When little Oliver Smith inherits the gloomy mansion Helton Hall, his scheming cousins, the Snodde-Brittles, are determined to rid themselves of the orphan heir. They have a perfect plan. They will hire some terrifying ghosts from the Dial-a-Ghost Agency to scare the boy to death. But, as in any Eva Ibbotson novel, the fantastic creatures do not necessarily behave as expected-they are a little too human for that. Soon the ghosts, led by a mysterious girl spirit named Adopta, have joined with Oliver against his cousins. But they may have underestimated the depths of the Snodde-Brittles' evil.... The laughs and frights are thick in this spooky story, which is sure to join Eva Ibbotson's other books as classics of the genre.
When the Dial-a-Ghost agency, which finds good homes for ghosts, mixes up two requests, it's orphan Oliver's lucky day!