A soul-corrupting evil invades the remote English village of Cainsmarsh, infesting the minds of the local residents. Dark events are plaguing its people. An elderly woman stiffens in dread at her own shadow; a terrified farmer murders a scarecrow; food prepared by others is eyed with suspicion; family pets are bludgeoned to death; loving couples are devoured by rage and violence. People are becoming suspicious of every move each other makes. Children are coming to school with marks on them. A spirit-corrupting evil pervades the land, infesting the minds of those who call Cainsmarsh home... Is this vision real, or a paranoid fantasy? And is the call to resist the danger itself a danger? These are questions that disturb the calm of an indolent croquet player who happens to hear the tale of the unlucky village. H. G. Wells’s ambiguous story of horror is a modern classic, a prophetic, disturbing glimpse of the primitive distrust and violence that gnaw at the heart of the modern world.