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A Haunted Love Story: The Ghosts of the Allen House
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A Haunted Love Story: The Ghosts of the Allen House

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  537 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
When Mark Spencer and his family moved into the beautiful old Allen House in Monticello, Arkansas, they were aware of its notorious reputation for being haunted. According to local lore, the troubled spirit of society belle Ladell Allen, who had mysteriously committed suicide in the master bedroom in 1948, still roamed the grand historic mansion. Yet, Mark remained ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 8th 2012 by Llewellyn Publications (first published January 1st 2012)
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Oct 06, 2012 Erin rated it really liked it
I liked this book. While it was not packed with anecdotes of haunting activity, it did due diligence to the happenings in the house. However, the book focused mainly on the story behind the haunting, and that made it a fascinating read. Some of the reviews on this site complain about this, but as an avid reader of ghost stories, true and otherwise, I found it refreshing. So many books in this genre rely on the technology of ghost-hunting to tell their tales, resulting in stories that read more ...more
Jul 03, 2016 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
Deserves 5 stars for sure.
I truly enjoyed this book. Very interesting. This is the true story of The Allen House in Arkansas. Its full of the kind of thing I wish I could do with my own Victorian home. Pulling up boards and finding hidden stash or treasures from decades before. Finding out who lived in the home previously, what was the home like back then when all things were new.

A couple move into an old Victorian, the home is known on one paranormal list as the MOST HAUNTED HOUSE IN AMERICA. T
Sep 18, 2014 Ionia rated it liked it
Me thinketh thou doth protest too much--about people wanting to see your house and find out if it is really haunted. What an intrusion. Wait we could do ghost tours! Opinion stated. Okay, I'm done. Now on to the review.

Mark Spencer has written an interesting book with a lot of answers to questions the locals of Monticello, Arkansas have harboured for years. There is no doubt that many of the facts he relayed have quieted curious minds in the area.

I didn't think this was a bad book at all. I ap
Jul 13, 2012 Carolyn rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Ghost Tour fans.
Awful, simply awful. The only good parts of the book were the touching letters that were "found" by the author. I don't believe a jot of the story. It was contrived around the letters written by the original owners of the house.

The book is an advertisement for the tours the author and his wife offer to the public. Throughout the book, the reader is told that people are constantly arriving at his house to see inside. He complains about the intrusion and insists that this is a private residence. I
Nov 07, 2013 Amy added it
Shelves: 2013, ad-paranormal
What caught my eye about this book is the fact that the author is a dean at an Arkansas university. This lends it a little more credibility than your run-of-the-mill "true" ghost story, although I suppose that being in academia doesn't preclude him from making stuff up. He seemed pretty earnest, though, so I'm inclined to believe that he was reporting on events that he (or his family) really did experience. But what really kept my attention was the rich retelling of the history of the family ...more
Paul Lunger
May 01, 2012 Paul Lunger rated it really liked it
Mark Spencer's "A Haunted Love Story: The Ghosts of the Allen House" is not quite your typical horror/ghost story. The tale is part autobiographical & part non-fiction as he explores the history of the famous Allen House in Monticello, Arkansas which he himself has lived in for the past 5 years. There is a nice mixture of the struggles he had obtaining the house & also of trying to fend off people who wanted to visit this haunted residence. However, the gem in the tale is the story that ...more
Sep 24, 2014 ☺Trish rated it really liked it
A Haunted Love Story: The Ghosts of the Allen House is a well-written, fast-paced read. I was already familiar with the basics of the Allen house "haunting" from watching a television show a couple of years ago but really appreciated the more in-depth historical research done by author Mark Spencer (a university professor and current owner of the Allen house).
I especially enjoyed the inclusion of the correspondence of Ladell Allen Bonner (who attempted suicide shortly after Christmas 1948 and d
Feb 13, 2012 Mel rated it it was ok
I was disappointed in this book, mostly because it wasn't what I was expecting. I was expecting a drama-filled ghost story with a scandalous love story revealed. Instead it was a dry auto-biography of Mark Spencer's time owning the Allen House and the very mild ghost encounters he has while living there (for 1/2 the book he's in denial that his house is actually haunted). Not horrible, but not very entertaining either.
Dec 25, 2012 D. rated it it was ok
This book was my sacrificial lamb. I just read the most amazing, beautifully written piece of literature (A Winter's Tale) and I knew whatever I read next would pale in comparison. Since the paranormal is my guilty pleasure and I didn't have high expectations I went with this. It was ok. I finished it. Quick, amusing read if you're intrigued by the supernatural.
Jan 22, 2013 Shari rated it it was ok
This book seemed extremely fake. The only thing that seemed real were the letters the author found. He seemed to fill in the blanks as to what he thought happened. It was an ok book. Very sad book but I didn't feel as if I could connect to the characters. The letters were interesting but just not enough to give this book a better rating.
Jul 11, 2012 Jessica rated it liked it
When I found this book in the nonfiction section of the library, I immediately picked it up out of curiosity and skepticism. Hauntings, ghosts, and a super creepy house on the cover? This has got to be a joke.

