he restorer Stefano is hired by the Mayor Solmi of a small village nearby Ferrara to restore a painting of St. Sebastian, made by the mentally disturbed painter Buono Legnani in the local church. Stefano was recommended by his friend, Dr. Antonio Mazza, and he learns that Legnani was known as "The Painter of the Agony", since he used to paint near-death people. Further, he was presumed dead many years ago but his body has never been found. Stefano works in the church, where he meets the weirdo Lidio, and he has one night stand with the local nymphomaniac teacher that is leaving the village. Meanwhile Antonio investigates the life of Buono Legnani and tells Stefano that he had found a dark secret about the painter and the villagers. However, Antonio dies before meeting Stefano and the police conclude that he committed suicide. Stefano is intrigued by the mystery surrounds Legnani and decides to investigate more about the deranged painter. However, he in evicted of his hotel room and Lidio brings him to the isolated house of a paraplegic woman where he lives. Meanwhile, he meets the teacher's substitute Francesca and they have a love affair. Francesca moves to Stefano's room and they are affected by the strange atmosphere of the place. When the restoration is damaged by acid, Stefano decides to leave the village with Francesca. However, he meets the alcoholic driver Coppola that decides to disclose to him the secret of the house of the laughing windows. But now it seems to be too late to move out of the mysterious village.

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