Wenceslao Fernandez Florez was from La Coruna in Galicia, a part of Spain strongly represented in Spanish vampire fiction. Several of his novels were adapted for the cinema and he was actively involved in some of the screenplays. On a dark, windy night, fearing he has lost his way in a wood, he stumbles upon a house in the eponymous clearing and begs for food and shelter. In the house, he finds the man who lives there, a certain Ricardo Mans, with three strange daughters, Octavia, Ofelia, and Otilia, as well as another man, Senén, a grotesque figure with no legs, claiming he too is on his way to Santiago. Mans declares he must be bewitched and throws him out of the house into the dark, windy wood once more. Mauricio, meanwhile, believes that one of the daughters, Octavia, is the woman haunting his dreams and describes meaningful looks that pass between them in secret.