Once upon a time, Stephen and his girlfriend Jessica were in love with life and each other, without a single care in the world.  But things have changed.  Their cramped city apartment has become something of a tomb--confining and claustrophobic.  Stephenís artwork is no longer sought after, causing him to descend slowly into the pits of despair, leaving Jessica to be the sole provider in their relationship, working as a waitress.  Not able to sleep with thoughts of mounting bills and threats of eviction, Stephenís only escape is in the world of old horror movies with the hopes that they might inspire a successfully unique concept for his work.

Jessica is simply tired, overworked, and finding it increasingly difficult to deal with her boyfriendís frequent bouts of depression, even though she has the emotional support of her best friend and co-worker Lindsey.  

But these two young people are not completely overlooked; they are lovingly watched over by their downstairs neighbor Mrs. Thomas, a sweet elderly woman who cares very much for the couple--even by providing Stephen with daily meals when she knows that they barely have enough money to buy groceries on their own.

One night, upon overhearing an especially heated argument regarding their questionable future, Mrs. Thomas confronts the young couple with a plan of salvation--she offers Stephen the opportunity to make $5,000 by simply cleaning out a house belonging to her friend in the country.  The promise of such an amount would surely help the couple, compelling Stephen to leave the following day.

The town is Whitewood.  The street is Ravenís End.  The house is several hours away from the city, and is controlled by Mrs. Thomasí friend, a real estate agent named Celia Watson--a very strange woman, cloaked in wardrobe long gone out of style...looking like something from one of Stephenís favorite old cinematic horrors.  And, for some strange reason, Celia is insistent about Stephen cleaning out the basement before all else. 




Left alone to his tireless cleaning, Stephen finds the basement to look perfectly normal, with not a single sinister characteristic.  But there are two locked rooms.  What Stephen finds behind those doors unlocks the many secrets of the house, and the revelation that his presence in Whitewood is not by mere chance, nor by the charitable assistance of Mrs. Thomas. 

...Stephen Kramer was destined to come to Ravenís End.



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