Judge Hopkins was a judge in Blithe Hollow, Massachusetts. A young girl in the village, Agatha Prenderghast, had the ability to see and communicate with the dead. The villagers found out about this and suspected she was a witch. She was arrested and sent to trial, and Hopkins and Agatha's six main accusers found her guilty and sentenced her to execution by hanging. After she was executed, her ghost cursed the Judge and the others to die and rise from their graves as the living dead. After his death, he and the others realized their mistakes towards Agatha. The curse was kept from coming by other members of Agatha's family who could communicate with spirits, who read her mothers bedtime stories to Agatha's ghost to calm her down.
Norman Babcock, one of Agatha's descendants, failed to read the book at the correct spot, reading it at the graves of Hopkins and the six, and was also interrupted by the school bully Alvin, allowing Agatha's ghost to awaken and the seven zombies to rise from their graves. Hopkins tried to speak to Norman, but Norman and Alvin panic and flee. The zombies follow them through the forest and the two are picked by Neil Downe, his brother Mitch, and Norman's sister Courtney. The Judge manages to cling to Mitch's van as they drive off, but is left arm is torn off in the ensuing struggle and the van crashes, and the Judge loses his grip on the van and lands in the forest.
Later on, when Normans group barricades themselves in the Town Hall where Agatha was put on trial, Hopkin's finds his arm and reattaches it. He then looks for the other zombies, only to find them being attacked by the townspeople. Hopkins wanders out and is shot in the abdomen. He then calls the other zombies and leads them to the Town Hall. Agatha's witch storm descends above the Town Hall and the zombies recoil in fear before entering building. The mob starts to attack the Town Hall while Hopkin's and the zombies chase Norman to the top of the building. Norman then tries to read the book to Agatha, but is hit by a bolt of lightning and falls back into the building.
Norman has a vision of Agatha being sentenced to death by court, and when he wakes up angrily yells at the zombies for what they did. The Judge admits his guilt and reveals he wanted to ask Norman to stop the curse. Norman decides to end the curse permanently by talking to Agatha. Norman and the zombies are nearly attacked by the mob, but Courtney convinces them to halt their attack. The Judge leads Norman's family to Agatha's grave, and Norman talks to her and manages to calm her down. Finding a measure of peace, Agatha descends into the afterlife, along with the zombies. The Judge gives one last regretful look to Norman's family as he fades away.