In 1799, a teenage boy is found dead in his dormitory room at Bethel Academy, a Methodist school located on the remote frontier of central Kentucky. Though the boy died violently, his death was witnessed by no one. Some 70 years later, another young man, one of southern Appalachia’s most feared and despised feudists, is likewise found dead inside a deserted millhouse under mysterious circumstances. Though the two deaths would seem to have little in common given the years and distance separating the two young men, they are indeed very much connected. Linking these two tragic figures are a succession of frontier preachers, a troubled Shaker village, and isolated mountain communities terrorized by witches, ghost “haynts,” and deadly clan feuds.