The scene is a rustic shack in the remote wilderness of New Hampshire's White Mountains, the home of the sinister Granny Goodwife and her young helper, Susanna, whom Granny found abandoned in the woods. Known as a healer adept in the use of folk remedies, Granny is also suspected of being a witch and, indeed, she has kept Susanna a virtual prisoner by casting a spell which only she can break. Susanna and the others who live nearby are also intimidated by the tale of "The Scarecrow Woman" (reputed to be Granny's sister) who rises from the bottom of Muddy Pond when there is fog on the mountains and beckons people to their deaths. As the play begins Susanna and her friend Charlotte are plotting to outwit Granny by impersonating "The Scarecrow Woman" and demanding Susanna's release, a plan which is complicated by the unexpected appearance of John, a young college student who is doing research on the folkways and folklore of the region. Enthralled by Granny's bizarre stories and weird potions, John is reluctant to take the tale of "The Scarecrow Woman" or the girls' attempt to make use of it seriously until, in a shocking, macabre twist, he is made aware that they are all indeed in the presence of genuine, and terrifying, evil—and that there are truths which must be accepted even though they defy understanding and logic.
Described by the author as "a macabre folktale," this eerie excursion into the unfathomed and the supernatural will keep audiences enthralled right up to its unexpected and unsettling conclusion. Set in the remote mountains of New England, the action of the play involves a sinister old witch-woman, her unhappy ward, Susanna, and the well-meaning friends who hope to set her free from the old woman's baleful spell.