Paranatural Recap (Chapters 5-7)
Posted October 6, 2022 at 09:24 pm

And that's the recap! Look forward to the Chapter 8 cover page coming tomorrow! See you then!


Our story began when twelve-year-old Maxwell Puckett moved to Mayview, his father's old hometown. Max hardly had a chance to sulk about missing his friends back in the city of Baxborough before he was thrust into a world of spirits and superpowers. On his first day at Mayview Middle School, Max was recruited by the Paranatural Activity Club, a group of spectral students that defends the town from all sorts of spooky threats.

In Chapter 2, Max met PJ, a ghost that lived inside his house, and the enormous junkyard spirit Scrapdragon, which lived inside his baseball bat.

In Chapter 3, Max learned that Isaac, a sensitive, weather-shaping spirit medium, was kept from many of the Activity Club's secrets, and had hidden a few secrets of his own in return. The pair tangled with the Sphinx of Games and his confusing, largely ineffectual powers, as well as Johnny and his gang of bully friends.

In the dark halls of the Slanted Manse, Doorman, Isaac's spirit mentor, conversed with something strange that spoke through Max. It seemed that Doorman and this unknown someone knew each other well, and their enigmatic exchange was the first hint that many spirits in Mayview were searching for a source of hidden power.

Max began to consider the possibility that the ghost of his mother, who had passed away five years ago, might still be lingering in the city that he left behind.

Shadows began to gather in Chapter 4, when Mr. Spender, the Activity Club's leader, was called into a dream by his superiors. The gruff Agent Walker and the whimsical director of the Paranatural Activity Consortium, Boss Leader, pressured him about the purported presence of monsters (humans distorted by the supernatural, vampires and werewolves and worse) within Mayview. They assigned a rookie agent, Agent Day, to perform an internal investigation. Spender and the Activity Club were to meet her outside an invisible barrier that surrounds Mayview by taking a ride on the Ghost Train, a spirit tamed by Spender's old friend Doctor Zarei. The Ghost Train had the power to shift any obstacle in its path out of its way, allowing it to pass through Mayview's barrier.

Max met Isabel's cheerful book spirit, Eightfold, while she dealt with her departed grandfather's strict discipline. Master Guerra, who was also Spender's mentor, habitually scorned Isabel for her lingering anxiety around dogs, which resulted from an incident where she was bitten by one as a small child, and for her reliance on her spirit's power. Isabel's admiration for and resentment of her grandfather kept her under constant pressure from his expectations.

Doorman and his allies made contact with the blacksmith spirit Forge, hoping to recruit him to aid their group's angelic leader in her pursuit of Mayview's power.

A clash with strange and sinister black hound spirits led to the destruction of the Ghost Train, the loss of Isabel's book and Eightfold with it, and a weakened Forge possessing Johnny as he wandered through the woods. Spender nearly lost control of his shadow spirit, revealing a dark secret to the Activity Club.

Without the Ghost Train, every spectral was trapped in Mayview's barrier, leaving Max unable to visit his friends or pursue the possibility that his mom's ghost might still be in Baxborough. 

Unbeknownst to anyone, dark forces conspired in the woods—members of a mysterious Death Cult that had given the black hounds their orders.

In Chapter 5, a game of hitball escalated into a supernatural disaster when the spirit Hijack took over the body of the hapless, harmless nerd Jeffavorite Flavors. Hijack, secretly an artificial spirit created by Doctor Zarei, blamed Spender and all bullies like him for the destruction of his sibling, Sockpuppy, who had been the Ghost Train's unseen puppeteer.

Max was injured in the process but succeeded in defeating Hijack thanks to everybody's teamwork.

The rest of the day descended into chaos when Hijack managed to escape into the teacher's lounge. The Activity Club split up to find out which teacher he was controlling, unaware that Hijack was in Spender.

