When three college students move into an old house off campus, they unwittingly unleash a supernatural entity known as The Bye Bye Man, who comes to prey upon them once they discover his name. The friends must try to save each other, all the while keeping The Bye Bye Man’s existence a secret to save others from the same deadly fate.
The opening scene begins with a white two story house. Letters flash across the screen, indicating that this is happening in the 1960s. A 1960s car pulls up into the driveway, and a middle-aged man gets out of the car. He runs up the driveway and knocks on the front door. Soon, a woman answers it. He demands to know if she told anyone. She says that she only told her husband and that she thought the name was funny. The middle-aged man turns around and heads back to the car, apologizing for all the way. He grabs a shotgun out of the backseat and heads back to the front door. The woman slams the front door shut. The man points the shotgun at the front door and blows a hole in it.The scene flashes to the front of a train at night. The camera pans to the path of the train. As the train moves across the train tracks, debris begins showing up in its paths, such as a broken picture frame and some bloody clothes.The scene then switches back to the middle aged man. He is now in the living room and appears to have shot another man, who is lying on the floor, trying to crawl away. The man on the ground shouts his wifes name, but she does not answer. The middle-aged man with the shotgun pauses for a moment and looks at the stairs. There is the faint sound of a train and lights flash across the wall as though a train were passing by. The middle-aged man yells, Youre not gonna get me! and shoots the man on the ground, killing him.He looks out the living room window behind him and sees two women outside, staring at him. He recognizes them and goes outside to speak with them. They run away towards a house across the street. He pursues them, yelling, "Who did you tell?!" The two women run inside the house, and he follows them inside. Two gunshots ring through the air, and the scene fades out.Main storyThe next scene shows three college students; Elliott, Elliot's girlfriend Sasha, and their friend John, on a college campus in what appears to be present day. They are on their way to check out a new house that they would like to rent together. They arrive at the house and decide to explore it, first checking out the bedroom, then the kitchen. There is no furniture at all in the place.John, Sasha, and Elliot meet up in the kitchen. Elliott decides to check out the basement in search of the promised furniture. Sasha and John join Elliott. Sasha almost falls the stairs on the way, but John catches her. Elliott notices a dresser with a couple of coins on it. They all decide that they are going to go ahead and rent the place, though the house creeps Sasha out.The next scene shows Sasha and Elliott hanging out in the evening in their bedroom, which is now furnished. Elliott is working on some sort of English paper, then gets up and goes to the bathroom to brush his teeth. He asks Sasha about the card on the bed, and so she picks it up and begins reading it out loud. It is a love letter to her from Elliott, written in newspaper clipped letters. She notices the sound of a coin rolling around on the ground. She puts the card down and looks towards the attic insulation cubby door near her. She opens the door, looks inside, but doesn't see anything. The door to Elliott and Sashas bedroom slams, startling her. She calls out to Elliott, telling him, "That isn't funny!" but he is nowhere to be seen.The next scene shows a party happening at Elliott, Sasha, and Johns house. The camera follows a little girl (Alice, Elliott's niece) as she wanders through the party, then up the stairs, down the hall, and over to Elliott and Sasha's bedroom. She enters the bedroom, and she hears a coin rolling around. She heads towards the insulation cubby door and opens it. As she opens it, a door directly behind her and across the room also opens, with a wolf head appearing out of it. Alice finds the coin and closes the door. As she closes the door, the door behind her closes, and the wolf head disappears. Alice puts the coin she found on the dresser and leaves the room.She heads back to the party and tells her uncle Elliott and father Virgil about the coin. At this point, most of the partiers head outside to play baseball. Elliott goes upstairs to his bedroom alone and finds the coin on the ground. He picks up the coin, opens a drawer in the nightstand, and puts it inside. As hes about to leave the room, he hears the coin fall out the back of the night stand drawer. He pulls the dresser drawer out to investigate the hole and notices that there is circular writing all over the inside of it, repeating the phrase "Don't Say It, Don't Think It". He realizes that it is an insert and he pulls it aside to reveal the wood on the bottom of the drawer, which