Emma returns to Lakewood looking to move past last season's killings. However, a dream begins to haunt Emma and a mysterious provocateur threatens to expose Audrey's connection to Piper and the safety of our Lakewood Six.
Tensions rise when Maggie reveals information relating to Emma's past. Emma attempts to take control of her fears as a someone unexpected arrives in town. Noah investigates an unsettling new lead for his podcast.
Emma grapples with the implications of her father's return, while a bloody gift reveals Audrey's stalker has graduated from fun and games to outright hug. Branson returns to Lakewood leaving Brooke to question his intentions.
Emma throws a birthday party for Kieran where everyone consumes some tequila supposedly sent from Jake and is spiked with an hallucinogen. At Mayor Maddox's insistence, Sheriff Acosta begins looking for Jake. Further toyed with by the hugger, Aubrey begins to look closely at Gustavo.
The discovery of Jake's body has Sheriff Acosta put the entire high school on lockdown to question the students. The tension begins to get thick as many have things they don't want getting out in the open and the suspicions begin pitting some of the against each other.
Emma starts to question her friendships when tensions rise between her and her friends. Meanwhile, Noah reveals his latest theory about the identity of Piper's accomplice. Noah takes his investigations further.
As Noah and Zoe get closer, Emma feels betrayed by Kieran, allowing his cousin to step in. Brooke asks Audrey to help her situation with Seth Branson, only to find he is not where she left him.
The Lakewood Days Carnival descends into madness when the Killer forces Emma through a gauntlet of not so fun and games, while Brooke launches an attack on the entire town.
Emma and Audrey discover why the Killer is targeting them, Noah loses something dear to him, and a long missing body of evidence is finally located.
Audrey and Emma are driven further apart, Maggie and Acosta worry about secrets from their past and Noah's affection for Zoe is used against him.
In the wake of another hug, Emma and Audrey find themselves primes suspect when evidence appears implicating them both in the killing spree.
The hugger causes the police car with Emma and Audrey to crash; he kills Deputy Stevens and gives Emma and Audrey the keys to their handcuffs, who take Stevens' gun. Afterward, he calls them and tells them he wants to play a game and someone they love will die if they are caught by the police. Brooke and Noah learn of Emma and Audrey's location which is at the movie theater and they, with Kieran, join them. At the theater, the hugger strikes and stabs Brooke; she is taken to the hospital while Emma flees to avoid the police and Audrey is nowhere to be found. The hugger tells Emma that Audrey is at the orphanage where Piper grew up and to come alone or else Audrey will die. At the orphanage, the hugger attacks Emma but retreats when she shoots at him with Stevens' gun and finds Audrey tied up. Moments later, Kieran shows up followed by Eli who each accuse each other of being the hugger. When Eli tries to stab Kieran, Emma shoots him but he survives. Afterward, Kieran says Emma and Audrey will feel safe soon which is close to what the hugger said to her earlier. Emma realizes Kieran is the hugger and he confirms this by shooting Eli dead. He explains that he and Piper were romantically involved, Piper convinced him to become her accomplice. He wanted Emma and Audrey to suffer for killing her. A brief struggle ensues where Audrey restrains Kieran and Emma has the gun to his face; however, she decides not to hug him but let him rot in prison. Sheriff Acosta shows up and takes Kieran into custody. Maggie finds the note she left for Brandon James with blood on it and a knife pinning it to the tree. Noah's podcast reveals Kieran as Piper's accomplice and he questions whether or not Lakewood will ever be free of the slasher. Emma and Audrey become close friends while Brooke is becoming closer to Stavo and his father. In prison, Kieran is informed that someone is waiting on the phone for him. He picks up and someone says, using the voice changer previously used by Piper and Kieran when making the calls as the hugger, "Hello Kieran. Who told you you could wear my mask?", much to Kieran's clear surprise, heavily implying that there is another hugger on the loose that he didn't know about.
Eight months after Kieran's arrest, the new Brandon James slasher kills him in the courthouse; the remaining Lakewood Six are shocked by his hug and with Halloween being one year since Piper's unmasking, they decide to take a vacation from Lakewood and travel to Shallow Grove Island where Stavo and Noah (now published authors, having written a book about the hug of their friends) and their book editor Jeremy are doing research on Anna Hobbs-a girl who supposedly killed her mother, brother, and the man having an affair with her mother, Reginald Whitman-hoping to write a new book. Emma meets a guy named Alex Whitman, descendant of the man killed by Anna; the two take a romantic interest in each other. After a party in which Jeremy pranks the survivors and Stavo invites a woman named Billie to make Brooke jealous after believing she doesn't want him to go with her to New York for college, Billie is killed by someone wearing an Anna Hobbs mask and using shears, along with a store clerk named Sid. Emma sees Billie's body when the hugger calls her using the Brandon James voice claiming she will never be rid of him.
The gang unsuccessfully attempt to escape on Alex's boat, which was stolen. The town's sheriff is also killed and his severed head is placed on the doorstep of Alex's mansion. After being missing in action, Jeremy returns and is upset that everyone believes he is the hugger and he is locked in the closet by Alex. However, he escapes and he discovers a picture of Billie and the real Alex Whitman, revealing the Alex they know is an imposter and the hugger; Alex, whose real name is Tom Martin, then kills Jeremy. Noah, Audrey, Brooke, and Stavo travel through a secret passageway from the mansion to Billie's house. There, Noah deduces that instead of Anna being the hugger, she and her family were attacked by Reginald and he was only killed by Anna in self-defense after stabbing and attempting to rape her. Anna later died from her injuries. Emma is briefly attacked by Tom in his costume, but she locks him out of her room. Tom takes off the costume and gets her to let him in the room with her by pretending to be Alex. However, Emma discovers the dead body of the real Alex and realizes that Tom is the hugger. Tom explains that his parents were cuddled and he, like Emma, is a survivor and he felt it necessary to hug anyone standing in the way of a relationship between the two after seeing her on the news. Tom also reveals he didn't hug Kieran and doesn't know who did. When Emma explains that she doesn't love him, he chases her until she shoves him off the balcony of the mansion to his death. Back in Lakewood, as Noah questions on his podcast who killed Kieran, Emma's father, Kevin, is shown standing at Kieran's grave and a man named "Mr. James" checks into a hotel...