While the new club members are debating about whom to nominate for club president (Victoria and Tobi nominate Rufus; Alvin prefers a human in the role) the newest member, J.T. appears. J.T.’s tragic story involves a family camping trip in his native Wyoming. The park rangers said his father and little brother were horribly killed by a bear, but J.T. knows better. What killed his father was an eight-foot-tall, 800 pound wolf-man covered in native tribal markings, who ranted about all the wrongs the white man did his people and to Mother Gaia. Despite his insistence about what really happened that night, adults have dismissed him. Now, his mother has moved to the City to start a new life together. He is already familiar with Tobi and Victoria, having met them at the group therapy sessions at Lakefront Pines Hospital, where none of the others listened to his explanations about how bears would be hibernating at that time of year, and other bear facts that proved his werewolf theory, prompting Dr. Hatchet to prescribe several drugs to stabilize him and help get rid of these ursine delusions; drugs which J.T. has been happily pouring down his drain.
Upon his arrival at his new school, J.T. is startled by the number of obviously supernatural occurrences and beings about, all of which no one seems to notice but him. He senses something very dark about the Pellagro beverage delivery man delivering fresh Golden Bull and Urge! Cola. At school, he senses dark energy from an old, rusted, locked locker, from which he has a vision of blood seeping around the edges of the door. He also sees in a class, a very pretty, raven haired, dark skinned young woman, who has a coterie of adoring young men around her, drawn in by a dark, seductive power emanating from her. For a brief moment he has a vision of blood dripping from her mouth, and then she returns to normal. J.T. Makes mental notes to deal with these things later. In the meantime, he finds his home room, and then is summoned to the guidance counsellor’s office. Inside he meets the eccentric guidance counselor, who he detects is not human, though his powers can’t determine exactly what. He also briefly sees her “hang in there’ poster turn from a kitten to a teddy bear, then back again. She herds him along to join the Paranormal and Occult Club, and since he’s a slacker, he goes along with it.
At the old library, he heads to the basement, and notices some dark force emanating from the old boiler. Inside, the club room, he arrives just in time to find Rufus elected as president, to Alvin’s dismay. After a brief re-introduction, Alvin tries to describe what the club actually does, but again is evasive about details, from not wanting to scare off new members, especially girls. He finally points out that in three nights, the Crypt and Chalice Society will have an open rave at the Spiral Mausoleum in the City of the Dead, and that thee Society is a very cool organization, but they only let in people who have investigated and documented at least one haunted location. He then suggests they attend the rave, while Victoria muses if the Society’s DJ’s will be good enough; if not, she can always hire a good one. Alvin then says the Society used to use a famous DJ, officially called Gypsy Danger, but referred to as DJ Dracula, behind his back because of his accent, but he disappeared from the rave scene several years back. Victoria and Tobi agree he sounded lame. After they agree to check the Society rave out, Alvin then goes through a list of haunted locations the Club just happened to have on file.
He suggests a houses across the river, the site of a hideous family murder, where the husband, wife, grandmother, 16-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son, as well as Mr. Barks-a-lot, the family dog, were murdered in their sleep by an unknown assailant, a case unsolved after fifteen years. Only the infant son survived, overlooked in his crib, and no one knows what happened to him after that. The site is now rumored to be haunted, and investigating it would be a good introductory case for the club. J.T. Seems interested, while Tobi is indifferent. Only Victoria is opposed, as she feels modern tragedies are to close in time; she would prefer at least Victorian ere ghosts, to give a sense of distance from the crime. After some debate, they agree to take up the case, and decided to investigate the location after school on the next day. Tobi and Rufus head home to prepare, while J.T. decides to use his new contacts in the City to help prepare. He heads to “The Witch’s Cauldron,” am occult store that guarantees to stock all you occult needs.
