This movie starts out with Jamie and Lisa receiving an anonymous package in the mail. They decide that the only way to find out who it is from is to open it up. When they open it, they find a ventriloquist doll.
Later on, after Jamie leaves their residence, Lisa hears it get dead silent, then starts to hear voices coming from the room where they left the doll. She creeps in there slowly, pulls back the sheet that they had used to cover up the doll, and the doll murders Lisa.
After Jamie, now the prime suspect in his wife's murder, gets interrogated by the police, he returns home to look for clues. He finds a clue in the box that leads him to his home town, also the home town of murdered ventriloquist, Mary Shaw.
After a brief visit with his rich father, and his father's new young bride, Jamie finds himself hearing voices in his hotel room.
Meanwhile, at the coroner's office, the coroner (Henry Walker) is getting ready to take a picture of the latest victim while his wife (Marion Walker) is hiding in a dark hiding place mumbling.
Then, they cut away to Lisa's funeral where the Marion tries to warn Jamie of the curse of the stare of Mary Shaw. Near the end of the warning, you hear her say that he must "bury the doll."
Jamie then returns to the hotel where he finds the name "Billy" on the back of the doll. He then immediately gets in a car, with the doll, and brings it to the Cemetery. After a few minutes of searching, he finds a head stone with Billy on it and starts digging. He pulls out the casket only to find it empty, throws the doll in, who then looks right at him, and buries the doll.
Jamie is then in his car, when he starts to see shadows of something running and hearing noises. He then sees the doll looking at him through the window and decides to get out and look.
In the next scene, Jamie is back at his Hotel washing his face. He is drying his face and has a towel over it. When he removes the towel he finds two surprises. The doll AND Officer Jim Lipton are in his hotel room.
The Officer then begins to use the doll to "badger" the prime suspect of Lisa's murder. Jamie begins to tell Lipton about the nursery rhyme associated with Mary Shaw. They continue to talk about the murder a bit and then Lipton leaves and takes the doll with him.
In the next scene Lipton is shown shaving and talking to the doll.
Then Jamie gets the doll back and heads over to the Henry and Marion's house to talk to them. Jamie starts talking to the Coroner about Mary Shaw when Henry says they don't mention the name Mary Shaw.
Henry then tells the story of Mary Shaw, the Ventriloquist who lost her voice. They flash back to Mary putting on a show with the same doll involved with the movie so far. Mary and the doll, now known as Billy, get into an argument with a child in the audience.
Then, back at Henry's house, he tells Jamie that the child in question ended up missing. After Mary died, she asked that she not only be buried with her dolls, but that they make her into a doll.
Then they flash back to when Henry was a child, and how he went in to look at Mary's corpse and the table falls, sending him and Mary to the ground of the Coroner's office. Then he sees Mary's ghost, but covers his mouth, so as not to scream.
Then, back in the present day, Henry shows Jamie pictures of a bunch of townsfolk, all murdered by having their tongues removed.
Next, Jamie heads to the old run-down theater while Lipton starts digging up graves at the cemetery. Jamie finds some more clues leading him to believe the haunting is true.
Meanwhile, at Henry and Marion's house, Henry walks in on Marion talking to Billy, the doll. Henry then takes the doll from his wife and puts it in his office. Then Henry starts to hear things as he grabs a shovel. He thinks it is Marion and he apologizes to her. He then goes to look in Marion's hiding place only to get locked in. After pounding on the door for a bit, he realizes he isn't alone. He sees Mary's ghost, screams, and then is murdered in the same fashion as all the others.
Meanwhile, Jamie goes back to question his dad. Jamie finds out that when his uncle, the little boy from the flashback that was arguing with Mary, went missing, the townsfolk thought it was Mary that took him. They went to Mary, made her scream and then cut her tongue out.
Jamie realizes that he could also be a victim since Mary seems to be killing everyone involved with her murder, and their offspring. About this time Lipton shows up and starts questioning Jamie again. Jamie gets a call from the recently deceased Henry telling him to meet him at the theater.
Next, Jamie has to run from Lipton who is trying to arrest him to head to the theater. Lipton gives chase but is stalled since he has to find a boat to cross the river. (The bridge is gone.)
In the theater, Jamie keeps hearing Henry's voice guiding him to him. He comes up to a room where he hears the voices come from. Then Lipton walks in with a shotgun and says that Henry couldn't be there due to the lack of a boat for him. Then you hear "Henry" say that he is in fact there.
They both start following the voices into a room where there are hundreds of dolls in cases with one empty case labeled "Billy". They also find a corpse of a boy made to look like a doll.
Then it gets very silent, until the dolls in the cases start to move what looks to be all on their own. They all look to their lefts where the scene shows what looks like another doll rocking in a rocking chair.
Jamie says the name "Mary Shaw" twice. The doll stops rocking. Jamie starts talking to this doll who is talking as if it is Mary Shaw herself. Jamie starts asking about specific victims when he finally asks about his late wife Lisa. The doll tells him to come closer so she can whisper it to him. As it starts whispering, it then sticks out a tongue and the scene shows Mary behind the doll sticking her snake-like tongue through the doll.
Lipton then blows the doll away and starts shooting other dolls once they realize that Mary is living "through" the dolls. A fire erupts and Jamie and Lipton make a run for it. Then a girder they are running on falls and Lipton falls and starts to scream. Then he gets saved by the ghost only to have his tongue removed like the others.
Then Jamie sees the ghost and covers his mouth as he falls through the floor in to the flooded basement of the theater. He then swims out and ends up on the other side of the lake and turns around as the Theater is burning down.
Then he gets in his car and remembers the missing doll from the case, Billy, and speeds off. He heads back to Henry's house to look for the dummy Billy. He hears Marion crying. He finds her holding Henry's corpse and questions her about the doll. She claims that his father came and took the doll.
Jamie rushes off to his father's house to find the doll. He goes in and heads up stairs and it gets dead silent again. Then he hears someone say "Why did you bury me Jamie? I am in here." He then walks in and finds the doll in a room of the house. Then the ghost of Mary comes out to try to scare Jamie and he throws the doll Billy into the fire place.
Then Jamie finds his dad who he discovers is nothing more than a life-sized doll. Then he realizes that his doll "father's" young bride was controlling the life-sized doll and was the ghost of Mary Shaw.
He then turns around and sees his stepmom who says "Now who's the dummy?" Then her face turns evil and ghostly and Jamie screams and suffers the same fate as everyone else.
At the end of the film, Jamie's voice is heard saying the rhyme below as the camera moves over a photo album with each victim from Lipton to Jamie turned into a puppet with a workable mouth.
Beware the stare of Mary Shaw. She had no children only dolls, and if you see her in your dreams, be sure to never ever SCREAM.