The bus on which veteran Atticus Freeman is riding home to Chicago breaks down outside of Kentucky. He's going home because his father Montrose has been missing for about two weeks. Montrose, who was looking into Tic's mother's ancestry, wants Tic to go to "Lovecraft Country." Uncle George volunteers to go with Tic to Ardham, Mass., Montrose's last known destination. Tic and Letitia, his childhood friend, reunite. Leti is riding with Tic and George. They encounter racism across the Midwest. George checks out a diner he'd heard about in Simmonsville. Tic determines that the previous black owners had been burned out. With Leti driving, they're soon being shot at by rednecks in a pickup. But a mysterious silver car cuts off the pickup and causes it to crash. A white woman steps out of the car as the trio speeds away. They sleep over at Leti's brother Marvin's house. Marvin's research shows strange events in Devon County, where Ardham is located, including wild animals and a racist sheriff. They arrive at Devon County. Tic is trying to find the road to Ardham. The sheriff pulls in behind their car. He informs them Devon is a sundown county and they have seven minutes to leave it. They make it in time but run into a police roadblock. The sheriff marches them into the woods and accuses them of a string of burglaries. The cops are attacked by monsters. Tic and Leti run but George gets left behind. George reaches the cabin where Tic, Leti, and two cops are hiding. He's figured out light hurts the vampires. Leti races for the car and returns with it. They use flares to keep the vampires at bay. After dawn, they stumble on the road to Ardham. They are welcomed upon arrival.