The adventure begins with an innocent invitation from an old university friend of the Professor, the esteemed Dr Brewer, to stay for a week at the sanatorium on lonely North Island. The four investigators are duly picked up from the mainland by the old sailor, Ebenezer, who regales them with his fanciful tales of mermaids and jungle temples. Unimpressed, the group arrive at the island and leave the old salty sea dog to take the luggage up the cliff by himself.
The group are simultaneously attacked and met at the door by two inmates. Apparently the Dr is having a nap and the group are told to wait in the library, but they quickly smell a rat and a quick snoop into the adjoining living room reveals the hideously murdered body of Nurse Ames. Ignoring both the sounds of distant screams, chanting and old Blanches’ instructions, they head up to the first floor and conduct a quick sweep of the living quarters, the highlight of which is the use of their intellect and super-sleuthing skills to inspect a pair of discarded panties and determine that the Dr has been busy with Nurse Ames when off duty.
The group then decides that they will search the offices on the first floor and quickly discover that Dr Brewer has also been hideously sacrificed. The Dr’s office turns up a veritable treasure trove of information about the staff, patients and the good Dr’s research. They also find the Castro Manuscript – but can they find the time and skill to make good use of it?
Bombarded with new information the group heads downstairs at Blanche’s summons with the plan of sedating all the patients and thereby ensuring that they don’t become a nuisance. Some of the group spot a disturbing sight – a male nurse sitting at a desk with his head twisted back – but this fails to impress the jaded investigators and they don’t even bother pointing it out to their colleagues or checking it out (!!!). The group’s ham-fisted attempts at persuading the poor patients to take the strange new pills (being administered by the strange new people) serves only to alienate them from everyone, including Blanche, who they then attempt to assault. Prior to ransacking the patient’s belongings the group are plunged into darkness. They remember that they met a girl in the library and stop in to check on her and learn that she is Darlene, one of Dr Brewer’s “Special Patients”; they also learn that the outage is probably due to the outside generator not being maintained.