It is an interesting shop, run by the twin sisters Hope and Charity de Claude, and reflects their eccentric tastes. Divided down the middle, the left side contains dark, brooding, and gothic merchandises, suitable to the brunette Hope’s classic Gothic tastes, while the right side has many uplifting and spiritual items, reflecting blonde Charity’s New Age mind set. J.T. runs into Victoria, who is shopping for an Ouija board, and maybe a cat-themed tarot deck. They talk a while, as J.T. finds out the store doesn’t stock the sort of ghost hunting gear he wanted, so he settles for some kosher salt, while Victoria purchases a cachet of herbs that drives away ghosts, with a horrid stench, a spiritual candle that soothes ghosts, and her Ouija board and cat tarot. They then part ways to prepare for the expedition.
They next day, after school, they load up into the limousine, since Victoria volunteered Desmond to drive them there and back. Alvin brings along a lot of jury rigged electronic equipment, just like the Ghost Chasers (most bearing the trademark “Made by Marcus” logo) and they proceed across the river. On arrival, the house seems lonely and foreboding. Rufus and J.T. sense something watching them, and J.T. catches a glimpse of a goth looking teen watching them from a bottom floor window. The house has in its front yard a for sale or lease sign, with a sticker reading reduced, and another reading reduced further, on it. Alvin has a key to get in, and is evasive on how he obtained it, while Victoria points out she got a legitimate key from the realtor by asking to see the house, an adroit use of her family’s connections and wealth. Inside, Alvin gets to work, setting up his equipment, and unplugging the cable so her can record the TV’s white noise. Tobi, meanwhile, senses an intense aura of sadness from the house that affects her mood. J.T. settles back to watch, while Victoria Pengles the best way to deal with ghosts.
Alvin gets good reads from upstairs, while J.T., Tobi, and Rufus senses something in the front bedroom. Victoria has the blueprints, and the Pengle articles on the murder, and says it belonged to the teen daughter. J.T. tries to keep an eye on Alvin and the others, while Tobi, Rufus, and Victoria explore the front bedroom. The bedroom is obviously colder than the rest of the house, and they sense something from the closet, which is where, according to the news reports, the daughter’s body was found. They pester Alvin to come in and do a reading, which he announces shows nothing in the room. Victoria then sees the reflection of the girl in a mirror, pale and blood stained, standing menacingly behind her. Alvin checks the mirror and reports he detects nothing on it, and heads back upstairs. J.T. follows him, and trips over a stuffed bear, that has an odd, cold scent and texture to it. Grumbling about bears, he takes the bear downstairs, while Victoria tries to coax the ghost to talk to them, eventually lighting her candle, which has a clean, soothing scent.
Upstairs, Alvin maintains he’s getting the best reading from the bathroom, and enters it against everyone else’s advice. Meanwhile, J.T. attempts to exorcise the bear by throwing kosher salt on it, which causes him to hear a teen girl’s voice clearly saying “What the Fuck, Dude.” Upstairs, Tobi and Rufus catch a glimpse out off the corner of their eyes, of the teen girl, standing rigid, that appears to float from one room to another. They go to investigate it, while Alvin investigates the bathroom. In the upper bedroom, the room is very cold, and the window mists over. Rufus and Tobi clearly see words forming in what looks like blood on the window. It starts to spell out “Get out the house!” but trails off suddenly with “WTF?” Rufus confirms the liquid writing is not in blood, and it fades away. Tobi senses a mood shift in the house from sorrow to anger, and suddenly the bathroom door slams shut, trapping Alvin inside. Tobi tries to break it down, but suffers a bruised shoulder while Rufus then manages to get the door open. Alvin is ecstatic about the whole encounter, mumbling about how the stuck up snobs at the Crypt and Chalice Society will have to accept him now.
Everyone then decides they’ve had enough fun for one day, since night is falling and they have to get home before curfew. In the car they compare notes, while Rufus and J.T. spot the girl’s ghost again at the bottom floor bedroom, making a rude gesture at J.T. J.T. merely makes a note in his journal that ghosts don’t like salt thrown at them. Rufus shrugs, for a dog, and barks a very good approximation of “Who knew?” before they all head home.