Norman is a 11-year-old boy who has the ability to see and speak to the dead. Everyone else doesn't believe him, including his parents, and some people make fun of him. He tries not to let it bug him, but he later reveals it bothers him greatly.
As he stews in his room his father talks to his mother about Norman's granduncle, the town's local bum, Mr. Prenderghast. Prenderghast approaches him, telling him he's the only one who can stop the witch's curse as Prenderghast, who can see and talk to the dead as well, has done. Neil Downe, Norman's new living friend, scares Prenderghast off after Norman refuses to take up Prenderghast's cause.
Later, after being approached by the spirit of the now dead Prenderghast, Norman resolves to do it. This leads on a wild night with Norman first getting the book, off the corpse of his uncle, escaping the cursed seven judges with Neil, the school bully Alvin, Neil's brother Mitch and his older sister Courtney.
During the quest to find where the witch was buried, the witch's spirit attacks Norman directly, revealing the truth. The witch was just a small girl who could also talk to the dead, named Agatha (an indirectly related ancestor). Agatha's ability was considered witchcraft by the seven who sentenced her to be hanged. After the revealing of this, Norman in the present is confronted by the seven zombie judges, who he verbally shames for their fearful reaction to her abilities. The leader of the zombies, Judge Hopkins, admits their wrong doings and wish to repent, however unknowing to the the seven and Norman's group, the town's people have gathered to destroy the zombies.
Norman first speaks up in the defense of the zombies, but is almost lynched by the angry mob, some who believes it may be his work. It is only when the rest of his group stands beside him do the people believe him. After a secondary attack by Agatha's spirit, Norman goes to find Agatha's grave along with his family, with Judge Hopkins as his guide. This leads him into the heart of the forest at the tree Agatha was buried under, where he is forced to confront Agatha alone, after being separated from the others. Agatha's angry spirit rages against Norman, who tries repeatedly to calm her by sympathy, she even attempts to kill him, but he holds firm. When she finally calms down, Norman is shown a bit of her past; she then passes on to the other side, leaving Norman to be found by his family. Norman's family, even his skeptical father, accepts his ability to see the dead.