It all started with a little boy. The last child of the Hayward line met a terrible fate, and his grief-stricken parents could never let go. The Hayward Foundation for research into the paranormal and supernatural was established with their vast fortune.
Working late one night, Dr. Atwater learns the tragic and chilling story behind the sanitarium from the groundskeeper, Chester.
The building that is now the strange sanitarium was once the sprawling mansion of one wealthy family. The Haywards had a long and checkered history, building a considerable fortune on the seas in lucrative merchant shipping enterprises.
The last heir of a proud line, young James Atwater falls prey to a fever after climbing and falling from an ancient and gnarled tree . Just outside his bedroom where he’s recovering, the tree sways and brushes against the window. Maybe it is his imagination, maybe it is the laudanum the doctor has prescribed, or maybe the long, claw-like branches of the tree are really trying to get the helpless lad.