Monday, September 10, 2012

Ghosts of Fear Street #2: Who’s Been Sleeping in My Grave?

Zach is pretty much a nerd in his school. Since he fools easily, everyone picks on him, especially around Halloween, which is on Friday. On the way to school, he runs into his friend Chris. Chris tells a long story about a ghostly dog before pointing out the dog to Zach. Just as he flips out, Chris laughingly reveals that it’s just his cousin’s dog.

A few minutes later, they meet their new substitute teacher Mrs. Gaunt. She wears all white, is super skinny, and seems kind of creepy. She keeps calling him by his given name Zachariah and making a big deal about what a good student he is compared to his classmates. She even makes him stand at the chalkboard and divide decimals. He claims he can’t do it, but then his hand starts moving without him controlling it. Mrs. Gaunt winks at him and all of his classmates think he’s weird when he explains what happened.

Naturally, Mrs. Gaunt is even weirder than they thought. Zach finds one of her white gloves inside his desk. When she asks for it back, she reveals that her hand is actually just bones without any skin. His friends make fun of him, saying that she’s just old and has pale skin.

When Chris tells her that they planned on having a Halloween party, she starts making a list of things they need on the chalkboard. She keeps dropping the chalk, but explains that she has arthritis. Only Zach notices that she’s writing with the wrong hand and that her normal hand is hidden in her pocket.

Mrs. Gaunt sends Zach, Chris, and Marcy to a random store in town to get the decorations. Even though they’ve lived there all their lives, they never saw the store before. It’s dark and there are plastic bugs covering the floor. Chris disappears and they find him covered in blood, but he’s just playing. Mr. Sangfwad who owns the store pops up, telling them that he’s known Mrs. Gaunt forever. He helps them find the perfect decorations, acts a little weird, and sends them away.

This all leads up to Zach and his friend Marcy following her home one day. They see her go into the cemetery and find a grave with her name on it. They accidentally fall into the open grave, but manage to escape. They make a pact to tell everyone that their teacher is a ghost.

The next day though, Marcy doesn’t come to school. Gaunt says that she went out of town for a family emergency. Argh! This review seems like it’s taking forever! Basically, she gives him a gift and he opens it, finding a book called the Book of the Dead. He decides to avoid Gaunt, faking being sick so he can skip the Halloween party.

She shows up on his doorstep with the beggars and after scaring him, it turns out that it’s actually Chris in disguise. The real Gaunt appears and drags him into the cemetery. She tries to shove him into her open grave, saying that she only has until midnight to do it. Zach manages to get away and starts screaming, and Chris comes running in from the street. They shove her in the coffin and sit on top of it until midnight when everything stops.

Zach goes to see Marcy who tells him that they got a call about her sick grandmother, but when they got there, the woman was fine. He tells her what happened and asks Chris for backup, but he has no idea what he’s talking about. He reveals that Gaunt used her magic to make Chris forget what he saw. Then, he takes out a rubber snake that Chris pranked him with, says a few lines, and the snake becomes real. He ends the book saying that he learned a lot from Gaunt.

*Some of the descriptions are actually cool in this one. Like, he rips off her veil and finds that she has a skeleton face.

*Um, why is some random substitute showing up wearing white gloves and a white veil, and no one finds that odd?

*Apparently that random shop shows up and no one notices it either. Then again, these books do take place in Shadyside!

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