Lights Out starts with a letter from “Me” telling someone named Chief that he/she will get even with the people at Camp Nightwing. Then it jumps to Holly, who recently broke up with her boyfriend and got suckered into helping her Uncle Bill run his summer camp. Something terribly happened the year before and he desperately needs help, though I’m not sure why given that he has a whole bunch of counselors.
After meeting up with her friend Thea, she learns that this girl Geri is at camp. They were once good friends until Geri wanted her to cover for her while she went out with an older guy her parents didn’t like. She didn’t lie very well, the parents found at the truth, she got grounded, and she blamed Holly. While hanging out, they hear someone crying for help and find Bill buried underneath a pile of sports equipment.
He tells them that the wall cabinet fell over despite being screwed into the wall, and he got trapped under all the crap that fell out. They help him up, he looks at the cabinet, and complains about needing to talk to the handyman. He also calls Holly princess, and she reminds him that they don’t want anyone to know that she’s his niece. When he walks off, she sees a red feather tucked into one of the holes in the wall.
Holly meets Debra the head counselor of her cabin who seems like a hardass. All of the counselors get together for a hot dog roast and Bill has them introduce themselves. This guy Kit stands up and comes right at her with a huge knife, but it turns out that he’s just a horror movie fan who likes practical jokes. Thea sticks around to hang out with John, he summer love from last year, but he doesn’t really want anything to do with her.
The next day, Holly decides to go for a swim. She runs into Mick, the requisite hot guy, who walks with her. They find three of the camp canoes laying on the beach with huge holes in the sides, and she finds another red feather. She goes back to the cabin and has a run-in with a bat, which leads to Debra yelling and Geri laughing at her.
The kids finally arrive and Debra leaves her to gather up their kids and take them back to the cabin. Two of the girls fight over who gets the top bunk, and when one girl climbs on top, the bunk collapses on the other girl. Debra comes back in and starts screaming again, claiming that Holly can’t do anything right.
She calms the girls down and Geri looks all super smug. She asks Debra not to yell at her in front of the campers, which leads to the woman screaming again, and she tries to talk to Bill who basically tells her that he doesn’t have time for her with so much other stuff going on. Oh, and she finds another red feather tucked inside the bed.
Kit follows Geri around like a little lost puppy dog. He wanders into the cafeteria screaming in pain with a snake wrapped around his arm. The tosses it onto Holly’s table and she screams because she has a massive fear of snakes. Naturally it’s fake, and Thea thinks that he did it because Geri told him too. It also leads to Debra screaming at her again for not taking care of the campers.
She sneaks out that night to meet Thea by the lake, and she talks about how much Geri hates her. She decides to head back, but Thea sticks around in case John shows up. She finds two girls walking in the woods and make them go back to their cabins. She also runs into Mick, who grabs her arm and acts kind of rude before suddenly feeling bad and running off.
The next day, she talks with this nice and cute counselor Sandy and he actually seems to understand what she’s going through. Things keep getting worse though. A camper knocks over one of Debra’s vases that she’s holding and she gets yelled at. She also finds a snake hidden underneath her pillow and Debra yells at her about that too because it’s a little nonpoisonous snake.
Then, she has a run-in with Kit and Mick. They hold her arms behind her back and Geri comes out of the woods. The other girl tosses a bucket of leeches on her, then grabs her and pushes her into a creek. While laying there in the mud, Geri tosses more leeches on her.
Holly thinks that she sees Sandy in the woods but he disappears. The little trio are real dicks who basically shout and tease her. Mick gets bored of it, but he won’t even help her out of the creek. Once they leave, she hears someone yelling in the woods and goes to help, but only finds John. He acts a little embarrassed and then accuses her of spying before storming off.
As a kicker, she goes to the arts and crafts cabin and finds the walls covered in blood and someone slumped over the wheel. It’s Debra, and when she gets closer, she sees that the girl’s pendant got stuck in the wheel. She rushes outside and runs into John who comforts her before running off to find Uncle Bill. Just as he leaves, she finds another red feather.
Uncle Bill decides to put Geri in her cabin as the new head counselor because she has more experience. When Holly tries to tell him what happened, he flips out and threatens to send her home. He also points out that no one else has as many problems with others as she does. The whole group goes to another bonfire, and she decides to sneak away and go through their cabins.
She manages to check out Kit’s area and find nothing, but she does find a small key and a locked box near John’s bed. Just as she starts to open it, he comes walking into the cabin. He accepts her apology and takes back the box, but warns her that if she doesn’t stop snooping, he will make her pay. Just before going back to her cabin, she sees a decoration of Mick’s that has red feathers on it!
Suddenly it’s a new day and everyone is getting ready for an overnight. The first day is fine except that Geri yells at her and no one else really talks to her. That night, she hears someone crying in the woods and goes to investigate. John steps out of the shadows with a knife, but before he can do anything, a girl walks out. Her name is Courtney and she’s a camper. They dated and her parents disapproved so they snuck off to be together at camp. Since Uncle Bill is smart and doesn’t want a lawsuit on his hands, he forbids counselors and campers from dating so they had to sneak around. She promises not to tell on them and they apologize for John being a dick.
She wakes up the next day to find Sandy waiting for her. He suggests they go for a canoe trip and she heads off with him. Not long after getting in the water, he starts pointing out things he shouldn’t know and reveals that his brother was the one who died there the year before. He goes a little crazy, and when they reach the rapids, he throws his paddle over the side. They start fighting and she whacks him in the head with her paddle.
After jumping over the side, she starts fighting with the current and watches Sandy and the canoe head off. Holly manages to get through the water and get to the shore where she runs through the woods until she sees Sandy step out from behind a tree. They fight some more and he rambles about how Debra was the reason his brother died, and now that he killed her, he wants to bring down the entire camp.
Holly gets away and starts running with him right behind her. She sees a small cave and sneaks inside but it’s filled with snakes. Sandy grabs her ankle and starts dragging her out, so she grabs a snake and jams it in his face. She hears him scream and roll down the hill, and when she peeks out, she sees his white face laying at the bottom of a hill. Mick shows up then and she flips out, thinking that he came after her too.
Actually, Mick has a crush on her and decided to follow her and apologize for being the biggest dick in the world. He gets her help, and suddenly she’s laying down in bed with Uncle Bill apologizing for putting her in such a bad position. After recovering, she goes walking through the woods with Mick. A snake comes out of nowhere and she casually picks it up and tosses it over her side, saying that they don’t bother her anymore. Then Mick puts his arm around her and they totter off together. Why does Stine keep letting girls wind up with these guys who are complete and total dicks?