The West Bluff and surrounding swamps along the Sabine River between Texas and Louisiana have provided a modest but comfortable shelter and satisfactory sustenance for Dick Jackson and his Cajun sweetheart, Penny, in the years just after World War II. But lately, things have not seemed right. Trapping has become dangerous, as a fearful presence has crept its way into this region known as the Big Thicket. Dick has already lost two of his hunting dogs within days of each other under unusual circumstances, and the remaining dogs whine and pull at their chains. Four friends come from Georgia to join in the hunt for whatever it is, and Cajun folkways are employed to ward off this haint. But the challenges seem only to multiply.