It is the year 1839. Architect Jonathan Criswell receives a letter from his old friend Roderick Usher asking Jonathan to come and see him. Arriving along with his newlywed wife Jennifer, Jonathan finds Roderick and his sister Madeleine aged beyond their years. Roderick tells him how they have both been maddened by a crippling hyper-alertness of senses. In trying to find a way of bolstering the Usher house against frequent earth tremors, Jonathan learns of the unspeakable atrocities and devil worship practiced by Roderick's ancestors. These have brought a curse on the House of Usher, meaning that none of the family can live beyond their 37th year. Jonathan must try to save the house in doing so he will be helping save his friend Roderick and his sister before the Usher curse takes them. Written by Mark Fair
In his manner, I saw at once, changes came and went; and I soon found that this resulted from his attempt to quiet a very great nervousness. I had indeed been prepared for something like this, partly by his letter and partly by remembering him as a boy. His actions were first too quick and then too quiet. Sometimes his voice, slow and trembling with fear, quickly changed to a strong, heavy, carefully spaced, too perfectly controlled manner. It was in this manner that he spoke of the purpose of my visit, of his desire to see me, and of the deep delight and strength he expected me to give him. He told me what he believed to be the nature of his illness. It was, he said, a family sickness, and one from which he could not hope to grow better — but it was, he added at once, only a nervous illness, which would without doubt soon pass away. It showed itself in a number of strange feelings. Some of these, as he told me of them, interested me but were beyond my understanding; perhaps the way in which he told me of them added to their strangeness. He suffered much from a sickly increase in the feeling of all his senses; he could eat only the most tasteless food; all flowers smelled too strongly for his nose; his eyes were hurt by even a little light; and there were few sounds which did not fill him with horror. A certain kind of sick fear was completely his master.