Frightful Friday: The Haunted by Bentley Little

Frightful Friday is a weekly meme in which I feature a particularly scary or chilling book that I’ve read that week.

This week’s featured book is The Haunted by Bentley Little:

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; 1st edition (April 3, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0451236378
  • Source: Personal copy

The Perry family (Julian & Claire, and their children Megan and James) were living in a neighborhood that had taken a dramatic turn for the worse in recent years. It was full of teenagers on skateboards, disobeying their requests to stop skating on their driveway.  They were fairly well off, financially; Julian worked from home designing web sites and Claire was a lawyer. Plus, their youngest, James was miserable at his current school. A move seemed to be just what this family needed.

The find a home in their town’s historic district. It seems to have everything the want: a gorgeous wrap around porch, a large living space, space for an office for Julian to work from. However, something about the basement, a small damp dark room, puts the family on edge. When things start happening around the house, including items being moved, strange shapes appearing in foggy mirrors, the Perry’s begin to wonder if the decision to buy the house was the right one.  But it’s the night of their open house that sends the Perry’s over the edge; soon their neighbors reveal the horrid past revolving around their house. The body of a homeless man was found in the basement. To their utter disbelief, this is just the beginning of a history of tragic events surrounding the house. Horrific incidents centuries ago have tainted the land, the house itself. Even the neighbors are at risk and they eventually refuse to acknowledge the existence of the Perry’s…or their haunted house.

Despite a few bumps with some of his more recent books, Little is a truly talented writer of horror. In The Haunted he’s back to his old self again, relaying a truly chilling classic ghost story. Unlike other horror novels of this type, Little provides a well-developed back story that flows naturally into the main storyline. Seasoned fans of Little’s writing will notice a few hints of novels past pop up throughout this novel, some more obvious than others.  The highest compliment I can pay this author is that is books are among the few that can actually send a chill down my spine.  If you are looking for a classic haunted house story, The Haunted is the book for you! Highly recommended.

Warning: language, scenes of a graphic sexual nature

3 thoughts on “Frightful Friday: The Haunted by Bentley Little

  1. I read The Store and…one other book I can’t recall from this author, and he is really channelling his inner Stephen King. He is amazing when it comes to creating a classic scary story. I would read this right now if I had it in my hands. I find books like this an equivalent of comfort food.


    1. The Store just happens to make an appearance in this one! “Channeling his inner Stephen King…” Yes, that is exactly how I’d describe it!


  2. I’ve seen only good reviews about The Haunted, though I found the scary parts cliched and right out of Poltergeist. I had a hard time getting over the ending, where the family (spoiler) moved after the evil entity was vanquished after having inexplicably resisted moving while it was going full steam. I also couldn’t figure why Little brought up the cool element of another dead child possibly being involved and then just dropped it. Little does create enough mysterious weirdness early in his novels to interest the reader, though and has gotten me to read two (also, Dominion), so good for him.


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