Adam, Sally, Watch, and Cindy are all sitting around and drinking vanilla milkshakes as they lament the fact that there's nothing to do in Spooksville. The conversation somehow turns to Ms. Ann Templeton, who most of the kids in town this is a witch. Supposedly, she once turned a girl into a sand statue after the girl beat her in a chess match. Cindy is the only one who doesn't really believe, which makes Adam agree with her.
They all decide to go her castle. Even though they don't see anyone, the door magically opens on its own. After seeing a strange hourglass, they come across four necklaces, each with a different stone. Everyone feels drawn to one specifically, but Sally urges them not to wear them in case they turn into toads or something. Watch puts one on anyway, and it causes his eyes to get better. He previously had some problems, and the doctors said he couldn't get a better prescription. Cindy wears one that makes her look and feel more beautiful, and Adam's necklace makes him feel like an adult. Sally still doesn't want to wear one but she puts it on, and right then, the witch turns up.
Templeton tells them that the necklaces weren't meant for them, then literally turns around and says that she created a special necklace for each one of them. They all hastily tell her that they'll take them off and give them back, but when Watch tries to take his off, it gets stuck. Templeton then tells them that if they can find a way out of her castle, they can keep the necklaces; they can even take them off and put them back on whenever they want. Before she leaves, she cryptically warns them to watch out for her men.
The further they go, the more they change. Cindy goes from giving off a beautiful glow to actually glowing like a radioactive explosion. Watch can now see in the dark, Adam keeps growing, and Sally keeps getting younger. They wind up having to cross this chasm with big ass glowing red eyed monsters underneath. The path breaks, Sally grabs Adam, and they both go over the side.
Watch and Cindy end up alone, and Watch is convinced that their friends are dead. Given that there's like 20 more books in this series, I bet they're okay. And guess what? They are! They fell onto some type of net, and Adam worries that it's the web of a giant spider. Sally uses her ever present and trusty lighter to help them escape. They stumble around for awhile before running into some beautiful young woman who introduces herself as Mireen.
Cindy and Watch wind up in the basement, and Cindy worries about trolls attacking. The trolls really do attack and then take them hostage. The trolls plan to cook and eat them but then fight over the best way to cook humans. Cindy scares them by talking about the Marines and then saying that they have chicken pots and that if they eat them, the trolls with catch it too. The trolls decide to wait six hours and see if they're really sick.
Mireen reveals to Adam and Sally that she's Ann's daughter. Her father is part of a race called the Star People, so he lives on another planet and she never got to meet them. She also denies that her mother is a witch. After some back and forth, with Sally now the size of a four-year-old and Adam reaching middle age, she agrees to help them save their friends.
The head troll comes back and wants to know more about the Marines. Cindy pretends that Watch has a promotional brochure in his pocket about them, and they convince the troll to undo his chains. Watch then knocks him over the head until he passes out. When he comes to, they make him go with them to find their friends.
Mireen, Adam, and Sally reach them just as Sally reverts to age two. The other trolls attack, and Mireen does a bunch of spells that send them running. They then exit into a large room with the witch in the center. She tells them that they still haven't found a way out and makes some threats. Mireen refuses to leave with her mother and says the other kids are now her friends. She gives them another chance to leave before exiting with the troll.
Turns out that the witch gave them a hint about getting out. Something about remembering why they came there. This leads them back to the hourglass, which Watch tips over in the hopes of going back in time. They all pass out and wake up outside of the castle. Watch still has his glasses, but now he can see a lot better. He tells them that the witch told him he should keep the glasses because he looks good in them, and Sally laughingly agrees. Haha?
*Cindy threatens the trolls with the Marines. When they ask who the Marines are, Watch responds "the proud and the few," which made me giggle. One of my close friends is a Marine and he got a kick out of it too.
*Sally tells Mireen that her dad probably just skipped town and her mom made up a story for her. It kind of makes me feel bad about her home life.
*These books are kind of hard for me to recap. There are so many mentions to books that happened before, but I only have a handful of them, so I don't really know what they're talking about sometimes.