Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ghostly Novels

Ghostly novels by Mary Downing Hahn

The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall, by Mary Downing Hahn
This suspenseful ghost story starts out the way of classics like A Secret Garden: orphaned girl goes to live with distant relatives, sickly boy cousin, and mean head-of-house. From then on, however, it turns into a haunting tale of a girl who died too soon and cannot rest for the unfairness of it. Dark and creepy with believable characters and a moody setting, the strength of this story is the terrifying ghost. The ending is not satisfying because her reason for returning to her grave is unclear; however, the ambiguity about her possible return does help. A scary read for grades 4+

Closed for the Season, by Mary Downing Hahn
It's bad enough to move into an old run-down house where you don't have any friends -- but when the house turns out to be the scene of an unsolved murder and the kid across the street is a nerd who wants to be your next best friend...what's a middle school boy to do? Well, try to solve the crime, for one, and second, discover that the "nerd" isn't nearly as lame as the "cool" kids say he is. In fact, he's one heck of a detective! A spooky abandoned amusement park is the perfect backdrop for this suspense-filled read. Popular with grade 5.

All the Lovely Bad Ones, by Mary Downing Hahn
Travis and Corey are a brother and sister pair who often get into trouble. When they go to their grandmother's Vermont inn for the summer, they think it'll be fun to trick the guests into thinking there are ghosts haunting the inn. Too late, they realize that their creepy capers have caused real ghosts to rise up and make double the trouble. Now the ghosts won't stop bothering the guests until Travis and Corey agree to complete some super scary tasks! This is the scariest of these three Hahn books, by far. Recommended for grade 5+ due to fear factor.


  1. Mary Downing Hahn does spooky like no one else. Just read Wait Till Helen Comes, a classic ghost story. I'll have to check out Closed for the Season.

  2. Thanks for the comment - I will check it out (literally, since it's already in my library!)
    Cheers, Sarah

  3. I love Mary Downing Hahn's books. I haven't read the Ghost of Crutchfield Hall, but enjoyed the other two you discussed.

  4. Mary Downing Hahn books fly off the shelves at Lemme- all 406 girls want a scary story. Wait Til Helen Comes is my absolute favorite. (Crutchfield wasn't spooky enough for me!) Thanks for posting to Book Talk Tuesday!