- Szophia Markos, Alientist from Budapest, Hungary
- Bobby Richmond, Reporter from Arkham. Mass.
- Ezra Fig, Private Investigator from Los Angeles, Calif.
- Tasha Kirkham, Cowgirl from Big Timber, Montana
Bobby Richmonds’ account and photos of the events on Strafton Mountain are picked up by numerous papers on the east coast. His article catches the attention of Jonas Kensington, owner of Prospero House Publishing in NYC. Prospero House publishes books of occult and fantastic themes and most famous author is Jackson Elias. Kensington invites Richmond and his team to NYC to carve out a book deal and meet Elias. After dinner Kensington invites the team to a popular speakeasy in Harlem, The Blue Heaven Ballroom.
The club is very crowded when the team arrives. The manager Roland Marlow, recognizing Kensington, find a table near the bar. In the next table over sits a man alone, seemingly agitated. The band leader starts up a tribute to Mayor Hylan. During the song a man sneaks in the side door and shoots the agitated loner point blank in the back of the head. The assassin cooly puts away his gun and darts out the door. Ezra Fig quickly follows him, down the stairs and out a side door. The assassin leaps into a waiting grey Packard. Someone in the passenger seat leans out the window and sprays the building with Tommy Gun fire. Ezra hits the dirt and the Packard gets away.
In the meantime, Tasha Kirkham is sprayed with brains and blood. Completely shocked she runs outs of the building in a bout of claustrophobia. Dr. Markos moves to the victim to see if she can lend medical assistance. Despite the appearance of having his brains blown out, he begins to stamp his hands in time with the music. He rises and moans “Joey!”. Finally the rest of the crowd begins to notice the horror, and soon start to stampede out of the theater. Bobby is caught up in the crowd and swept down the stairs along with the victim. There he witnesses the victim being crushed under the feet of the crowd. Out in the street the victim rises again, sending the screaming crowd in every direction. In the mayhem an ambulance speeding to the scene hits the victim head on driving into a lamp post and cutting him in half. He finally stops moving. Ezra witnessing this horrible event is overtaken with madness. Tasha just coming to her senses grabs Ezra and leads him to a well lit area. Also outside Bobby grabs his camera and begins to take pictures of the scene.
Inside Szophia speaks briefly with the band leader, Mitch Wester, who encourages her to leave. Before she does, she sees the trumpeter Leroy Turner, stunned on stage. He takes a big swig of his flasks and agrees to show her and way out through the back. He drops a business card for a funeral home with a note written on the back, “11 am sharp-bring your horn. New Orleans style.”
All are questioned by the police at the scene and released. Tasha and Ezra make their way back to the hotel, trying to recover from the madness they suffered witnessing the terrible events. Bobby and Szophia make there way to Kensington’s apartments. Kensington encourages Bobby to get his story to the papers before they put out the morning edition. Bobby’s story make the front page of the “Gotham Daily”. These two finally make their way back to the hotel in the wee hours.
The team meets in the hotel restaurant very early. No one got much sleep. The morning paper reveals that victim is Pete Manusco, a west side accountant. They decide to check out Manusco’s home and office first thing. At the office, they find that all the “B” files are missing and a note in the trash bin that reads “Mr. M, you shod meet me tonite at Blue Heaven for a meaningful discusn on you’re health and safety. – J.” Although they have some trouble convincing the doorman to let them in Manusco’s apartment, they do notice a bunch of newspapers clippings relating to Archie “The Boss” Bonato.
They decide to check out the musician at the funeral home in Harlem. They arrive just as the funeral is wrapping up and the New Orleans’s style procession is beginning. Sophia spots Turner across the street and asks him about the events of the previous evening. Turner is a bewildered as the rest of New York. As the procession passes he excuses himself to join in. As soon as he begins to play, the coffin begins to rock. The pall bearers drop their load and the occupant bursts out of the coffin. The investigators, no strangers to these terrible scenes, grab Turner and run for it.
Turner takes them to a speakeasy in Harlem and offers to talk for more booze. He admits that he received his trumpet from Louis Armstrong two days ago, claiming that Mr. Armstrong met him in an alley near a rehearsal hall and told him that “Blow this baby, and you will wake the dead.” Turner now understanding the true significance promises to never play the trumpet again but refuses to give it up. The investigators and Leroy Turner part ways. About halfway down the block, the grey Packard drives up and white men grab Turner, forcing him in the car. The team tries to flag a taxi to give chase but their luck runs out.
Out of clues and at a loss at what to do, Ezra Fig phones a friend in Arkham, a retired NYPD detective. He’s given a new lead to contact Lt. Martin Poole, who was also the detective on the scene at the Blue Heaven Ballroom incident. Poole and his partner agree to meet the team at Bonato’s West side warehouse. Sneaking up on the warehouse the group overhear Archie “The Boss” Bonato, Joey Larson (Pete Manusco’s assassin) and Little Jimmy Foster (get away driver) contemplate Leroy’s ability to raise the dead. Archie shoots Joey and forces Leroy to play. Joey is raised from the dead and all hell breaks loose. The cops retain their sanity but all the gangsters save Archie and Little Jimmy loose it. The police go in guns a blazing and the investigators wisely stay out of the line of fire.
In the chaos Leroy Turner runs away. Bobby and Tasha give chase. They end up with Leroy in his apartment. Leroy now mad as a hatter refuses to give up the trumpet. He tells them he wants to go to the cemetery and bring back his long dead girl friend. Tasha over powers Leroy, knocking him unconscious and they steal his trumpet.
The investigators meet up again and decide to take the last train to Massachusetts. They wake up Prof. Avenbury late in the evening and go over the terrible events in NYC. Avenbury agrees to lock the trumpet in his safe.