Mad Monkton is a bizarre ghost story. It is said that a strain of hereditary madness blights the Monkton family, heirs to the huge domain of Wincot Abbey. Rumours in the neighbourhood are that Alfred, the youngest scion, has inherited this insanity. His odd behaviour certainly points that way. Alfred is engaged to his childhood sweetheart, Ada Elmslie. But at the very moment when various obstacles to the match are overcome, Alfred suddenly departs for Italy, seeking the corpse of his disreputable uncle, who is believed to have been killed in a duel. What could have driven Alfred to do this?