Sally, Watch, Adam, and Cindy are sitting around and talking about how it's almost time for school to start when Sally starts talking about this guy Bryce Poole. While it's clear she just wants Cindy to leave Adam alone, Sally also points out that he knows all about some random Secret Path. They've already been on the Secret Path, and the guys refuse to believe that Bryce both knows about it and went on it.
After some more talk, they decide to find their way back to the Secret Path. They have to go to the grave of Madeline Templeton and then go to a bunch of places associated with her life before the path opens up. When they get to the last spot, they find Bryce's backpack left behind. It's full of random gear, but they get distracted when the path opens. Cindy agrees to wait behind while the others follow it.
They wind up in a little town that looks just like their hometown but is much brighter and happier. The food tastes better and is free, people are super nice, and everyone just seems happy. Sally wants to find the version of herself who lives there, but the guys refuse until a local tells them that they need to get help from their other selves. They find this place's versions of themselves all hanging out together, but when they get close, their faces all start melting off.
Once their faces melt off, they reveal themselves as demons and show the kids all the humans they have entombed all over town. Turns out that they make things look great to lure people in, then capture them and drink their blood. The demons steal some of their hair and disappear back to the other side. They take Cindy to the local hamburger place, try to hypnotize her, and then warn her about resisting them.
The others see a larger demon coming towards them. The demon starts talking to them and then reveals himself as Bryce. He tells them that time moves differently there and that even though Sally saw him a week ago, he's been there over a year. He then takes them to see his other self and gives Adam a costume to wear. Adam gives the demon a spiked drink, which causes the thing to pass out. They then head back to the place where they came in and start to escape before another demon shows up.
Cindy is at home with very little memory of anything that happened earlier in the day when Bryce knocks on her door. He makes her look into his eyes and shows her how he escaped and left her friends behind. They decide to work together and find Ann Templeton who can somehow help them. While on the way to find her, they get attacked by the demons from the other side. Cindy gets away, only to wind up locked in the grocery store with the demons who want to eat her.
Back on the other side, the kids get attacked by yet another group of demons. They run to a church to hide, but they can still hear the demons chasing them. The demons then set fire to the church. Despite checking the entire building, they cannot find a way to escape.
Before they can burn up, the demon they poisoned earlier shows up and captures them. He takes them to court for a trial to determine what will happen to them next. Their lawyer tells them that they can plead guilty and be tortured for all eternity or plead innocent, be found guilty, and tortured for all eternity. He then tells them they can request another option. They'll go in front of a judge who weighs their virtues against their vices. Watch goes first, only to learn that the judge will give him one vice for each pound he weighs. Sally tells Adam not to worry because she knows how they can escape.
Back in the real world, Cindy winds up trapped in the grocery store freezer with the three demons who want to eat her. Only it turns out that Cindy caught hepatitis in Mexico when she was a kid and has a bad liver, so they can't eat her. They decide to kill her instead, but the cold overcomes them and they all pass out. Bryce then pops back up and suggests they go save her friends.
While asking Watch questions, their lawyer learns that anyone who saved another life earns 10 virtue points. Since Watch is such a good guy, he ends up getting off the hook. Sally isn't so luck since she's a huge bitch and gets a vice point for each time she talked smack about someone. Adam gets off, but Sally gets sentenced to 10 life sentences of torture. Adam and Watch then volunteer to stay behind in her place if she can go. Turns out that the demons have a law that if this ever happens, everyone goes free. They then run into Cindy and Bryce bringing the other demons back, and Bryce recommends they give him a call the next time they need help.
WTH? Hepatitis, really? Cindy apparently has a really screwed up liver because she contracted hepatitis from drinking the water while on a family vacation in Mexico. I highly doubt that is possible, but even if it is, I've read later books and this is something that definitely never comes up again!
BTW, did you know they turned Spooksville into a television show? Granted it only lasted one season, but still. I watched the first episode on Netflix, but given how much they changed it from the show, I'm not loving it so far...