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In October 1866, Father Oliver Grafield is brought from his parish work for an interview with Archbishop Manning of Westminster. Oliver is a hard-working, committed priest, and he has one gift - that of the exorcism of 'divining spirits'. The Archbishop tells Oliver that Lady Seaton, owner of Candleton Hall in Norfolk, has appealed to the Church for assistance in allaying the terrifying and haunting experiences taking place at the Hall. Father Oliver goes to Candleton and within hours, he and his sister Emma have first-hand experience of the phenomena: pools of blood form on the floor, a woman dressed in black walks the Long Gallery, the sound of knocking, cries in the night and hurried footsteps and, above all, a sense of malevolence which seeps through the house. Painstakingly, Oliver, a natural scholar, delves into the family secrets of the Seatons and finds chilling truths which span four centuries.