has just one phrase written on it: The Bye Bye Man.Elliott heads back to the party and meets Kim, a girl that John is interested in. Kim claims to be psychically sensitive, and Elliott tries to convince her to hold a séance. She agrees to do it, and the next scene shows Elliott, Sasha, John, and Kim sitting around a table in the dark with a candle in the middle. They all hold hands and Kim reveals some little-known details about a few of them. Then, Kim becomes frightened, saying something bad is coming. She claims that the spirits to whom she speaks are repeating a phrase: "Don't say it, don't think it". Elliott finishes with, "The Bye Bye Man". All the lights go out, and they sit in the dark, freaked out.Eventually, everyone goes to bed. Sasha begins coughing and appears to be coming down with a cold. She drifts off to sleep, and Elliott looks over and seems to see a creepy figure in the bedroom corner. It seems to grow larger, and he freaks out, turning on the light and shining it at the figure. Nothing is there. Then, Elliott hears some weird scratching noises coming from downstairs. He gets up and heads downstairs to investigate. Approaching Johns room, he hears some moaning and assumes it was them. Then, he hears the scratching noises again. He heads towards the living room window since it sounds like they are coming from that direction. He looks outside but doesn't see anyone or anything.The next day, John takes Kim home. He pulls up to her house, and they both agree that neither of them have ever had a lack of performance like last night. Suddenly, John notices a couple of maggots in Kim's hair, freaking him out. He looks again, and there isn't anything there. Kim gets out of the car and goes inside, weirded out.John goes back to the house and meets up with Elliott and Sasha in the kitchen. John comments to Elliot about how he has a super hot girlfriend, which seems to irritate Elliott. John heads to the bathroom and begins to hallucinate.Back in the kitchen, Sasha is looking pale and sick. She hallucinates a shirtless John, who indicates that Elliott is a loser and that she should be with John. She looks at him, confused, and then back at Elliott. Elliott tells her that she went away for a little bit there, and wonders where she went. She does not tell him about the hallucination.Elliott and Sasha decide to head to the college to investigate the Bye Bye Man. As Elliott heads out the door, he notices some deep scratches on a stone border outside the house.Sasha heads to a greenhouse to find their landlord, and Elliott heads to the library. Sasha confronts the landlord, telling him that the house is weird. She also comments that it is really cold, to which the landlord says that her comment doesn't make sense since they are in a greenhouse, which cant be cold. She then asks him about the dresser, which seems to surprise the landlord. The landlord indicates that the dresser was not his and provides her with an address of the owner.Meanwhile, John heads to the college and shows up late to his first class. He becomes bored and starts looking at some pictures on his phone. He flips to the next picture, and its a sepia toned picture that he doesnt remember taking. It is a weird, hooded figure with a large dog next to him. John flips to the next picture, only its a video of the hooded figure. The hooded figure turns and points at John and begins walking towards him. Suddenly, the teacher slams his hand on Johns desk, startling John out of his trance.The scene switches to Elliott in the library. Elliott is using a search engine on the computer to look up first The Bye Bye Man, which produces no results. Next, he looks up "Don't Say It, Don't Think It", which provides one result in a Dead File within the college library. He finds the librarian, who leads him to the file. She gives him a little bit of detail on it, revealing that there was a mass murderer named Mr. Redmon who had owned the dead file.The scene flashes back to the 1960s, inside the house of the two women whom Mr. Redmon had killed. It shows him killing the two women as the librarian describes the scene. The librarian says that it looks like the information was removed from the file as if to erase its existence. Elliott shows her the page, and she reads The Bye Bye Man out loud. She thinks it is weird and leaves to help someone else.Elliott checks his phone to see the time and notices that his battery is full. He then begins scribbling out each reference to The Bye Bye Man on the page. As he does so, he looks up and notices a weird hooded figure sitting a few tables down. Each time he scribbles out one more reference, the hooded figure comes closer. Just when the figure would be right next to him, the librarian startles him. He looks down and notices that an hour has gone by and that his phone has a very low battery. He does not understand how so much time has passed and tells the librarian that he needs to go pick up Sasha.Elliott leaves the library, and