Cas Lowood is a ghost hunter, charged with dispatching harmful spirits. When one of his regular informants gives him a tip about a murderous ghost called Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas and his housewitch mother pack up and move to Thunder Bay in Ontario, Canada.When things get messy when Anna kills one of Cas's classmates but spares him, leading him to wonder why she did it. Now finding himself with an unwanted group of teenage ghost busters desperate to help him, Cas has to stop Anna before she kills anyone else. But things aren't always what they seem...A sequel called Girl of Nightmares was released on August 2012, and the novel is on its way to being made into a Hollywood movie.
Bad Dreams: Cas has had them, sometimes complete with Catapult Nightmare, and attributes it to his ghosthunting. He doesn't tell anyone, thinking that it's either to be expected, or worse, that it isn't, and Gideon and his mother will really try to get him to stop killing ghosts.
Your Worst Nightmare: Turns out those Bad Dreams Cas has been having is thanks to the same ghost that killed his father, and is now haunting his athame.
The sequel is called Girl of Nightmares for a reason.
Batter Up: Carmel brings an aluminum bat near the end of the book and whacks the Big Bad pretty good with it, even though it doesn't stick.
Best Served Cold: Cas has spent the last several years since his father's death trying to become a good enough ghost hunter to track down the ghost that killed his father and kill it.
Discussed. Dogs are apparently better at the evil-detecting department, but cats will do.
Dragged Off to Hell: When the Obeahman proves too much for even her, Anna tears open the portal to Hell her mother opened and drags them both in. This backfires in the sequel, as the Obeahman takes control of Hell itself and repeatedly Curb Stomp Battles her. The sequel is all about Cas's attempts to help her pull a Like a Badass out of Hell.
Late Arrival Spoiler: The blurb for the sequel, Girl of Nightmares, reveals that Anna opened a door to Hell, that she sacrificed herself for Cas, and that Cas is in love with her.
Lust Object: Anna was this to her soon-to-be step father, who clearly wanted to get married to her mother just to get the right to have "all" of her, including Anna. He even lusted for Anna while smelling a piece of her white dress.
Mind Probe: Thomas does this to Cas on his first day, implanting the term Trojan Army in his head to refer to a group of jocks.
My Beloved Smother: Anna's mother, Malvina. She probably takes the cake for going beyond her daughter's own death, and also keeps her spirit trapped in the house.
New Transfer Student: Cas constantly goes through the routine. He transfers school regularly as he moves from place to place, hunting ghosts. He's of the Loner variety, snarkyJerkass tendencies included.
Nightmare Fetishist: Cas, definitely. Growing up with a white witch for a mother and a ghost hunter for a father will do that to you. He finds it difficult to relate to living people, or even find them interesting. Naturally, he falls in love with Anna.
Psychic Nosebleed: Thomas can get them if he does too much with his mind reading abilities.
Ritual Magic: Used a couple of times. First to help free Anna from the curse and also to try to get rid of the monster that killed Cas's father. In the sequel, it's used to let Cas talk to Anna and later to enter Hell to save her.
Secret Circleof Secrets: Cas has to deal with one for much of Girl of Nightmares, complete with blood sacrifice and the Black Cloak (which he absolutely refuses to wear). He is not very impressed.
Secret Society Group Picture: Cas gets a picture of a younger Gideon wearing a Black Cloak and standing with a group of identically clad individuals, all carrying replicas of his athame. In the sequel it turns out both Gideon and his father are former members of the Order of the Black Dagger, a druidic society dedicated to hunting ghosts, and they want their athame back.
Weirdness Censor: Definitely in play. When Anna kills Mike, people immediately write it off as him running away, and the small search party that goes looking for him barely makes any real effort. Carmel's disturbed by how none of her friends even ask her about it.
Wicked Witch: Anna's mother, Malvina, who murders her own daughter and damns her spirit to forever haunt the house and kill anyone who enters it.
Woman in White: Anna wore a white dress when she died, though her dress turns into blood when the curse takes over.