Charles Kessler (Bela Lugosi), a man possessed by deeply buried homicidal impulses beyond his control is supernaturally manipulated by his long-lost wife (Betty Compson), who is thought to have been dead after a terrible automobile accident leaving her seriously brain-damaged. Distraught for many years, believing that one day she will return to him, Charles Kessler leads a lonely life. Celebrating their anniversary by having dinner with an unseen guest, the love of his life, he longs for her though she had left him for another man. She is secretly kept in the basement by his gardener in hopes of her recovery and return to her husband. When an innocent man is sent to his execution as a result of the accusation of murder, even though committed at the hand of Kessler in his own home, his twin brother (John McGuire, playing both Ralph and Paul Dickson) comes calling to attempt to unravel the mystery, believing in his brothers innocence. During the dead of night a sad and spectral appearance of Kesslers wife appears to him outside of his home, beckoning to him with her eyes, though her lips always utter the same words, that she cannot come home, though she wants to, or he will kill her. Kessler continues his murderous nocturnal killings, perplexing the police, leaving them and the cigar chomping impatient detective Lieutenant Williams (George Pembroke) without any clues. One evening during a session of questioning by the police in accordance with a psychiatrist, the butler (Clarence Muse) is asked of his movements of the nights in question. It is then that Kessler becomes embodied by his wife’s hold over his mind and strangles the detective until the spell is broken revealing him as the unknowing killer. He walks by the portrait of his wife with her throat brutally slashed in confusion, in police custody.