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Whispers in the Dark

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  182 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
In this second chilling novel by Jonathan Aycliffe, orphaned Charlotte Metcalf arrives on the doorstep of her relatives, the mysterious Ayrtons, in the hope of locating her younger brother Arthur. Their home, Barras Hall, is at first a welcome refuge, until Charlotte realizes that the manor has become her prison, and that she is surrounded by a horror she cannot escape.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 15th 1993 by HarperTorch (first published November 19th 1992)
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(showing 1-30 of 403)
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Kagama-the Literaturevixen
Jul 26, 2014 Kagama-the Literaturevixen rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lynn Spencer
Jul 25, 2016 Lynn Spencer rated it really liked it
Shelves: gothic, horror
I read a lot of romance, so I feel like I need to post a disclaimer here - this book isn't even vaguely a romance. It's pretty much straight gothic horror.

This Edwardian-set tale focuses on the trials and trevails of 14 year old Charlotte Metcalf. Raised in a successful merchant family, her father's death and a series of bad investments leaves her, her mother and brother in ever-decreasing circumstances until they finally wind up in a grim workhouse. When sent out to work as a teenager, Charlott
Jenna~Ice Queen~Dreams
Yup, loved this book! Same author who wrote one of my all time favorite books has delivered another stunning one! I would say all in all I enjoyed it just as much but in a different way. It didn't scare me like Naomi's Room, but it was still just as fantastic. I wish there was a bit more description on a couple things, but that would never keep me from giving it a 5 star review. Jonathan Aycliffe may very well be my new favorite author!!
Aug 18, 2016 Andrew rated it really liked it
What a terrific ghost story! I loved the use of sensory details Aycliffe added to this story - lots of sound and smell - it gave the story an old school feel and the account based prose reminded me of Dolores Claiborne. Definitely worth a read for anyone who enjoys classic tales of the supernatural or ritualistic lore based plots. The characters were well structured and left just enough questions on the fringe of perception to allow for a story line that didn't stray away from the main plot in o ...more
Jan 18, 2016 Shaweta rated it really liked it
Consumed this super fast. Thoroughly creepy.
Boris Cesnik
Mar 02, 2016 Boris Cesnik rated it really liked it
3, 3.5 or 4? Mmmm...oh what the hell! 4 it is.

I'm rather mystified. I think you need to be a very good writer to gather all formulaic and trite topics, blend them all together, and turn them into an entertaining and well constructed story.
We are talking about almost two centuries of gothic, sensetional and supernatural tradition - modernised and probably bastardized in good way to make a quick read but not that cheap after all.
The book has its merits. I would have not devoured if it were not for
Nov 21, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it
I was introduced to this writer by a Goodread's friend sometime ago.

I enjoy Johnathan Aycliffe's work. He has an easy undemanding style and unfailingly delivers a good spooky tale told in the best Gothic-horror tradition.

This is the story of Charlotte, born in the late 19th century to a prosperous and loving family, that falls into penury and despair following the death of her father. Finally forced to present themselves to the workhouse, Charlotte is separated from her beloved brother and witne
Dec 14, 2015 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not one of Aycliffe's best and definitely does not bear comparison with Naomi's Room.

Saying that, it was still an engrossing read. Very Gothic (with a capital C), very dark and depressing. And very predictable.

I felt the ending was rushed with no sense of resolution. But that's possibly what Mr Aycliffe wanted to achieve.
Dec 18, 2015 Elusive rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review
‘Whispers in the Dark’ is a melancholic story tinged with horror. Now an old woman, Charlotte Metcalf reminisces about her childhood in which she led a charmed life together with her wealthy family. However, everything falls apart when her father passes away. A string of depressing events brings her to the doorstep of her enigmatic relatives but their home, Barras Hall is far from normal.

From the beginning, the author successfully created a gloomy tone which complemented the dire situations whic
Michael Davies
May 27, 2015 Michael Davies rated it really liked it
Another splendidly gothic offering from Jonathan Aycliffe with just a hint of H P Lovecraft. Barras Hall in Northumberland is the home of the incestuous cousins of Charlotte Mettcalf who arrives there following the death of her father, a spell in the workhouse, the death of her mother and the disappearance of her brother. So, not a lucky girl, and wouldn't you know, Barras Hall is also home to some very unpleasant characters including the malevolent ghost of an ancestor whose dabblings in the oc ...more
Nov 20, 2015 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good haunted house story is such a treat on a dark and stormy Autumn evening when the rain and wind are battering at the window but it's all cosy inside. This is a quick and very enjoyable read and I shall definitely be seeking out more Jonathan Aycliffe novels. It's a well-written Gothic tale with an eerie, unsettling, creepy atmosphere and ghosts galore.
Jun 06, 2014 Terralyn rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. I liked the time period of the setting and the fact that the author was very detailed in explaining customs, dress, surroundings associated with that era.
This is my first time reading a book in the gothic genre and I really enjoyed it. It wasn't so horrific that it would be classified as a thriller, but it definitely was creepy at times!
Luka Onee-san
Mar 13, 2016 Luka Onee-san rated it it was amazing
I recommend this book to every horror story lover. You will not be disappointed.
June Jones
Sep 18, 2015 June Jones rated it liked it
Another spooky book for bedtime! a strange unexplainable ending,
Oct 15, 2014 Colin rated it really liked it
Pretty good read. Elegantly written and atmospheric. Not particularly scary though.
Louise Taylor
Mar 05, 2016 Louise Taylor rated it it was amazing
Loved this! Really spooky!! One of the best authors!!!
Feb 15, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maggie White
Aug 26, 2013 Maggie White rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good old fashioned ghost story. Loved the atmospheric writing.
Story of a young girl whose family fall on hard times and she ends up in the workhouse. She eventually goes to find her only relatives and they invite her to stay. All is not what it seems however.
Sep 03, 2015 Sheila rated it really liked it
A great horror story--I liked it almost as much as Naomi's Room. This is a very traditional gothic, with almost Lovecraftian plot elements.
Sue Bridehead (A Pseudonym)
Very readable and gripping gothic novel, with an unsatisfyingly vague ending similar to those of several other novels by Mr. Aycliffe.
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aka Daniel Easterman

Jonathan Aycliffe was born in Belfast in 1949. He studied English, Persian, Arabic and Islamic studies at the universities of Dublin, Edinburgh and Cambridge, and lectured at the universities of Fez in Morocco and Newcastle upon Tyne. The author of several successful full-length ghost stories, he lives in the north of England with his wife, homeopath and health writer, Beth Mac
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