Mr. White and his son, Herbert, are playing chess. They are interrupted by sergeant Major Morris who talks to the family about his travels and the monkey's paw. He tells them that the monkey's has special powers and can grant them wishes.
Mr. White and Mrs. White come to the conclusion that if they shall wish on the monkey's paw, they shall wish something that will help them. They wished for 300 pounds and went to sleep. The next morning Herbert goes to work, gets caught in the machinery, and dies. A man dressed in a suit shows up at the White's home and tells them what had happened. The man gives the family 300 pounds for the service of Herbert.
Mrs. White forces Mr. White to use the paw again, this time to bring their son Herbert back to life. Mr. White wishes on the monkey's paw and goes to sleep. They were awoken by a loud knock at their door, and they rushed down to the sound.
Before Mrs. White can reach to open the door, Mr. White uses the monkey's paw to make Herbert dead again.
The White's are very filled with guilt for the rest of their lives. Mr. and Mrs. White later die outside of their house, frozen in the snow.
One of the most common superstitions is the number 13. The number 13 is thought out to be a very unlucky number, and that it leads to unfortunate events.