A drunken man, Arthur Smith, staggers into a home and calls out to see if anyone is home. When he gets no response, Arthur strolls down the hallway, mocking the expensive sculptures. As he passes a door, he hears chanting within and calls out to his father. Mr. Smith is kneeling before a smoking pentagram, and his son to go away. Ignoring his father, Arthur goes in and his father says that he’s conducting an experiment. Ignoring his father, Arthur goes to get a drink and crosses the lines of the pentagram. There’s a flash of light and he collapses, and Mr. Smith begs him to come back.
Mme. Roberti is conducting a séance for Mr. Smith and invites him to look into her crystal ball. He asks for her help and says that he was told she could provide answers. Roberti tells him to look into the crystal and asks who is the foolish boy that he seeks. Mr. Smith admits that it was his son, and reluctantly says that his son died in an accident and he needs to bring him back. Roberti warns that he won’t find a way to resurrect the dead in her crystal. When he insists that he’ll play any price, Roberti gives him a card and says the man may know the way. Mr. Smith sees the name on the card and tells her to look and be sure. Roberti assures him that he can see what needs to be seen and reaches for the leash of her seeing-eye dog.
Mr. Smith goes to a used-car lot belonging to Honest Abe and asks for the owner. A salesman, Nicolai, asks what he wants and Mr. Smith says that it’s a private matter. Nicolai takes Mr. Smith into the office and admits that he is Honest Abe. When Mr. Smith says that Roberti sent him, Nicolai makes sure that they’re alone and warns that what Mr. Smith wants is dangerous. Smith repeats that he’ll do anything, and Nicolai gives him a book, Der Vermis Mysteriis
—“Mysteries of the Worm.” He warns that there are only four copies, and the remainder were burned centuries ago along with the owners. Nicolai explains that he plans to retire once he sells the book for one million dollars. Mr. Smith balks but Nicolai refuses to compromise. He assures Mr. Smith that it has the formula he needs but makes no guarantees. Mr. Smith agrees to pay the price.
At his home, Mr. Smith pours over the book and finds what he is looking for. He realizes that now he needs to find the right tailor.
Custom tailor Erik Borg receives a visit from Schwenk, who wants his rent. Borg assures him that he’ll get the money once things picks up. He asks for one more month and Borg gives him a week. Once Schwenk leaves, Borg goes to the back room where his wife Anna is working. She wonders what they’ll do and Borg slaps her, saying she’s been nothing but trouble ever since he married her.
As Borg wonders what to do next, the door bell rings. Mr. Smith comes in and says that he has a very special job for him. Borg readily agrees but is surprised when Smith provides his own material. The tailor doesn’t recognize the fabric but Mr. Smith says that it doesn’t matter. He explains that the suit is for his son but he won’t come in for a fitting because it’s to be a surprise present. Mr. Smith gives Borg all of the measurements and insists that the tailor follow them precisely. He also insists that all tailoring must be done by hand and there are to be no buttons. Borg wonders if he’s joking, but Mr. Smith says that he isn’t and offers $500. The desperate tailor accepts and Mr. Smith insists that he do the work on specific days and times. When Borg asks why, Mr. Smith says that he believes in astrology and makes sure that Borg will follow his orders. He promises to pay upon delivery and leaves.
Anna comes out to ask what happened and Borg tells her that it’s none of her business. She wonders why he is nervous and Borg shoves her aside. He takes the material and goes to work, and Anna returns to the back room where she bursts into tears. She goes to her bedroom and talks to a mannequin, Hans, with a cracked head. Anna asks what she should do and tells Hans that he’s the only friend that she has. Sobbing, she collapses at its feet.
Later, Anna tries to sleep without success and goes out to talk to Borg. He’s busy working on the suit and tells her that he has to work. When Anna says that Mr. Smith will never know, Borg says that the needle won’t enter the cloth except at the designated times. When she touches the cloth, Anna says that it’s tingling and wonders what he’s really doing. Borg assumes that it’s a costume for a masquerade, but doesn’t care as long as he makes the $500. Anna goes back to bed and wakes the next morning, and confirms that Borg has finished the work. She says that she has a feeling but Borg dismisses her concerns and laughs at her for talking to Hans. He says that he took the dummy out of the window because it’s no longer of use, and threatens to leave once he has the money. When Anna wonders if he’s joking, Borg just says that she’ll have to wait and see.
After Borg goes, Anna bursts into tears and talks to Hans again. She tells the mannequin that Borg will leave her and talks about how Borg cracked its head when he was drunk. As Anna rants, she hears the door bell ring and goes to investigate. It’s Schwenk, there to get his rent money. When Anna says that Borg isn’t there, Schwenk figures that the tailor sneaked out to avoid him. She assures him that her husband will have the money that afternoon, and Schwenk says that he’ll wait until then. Anna tells Hans that Schwenk will make trouble and says that she can’t stand Borg beating her again. Laughing hysterically, Anna wishes that Hans could help her.
Mr. Smith comes to see Roberti about the fact that Nicolai died in a plane. The medium already knows that Nicolai died on his way to Mexico, and says that he deserved to die for selling the book and corrupting Smith’s soul. Roberti insists that she practices white magic, and Smith asks for her help. She tells him that he is beyond help and his fate is woven into the cloth. Smith says that the suit is on his way and he’ll soon have his son, but Roberti only sees death.
Borg brings the suit to the cheap room that Mr. Smith has rented. Mr. Smith is pleased to have the suit, but snaps when Borg asks to see his son to do a fitting. When Smith demands the suit, Borg asks for immediate payment but his customer refuses. He points out that he is living in a cheap room because he has liquidated everything he has to bring his son back. Borg demands an explanation but Mr. Smith says that he needs the suit now. The tailor backs away nervously into an expensive ice box, and Mr. Smith says that it’s not for him. Borg opens the door and finds Arthur’s frozen corpse inside. He accuses Mr. Smith of murder and tries to leave, but Smith attacks him with a knife. After a struggle, Borg grabs the knife and kills Mr. Smith. Horrified, the tailor takes the suit and leaves.
Anna hears her husband enter the shop and asks if he sold the suit. She soon realizes that something is wrong and warns Borg that Schwenk is coming back for his money. The tailor makes sure that she didn’t tell Schwenk which customer he went to see, and tells her never to say anything of it again. Borg tells her to burn the suit in the furnace and runs out. He goes to a bar and starts drinking. Schwenk finds him and demands his money, and the tailor offers to buy him his money. He tells Schwenk that he might have his money the next day and refuses to discuss it further. When Schwenk asks if he saw his customer, Borg hallucinates images of Smith and his dead son and panics. He tells Schwenk to go way and runs out.
Borg returns to his shop and yells for Anna. She emerges from the bedroom and admits that she didn’t burn the suit yet. Anna wanted to see what it looked like so she put it on Hans. Borg rushes to the back room to destroy it, telling Anna that she shouldn’t have interfered. He finally tells her that there’s been an accident and admits that he stabbed Mr. Smith in self-defense. The tailor explains that Smith thought the suit was magic and would bring his son back to life. His wife tells him to go to the police and plead his case, but he figures they wouldn’t believe him. When Anna says that she couldn’t bear to live her life with a murderer, Borg starts to strangle her. She calls out to Hans, who comes to life. Borg turns and stares in horror as the mannequin staggers toward him. He backs into the shop and Hans follows him. Anna hears her husband’s scream and then watches as the mannequin comes back into the room. It tells Anna that everything is all right and now it’s just the two of them, together.