One night at the Laburnam Villa, the White family is expecting a visitor. Mr. White and his son Herbert are playing chess while Mrs. White knits by the fire. Sergeant-Major Morris arrives and tells the family stroys about him as a soldier.
Mr. White reminds Morris of a story he had told about a strange monkey paw he acquired in India. It was supposedly bewitched by an old fakir so it would grant three wishes to three people. Mr. White wants the paw, but Morris says it causes trouble.
Morris throws the paw into the fire and Mr. White resues it. He askes for 200 pounds as his first wish. The next day the Whites find out Herbert was caught in a machine at work and died. The company gives the Whites 200 pounds as a sorry gesture.
They are shaken by how their wish came true and filled with grief from losing their son. Mrs. White wishes her son alive with the paw. After the wish, they hear a persistent knocking at their front door. Mrs. White thinks its Herbert.
Mrs. White wants to go to the door, frantic to let Herbert in. Mr. White holds her back because he knows how wicked the paw is and is afraid of what 'state' Herbert is in. She gets lose and runs to the door, while Mr. White looks for the paw.
When his wife is about to open the door, Mr. White finds the paw and makes his final wish. The knocking suddenly ceases and when Mrs. White opens the door there is no one there.