In Chicago, Helen Lyle and her friend Bernadette Walsh are researching for their thesis about urban legend in the University of Illinois, where Helen's husband Trevor Lyle gives classes. Helen becomes obsessed by the legend of the Candyman, a son of slaves whose father became rich in 1890 after inventing a device for mass producing of shoes. The educated Candyman was an artist, but when the daughter of a powerful man got pregnant of him, her father hired some men to kill him. The Candyman "lives" in the legend that says that he would appear if his name is spoken five times in front of the mirror, and the skeptical Helen attempts to summon Candyman. Helen and Bernadette go to Cabrini Green, where two unsolved murders had happened, and the dwellers blame Candyman for the crimes as Helen tries to prove his existence.