The Secret of Crickley Hall
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Secret of Crickley Hall

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  3,091 ratings  ·  310 reviews
Would you stay in a haunted house for more than one night?

Would you live in a place where ghostly things keep happening? Where a cellar door you know you locked the night before is always open the following morning? Where hushed whimpering is heard? Where white shadows steal through the darkness? Where the presence of evil is all around you?

Would you? Should you?

The Caleig...more
ebook, 640 pages
Published July 19th 2011 by Tor Books (first published 2006)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I have read most if nota all of James Herbert's books and I think he has written some excellent novels (Fluke, Portent, '48) and some that I wasn't so keen on (notably The Spear)

However with The Secret Of Crickley Hall I think he has done a fantastic job. I would say this just edges Portent from my top 3 Herbert books

The characterisations are wonderful the plot is superb and the build up is one of his best.

I really used to enjoy reading Denis Wheatley books when I was younger, one thing I loved...more
It’s almost Halloween as I write so I’m in the mood for some creepy read. If you are ever in the mood for horror fiction and you have never read anything by James Herbert you have been outrageously remiss. In the 70s and 80s James Herbert was King, practically Stephen King as teens and horror fans were reading his books all over the place (in the UK where I was residing any way I have no idea about Herbertism in other countries). His most widely known book The Rats was published in 1974 it was a...more
This goes on the 'could-not-finish' shelf. What a stinker. I was thoroughly impatient with the character descriptions and unnecessary explanations through dialogue, e.g., the mother explaining to the kindly old gardener why their youngest daughter is nicknamed "Callie"---I can almost picture the gardener nodding with polite disinterest. As an American, I was really irritated with the author feeling it necessary to include, during the mother's interior monologue, the information that her American...more
What's wrong with Crickley Hall? The cellar door won't stay shut. There are strange noises coming from the closet. The dog hates the place. Be very afraid, run away now - from this novel.

Oy, what a stinker. It has the bones of a good story - plotty enough that I had to severely edit the synopsis to be accepted by my book database - but the story is badly told and very badly edited. There is no real character development, although there are character back stories that take up valuable pages and a...more
I'll admit to skimming through parts of this book. Mostly, the parts that repeated, and repeated...and repeated. My Lord, the ENDLESS repetition. First one person tells the story, then another, then we get a flashback memory of the story, then a summary and then yet another person tells the same story again. Sigh.
No mystery here, no scares or creepy scenes (though plenty were meant to be)- the most disturbing parts (aside from the poorly executed and, yes, repetitious, "Americanisms") were the d...more
Mind the spoilers!

Hmmm. I think my overall impression of this book is that it was an interesting and compelling read, but just too long and repetitive, and at some points completely nonsensical.

I love a good ghost story and this one started off very well, with the Caleigh family heading to the very creepy Crickley Hall in Devon to get away from painful memories of their missing son on the first anniversary of his disappearance. It's the classic horror set up: main characters move to an unfamilia...more
Chris Jay
Well, what can I say, I bought this book on the 20th, and have just finished it today, 3 days later, despite the books 633 pages.

Where do I start? Just please, if you enjoy an amazing plot, twists that left me literally gasping, (And I'm not one to over react) biting my nails, and on the verge of tears at points, then pick up The Secret of Crickely Hall.

Other reviews deterred me from reading this, and I picked it up with half heartedness, and the intention of dropping it after the first 80 pages...more
James Herbert is held with a great deal of respect in the UK: there’s quite a few horror readers out there who were weaned on the author’s The Rats(1974) and The Fog (1975) from the 1970’s.

Since then (and twenty odd books later) Herbert’s current reputation is, well... odd. There’s been a few books that readers haven’t been too favourable of, and it seems that Herbert’s reputation as ‘Britain’s answer to Stephen King’ has not turned out the way many predicted it would. He sells very well, and ye...more
Jeremy Trevathan
This is one of James Herbert's best novels of recent years. It's a traditional spooky house ghost story that takes place over the course of a week in Devon as a family move to a rented house to recuperate from a tragedy that overwhelmed them. The first sign that something is wrong is when the dog keeps running away. It's truly scary at points and doesn't have some of the gore and violence which marked Herbert's earlier horror fiction, which probably would make it appeal to a broader readership.
Ian Mapp
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 23, 2011 JackieB marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
I abandoned this book after 80 pages. There was a lot I liked about it, but some of the characters' actions seemed really contrived. I'm going to wtite some details about what I didn't like. I don't think they constitute plot spoilers, since I only got to page 80 of a 600 page book, but anyone who hasn't read the book might want to stop reading now.