But Mark Spencer does a brilliant job pulling the reader into his story and establishing trust with his honest voice. Only after explaining how he and his wife came to own the house does he begin to recount stories of weird sightings. The entire family can vouch for the fact that they saw a
Book of Secrets ☕
Sep 11, 2014 Book of Secrets ☕ rated it liked it
I love Arkansas, and I love ghost stories, so when I saw this book I just had to read it. (Bear in mind that this is nonfiction!) The author, Mark Spencer, and his wife Rebecca bought the infamous Allen House in Monticello, Arkansas, knowing that it was rumored to be haunted. Mark, especially, never believed the rumors until they had lived there for a year, and he couldn't come up with reasonable explanations for the many odd occurrences in the house.

The book covers the Spencer family's paranorm
Linda Brue
Sep 04, 2015 Linda Brue rated it really liked it
Mark Spencer, his wife, Rebecca, and their three children moved into the Allen House in Monticello, Arkansas in 2007. Mark could definitely be termed a skeptic about all things paranormal, but gradually even he ran out of excuses and explanations for the happenings in the house. Drawn into the history of the famously "haunted" house, Mark & Rebecca became well-versed in the history of the family that built and so loved the house. While to date Mark has not found the money supposedly hidden ...more
Oct 10, 2013 Tamara rated it it was amazing
Anyone in Southeastern Arkansas knows about the Allen House and the ghost, Ladell. This book is about the family who moved into the old house and discovered Ladell's story, the reason behind her suicide after 50+ years.

