The plot principally revolves around "performances" and recitations of Poe's stories, with a new plotline used as a framing device. The game is divided into a "realistic" mode in which the framing plot occurs and a "nightmarish" mode in which Poe's stories are reenacted or narrated.
The game does not specify the year in which it is set, but based on clothing and technology it appears to be in the late 1800s. The player character, whose name is never divulged, is visiting his uncle Edwin. The player first meets Edwin's assistant and then Edwin himself. He later meets Henry, the protagonist's brother, a young businessman who desires the hand of Elise, in marriage. Your character then starts to take ill effects from the paint thinner Edwin was using while painting, and the player character passes out and has a nightmarish dream.
After the protagonist wakes, Henry relates his desperate situation: Edwin deeply disapproves of his love for Elise. Another nightmare follows, after which the protagonist encounters Elise, who asks her to give Henry a note. After another nightmare, the player learns that Elise has taken ill. The protagonist sees Henry and gives him Elise's note, then follows him to find that Elise has died. Edwin explains that the ground is too marshy for a proper burial, so Henry, Edwin, and Edwin's Assistant take her body into the basement of the house. Henry requests that a lantern be left nearby in case she revives.
Edwin takes the player aside and states that Henry is mentally unstable. Edwin forges a note from Elise asking Henry meet her on the cliff outside of the house. The protagonist hands it to Henry, who then dashes out of the house. As Henry stands on the cliff, yelling for Elise, an enormous wave hits him. Watching from afar, the player can see that he is unharmed, although Edwin's assistant approaches Henry and starts a scuffle. In the course of the fight, the assistant shoves Henry off the cliff and into the sea.
Edwin lays the blame for all these events upon the player character, causing him to spiral down into a fit of insanity. Upon returning to reality, the protagonist discovers that Elise, still alive, has broken out of her coffin and gouged out her own eyes. This gruesome sight destroys the protagonist's sanity, and the game ends.