Hoping to mend her relationship with her sister Ruby, Leti turns a ramshackle Victorian on Chicago’s North Side into a boarding house – an endeavor that stokes neighborhood racism and awakens dormant spirits stuck in the house. Meanwhile, Atticus remains burdened by a guilty conscience as George’s wife Hippolyta presses him for the full story of what happened in Ardham.
Three weeks have passed since George’s funeral. Leti sits motionless in church as a single tear drops from her eye whilst those around her sing and dance. She later presents Ruby with her recently purchased house on the North Side of Chicago, in a predominantly white neighborhood. Ruby questions how Leti could afford to buy a house. Leti doesn’t answer, simply stating that the home has three floors, not including the basement, and 13 rooms. She wants to turn it into a boarding house and make it a safe haven for colored people. Ruby reluctantly agrees to move in and help Leti fix the house up. Leti then takes Ruby to the in-house elevator, however, it appears stuck. Leti sticks her head into the shaft and the elevator comes slamming down as Ruby barely manages to pull her out just in time.
Hippolyta applies her makeup and gets ready for the day ahead. She takes George’s favorite book, Dracula, and starts tearing pages out. Meanwhile, Atticus and Diana prepare breakfast. Diana almost sets a place at the table for her father. Hippolyta joins them, and Atticus reveals that the printer called for the new addition to the guide and that he sent it in as it was a month overdue. Diana wants to check the scrapyard for robot parts later in the day, but Atticus informe her he is leaving.
Atticus arrives at Montrose’s place to find him on the floor, drunk, and mumbling on about his past, specifically an incident where he and George were under attack. Atticus throws a cup of water in his face to wake him up. Atticus recalls that being George’s favorite story to tell — a group of white boys had them surrounded and out of nowhere came a mysterious stranger armed with a bat. He hit home runs on each of their heads. And after saving them both, all he said was "I got you, kid." Upon returning home with George’s body, Atticus and Montrose told Hippolyta that George was killed by Sheriff Hunt. However, Atticus is having doubts about lying to Hippolyta. Montrose would rather let the truth die with George, angrily slamming his fist down on the table.
Leti has settled into her new home and has already begun accepting tenants. She takes photos of the home as she passes through. Atticus arrives soon thereafter to say goodbye as he has plans to return to Florida. Leti tells Atticus that she has an available room and asks him to stay, at least until the housewarming party. Suddenly, they hear car horns honking outside the house. They find three white men, each with a car and a brick tied to the steering wheel to ensure that the car horn persists. Atticus decides to stick around.
Three days later, whilst Leti sleeps, a ghost slowly pulls the cover from off her. At the edge of the bed, the elderly ghost woman watches Leti sleep before yanking the blanket off and awakening her. The car horns outside her home continue and steam hisses from the radiator. Leti goes into the basement to check the boiler where she hears a loud banging noise coming from further within the basement. She follows it to a cellar door, but runs in terror after hearing multiple whispering voices.
Leti returns to the cellar with Atticus. With a baseball bat in hand, he goes to investigate but fails to find anything. Leti insists that she’s heard voices. Atticus chalks it up to stress. Leti suspects that it was her white neighbors who tampered with her boiler. Atticus explains how excessive heat and noise are the same tactics they used in Korea. He offers to nail the windows down in the basement and keep watch for a couple nights.
A few days later, Leti hosts her housewarming party, where Ruby sings in the living room for the guests. Leti tells Hippolyta how much she appreciates her bringing so much food. Hippolyta responds her icebox is overflowing with food that people bring when they come to check on her. Hippolyta makes a comment about Atticus, leading Leti to suspect that he reminds Hippolyta of George.
Diana and three of her friends play with a Ouija board in the attic. The lights flicker as one of the kids, Bobo, asks if he's going to have fun on his trip to the south. The answer he receives is "No." They follow that up by asking who they are talking to. Their hands spell out George’s name, which Diana suspects is a crude prank by her friends, although they insist the planchette moved on its own.
Hippolyta goes searching for Diana. She calls out to her without response. She hears whispering coming from a nearby room where the door seemingly inches open on its own. Inside, she finds a gold mechanical model of the solar system sitting on the table.
Dressed in his military uniform, Atticus enters the house from standing guard on the porch to find Leti dancing with another guy. He is approached by Tree, who reveals that he and Leti used to mess around back in high school and that he is feeling nostalgic. He asks Atticus about his relationship with Leti and stands down following his terse response. Atticus follows Leti into the bathroom, where they have sex on the bathroom countertop. Atticus notices that Leti is bleeding. She’s embarrassed, claiming that her cycle started. Atticus insists that it’s okay as he leaves.
Atticus, Leti, Ruby, Tree, and James head outside after a large cross is set on fire in the front yard. They grab shotguns as Leti, armed with a baseball bat, breaks the window of all three cars and removes the bricks tied to the steering wheels in order to stop the honking. As the police near, they put the shotguns in the back of a car and Ruby drives away. Atticus, Leti, and Tree put their hands behind their heads and get down on their knees.
Leti rides in the back of the patrol car with Captain Lancaster. He reads her record and asks if she’s with the "Monkey Urban League" or the "The National Association for the Advancement of Cockroaches." She’s filled 21 complaints of harassment from her neighbors, but Lancaster claims they didn’t receive any. He then asks Leti if anything strange happened in her house or if someone told her to buy the Winthrop house. When Leti refuses to answer, Lancaster instructs his men to swerve, causing Leti to bounce around the back of the vehicle and slam against the inner walls. He reveals that they found the body parts of eight black people buried in the room below the basement and tells her that she won’t last long in that house.
