Rachel's family is struggling to make ends meet, so she waitresses at the local diner. When the wealthy and enigmatic Brendan Fear invites her to his birthday party, she is excited to go, even when her ex boyfriend, Mac, warns her not to go. She assumes it is the disgruntled Mac who puts a dead rat in her bed, but when she and some other girls are on the Fear's creepy island on their way to the party, she finds out that the other girls had various dead animals in their beds, too... and Brendan tells them that the creepy Victoria Fear was a taxidermist and often would warn people away from the house with dead animals! Sure enough, it's creepy on the island, but it gets even worse when people get injured... and then killed. One by one, the guests die in horrific ways, but then they come back. It turns out that the deaths were all staged by Brendan Fear. Ha, ha. Very funny. Then, creepy guys show up and are going to kidnap Brendan. Real, or fake?
Stine is the master of the bait-and-switch thriller. People are threatened. Nyah, it's a hoax. Wait! Now they are dead! No they're not. This makes the books scary but not too scary for middle school students.