New Goshen is the town that Jerry Hawkins and his family move into. The Hawkins' new house is large, almost creepy. While exploring it, Jerry comes across an old piano in the attic. His dad, surprised someone would leave such a thing behind, suggests moving the piano to the living room, and signing up Jerry for music lessons. Jerry agrees, and his parents enroll him into lessons with a man by the name of Dr. Shreek. Shreek seems to be a kind enough man at first, but he has his odd quirks. For one, he has a strange obsession with Jerry's hands, which he deems perfect.
Life in Jerry's new house is no better. At night, he hears the faint sound of piano music, but nobody is around to play it. Eventually, Jerry meets the mystery player: the ghost of a young woman. The ghost tells Jerry to stay away from Shreek. Though Jerry is scared, his parents tell him his ghost sightings are simply a result of the stress from moving. Jerry isn't quite so convinced, as he continues to hear more stories about the Shreek music school. When he is finally allowed to continue his lessons there, Jerry discovers the truth about the strange happenings.
While the ghost in Jerry's house is never actually named in the original book, the Goosebumps Official Collector's Caps Book says the apparition is the spirit of a girl named Mara Klane. Mara lived in Jerry's house before him with her miniature greyhound, Dino. Mara was one of Dr. Shreek's finest students, and the book hints that this led to her demise.
- The Hawkins Family
- Includes Jerry, his mother and father, and their pet cat, Bonkers.
- Kim Lin Chin
- Mr. Toggle
- Dr. Frye
- Jerry's class
- Mara Klane (deceased)
Jerry's houseThe house that Jerry and his family move into at the beginning of the book. Jerry describes it as large and old, with floorboards that creak when you walk on them. There seems to be many rooms, including the attic where Jerry finds the piano.
The Shreek SchoolMusic school run by Dr. Shreek. After several music lessons at his home, Jerry is allowed to continue here.
SchoolJerry's new school. It is never named and not much description is given to it. Jerry reveals it has a baseball team.
Dr. Frye's officeAfter Jerry tells his parents of the ghost he saw, they begin to worry the stress of moving is getting to him. They take him to a psychiatrist named Dr. Frye. It is not revealed where the office is located. Jerry describes it as small and bright, with yellow walls. Pictures of birds line the walls and two green armchairs can be found in the middle of the room.
Grocery StoreJerry briefly mentions his parents going grocery shopping.