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After Hawker gets me into the computer and I do all I need to do there I head to the stairs to try and take the manual to Garris. When I click on the last stair case which should put me in the entryway by the bottom of the stairs leading to the charred door the screen fades black but never fades back to the scene. I can hear the house sounds and I can move the mouse but the pointer never changes so I can't click on anything. I can hit Escape and it will go to the menue and I can click continue game but it goes right back to the black screen. So frustrating. Anyone have any ideas?
I have actually same problem :(
After entering the charred room I:
-went to balcony and discovered Anderson's blood on the railing and investigated the charred room in its entirety
-phoned Claire and asked about Hawker (this way I get more info on him and get to ask more questions from him)
-investigated the console in charred room and discover that somebody has been trying to fix it (this way I get a new objective and can ask Miller to help with the console)
-go outside, meet Hawker and Miller
-talk to Miller and get him to work on the console
-talk to Hawker and make him mad (SIC!)
-go back upstair in the charred room where Miller asks for a manual
-go find Hawker in the living room, make peace with him, and get him to open the computer
-investigate the computer for all its worth at that time and print out the manual for the console
-am able to go upstairs and give the manual for Miller

Not before I've done all this I go meet the sheriff in the kitchen, get the metal detector, find the hatch, and go once more to the computer to open the hatch. I try to avoid fiddling with the computer any more than necessary! The game froze on another occasion as well when working on the computer, I think somewhere there is the bug.
Im not sure I understand your instructions Mrakoplash. Before you do all that you get keys from the Sheriff?
I am aswell stuck with the black screen after printing the manual from the basement computer. Is there a fix to that?

I tried the above order to avoid getting the metal detector, but it still shows a black screen everytime I try to go up the stairs after I entered the basement with Hawker.