The first problem was with Crickley Hall. Why did Gabe rent it? He didn't seem to like it much and it was much bigger than they needed. It just didn'...more
Alexander Gordon
I think the best-kept secret of Crickley Hall is the fact that absolutely nothing exciting happens there… Which is a shame, because I am a huge James Herbert fan, and have just finished reading Others (review to come), which was absolutely brilliant. But this book felt like a shade of his other ghost stories, something that looks at first glance like it should be perfectly terrifying, but which soon grows stale and familiar and dull. It’s like that moment when you wake up at night and see the sp...more
This book started out good. A grieving family (Gabe and Eve, with daughters Loren and Cally) moves into Crickley Hall, both to be closer to Gabe (the father)'s work, and to give themselves some space during the anniversary of the loss of their son, Cam, who disappeared a year prior. But Crickley Hall has other plans. There are bumps in the night, and strange visions. Something evil is present here.
Then the author totally threw in the towel. The last half of the book was so much exposition, so mu...more
Philip Jackson
This novel ticks all the traditional ghost story boxes - a creepy old house in the middle of nowhere, cut off from the mainland by a river, doors that won't stay closed, inexplicable pools of water in the the hall, mysterious bangs in the middle of the night, and a decades old mystery which is the cause of the hauntings.
It should work, but I'm afraid I found this book dreadfully verbose. Herbert isn't content to tell you something once. The same information is provided over and over again which...more
Kurt Reichenbaugh
It's been a long since I've read anything by James Herbert; it was either The Fog or The Spear back in the early '80's for me. I remember those two books for how they didn't pull any punches in the violence and gore, in addition to being really well written. Same goes for this one, except the gore factor has been toned down a bit compared to early Herbert. It's a good ghost story about a young family recovering from a recent tragedy, who temporarily move into a mansion that once served as a scho...more
James Herbert, who passed away last year, has long been one of the most popular and influential horror writers since he first published The Rats in the late 70's. To many in the UK, he's their Stephen King, but Herbert is all his wn, and for the uninitiated, you should read him, period.

The Secret of Crickley Hall is a classic haunted house tale, ranks right up there with the modern classics, such as The Haunting of Hill House, Hell House, The Shining, and Ghost Story. While the book is big and d...more
The Caleigh family has had a rough year. After their son, five year old Cameron, disappeared, his mother Eve had taken a turn for the worse. Still holding on to the hope that he will come back one day, she tried to put on a brave face for the sake of the family, while her husband and their two daughters found their own way of dealing with the loss. Thinking that a change of scenery would be welcome for everybody, and especially being so close to the one year anniversary of Cameron’s disappearanc...more
I'm torn on this book between a three and a four star. I liked the story overall, yes it's a bit far fetched but we are talking a haunted house tale here, however I didn't actually find in that creepy and I can't put my finger on why.

I got a bit frustrated with the characters, I mean if you were that freaked by the spooky goings on, you would just move, not say that you'll give it a week and see how it goes. I also found it got a bit repetitive at times, and the whole local dialect thing got on...more
Claudia Marcela
Feb 06, 2013 Claudia Marcela rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Personas que gusten de este género.
Shelves: 2013
Este libro realmente me dio mucho miedo. Supongo que eso es algo bueno, considerando que es un libro de terror.

La trama es intrigante y te mantiene atento a cada línea, a cada párrafo que pueda develar más detalles sobre lo que les sucedió a los huérfanos de Crickley Hall; y la espera vale la pena, porque los acontecimientos que se revelan casi al final son escalofriantes. Y eso es lo que tiene de impactante este libro, a pesar que llega un momento en que quieres dejar de leer porque todo es de...more
Robert Butler
I saw this was to be on TV before Christmas and so I programmed by box to record it, and there it sat hidden amongst the backlog of viewing I have to catch up on. Being a James Herbert fan I couldn't watch the programme without reading the book so I repurchased a copy of the book to refresh my memory.

In typical James Herbert fashion this is a ghost story, set in an old house with plenty of history. There is an unsuspecting family and some helpful and hostile locals - all the ingredients of a cla...more
I read this a few years ago but decided to read it again after watching the mini series on itv recently. I won't go into the disappointment of how little like the book the series was.

For me maybe because of it being relatively modern I found this book to be one of Herbert's greatest novels. Gripping from start to finish and truly terrifying I didn't dare read it when I was alone. The story is based around an old house called crickley hall which was used as a home for orphaned refugees during th...more
Zainab Al-tayyeb
The main reason i gave this book a 3 star is because it started in a very slow pace, and the characters inconsistency bothered me a little, first Eve says she feels that Crickley Hall is evil but she doesnt say it outloud because it will sound "crazy" but the next minute you see her admitting that she has some telepathic power that links her to her son which she doesnt think is "crazy" so that ticked me off a little , other than that after 400 pages of excruciatingly slow series of events where...more
Originally published here:

I love ghost stories. They’re my absolute favorite stories, so I’ve read a lot of them. I have to say that The Secret of Crickley Hall is one of the better ghost stories I’ve read. Next to The Woman in Black and The Shining, it’s one of my absolute favorites.

