The story focuses around the narrator and his friend St. John, who have a sickly interest in robbing graves. They constantly defile crypts and often keep souvenirs of their nocturnal expeditions. Since they reside in the same house, they have the opportunity to set up a sort of morbid museum in their basement. Using the objects they collect from the various graves they have robbed, they organize the private exhibition. The collection consists of headstones, preserved bodies, skulls and several heads in different phases of decomposition. It also included statues, frightful paintings and a locked portfolio, bound in tanned human skin. One day, they learn of a particular grave, which sparks a profound interest in them, an old grave in a Holland cemetery, which holds a legendary tomb raider within. One who was said to have stolen, many years ago, a “potent thing from a mighty sepulcher”. One night, they travel to this old cemetery where the ancient “ghoul” was buried. The thought of exhuming the final resting place of a former grave robber is irresistibly appealing to them. That, and the fact that the body had been buried several centuries before, drives them to travel such long distances to reach the site. Upon reaching the old cemetery, they notice the distant baying of a giant hound. They ignore it and begin their excavation. After a while of digging they hit a solid object in the ground. They clear the last of the dirt from it and happen upon a strange and elaborately made coffin. Upon opening the casket, they are surprised to find that after several centuries the remains are still intact. Several places, on the skeletal remains, seem torn and shattered, as if attacked by a wild animal. Yet the whole of the skeleton is still completely distinguishable. At that moment, they notice a jade amulet hanging from the “ghoul's” neck. They examine it and after a bit of observation they recognize the amulet as one mentioned in “the forbidden Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred”. They immediately know they must have the amulet at all cost. They remove it from the skeleton and flee to their homes. As they do, they notice once again the continuous sound of a hound's baying in the distance. Even as they return home, strange sounds can be heard in their house, including the distant sound of the hound.