My name is Chloe Saunders and my life will never be the same again.
All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don't even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost - and the ghost saw me.
Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won't leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a "special home" for troubled teens. Yet the home isn't what it seems. Don't tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? it's up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House...before its skeletons come back to haunt me.
After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’ life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted Aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home.
At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual “problem kid” behavior. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either.
Chloe ultimately sees a ghost, with his face almost completely melted off, and begins screaming, running, and attacking a teacher accidentally, culminating in her being removed from school and locked up in Lyle House.
She is introduced to the nurses, Mrs. Talbot, Mrs. Wang, and Miss Van Dop. While unpacking, Chloe meets her roommate, Liz, a sixteen-year old, who introduces her to the others, Tori, fifteen,Rae, sixteen, Simon and Derek, foster brothers, both sixteen, and Peter, an eighth grader. Derek, as she soon learns, is extremely quiet, often frightening her, and Tori (who has an unrequited crush on Simon) does not get along with Rae very well, although she and Liz are best friends. Each teen is assigned chores and does their regular schoolwork independently, so while doing laundry one day, Chloe encounters another ghost. After her first day, Chloe visits the psychiatrist Dr. Gill, who diagnoses her with schizophrenia.
Liz is later accused of throwing a pencil at Ms. Wang, who threatens to have her transferred, and quit teaching the children in the house. Rae and Chloe talk more, and she learns that Rae supposedly is a pyromaniac; the two quickly become friends. That night, Chloe is woken by a fearful Liz, who believes that she has a poltergeist- hence the pencil throwing- and convinces her to help with a seance to ward it off. However, it goes horribly wrong, with a picture crashing down on Chloe and the nurses discovering. Liz is transferred that day, but Chloe sees her that night, with Liz apparently unaware of her transfer. As the situation is being explained, Chloe passes her hand through her, and begins to suspect that Liz's ghost appeared to her, meaning that she would be dead. Tori, stricken, stays in her room, and Peter is released from Lyle House. While surfing the Internet with the intention of contacting her friends, Chloe researches necromancy at Derek's suggestion, learning that necromancers raise ghosts from the dead. Beginning to suspect she might be one, she realizes that the medication given to her might be hindering her from seeing ghosts.
Later, Simon reveals that he has the power to cast spells- such as levitating a basketball- although his powers are still heavily hindered, and explains a bit more about Derek. They run into Tori, who sees their talk as Chloe stealing him from her. Chloe sees another ghost, but forces it away, and sees Liz, who remembers the last thing as being the seance. She goes to speak with Derek, who takes a shower, while Simon explains that he and his foster brother are supernaturals, and their father, Christopher Bae, searched for specific types. He is a sorcerer, they suspect Liz was a shaman who could astral project, and Chloe is a necromancer. After learning about her medication, Derek and Simon decide that she needs to be off them to see ghosts, and have her put her urine in a glass jar, so that she won't have to get rid of them and arouse suspicion.
After asking to visit Liz, Chloe is refused, further arousing her suspicions that she was killed. Tori's mother, Mrs. Enright, visits Lyle House, and commands Tori to stop hanging out with Simon and to start getting better. Tori, distraught and angry, visits Chloe while the others (except Derek) are out swimming, and declares a truce, claiming to know of something she might want to see. The girls go down to the basement crawl space, and Tori knocks Chloe out with a broken brick, ties her up, and gags her. After waking up, Chloe discovers her plight, and unexpectedly raises the ghosts from the graves there. Frightened, she tries to escape, and encounters Derek, who helps her put the dead to rest again. Dr. Gill discovers them covered in dirt, and Aunt Lauren later learns about it; they assume that the two had gotten together alone because they like each other, and Davidoff puts them both on notice. Rae hears her version of the story, and she talks with Simon about her aspirations to become a movie director. Simon explains about Derek's previous incident, and they make plans to escape with Derek's help. She confronts Derek about it, explaining that the only reason she is escaping is because someone needs to help Simon out, and he won't. On a favor, she asks Derek's help to summon the dead again; she summons the ghost but cannot understand him and so summons the ghost of a witch, who explains that Samuel Lyle, who built the house, was a sorcerer and experimented on her and her companion because of their powers, before murdering them.
Rae, having learned about their plan, asks in on it, claiming to be able to produce fire from her skin. Next day, after telling Derek and Simon about Rae, Simon relates the details of Derek's incident. Derek comes in, announcing that he and Chloe need to leave that night; he will not come because Simon might notice, as Chloe has, that his powers have been bothering him lately, causing him to sweat and be more irritable. They decide to take Rae along after she produces smoke from her hand; Chloe, now convinced Liz is dead, retrieves her sweater from Tori's room, who knows about and has little objection to their escape. After leaving, they discover Derek is gone, and Chloe, convincing Rae and Simon to go ahead, searches for him.She finds him extremely sick and volatile. Chloe chooses to stay with him as he turns into a werewolf, then back to a human. However, Dr. Gill and the others are after them, so Chloe talks to Gill, who wants to take her back to Lyle House, but Derek knocks her unconscious. They keep moving until they reach Simon and Rae at an abandoned warehouse, and enter, despite being pursued now by Dr. Davidoff. Chloe has severely damaged her arm, due to cutting her arm on a stray shard of glass while climbing out of a broken window to escape, not only that, and they are being shot at by tranquilizer guns, and Derek convinces her to go ahead with Rae while he and Simon distract them. After going back for the dart, Rae convinces Chloe to go to Aunt Lauren with proof. They do so, taking a taxi, and explain about Lyle House, and Aunt Lauren takes Chloe to a hospital, where she is revealed to have betrayed her by drugging her. Chloe is put in a cell just before drifting off, and after waking, contacts Liz's ghost to help her escape.