once outside, he thinks he sees Sasha and John down the street. They look like they may be acting romantic, so he hides in the entry way of an abandoned building. As he looks out there, the glass right next to his head suddenly shatters, and the face of the Bye Bye Man can be seen. It vanishes, but Elliott seems spooked.Elliott ends up using a pay phone to call Kim and asks her if she would be willing to do another séance. She agrees, and we see that she is washing the blood off her hands.Elliott shows up, and Kim gets into the car. On the drive, Elliott notices that she has a bloody hammer inside her bag. They pass by a railroad track, and Kim hallucinates a car wreck. She demands that Elliott stop the car and he pulls over. She runs to the crash scene, which is on the train tracks. Elliott runs after her with the bloody hammer in hand, trying to tell her that it is a trick. She ignores him and stands right in the way of the train- and gets hit.The scene switches to the front of a train at night. It then repeats the same train sequence seen at the beginning of the film.The scene switches back to the train tracks, only it is now night time, and there are cops covering the scene. Sasha and John are now there as well. Sasha looks pretty sick and suddenly sees blood dripping on the shoes of the detective. Sasha looks up and sees blood dripping from the sockets that should have held the detectives eyes. Sasha freaks out and moves away to hurl.The detective begins to question Elliott's story, telling him that they found two bodies at Kim's place. She also says that witnesses claim to have seen Elliott chasing Kim with a bloody hammer. She decides to take Elliott in for questioning.The detective pushes Elliott for more information, but Elliott refuses to tell her about The Bye Bye Man. The detective finally lets him know that they found a suicide note from Kim at her place, and said that it confessed to the murders of the two people in her place, as well as Elliott and his friends.Free to leave, Elliott gets in his car and heads home. When he comes home, he hallucinates hearing moaning sounds coming from Johns room. He bursts into the room and thinks he sees Sasha and John naked on the bed. He hits John over the head with a baseball bat, which brings him back to reality. He ties up John so that John wont tell anyone about The Bye Bye Man and leaves Sasha lying on the bed, shivering. He notices a piece of paper on the ground, which has the address that Sasha had found for the owner of the dresser. Elliott goes upstairs to their bedroom, grabs the dresser, and throws it out of the house. Then, he takes the piece of paper and heads to the address on it.It turns out that the house belongs to Mrs. Redmon, and he speaks with her. He wants to know how she survived, so she tells him the story of her husband. The scene plays out such that you see a young Mrs. Redmon coming home to a very distraught husband. He had written Dont Say It, Dont Think It all over the walls and furniture in the house. She asks him what is wrong, but he refuses to tell her. He simply says that he was researching a murder case (he is a reporter) and that the kids had not gone mad. She presses him, but he refuses to say what was the cause of the murders. He goes into the closet and grabs a shotgun and leaves (presumably as the scene before the beginning scene of the movie).Back in the present day, Elliott asks Mrs. Redmon how she survived. She reveals that her husband never said the name, so she was never cursed. She hands Elliott a gun and tells him to kill his friends who know the name and then to kill himself to end the cycle. Elliott resists and hallucinates her flaming up into a big ball of fire. He fights, saying it isnt real. Mrs. Redmon then appears normal again.He leaves the house and drives for awhile. He thinks he sees someone in the road, but continues, thinking it is a hallucination of Sasha, and it is. This happens again, only this time he ran over the librarian. The librarian had gone crazy and killed her family and had been walking around with a knife in hand.Elliott goes home and hallucinates that John is Sasha and Sasha is John. Elliott thinks that John attacks him and Elliott ends up shooting John. After he shoots, he realizes that it was Sasha that hed shot. He sees The Bye Bye Man, who touches his forehead. Just as his forehead is touched, the doorbell rings. Its Alice and Virgil, Elliott's niece and brother. Elliott tries desperately not to say the name of The Bye Bye Man out loud and not to let the door be opened. Realizing that something is seriously wrong, Virgil tells Alice to go to the bathroom outside somewhere else. Elliott ends up killing himself. Virgil goes looking for Alice again and finds her in the car.On the ride home, Alice shows Virgil that she found a couple of coins. She says that they were in a dresser with some weird writing on it. Virgil asks what it said. She tells him that he's silly, that she can't read in the dark.