice, following Poirot and novelist Ariadne Oliver attending a Halloween party where a girl claims to have witnessed a murder but is then drowned, launching an investigation.

There are deviations from the book and movie, so it may be worth a read for those eager for more mystery in their lives.

A Haunting In Venice is now in theaters.

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