Halloween, 1861. A special train with two carriages steams across the Lake District at night on its way to a place notorious for its record of supernatural incidents. Most of those on board have been fortified by alcohol so the mood is boisterous.
Without warning the lamp goes out in the last compartment of the second carriage, plunging it into darkness. When the train reaches the end of the line, the passengers pour out on to the station platform. There are almost sixty of them in all, laughing and jostling, but the prevailing excitement is shattered by a cry for help - someone is missing.
Inspector Colbeck and Sergeant Leeming are called in to investigate this peculiar occurrence. With some believing the missing man is the victim of a ghost said to haunt the site and no discernible trace of the man anywhere to be seen, this will prove to be a puzzling case indeed for the Railway Detective.