As if his first case isn’t strange enough, one of his new colleagues calls Dr. Atwater in to consult with a puzzling patient who believes she is undead. Her delusions are so vivid, so complete and so deadly, but they couldn’t possibly be real, could they?
Christened by the tabloids as “The Vermont Vampire,” the curious case of Maria Cacador is one of the most notorious among the patients of Hayward Sanitarium. Her charms conceal a cunning mass murderer. The authorities who prosecuted her case believed her victims numbered many more than could be proven in court.
Deep in the Sanitarium’s maximum security wing, she lives out the life the undead, shunning food and drink and maintaining nocturnal habits. Unable to break through, it is hoped that Dr. Atwater’s specialty in exploring the subconscious and dream states through hypnosis will finally produce some success in her treatment.
But he might unlock a deeper and darker truth than he is prepared to accept.