Eleanor Vance, who had spent eleven years in caring for an invalid mother, is now alone in the world and unwanted- and she has had a poltergeist experience; Theodora is telepathic; and Luke Sanderson is the nephew of the present owner. During the days and nights to follow there are doors that close; drafts that chill; banging and scurrying noises- and writing on the walls. Mrs. Montague arrives- eager to launch a session with planchette and hoping for further materializations beyond these "decided manifestations". But Eleanor becomes increasingly disturbed and distraught; her hoped for close friendship with Theodora is brushed aside- as Theodora goes off alone with Luke; she is the most susceptible to the dark history of this house and attempts to imitate a tragedy in the past; and the story which begins as a spritely tour of the spirit world, ends on a note of real disequilibrium.
A tantalizing, suggestive reconnaissance where the phantasma of other worlds—and private worlds—reveal a disconcerting similarity, and Shirley Jackson's special following will find pause to wonder and admire.