In 1842 two drunken sisters debate their future. Business at the family chocolate shop has ground to a halt. Change is needed. For once domineering elder sister Maggie does not get her way, and a month later Judy, Maggie and Netta Walters (a medium with big hair and a bigger secret) open their seance parlour. The locals are shocked, but soon the shop is crammed with people wanting to contact the dead. Despite their change in fortune a rift builds between the sisters, as Judy gets her gothic novel published, finds a man and proves to be more capable of contacting spirits than Maggie, who can only read tea leaves. Spurred on by jealousy, Maggie tries harder, and soon her talents surpass those of her smug sister. She fills halls with folk wishing to witness her powers, and is even consulted by the Queen. As word spreads, the Church decides that Maggie must be stopped, and trick her into a carriage - destination Bedlam Hospital. She then has to choose between publicly declaring herself a fake and returning to obscurity, or face being incarcerated forever with the insane ...