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Bad Dreams was published in 1994, and is the 22nd novel in the Fear Street Series, preceded by The Dare and followed by Double Date.

Synopsis

Maggie Travers, her younger sister Andrea, her mother Mrs. Travers and their dog Gus are moving to a house on Fear Street following her fathers death and the subsequent loss of income. Maggie and Andrea are only a year apart and both on the Shadyside High swim team, but do not get along, frequently fighting because of Andrea's bad attitude and jealousy of her older sister. When they arrive to the house, Maggie finds a beautiful canopy bed in the room she had previously claimed and decides to keep it, much to her sister's chagrin. But the first night she sleeps in it, she experiences a terrifying nightmare of a girl screaming. She tries to dispell her fear by hanging out with her boyfriend Justin Stiles, who explains away the dream as stress about the upcoming tryouts for the two representatives of the Shadyside High swim team to compete in the All-State swim meet in the 200 meter Individual Medley. At the tryout, she competes against the other 3 candidates, Dawn Rodgers, who is one of her best friends on the swim team, Tiffany Hollings, and Andrea, and wins the first slot. She experiences another nightmare that shows the girl from her previous nightmare being stabbed in the canopy bed Maggie is sleeping, and the next day Dawn is pushed down the school stairs and breaking her arm. Dawn accuses Maggie of pushing her, but is reasurred by Tiffany that she only did so because she also got a concussion from the fall. Maggie meets her elderly neighbor Milton Avery in the backyard on Saturday, who invites her over to his house for a cup of tea with his wife Claire, and learns that the previous occupants of her house had a daughter named Miranda who was stabbed to death in her bed. The deceased girl's description matches the girl Maggie is seeing in her dreams, and she believes that her ghost is trying to communicate with her, warn her of impending danger. She becomes obsessed with this idea, alienating Justin because he doesn't agree with her and believes it's crazy. Her family agrees with this notion, after the ghost appears to Maggie but vanishes when she tries to show it to someone else. After finding a knife in her pillow that disappears when her mother comes into her room (which Maggie believes Andrea did), Tiffany is found stabbed in the side after swim practice. This means Andrea will get to compete as the only remaining candidate, and her clear happiness about this disturbs Maggie. After another dream that ends with Miranda's ghost appearing in Maggie's bed trying to stab her (who again disappears before anyone else can see her), Maggie is sent to her mother's psychiatrist and the canopy bed is placed the attic. She sneaks up to the attic at night to find Miranda's ghost in the bed, only to discover it's a living girl named Gena, Miranda's sister and murderer. Gena knew about Maggie's dreams, saying Miranda always claimed to have powers and the dreams were meant to warn her about Gena. Gena thought Miranda was a mean sister, and was sent to a psychiatric hospital following the murder. She escaped and had been secretly living in the attic before the Travers arrived, stealing food from their fridge and copying their keys so she could come and go as she pleased, and considered Maggie a mean sister who needed to die. When Andrea comes up to the attic, Maggie think she was in on the plot, but she helps her sister fight and capture Gena. Following Gena's arrest, Maggie heads up to bed before the swim meet, wishing her family sweet dreams.

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