At Darkling manor, a troubled ghost is determined to finish a game of hide and seek that started 150 years ago. Can awkward new girl Bella find both her friends and frenemies before midnight on Halloween, or will they be trapped in the game forever?
11-year old, Bella Bright lives with her mother Julie, who runs Bright Interiors, specialising in renovating old buildings. They have just moved into Darkling House in Castleton, which Bella’s mum is charged with redecorating. On her first day at her new school, Springhill Secondary, shy Bella is spotted by a pair of manipulative mean girls, Skylar and Regan. They push her into inviting them to a Halloween sleepover at creepy and dilapidated Darkling. Another, much friendlier, girl, Lex, comes to Bella’s rescue and offers to join the sleepover to support Bella, who is delighted to be making a real friend.
On Halloween night, things start getting spooky for the four girls, when the huge front door appears to shut itself, and their mobile phones lose signal. They decide to order pizza using the landline, but a hair-raising whisper comes down the line.
Skylar suggests they play hide and seek, but as she utters the words, the house appears to wobble and they discover all the exits are impossibly locked. To pass the time until Julie returns from a conference at midnight, they decide to play the game. Bella duly starts counting. As she starts looking for the girls, she quickly comes to realise that they might have disappeared for real. As she searches the manor, a ghostly teenage girl appears in front of her. She reveals herself to be Alice, a young girl who died in the house 150 years ago during a game of hide and seek gone terribly wrong. She has hidden Bella’s three friends, and gives Bella a rhyming clue to find them in the enormous and cavernous house.
Bella has until midnight. After that, Alice will get to keep the girls as her playmates for ever…