In 1844, the Wells family lives on their own small farm in Greenwich, Connecticut and the sons and daughters have a rigid discipline and religious education from patriarch Ephraim Wells. When his wife Abigail receives a letter from her wealthy distant cousin Nicholas "Nick" Van Ryn, inviting one of the Wells daughters to live with him and his wife Johanna and tutor their young daughter Katrin, naive Miranda Wells gets excited at the prospect of traveling. Abigail convinces Ephraim to let her go, and Ephraim escorts his daughter to the Hudson Valley, New York. They meet Nick and they learn that he is a patroon of farmers at the Hudson Valley. Then Miranda travels to the Dragonwyck mansion where she is introduced to voracious Johanna, sweet Katrine, and housekeeper Magda. She also meets Dr. Jeff Turner, who is a sort of leader of the farmers that work for Nicholas, at a party and befriends him. Soon she notes that Katrine is neglected by her parents. When Johanna gets mysteriously ill and dies, Miranda returns home. But the atheistic Nick visits her family to propose to marry her. Now Miranda's dream comes true and she marries him and moves to Dragonwyck. Will they live happily ever after?