Chosen are ten writers, their ultimate goal to win the contest presented by the illustrious - and suspiciously elusive - Roderick Wells. Residing in his mansion for the summer, the task of penning the perfect tale of horror evokes the darkness already in their hearts, taking the form of regret, jealousy and ill intent. The ever-changing environment and dwindling number of the group doesn't help matters, and soon the game descends into all-out madness.
It's the reunion of the heavy metal band The Rising Dead, and guitarist Jesse Wheeler expects to return home stone sober. Just when his attempts seem successful, an odd encounter on the road plunges him into a world of clones, feral men, and his worst enemy: booze. Is this all in his mind? Is this the punishment for his sins? Unable to trust what he sees, who he meets, Jesse struggles to keep his sanity intact.
Salem Hawley may be a free man after the American Revolution, but his troubles are plenty. A good friend seeks his help, turning Salem's attention to the graves being emptied and the deceased experimented upon and studied by medical students and physicians. It goes ignored, yet Salem is determined to do something, anything. If only he knew about the rituals being performed, the Old Ones being worshiped, right under his nose. If only he knew that New York City is on the cusp of ruin.