The Phantom Stranger teases the tale about to unfold. Cassandra Craft is being followed. Escaping her pursuer, Craft runs right into the arms of the brutish Morgg. Craft is subdued, and brought before Dorian. The Phantom Stranger receives a psychic distress call from Craft. Morgg is about to torture Craft, when the Phantom Stranger appears. Morgg is beaten down, then Craft is released from her restraints. The Phantom Stranger hurries to usher Craft out of Dorian's mansion. Craft strikes the Phantom Stranger down, from behind. The Phantom Stranger awakens in chains, suspended over a flaming pit. Dorian identifies himself as a member of the Dark Circle.
For thwarting the schemes of the Dark Circle, on three separate occasions, the Phantom Stranger has been targeted for death. Dorian threatens to murder Craft if the Phantom Stranger resists. Dorian initiates the Ritual of Passage. The flames of the pit rise up, enveloping the Phantom Stranger. The Phantom Stranger is drawn into an abyss, finally emerging on a mystic plane. Craft, still under Dorian's control, is also there, waiting for the Phantom Stranger. At Dorian's command, Craft attacks the Phantom Stranger. The Phantom Stranger refuses to fight back, as he desperately tries to reason with Craft. Finally, the Phantom Stranger simply allows Craft to strike him down.
Craft's murderous act releases her from Dorian's enchantment. Craft, horrified at her actions, breaks down in tears. Suddenly, the Phantom Stranger is at Craft's side. His "death" merely a ruse to break Dorain's hold over Craft. The Phantom Stranger and Craft return to the mortal realm. Dorian is waiting for him. Dorian orders his followers to destroy the Phantom Stranger, but Morgg protests. Morgg wants the honor of killing the Phantom Stranger, and Craft, for himself alone. As Morgg is an ethereal fluke, a creature immune to magic, the Phantom Stranger is forced to physically battle against the hulking behemoth. At first, the Phantom Stranger, and Craft, hold their own against Morgg.
The Phantom Stranger is caught in a bear hug, as Morgg crushes the life from him. The Phantom Stranger places his medallion around Morgg's neck. Suddenly, the medallion chain begins to constrict, strangling Morgg. Morgg topples into the Hellfire pit, initiating a chain reaction that consumes Dorian's mansion. Once more the Phantom Stranger has triumphed over the Dark Circle. The Phantom Stranger turns to take his leave of Craft, but Craft pleads with the Phantom Stranger to remain by her side. The Phantom Stranger acquiesces, agreeing to continue the fight against the Dark Circle, with Craft, together.
A group of hooligans take note of, and discuss, the comings and goings of the, seemingly, eccentric, Dustin Mednick. Matt Driscomb eavesdrops on their musings, and sees an opportunity. When the corpse of a dog is discovered the next day, Driscomb fosters the notion that the dog's death was no accident. Doctor Terrance Thirteen, the famed Ghost-Breaker, and his wife, Marie, arrive in town., in search of respite. Almost immediately, Thirteen notices that the townsfolk treat him with suspicion. Thirteen heads out to get dinner, and notices that the town's streets are deserted.
The majority of the town's populace are in a meeting at the fire house, held by Driscomb. Driscomb paints a threatening picture of Mednick. The townsfolk, though, are reluctant to believe Driscomb's lies, without some kind of proof. Driscomb wants to drive Mednick out of town, so that he can purchase Mednick's house, then sell it to developers for profit. The hooligans break into a blood bank, and steal six pints of blood. Mednick is refused service at a restaurant. Thirteen protests Mednick's treatment. The hooligans' crime is blamed on Mednick. Driscomb convinces the townsfolk that Mednick is a vampire.
Mednick is seized by the townsfolk. Driscomb orders Mednick to leave town. Mednick refuses. When no one else is willing to step forward, Driscomb plunges a stake through Mednick's heart. Drawn to the commotion, Thirteen witnesses the murder. Thirteen removes the stake, proving that Mednick was not a a vampire. Thirteen angrily scolds the townsfolk, for giving in to paranoia and superstition. Driscomb is seized, and charged with murder. Thirteen, though, furiously tells the townsfolk that they're just as guilty as Driscomb.