Max, meanwhile, plumbed the depths of Mayview Middle School's sheer weirdness, learning about the Student Council, the School Store, and many of his classmates' bizarre quirks. He ended the day newly indebted to Lisa, who'd blackmailed him with proof that he had jumped through a school bus.

Ed confronted his failure to stand by Isabel, Isaac grappled with his position on the outside of the Activity Club, and Isabel's stress came to a head after meeting the spirit in the umbrella her grandfather had just given her. The spirit, Flipflop, told her that Master Guerra had offered her his power as a test, that she'd failed it by accepting, and that he therefore intended for Flipflop to be a nuisance that would teach her self-reliance. His manipulation worked—Isabel resolved not to rely on her grandfather, his teachings, or his values anymore, choosing to embrace her heart instead.

A clash with Hijack, whom Isabel had shared heartfelt conversation with while thinking he was Spender, tested the Activity Club's frayed bonds. With help from ex-member Dimitri, the group defeated Hijack, proving (to him, at least) that they were strong enough to face the darkness gathering in Mayview.

Though he was spared by Isabel and the others, Hijack ended up cornered by Davy Jones, a fancy business vampire and the father of the Student Council's president. Cody, who was secretly part vampire himself, was forced to cut Hijack in two by his sire's foul command.

In Chapter 6, Stephen, a member of Johnny's gang of bullies, spent his day suspended from school exploring Mayview's underbelly. He clashed with Davy's minions, a trio of eternally adolescent vampires, and met an adorable dog without a home. In trying to find the dog's owner, he stumbled into the edge of a conspiracy that involved the police, the purchasing of property in a ring around Mayview's hills, and perhaps even the mysterious Death Cult, a member of which Stephen had unknowingly crossed paths with.

Meanwhile, the Activity Club's newfound unity was rattled by a supernaturally truthful prophecy spoken by the Sphinx of Truth, which predicted Mayview's destruction by summer's end.

In Chapter 7, Spender reminisced on his bonds with his students in the Activity Club.

Ed's parents were a pair of Activity Consortium scientists who'd disappeared in Mayview after a mysterious incident involving a powerful spirit known as a wight. Spender vowed to find them, wherever they were, but forgot that he'd ever conversed with Ed's mom, Doctor Gwen Burger, when Boss Leader erased the dream from his memory. A young Doctor Zarei, however, managed to retain a scrap of what had happened that night, leading to an obsession with wights and a rift between her, Spender, and the Activity Consortium.

Spender took a very young Isabel on a camping trip with him, Zarei, and his on-again, off-again boyfriend Jean, future science teacher at Mayview Middle School and current secret werewolf. An encounter with an even bigger werewolf, likely Jean's missing monster hunter master, Shrike, left Spender questioning his role in guiding kids like Isabel. He realized he was trying to relive a rose-colored version of his own adventurous spectral childhood through Isabel, and resolved to let her protect her from having to fight like he did. Despite this, she told him she wanted to be like him when she grew up.

Zarei and Spender had a falling out after she announced that she was leaving Mayview. Both of them secretly planned to uproot the town's lingering darkness on their own, leaving their loved ones to live in peace. Spender, too, left his turbulent home life behind, abandoning his sister in the process, and moved into Isabel's house to train with her grandfather.

As a fully realized agent of the Consortium, Spender defeated Isaac's future spirit, King Catnine, in a battle above Mayview's barrier.

When Isaac accidentally hurt Dimitri on his first mission with the Activity Club, Spender faced his failures within the Consortium's dream hub. King Catnine managed to sniff out a disturbing truth about Boss Leader—that she was a spirit, not a human, and an ancient and powerful wight at that. Isaac pleaded with her to spare King Catnine, resulting in the blacklisting that kept him in the dark about Consortium matters ever since.

The story returned to the present and a pleasant dinner between Mr. Spender and Agent Day. The bittersweet revelation that Day and Spender shared a mentor, Agent Summers, who'd since passed away, was overshadowed by an even more shocking one. Agent Summers was June Puckett... Max's mom.