The following morning, Leti goes into the basement, specifically the cellar, which she now uses as a darkroom for her photos. She makes a startling discovery within each photo. As she puts the photos together on the floor, the ghostly face of a man emerges from the photos and tells her to get out of his house. Leti is knocked back several feet and runs upstairs.
Ruby informs Leti that the tenants are leaving. They don’t like that Leti put a bigger target on their back by damaging the white boys’ cars and reminds Leti of the installment contract that they now can’t afford. Leti accidentally lets it slip that she still has some of the inheritance money their mother left for her, a secret she had been keeping from Ruby. It was this money that she used to buy the house. Leti claims that she didn’t tell Ruby because she didn’t want to make her upset, however, Ruby accuses her of being selfish and tells Leti that she should’ve split the money with her and their brother Marvin.
Montrose helps Hippolyta with the groceries. George’s favorite book, Dracula, falls out of the bag. Hippolyta claims that she spilled coffee on George’s copy. Despite seeing the body for herself, Hippolyta confronts Montrose, suspecting that Atticus and Montrose haven’t told her everything about George’s death.
Atticus finds Leti at a bar. She reveals to him that her house is haunted. The realtor, JJ, was cagey about the previous owners but he called it the "Winthrop house." The last owner of the house was a man named Hiram Epstein who was a scientist at the University of Chicago until he was fired for unethical experimental practices. Leti believes he was experimenting on humans as eight bodies were found in the basement. Furthermore, Leti found a print from the local paper on June 21, 1948, where Epstein and Captain Lancaster are pictured together. Lancaster was also mentioned in a string of articles as the lead detective in several missing persons reports on the South Side. Leti suspects that Lancaster was supplying Epstein with test subjects. Leti also show Atticus in the pictures she took, and reveals the eight dead victims from the South Side are present in her photos, trapped in her house with Epstein’s ghost. Atticus fears that the ghosts won’t stop until Leti is dead and suggests that she move out. Leti then tells Atticus that the night of the housewarming was her first time having sex and that ever since she’s come back from the dead, she’s felt like a ghost in her own right.
Leti and Atticus hire a priestess to cleanse the house. She slices open a goat’s throat and marks their foreheads with its blood as seals of protection. They go into the cellar, where the ghosts’ presence is greatest. They grab hands and form a circle.
Meanwhile, just upstairs, three white men break into Leti’s house with baseball bats. Two of them barge into a room, where the door locks shut behind them. Inside the room, a ghost dressed as a basketball player with the head of a baby slowly walks towards them. Elsewhere, the other intruder is decapitated as he sticks his head into the elevator shaft.
The lights start the flicker and the room begins to shake around Atticus and Leti as the priestess chants. She asks them to chant with her. The water pipes burst and the protection seals on their foreheads are erased, making them vulnerable. The priestess is attacked — thrown against the ceiling and then possessed by Hiram Epstein, who turns his attention to Atticus. As he chokes Atticus against the wall, Leti calls out to the eight ghosts: Betsey, Phillip, Lucy, Jasper, Anarcha, Rufus, Grover, and Oliver. The priestess drops to the floor as Epstein takes over Atticus’ body. He demands that Leti get out of his house. Leti pleads with the ghosts to help her. They appear and the nine of them, the eight ghosts plus Leti, join hands and banish Epstein.
In the following days, a reporter comes by to interview Leti about her boarding house. They get on the elevator and she asks if Leti heard anything about the disappearance of three of her white neighbors, but Leti claims to have no knowledge of their whereabouts. In actuality, she had disposed of their bodies in the tunnels beneath her home, where Epstein disposed of his victims.
Atticus stakes out the realtor’s office who sold Leti the Winthrop house. It doesn’t take long for Christina to arrive in her silver sedan. She thanks JJ for his service and tells him that the bank has wired his money. Once JJ leaves, Atticus confronts Christina with the truth. Leti’s inheritance money came from her. He figured it out because of the name Winthrop which he saw it carved on one of Samuel’s favorite paintings. Christina explains that Horatio Winthrop was one of the founding members of the Sons of Adam but he was banished after stealing pages from the Book of Names. He was sick of Titus Braithwhite having the only cipher to read the Language of Adam and tried to develop his own from the stolen pages. Hiram Epstein was one of his followers. Atticus replies he isn’t interested in a history lesson and pulls a gun on Christina, intent on killing her, but she uses her magic to control him, completely immobilizing him.
Christina reveals that most of the Order never create their own spell. They don’t have the discipline or talent. Those that do usually get one spell in their lifetime. Her father's claim to the fame was invulnerability. He thought that if he couldn’t be harmed he’d live forever. But he had to remove the spell when he attempted to open the door to the Garden of Eden. Every spell the Sons have created come from just one deciphered chapter of the Book of Names, orally passed down by Titus. The Book is gone and Titus locked his pages in a booby-trapped vault that only he could access. If Horatio Winthrop’s pages were to be found, the Language of Adam could finally be decoded in its entirety. Before leaving, Christina slips her card into his pocket and tells Atticus to call her when he's ready to discuss their family’s legacy.
Notes and Trivia
- It is widely speculated that Bobo, who was portrayed by Rhyan Hill, was in fact Emmett Till.
Behind the Scenes
|"Sundown" • "Whitey's on the Moon" • "Holy Ghost" • "A History of Violence" • "Strange Case" • "Meet Me in Daegu" • "I Am." • "Jig-A-Bobo" • "Rewind 1921" • "Full Circle"|