5 Days a Stranger tells the story of a gentleman thief called Trilby who, while attempting to rob an old mansion, gets pulled into a deadly tale of haunting and murder. The entirety of the game takes place in DeFoe Manor, spanning over five chapter-like "days"., and uses a classic point-and-click interface.
Trilby originally comes to DeFoe Manor after hearing about the death of the most recent owner and the lack of any known heir. However, things begin to go wrong when Trilby finds himself inexplicably locked in the mansion with four other unrelated people. One by one the characters are mysteriously murdered while Trilby begins to piece together the sad, horrific, tale of the mansions first owner, Sir Roderick DeFoe.
Sir Roderick, unbeknown to any but his wife, had one deformed son (whom Trilby names "John" for convenience) who's birth took Mrs. DeFoe's life. Through spite, DeFoe locked John beneath his manor and regularly neglected and abused the retarded boy. One night, John escapes from his chains and murders Sir Roderick and Sir Roderick's other son but later dies from wounds he received from his father. Now John's angry spirit haunts DeFoe manor and the strange African tribal idol that was used to bludgeon him to death.