Malcolm O’Connell’s new friend has a ventriloquist’s dummy named Stumpy. Malcolm knows Stumpy is just a block of wood but a lot of creepy things have been happening around his school and Stumpy is never very far away when they do. Surely Stumpy couldn’t be – alive! Malcolm O’Connell knows his new friend, Donny Sisko, is a little weird. What normal person would carry around a ventriloquist’s dummy all day and use it to answer questions in class? The dummy’s name is Stumpy and Donny treats it like a real person. But Malcolm likes Donny in spite of how weird he is. Neither boy has a father and so they understand each other. Besides, Stumpy’s kind of fun to have around - most of the time. Stumpy tells jokes and makes the kids laugh. Sometimes though, Stumpy goes a little too far. He says things that Donny shouldn’t say and gets Donny and Malcolm in trouble. And lately, strange things have been happening and Stumpy is never very far away when they do. Malcolm knows Stumpy is just wood but still, there’s something creepy going on. Henrietta, Malcolm’s neighbor and classmate, thinks everything is coming from the house where Donny lives, the old Knickerson place. Kids have reported strange things going on before Donny and his mother moved in. And where is Donny’s mother anyway? Soon Malcolm and Henrietta are going to have to solve the mystery of the old Knickerson house and get to the truth about Stumpy!