After locating the missing compass from Samuel Lindholm’s ruined house, Violet and Iris head deep into the woods where, with Holly Peterson and Officer Ron’s help, they discover a ghostly tree full of burned shoes and clothes, which marks the final resting place of the children who died in the Ames Rifle factory fire. Officer Ron alerts the police and medical examiner and Holly decides to hold an impromptu memorial service the following day. The floating factory soon disappears and, several days later, Holly begins night school for ghosts and disappeared persons, along with Gary Dublowski’s technical help.
Meanwhile, Officer Ron begins to follow town council candidate Owen Brandt after finding him knocking down his opponent’s signs. Eventually this leads to a pointed confrontation in which Brandt threatens Officer Ron’s job. While on a patrol, Officer Ron also discovers The Void has begun to make a loud hum, and although Mayor Zisk promises otherwise, this new shift seems to mark a decidedly dangerous escalation in The Void’s appearance.
On Halloween, Violet returns from a disappointing day at school to find that Jock Reynolds of the Historical Society has left a strange gift for her: a disappearing box, one of prankster Buck Walter’s final creations. Violet stares at the object for a while before putting one of her mother’s pens inside and closing the box. Moments later, Violet opens the box and finds a compact disc with her mother’s writing on it. What might this latest clue from beyond reveal about the nature of time and disappearances in town?