James Denton is a young but decorated surgeon from the Great War. Somber and serious, he carries a large weight for someone of his age.
When James attends the Society for Psychical Research he meets Dr. Randolph Heart, an enigmatic American, and is invited along with some colleagues back to the Doctor’s house to see an experiment - proof of life after death.
On arrival, they find the house stately but littered with steampunk inventiveness. The Doctor announces that the house is the most haunted in the world and propositions his guests – if they want real evidence of life after death, they’ll stay the night to witness his life’s work – his main experiment.
When they agree, Dr. Heart reveals that the house is the experiment. Originally built as a place to study, the house’s role changed after he accidentally killed his wife in an argument and then saw her ghost in the house. This was the beginning of the ‘real’ experiment.
Taking in strays, he began by killing them with lethal injections. In the name of science, he then pushed it further, putting his ‘subjects’ through excruciating pain before their eventual deaths. It seemed the more trauma before death, the stronger the apparitions. “I have created the perfect haunted house.” He looks for their approval. They think him insane.
Dr. Heart responds to their disapproval by saying that this is the biggest discovery known to man. The end of fear, the knowledge of what happens after death - is it not worth sacrificing a few lives?
The guests must survive a tour of his house if they want to step outside ever again.
When life and death are just variables in an experiment, the rules of reason are left at the door.