**ParaNorman** opens in a New England neighborhood that looks eerily similar to that of Haddonfield, Elm Street and Chrystal Lake. Young Norman is a freaky kid who sees dead people. Since Norman is basically a nice kid, he gets along with the ghosts that haunt his neighborhood.
Enter the scary and bloated Mr. Prenderghast, who warns Norman about the 300 year old curse of the Old Witch. Like Norman, Mr. Prenderghast sees ghosts and has failed to warn the town of the Old Witch's revenge.
With such a Gothic set up, **ParaNorman** succeeds by being contemporary fable. Frightening at first, zombies rising from their graves are less scary than mob rule inspired by reality television shows like **Jersey Shore** and **Honey Boo Boo.**
Besides telling an entertaining story for both children and adults, **ParaNorman** succeeds by presenting a fable worthy of Aesop. We learn that the cause of the Old Witch's curse is a contemporary problem that has been the plague of all public schools. **ParaNorman** can provide a great resource for a lesson about bullying.