An old man is dying but has had a successful time as an artist, painting a few of the pictures hanging around his large house.
His manservant, who has been with him for many years, looks after the old man until a long, lost nephew appears on the scene. The nephew lays claim to the estate as sole heir, and decides to ensure that his inheritance comes sooner rather than later. He sits the old man in his bedroom with the window wide open, overlooking the cemetery, knowing that he is susceptible to the cold.
After the old man dies, the nephew stakes his claim to the house and the fortune, the manservant is left only 80 dollars a week for life, without the nephew, he would have inherited everything. The manservant asks to stay on and work for the nephew; when they have a fight about the nephews conduct, drinking and womanising, the manservant leaves.
Once the nephew is alone in the house, he notices the painting at the bottom of the stairs showing the house and cemetery, has changed. There is now a mound showing the grave of the old man. Next, the coffin is raised, then the coffin is open, the old man is shown leaving the coffin, then approaching the house. Each time a new scene is shown in the painting, it makes the nephew more frightened; he tries to call the manservant he then calls the police but each time he is cut off before being put through. Eventually he is driven so mad that he falls down the stairs, he is dead before he lands at the bottom!
The manservant appears and calls the police to report the accident. The inheritance now passes to the manservant. Later we see a conversation between the manservant and an artist in which the manservant pays the artist for providing 15 paintings at $500 each!
After the artist leaves, the manservant surveys his kingdom; he spots that the painting has an additional coffin mound then an open casket, the dead nephew climbing out, coming towards the house... We see the manservant flinching in the corner of the room as he is driven mad by this sight.