I have literally read this book at least six times to write a recap for it and never got around to it. There is something about the book that annoys me, so this might be a short one.
The big carnival just came to town, and even though it's the day after Christmas, Jessica is already bored. She convinces their parents to give them a bigger allowance so they can do more at the carnival. Jess and Liz both go on opening day and decide to go through the haunted house. At the end, they can go through a graveyard or a vampire's room and decide to split up.
Elizabeth swears that she hears someone whisper in her ear, and she exits through an open grave. She sees a girl in an old-fashioned white dress right before Jessica pops up. Jessica later meets Ms. Z, the fortuneteller. She gives her a bunch of advice and makes her think that she's the real deal.
Jess brings back the Unicorns, and Lila acts like a little beyotch. She makes them spend all night at the games so she can win a Johnny Buck tee shirt. When they see Ms. Z, she warns Lila that bad things will happen to her. Later that night, Lila trips over a rope and spills chocolate milkshake all over her new shirt. She vows that she will never go back to the carnival again.
Elizabeth eventually meets Claire. She always looks pale and wears a long white dress, which doesn't seem odd to her at all even after Claire tells her it's a brand new dress. She also doesn't think it's weird when Claire does weird tricks. She magically makes a root beer flavored shaved ice appear, can do odd things with her mind, and knows what number Liz is thinking of and can read her mind. Liz also doesn't find it odd that Ned read in the paper that the carnival is now owned by a large corporation and Claire tells her that she's the daughter of the sole owner.
Ms. Z sees her and acts a little strange. She then warns Jessica to leave the carnival and never come back. She's so scary that Jessica decides to avoid the carnival. She also sees a skeleton standing in her window, sees the man who is always with the fortuneteller standing on their street, and hears someone whispering to her to stay away from the carnival. Jessica winds up spending more time with Lila, who decides to throw her own carnival for New Year's Eve.
The more time that Elizabeth spends with Claire, the weirder she acts. She keeps forgetting about plans she made with Amy and keeps spending every day at the carnival. Alice agrees to let her keep going as long as she invites Claire over for dinner. She promises that she will, but her mind gets all cloudy and she forgets to ask her. When Claire doesn't show up to dinner, Alice decides that Liz can't go back to the carnival.
This leads to Liz sneaking out of the house. Jessica finds her and brings her home, but Liz keeps acting strange. The next day, she acts like she's back to normal. She claims that Claire called her and came down with a cold, which is why she wasn't there. Alice gives her permission to go back to the carnival to invite Claire and her family for lunch before they leave.
Before Liz sneaks out, Lila has her big party. Jessica agrees to be the fortuneteller and they come up with a bunch of fake fortunes. She reads them to everyone, and Lila goes last because the only one left is something about being a supermodel. Jessica's fortune is actually about going bald, and Lila flips out. She starts wearing a lot of hats and scarves because she thinks the fortune is true.
Even though school won't start again until after the carnival is over, Amy wants to write an article about it for the paper. She finds the name of the man who designed the haunted house and convinces Jessica to go with her to meet him. He tells them that there was always something off about the carnival and that he didn't like it. Even though he designed a normal haunted house, somehow the graveyard changed. The headstone had the initials CC on it and two dates. Seeing it scared him so much that he quit and never designed another attraction again.
Ugh, can we just get this over with? Jessica rushes to the carnival and finds Ms. Z. Z says that she warned Jessica to stay away because she saw her with Claire, and Jessica says that it was her twin. She also reveals that her fiance (who literally becomes her husband two pages later) tried to scare her into staying away. Claire was the daughter of the original owner, but her dad was a mean man who became even meaner after his wife died. All she wanted to do was go on the rides but he wouldn't let her. On her birthday, she sneaked onto the Ferris wheel, got her dress caught on it, and died.
Claire came back to haunt the carnival. Many years ago, she revealed herself to Z and tried to make her a ghost like her. Z eventually got away, but she's now one of the few people who can see her. Jessica rushes off to help her twin, who is on the Ferris wheel with Claire. Claire tries to make Liz jump off the top of the wheel, but Jessica manages to get in the seat with her. Liz keeps inching forward, while Jess keeps throwing herself at her.
In a fit of rage, Claire causes a bolt of energy to hit Jessica. That wakes Liz up, and she realizes that her "friend" hurt her sister. She promises to never let anything come between them again, and I guess Claire just kind of explodes in anger. They go home and everything goes back to normal. Oh, and Jessica discovers that Steven replaced her original fortune with the one about someone going bald. Lila shows up at the end wearing a bald cap and freaks Steven out. Thank goodness this one is over!