The Phantom Stranger teases the story about to unfold. Four teenagers... Attila, Mister Square, Spartacus and Wild Rose... seek out Vulcan's Castle. The townsfolk of Seaview warn the teenagers not to go to Vulcan's Castle. The teenagers commandeer a small sail boat, and set off for Vulcan's Castle. Tala, mistress of the macabre, steals away their boat's sail. The teenagers are drawn down, by a sudden whirlpool, to a watery grave. The Phantom Stranger confronts Tala, then sets about to rescuing the teenagers. The Phantom Stranger pushes the teenager's boat to the surface, where they encounter Doctor Terrence Thirteen, the famed Ghost-Breaker.
Thirteen is also en route to Vulcan's Castle where he has been called upon to debunk a curse. Supposedly, billionaire Andrew Vulcan's daughter has been cursed with the kiss of death. Distraught over the curse, and spurred on by Tala, Vulcan's daughter, Vanessa attempts suicide. The Phantom Stranger intervenes, saving her life. Vulcan reveals that when he purchased the castle, it's former owner, Count Druga, cursed Vulcan out of spite. Thirteen scoffs at the tale, denouncing all curses as hoaxes. To emphasize his point, Thirteen recounts a previous case. Thirteen had been called to the Wilton mine, in Kentucky, to debunk the curse of the flaming ghost.
En route, Thirteen was forcibly grabbed, and strangled by, tree limbs. Upon gaining his freedom, Thirteen beheld the flaming ghost. At the Wilton Mine, Thirteen learned that a miner, Abel Krone, died in mining shaft seven, due to negligent safety precautions. With his dying breath, Krone cursed his fellow miners. Thirteen began his investigation in mining shaft seven. There, Thirteen was, again, attacked by the flaming ghost. Though at a loss to explain his encounter, and the injuries sustained from it, Thirteen still contended that nothing supernatural was afoot. Thirteen again entered mining shaft seven, and once more confronted the flaming ghost.
Thirteen belted the "ghost" into the wall, shorting out the "ghost's" electrically powered suit. The ghost was revealed to be Krone's twin brother, Vincent. Dying from an electrical shock, caused by a short in the suit, Vincent revealed that he was haunting the mine in an effort to force the mine to close. The mine remained open, but better safety protocols were enacted to keep another death from happening. The Phantom Stranger counters with his own tale. A young fisherman was drowned, seemingly another victim of a cursed ship. The Phantom Stranger fished the man's corpse from the harbor, then confronted the boat's captain, Bill.
The captain revealed that the boat was left to his brother, Frank, after their father died. Frank took Bill on, as a deck hand. Tired of Frank's constant belittling of him, Bill lashed out, knocking his brother into the sea. Before Frank could be rescued, he was devoured by sharks. With his dying breath, Frank cursed the boat, lest any other man try to sail it. On their way back into port, the lookout fell to his death, from the crow's nest. Frank's curse had claimed it's first victim. The Phantom Stranger agreed to sail with Bill. Sixty miles out at sea, Bill became entranced by his brother's voice, and tried to steer the ship into the rocks. The Phantom Stranger subdues Bill, and rights the ship's course.
The glancing impact dislodged the ship's figurehead, which the Phantom Stranger contended was where the evil rested. that fueled the curse. Vanessa Vulcan reveals the origin of her curse. She had been childhood friends with the gardner's son, Nicholas. Upon reaching maturity, though, her social station pulled her away from him. Nicholas became consumed with jealousy, upon seeing Vanessa in the arms of her husband-to-be, Lee Philips. Nicolas suddenly took ill. Upon his deathbed, he cursed Vanessa. If he couldn't have her, no man would. Any man that kissed Vanessa would come to a terrible end. Philips dies from an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot.
Vanessa's second suitor, Michael Liptom, is killed in a boating accident. Her next suitor, William Howell, is killed in a horseback riding accident. Thirteen is quick to point out that each man's death, while tragic, is easily explained. The Phantom Stranger, though, is not so sure. The Phantom Stranger has Nicholas' corpse exhumed. Thirteen rails at the Phantom Stranger for being proven a fraud, when Nicholas' corpse is, indeed, still inside the casket. The Phantom Stranger points out that the corpse is sweating. Nicholas' father, Thomas, reveals himself to be the culprit behind the curse. Out of jealously for Vulcan's superior wealth and lifestyle, Thomas placed his son into a deep trance, from which he carried out the death sentences of Vanessa's suitors.
Thomas wakes Nicholas from his trance. Nicholas draws a gun, and fires on Vanessa. Attila dives for, and shoves, Vanessa out of harm's way. Thriteen intervenes, getting shot for his trouble. The Phantom Stranger closes on Nicholas. Backing away, Nicholas fires round after round into the Phantom Stranger. Not watching his footing, Nicholas plunges to his death, into the sea. To the Phantom Stranger alone, Tala reveals that she endowed Thomas with the hypnotic power he used on his son. The Phantom Stranger fades away in the mist, leaving behind an infuriated Thirteen, who vows to expose the Phantom Stranger as a fraud.
In 1906, one Mister Simpson had fallen asleep in his room. So exhausted was Simpson that he paid little heed to the faint smell of gas in the room. Simpson was awakened by his long dead mother, who urged him to get out of the room. Already under the effects of the gas, Simpson lost consciousness. Again his mother appeared to him, urging him awake. Simpson stumbled to the window, and struggled to get it open. Simpson again collapsed, striking his head. Upon awakening Simpson discovered that he hit his head on the gas spigot, and the impact shut it off. Lucky to be alive, Simpson was left to wonder if the ghost of his mother did, indeed, intervene to save his life, or had he dreamt the entire encounter.
Four superstitions are revealed.