As a person who has visited the Allen House on numerous occasions, I can say that this does a great job at describing the journey the Spencer family takes in purchasing the house and trying to not only restore it to its former glory, but provide Ladell with some relief at finally
Jul 19, 2012 Tanya rated it liked it
This ghost story involves tragedy, as most ghost stories do, and lost love. The main attraction is Ladell, who died in the house. Half the story is about the owners and how they acquired the home, and the other half is about Ladell, her tragic love story and how she died. I most enjoyed reading about Ladell and wish the owner would have published more of her letters in the book. It is not often that there is physical evidence left behind that allows you to feel much more connected to the real ...more
Theresa Kauffman
Apr 25, 2012 Theresa Kauffman rated it it was amazing
I didn't realize this book was non-fiction when I borrowed it from the library. I'm not usually a fan of this type of non-fiction, but was easily pulled in with the honesty in which the author wrote this book. It is not just full of unexplained happenings! There is a wonderful history of the house, the people who lived in the house before left lots of trinkets and information hidden. Amazing story to unfold, and always makes me wish to find such things in my house....just without the ghosts ...more
Sep 08, 2013 Cheryl rated it it was ok
The beginning the of this book is very interesting, concerning the initial haunting and all they discover in the house. Then, after discovering some letters, the author decides to put together a whole love story fabricating and adding to what he "assumes" is missing in the letters. Thats when he lost me. He could be right as to how the love affair went, but he also could be adding feelings etc that were not there. How would anyone know. It was ok.
Jan 27, 2014 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had this book on my Kindle for a while before reading it, but one day I caught A Haunting on TV and it was about the Allen House. I really liked the story, but I'm not quite sure how much I believe. The story of Ladell was my favorite part of the book. If you want a spooky haunted house story though that is not what this is. It is more of a history of the house than the ghosts that "live" there.
Jan 27, 2012 Mitzi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: paranormal
Very well written book. I enjoyed the story about the house, the family that live there. I really enjoyed the love story of Ladell and her life. It helps out immensely that I'm going to investigate it this weekend and looking so forward to it!!! Must read if you like ghosts, paranormal & forgotten loves.
Sep 06, 2016 Janice rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys a good true ghost story
I did not know what to expect when I read true ghost stories,some are great others not so great. This story was great, it combined the present with the past seamlessly. What the family that lives in the house now overcame living with the spirits,and finding out the history of the house was very interesting and sad. A great story !
Lady-erin Mason
Mar 12, 2014 Lady-erin Mason rated it really liked it
I really liked this story. It's written from the perspective of the home-owner of a haunted house and their experiences of ghostly activity in the house. I enjoyed the sharing of the history of the home and the letters discovered that shed light on some of the activity. It was well written and flowed nicely.
William Hall
Nov 03, 2013 William Hall rated it it was amazing
Shelves: paranormal
I enjoyed this one a lot - it's very different and is a mystery of discovery as the current family searches for information surrounding the Allen house. The story is woven by the amazing find of overy 80 love letters saved by the focal lady of the story. So it's a mystery, a love story, and a true haunting all in one.
May 05, 2012 Sherry rated it really liked it
Currently reading this wonderful book that is set in my hometown Of Monticello Arkansas.Wonderful History of the Allen Family. Ladell Allen Bonner committed suicide and No one knew what her reason was until Spencer family moves in and Mark the owner is lead to a spot in the attic where he recover over 8o pieces of mail that Ladell hid .
Nov 02, 2012 Gina rated it really liked it
I always dreamt that something like this would happen to me! Very cool. The house looks very intriguing! Im so intrigued by the old house of the south and the history behind them. How fun to write a book and be one of the main characters! Ghosts stories are always funner to read when they are real and have a somewhat good ending.
Aug 01, 2012 Wendy rated it really liked it
I really liked this novel. Also living in a haunted home, I could relate to much of the story. We have had many paranormal investigators in our home and have some pretty weird EVPs, some pretty strange K2 readings and many personal experiences. Definitely a keeper!
Ezzy G. Languzzi
Feb 04, 2012 Ezzy G. Languzzi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2012
I cracked this one open yesterday to read the first chapter and get a feel for the writing and storyline and was not able to extricate myself from it. Excellent storytelling. It's as creepy as it is romantic and tragic. Based on real events. You wouldn't catch me dead in the Allen House.
Leslie ( Cerridwen)
Jul 17, 2012 Leslie ( Cerridwen) rated it really liked it

This was the best non fiction book about a haunted house I have read. It kept you intrigued with the mystery of the story and was able to keep you informed with historical facts about the homes previous owners.
May 28, 2012 Beth rated it it was amazing
This book details the haunting of the Allen House in Monticello, Arkansas. I found it fascinating, especially given its location, which isn't too far from me. This was a really quick read and perfect for reading at the pool/beach.
Rebecca McKeown
Jun 15, 2012 Rebecca McKeown rated it really liked it
A quick, entertaining read. I loved learning the history of the house and the Allen family. A great historical ghost story.
Jan 12, 2013 Beth rated it liked it
Very interesting book. I appreciated the research the author did into the background and history of those who previously lived and died in his house
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In addition to his new novel, Ghost Walking, Mark Spencer is the author of the novels Love and Reruns in Adams County, The Weary Motel, A Haunted Love Story, and The Masked Demon, as well as the short-story collections Wedlock and Trespassers and a history book, Images of America: Monticello.

His work has received the Faulkner Society Faulkner Award, the Omaha Prize for the Novel, The Bradshaw Book
More about Mark Spencer...

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