A broken man, a broken country.
Silas Flood is a former minister and army chaplain. Ten years ago, he survived the horrors of the American Civil War but lost his faith and left the church. Now he finds work as a writer for a New York newspaper.
In the summer of 1874, Flood is dispatched to the village of Moriah, Vermont, where the brothers Thaddeus and Ambrose Lynch are said to conjure up spirits and speak to the dead. In Moriah, Flood questions the Lynch brothers and attends their strange séances in which the resurrected dead dance and sing and give comfort to the living.
As Flood investigates the nature of these phenomena, he is forced to come to terms with his own past and with the hold it has upon him.