The tagline on the front is, "There's a strange new kid on the block...." and on the back is, "How come I've never seen you before?"
The cover illustration features a ghost's feet standing on a welcome mat with a door open with a person's feet.
Hannah Fairchild is having a very boring summer at home, after all her friends leave town for the break. She tries writing to them, but they do not ever seem to write back. She spends some time with her little brothers, even making a campfire in the backyard and telling ghost stories one night, but it does not really seem like enough.
However, the day after having a horrifying dream about her bedroom being on fire, she meets her new next door neighbor, Danny 'dare devil' Anderson. She does not remember Danny moving in and he claims he goes to her school and though they are supposedly in the same grade, they do not know any of the same people. Hannah begins to suspect that Danny is not all he seems, as he keeps disappearing into thin air every time she turns around. It is then that she suspects that this boy is a ghost.
After she spies Danny downtown with a pair of trouble-making children, Alan Miller and Fred Drakes, she is pursued by a shadowy figure. All the while, Danny is getting into worse and worse trouble with his excursions with Alan and Fred. The two dare him to steal ice cream cones and destroy mailboxes. After they are caught trying to break the Postmaster's mailbox and Danny gets treated in a less than fragile manner by the man, Alan and Fred tell Danny that they have to get back at the Postmaster. Naturally, Hannah has been following the three around town the entire time and has spied the whole ordeal.
She tries to warn Danny but he is less than responsive to her pleas, especially when she accuses him of being a ghost. This is immediately followed by Danny accidentally putting his entire hand through Hannah's chest and running off in hysterics. It turns out that Danny is not a real ghost, Hannah is!
Approximately two minutes after she figures this out, a Realtor shows up at her house and explains Hannah's entire family died five years ago when their house caught fire. It turns out the fire was started when Hannah did not entirely extinguish the campfire in the backyard. Hannah experiences weird black outs and when she wakes up she attempts to stop Danny from getting into perilous danger but only succeeds in scaring him.
She then gets on her bike and rides to catch up to him. Hannah catches up with the three, as they break into the Postmaster's house and set it on fire while still inside. Alan and Fred manage to escape but they leave Danny in the burning house. Then the shadowy figure who has been scaring Hannah suddenly appears. Hannah pulls down the shadowy figure's hood to reveal Danny's face!
The Shadow/Danny tells Hannah that Danny must die in the fire so that he can live and the real Danny can take his place in Shadow World.
Hannah escapes Shadow/Danny's grasp and rescues the real Danny, leaving Shadow/Danny to burn in the flames. In the ambulance, Danny tells his mother that Hannah rescued him, but Danny's mother does not believe him. As Danny is carried off to the hospital, Hannah fades away from the real world and reunites with her family in the spirit world.
Cover Art Gallery
- This is one of the few Goosebumps books without a surprise ending.
Television Episode Trivia
- Throughout the television episode, brief clips of piano music can be heard. The piece is Trio in E flat by Franz Schubert.
- The song that Hannah plays to save Danny is Schubert's Trio in E Flat Op. 100. It was also used in the movies, "Barry Lyndon" and "The Hunger."
- In the first scene, in the shot of The Music Academy award, Hannah Fairchild's first name is misspelled as Hanna.
- Goof: In the montage of important scenes from part one at the start of the television episode, when Danny Anderson falls into the bunch of garbage cans, the mask on the stuntman's face becomes undone and reveals him.
- Dov Tiefenbach (Fred) played Tim in Season 2's, Bad Hare Day.
- Cody Jones (Danny) played Carly Beth's little brother Noah in Season 1's The Haunted Mask and Season 2's The Haunted Mask II.
- Diego Matamoros, who voiced the shadow figure, played Morgred in Season 1's A Night in Terror Tower.
- The titular protagonist Hannah Fairchild appears as a protagonist in the Goosebumps movie.