In The Innkeepers (2011), Leanne Rease-Jones tried to warn Claire, and she seemed to know something crucial, but she never told the truth about what was going on. I am confused about the ending of this movie, and I'd appreciate it if someone provided a good explanation as to why Madeline O'Malley killed Claire?

  • Ghost didnt kill her, she lost her inhaler.
    – user1224
    Commented Apr 29, 2012 at 3:58
  • Maybe Madeline wasn't trying to hurt Claire, maybe they where all trying to warn her, but Claire got freaked and ended up hurting herself.
    – user1345
    Commented May 20, 2012 at 4:49
  • I feel there are more than one scenarios for this movie, I agree with the above answers but there are hints towards other things happening. I like the explaination of the 3 spirits. At one point the other keeper tells her to be careful with what she thinks she sees, this leads me to believe she could be thinking she saw both of the ghosts in the basement, but who knows. In the end the other keeper states he trys to break down the door but he just was not able to. So it wasn't the ghost banging at the door it was the other keeper. Also if you notice at the end of the movie the guy holds up her
    – user1615
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 5:39

4 Answers 4


It's like the orphanage, the ghosts didnt really do anything wrong....Leigh the spirtualist caught a glimpse of the future (she explained her abilities as being just that) and said she saw three spirits...one could assume this is Madeleine, the old man who comitted suicide upstairs, and Claire herself...she was warned to stay away from the basement as Leigh foresaw her death there...but the ghosts themselve did not actually harm Claire...in fact it was only through her persistant attempts that there was any contact between them at all...she died of fright/asthma attack and Leigh's prophecy of three spirits being in the hotel was concluded!

  • The third ghost is the lodger. And when Leigh says "you can't save her", it's the ghosts talking about Claire. Commented Oct 14, 2012 at 9:30

Well, what happened is that the ghosts in the house were the two guys that killed the young woman. When the fiancée arrived at the hotel, she was already dead. The two killers made it look as though she had hung herself though, and it broke the man's heart to see his wife hanging there.

He took the blame of her death all to himself as he thought it was his fault that she hung herself, because he was late. With all that being said, it took a while for him to build up the balls to come back and kill himself to be with her.

Now the only question that remains is: why did Madeline kill the girl? Well, this is simple. The psychic told her not to go in the basement, because that is where Madeline was waiting for her husband to return. She meant no harm and all she wanted was to be left alone. "You don't disturb the dead".

If you want to find the full truth behind this masterpiece of film: Take a good look at Madeline's face. The truth lies within it.


If you want to find the full truth behind this masterpiece of film: Take a good look at Madeline's face. The truth lies within it.

I've watched the movie twice and I'm still trying to understand this statement. What can one derive from looking at her face. Brenda Cooney did a marvelous job playing Madeline, but there really wasn't anything a person could derive just by looking at her face.

My take was that Claire had come between her and the old man being reunited and she was exacting her revenge on Claire. Not to mention that Claire already had a breathing problem, hence the asthma emergency spritzer, and she simply died of fright.


It wasn't Madeline O'Malley that killed Claire. It was Claire's fate to die in the hotel. Her death was not caused by a specific individual's action. Lee or anyone else couldn't have prevented her death. This is hinted upon at the start of the film:

Luke: Everything happens for a reason, Claire.
Luke: Nobody just ends up at the Yankee Pedlar.

And also mentioned at the film's conclusion:

Luke: You knew this was gonna happen didn't you?
Luke: You could've done something.
Lee: No.
Lee: There's nothing anyone could've done.

According to Leanne Rease-Jones (Lee), "The universe has a plan for each and every one of us." Dialogue between Lee and Claire, where Lee explains how her abilities work in relation to the world:


Claire, everything in this world is connected.
Whether we understand that or not depends on our sense of perception, our willingness to communicate.
Now, you want to communicate with the spirits in this hotel?
I can help you do that.
I just need to know what it is that you want from them.


I don't know.
If they're real?
The... the ghosts?


There is no real in this world, Claire.
It's all a state of being.
There are no beginnings.
There are no ends.
There are no ghosts.
We're each divine beings that incorporate one energy in the universe.
Like, uh... Droplets of water in a vast ocean.
The universe has a plan for each and every one of us.

Lee, when asked by Luke about how her abilities work, described it as:

I can experience certain feelings before they happen, but it's not always clear when or where they come from so I have to be very careful in... What I choose to share.

Earlier in the film, when Lee and Claire made contact with the spirits, here are some of what Lee said:

They won't say who they are.
There are three of them.
There was a terrible tragedy in this hotel.
Something about the basement.
A mistake?
You mustn't go down into the basement.
You can't save her.
They tried to warn her.
They tried to help her.

Lee had a vision of what will happen to Claire. The "tragedy" is Claire's death in the basement. I interpret "her" as referring to Claire. "They" could be Lee warning Claire to leave the hotel and Luke attempting to open up the basement door to get to Claire.

"They" could also be interpreted as the two spirits (O' Malley and the old man) warning and attempting to help Claire. The apparitions that Claire saw might be the spirits doing just that.

Lee mentioned "three" of them. In the end, Claire has indeed become one of the three spirits haunting the hotel. At the film's conclusion, a very faint apparition of Claire can be seen (right side of the curtains).

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