Tom and the Spook arrive in a little ramshackle town called Horshaw. They pull up at—where else?—13 Watery Lane. According to Tom, "thirteen [is] the worst and unluckiest of all numbers" (3.7). We're not so sure. Isn't 1313 even worse?
The Spook gives Tom his mission, and he kind of has to accept it: spend the night in 13 Watery Lane.
His goals are as follows. First, go down into the cellar at midnight. Then, don't open the front door. And don't let the candle go out. Easy as one, two, three, right?
Wrong. The Spook leaves Tom alone in the creepy house, and the first thing Tom does is try to open the cellar door.
But it doesn't open, and it feels like "somebody [is] holding it closed on the other side" (3.23). Creeptastic.
Things get even spookier after Tom tries to go to sleep, and it sounds like someone is digging a hole in the basement. We're sure they're just, um, planting flowers or something. Right?
After the digging is done, whoever was doing the digging starts thumping up the stairs and opens the door. Eep.
Tom calls out, but no one answers. He can't even see what's going on. Unlike Haley Joel Osment, Tom can't see this dead guy... if that's even what's going on.
The invisible stomper soon disappears and Tom calms down. Until someone starts knocking on the door.
He hears his Mam's voice, panicked and pleading for him to open the door.
Tom considers opening it, despite what the Spook told him. However, common sense takes over, and he realizes that there's no way his Mam could be outside. Especially when whatever it is starts crying. Tom knows his Mam is a big girl and doesn't cry.
At 11:30, the invisible thing from the basement tromps back upstairs again. Instead of just lurking around and being all invisible, it grabs Tom and drags him down the stairs. Tom worries he's going to be buried alive.
The thing drops Tom and he gets away to see that one of the three rules has been broken: the candle has gone out.
He uses his dad's prized tinderbox to relight the candle, and heads down into the cellar at midnight.
The cellar is filled with boxes and rags and, oh, look at that, a giant scary shape in the corner.
When Tom goes near it—much braver than we could ever be—it stands up and says, "What kept you? […] You're nearly five minutes late!" (3.82) It's just the Spook, but at this point we don't know what's scarier: the Spook or the invisible gravedigger.