Melissa, also known as Lissa, wakes up in the middle of the night after hearing someone in her room. Her parents run in because they hear her screaming and find that it's just a tree branch hitting against the window. Since the Fear Street Prowler is running around town, her dad bought a gun, and he shows it to her to help her calm down.
A few days later, it's her birthday. Her dad gives her the keys to a brand new blue Firebird, and she runs off to show her best friend. She starts hearing someone call her name, loses control of her car, and crashes. Everyone teases her about it, but it's all good because her parents will buy her a new one.
When it's time for her birthday party, she hangs out with her friends and boyfriend Buddy. After a few hours, it's time to open the presents, but when they head into the bedroom where she put all the gifts, they find that someone ripped them open. Melissa thinks it was the prowler, but everyone else things it was a prank.
The next time she takes her car out, she sees someone in denim sitting next to her. Then, she sees someone in her room. She screams again and her parents rush in, but there's no sign anyone was there. While leaning out the window, someone shoves her from behind, but once again, no one is there. She tells Buddy what happened, but he thinks she imagined it.
While driving down the road a few days later, she sees the same guy sitting in her car. She loses control again and hits the car in front of her. When she tells him what happened, he points that no one was there. She sees the guy yet again, but this time he attacks her, screaming that she should remember him because she killed him.
The guy pretty much attacks her in her house, telling her that she killed him. Even though she says she doesn't know him, he keeps accusing her. He calls her a poor little rich girl who always gets what she wants. Melissa promises to help him discover what really happens to him, and he kind of agrees after telling her his name is Paul.
Melissa tells Buddy what happened and brings him home with her. She thinks Paul will appear, but he doesn't until Buddy tries to put the moves on her. Paul tries to hit him, but his arm goes right through him. Buddy turns around, and she realizes that he can't see him. Buddy thinks she went crazy and wants to tell her parents.
The next morning, she heads over to the library and does some research, but she can't find anything about a kid named Paul who died. She asks her friend Della for help, who suggests they talk to her cousin who lives in another school district. The cousin remembers someone dying, but it's a completely different guy.
Buddy wants to distract her with a trip to Read Heat, the local dance club. Melissa winds up wandering off and running into a group of guys n the parking lot, including a guy who looks suspiciously like Paul. They treat her like crap, Paul hits on her, and they all act really rude. Buddy shows up just in time to stop anything from happening.
Melissa realizes that she recognized one of the guys with Paul so she visits Frankie at work. When she mentions that Paul died, he flips out until he realizes that he just talked to him. He has no idea what she's talking about, and when she leaves, she runs into Paul. He does a bad job of flirting, chases her when she runs away, and steals her purse. The cops show up and she gets her bag back. She runs home and sees Paul who has no idea what she means when she asks him why he treated her so differently because he hasn't seen her all day.
The more they talk, the more she realizes that this Paul and the Paul she saw earlier are two different people. Paul tells her that he keeps fading in and out, and she wonders if he's a future ghost. Paul accuses her of trying to kill him, and when he agrees with her, he decides that she'll still kill him eventually. They finally decide to go to the real Paul and warn him about what might happen.
Ghost Paul leads her to his old home and goes inside. He follows his real form around, watching him hang out with his friends and drink some beer. Paul remembers that he was the prowler, and he tries to warn himself to knock it off, but he can't connect to himself. Melissa then sees real Paul who once again hits on her, and when she turns him down, he warns her that he knows where she lives.
Her parents decide that this is the perfect time to take a vacation and agree to let her have a friend stay over. Della unfortunately gets held up and can't make it to her house. While trying to sleep, she hears someone trying to break through the window in her parents' room. She calls out for Ghost Paul but runs into real Paul instead.
They do some fighting, and he reminds her that he told her he knew where she lived. They fight some more, and she runs to find her dad's gun. He doesn't believe it's a real gun and doesn't think she would use it, so they fight some more. Ghost Paul shows up just as the gun hits the floor. Real Paul gets to it first, but Ghost Paul knocks it out of his hands. Melissa shoots Real Paul and he drops dead on the floor.
Ghost Paul tells her that he realized he cared about her too much to see her die and now he knows what really happened between them. She admits that she cares about him too, he becomes corporeal, and they kiss before he disappears, telling her that things are okay now. She hears someone knocking on the door, rushes downstairs, and finds Buddy. He sees Paul's body, and she tells him that he's just some prowler.
*So this all happened because a guy had a crush on a girl and didn't know how to treat her? We get a few scenes where he seems upset that she didn't respond to him or calling her house and feeling disappointed. If she was actually nice to him, none of this would have happened.