What if all those spooky stories you heard as a child were literally true? A teen on the verge of adulthood unlocks the secret of time travel. Thirteen-year-old Dennis Krause embarks on his adolescence living in the small town of Hades, Illinois, a steaming David Lynchesque slice of middle Americana in the early sixties. No one pays any particular heed when a Chicago psychic warns of a huge explosion that will soon destroy Hades. After the prophesied explosion strikes during a weekend family outing, Dennis and his family join a weird religious commune run by a radio evangelist--a charlatan calling himself Possle Strong. Dennis and an enigmatic young girl known only as Rahab discover that Strong has strange conjuring powers, including time travel and second sight. Strong pays special attention to the two teens, teaching them private lessons in what he calls "catty chism" after first swearing them to secrecy. When they discover Strong's plans to fake the resurrection of his dead wife, Dennis, his mother, his sister and Rahab flee the commune and take to the road, where, pursued by Strong and his confederates, they encounter sudden violence, spiritual visitation and redemption.