First of all, the setting, which is absolutely perfect. A small, quaint town, with a rather gruesome (but not too gruesome) history. In 1943, amidst World War II, more than f...more
Well, listened actually - I must have downloaded this during a flurry of downloading "audio horror" last year. Running out of thing to listen to, I started it up but only got about a quarter of the way through it. As much as I love horror writing, as much as it defines my life in fact, I do not seem to be much of a fan of horror at novel length, and more specifically modern horror at novel length. I like short fiction and it's been years since I've read any "newish" horror novel, as there are al...more
Rebecca tedder
633 pages in less than 2 days is a new record for me. Whilst I couldn't wait for the next chapter every time, I did begin to feel sad that it was nearly finished around page 530.

Herbert is currently my favourite author as his pace is sharp and intriging from the beginning right to the last few pages.

I did suss out some of the twists and turns and I LOVED the backdrop for this book. Having spent a week in Somerset and crossing over the border into North Devon last week, this is evidently based o...more
Interesting plot, writing good...but way, way too long. I feel as though I was reading this book forever! I might have been better off watching the TV series. There are some books where many chapters make for a fast paced and exciting story. In this case there are far too many chapters that could just be omitted. I recognize that James Herbert is considered to be a master at writing horror, but this one just didn’t do too much for me when it comes to the fright department. Perhaps I would have e...more
David Roberts
I am reviewing the horror novel The Secret Of Crickley Hall by James Herbert which is a very good story which I bought at a car boot sale. This book was published in 2006 and is one of James's better novels. It's a haunted house drama with a reluctant family made to live in the haunted house for the sake of the father's job. There are 2 children who were allegedly left on low lying ground near the house during a flood and subsequently drowned. The mother had to go in a nursing home and won't spe...more
Angela Crawford
Would you stay in a haunted house for more than one night?

Would you live in a place where ghostly things keep happening? Where a cellar door you know you locked the night before is always open the following morning? Where hushed whimpering is heard? Where white shadows steal through the darkness? Where the presence of evil is all around you?

Would you? Should you?

The Caleighs did, but they had their reasons. They should have known better though. As the terror mounts, they begin to regret their de...more
I bought this book just because I wanted to read a good old story about a Haunted House - Simple as that. Just something that would creep me out slightly, but still have a good storyline. I certainly wasn't disappointed on either count; this is a terrific read!
Other than some of Stephen King's best works, it's right up there with the best of the horror genre.
James Herbert sticks to what he does best; creating a genuinely creepy and atmospheric story. Right from the off, the reader is introduced...more
Megan Jones
For me 'The Secret Of Crickley Hall had everything' a spooky old house, secrets from the past, a tragedy in the present, mysterious characters as well as the ghosts and hauntings that were all thrown in to make this a fantastic read. Herbert sets the atmosphere wonderfully creating a sense of impending doom and really making you feel that this house is really haunted and to be spooked by the goings on that the characters go through. The Caleigh family is trying to move on from the disappearance...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Boring book. 21 116 Mar 10, 2014 05:22AM  
Lush Library: The Secret of Crickley Hall 2 10 Nov 25, 2012 12:26PM  
Goodreads Librari...: The Secret of Crickley Hall: 978 0 7653 2888 5 2 22 Jul 03, 2012 11:12AM  
  • Naomi's Room
  • The Unseen
  • House of Echoes
  • Candlenight
  • Prophecy
  • The Mammoth Book of Haunted House Stories
  • Midnight's Lair
  • Banquet For the Damned
  • The Guardians
  • The Waiting Room
  • The Hunting Ground
  • Audrey's Door
  • Breeding Ground
  • The Dwelling
  • The Small Hand: A Ghost Story
  • The Manitou (Manitou, Book 1)
  • The Drowning Pool
James Herbert was Britain's number one bestselling writer (a position he held ever since publication of his first novel) and one of the world's top writers of thriller/horror fiction.

He was one of our greatest popular novelists, whose books are sold in thirty-three other languages, including Russian and Chinese. Widely imitated and hugely influential, his nineteen novels have sold more than forty...more
More about James Herbert...
The Fog The Rats (Rats, #1) The Dark Haunted (David Ash, #1) Lair (Rats, #2)

Share This Book