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Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story
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Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story (A Ghost Story)

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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  10,810 ratings  ·  1,332 reviews
Twelve-year-old Molly and her ten-year-old brother, Michael, have never liked their seven-year-old stepsister, Heather. Ever since their parents got married, she's made Molly and Michael's life miserable. Now their parents have moved them all to the country to live in a house that used to be a church, with a cemetery in the backyard. If that's not bad enough, Heather start...more
Paperback, 184 pages
Published April 21st 2008 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1986)
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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin SchwartzWait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing HahnThe Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanSomething Wicked This Way Comes by Ray BradburyBehind the Attic Wall by Sylvia Cassedy
Spooky books for Kids
2nd out of 75 books — 70 voters
Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing HahnThe Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren WrightAmong the Hidden by Margaret Peterson HaddixEscaping The Giant Wave by Peg KehretThe Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Iowa Children's Choice Past Winners
1st out of 29 books — 23 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Martha
Sigh...the good ghost stories that somehow passed me by as a kid...well, better late than never! This is a bone-chilling goodie, too. Everything I love in a ghost story: creepy little girls, hidden graves, faces in windows, crumbling ruins in the woods, even a dark and murky pond. Brrrrr!! A bit dated, but none-the-less, a gem of a read right before Halloween.
Mr. Balcoms Class
Read this one aloud to my students again.

Nothing gets the blood chilling like ghost children. Shiver...
MEREDITH :)
Feb 02, 2009 MEREDITH :) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
I loved this book! It was really creepy! I think all of you should read it! ......
Michaeal & Molly have to move to an old church (now a house) with their mom and new stepfather. They are not happy at ALL & will miss all of their friends! Unfourtunatly Molly has to share a room with her new step sister, Heather! She is really rude & creepy. One day Heather wanders off to the graveyard behind the house. She soon creepily comes attached to this one grave in particular. Then one day Heat...more
Angie
I haven't read this book since I was a little girl, but I'm giving it five stars simply because I slept with my light on for a week after reading it!
Michelle
Oh some days don't you wish were twelve again? Well, probably you don't, at least if you were like me. I was awkward and chubby and had all sorts of acne. Puberty is a biotch!

BUT...I remember my love for little gems such as Wait Till Helen Comes. Don't you love ghost stories? I love a ghost story. I love getting a little thrill from being afraid of what may or may not be lurking around the corner or in the dark. Not because I believe in ghosts, mind you. I sort of really scoff at the idea. Most...more
03NicoleV
Title: Wait till Helen comes
Author: Mary Downing Hahn
Year: 2008 Pages: 184

Intended Audience: anyone who loves ghost stories
Main Issue: A little girl brings up a ghost from the grave.

Setting: The sitting at the old church just adds to the creepiness of the story
Description: Molly - 12 years old, oldest child; Michael - 10 years old, loves the outdoors; Heather - 7 years old, has psychopathic problems.

Summary: A family moved into the country in an old church with a graveyard in the backyard. One...more
Zak
Molly and her brother have a stepsister Heather which they don't like. They move to the a church which has a graveyard in the back. Heather finds a grave and starts to talk to imagined friend Helen ... Or is she? Well Heather get killed by Helen? Why does Heather hate her new family? What secret is she keeping? Is Helen real?

I really liked this book for the most part. The writing was great and the plot was pretty good for the most part. At first it's pretty boring but in the last quarter of it i...more
Lauren Munoz
I haven't read this book for almost twenty years, but when my dad came across it and sent it to me, I had to check it out again.

As a child, I found this book terrifying. I remember reading it in bed at night with chills, even though I knew exactly what happened after the first time through.

As an adult, I found the book sort of annoying. The parents act like selfish fools (I would never forgive a stepparent who asked me what kind of little monster I was, for example), and the little girl at the c...more
Jesus
I thought it was great book because there was a lot of tention exciment and thrilling scenes i would reccomend this book to a lot of people. This book is about a family who move their children out of Baltimore for a better life. They move into a church they had three children Heather is the adopted one, Molly, and Michael they didnt like the idea of moving out of Baltimore. Just one day all of the three had their own activities to do during the day michael went out looking for bugs Molly just st...more
Lauren Fidler
this book gave me nightmares as a small child and yet i reread it at least 97 times between the ages of 8 and 13. i think i still own a copy, actually...

re-read: december 3rd, 2011:

i forgot how much i hate heather in this book. yes, it's written in first-person from molly's POV, so, of course, we're supposed to hate heather, but dang! that girl is a witch!

and what's with parents marrying people that their children don't get along with? this plot point probably nagged me as a kid, but now, as a...more
Ibby
Dec 30, 2007 Ibby rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes sort of scary books
Wait Till Helen Comes is a good scary story. I liked it a lot, even though I don't read a lot of scary stuff.

what it's about: a girl and her new younger stepsister move to the countryside, and they fight all the time. the younger stepsister is suddenly drawn in by a tombstone in the graveyard next to their house; the initials on the tombstone matches the little girl's. (sorry, I don't remember what the initials were!)
and so the story continues on as the stepsister uses her ghost friend for REVEN...more
Sydney
it is a good book because it has action and it is really exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sophie
i liked it a lot , but it was scary that is why i kept reading on .
Ricardo
I prayed for a captivating read, and while this book compelled me enough to read to the end, I had major issues. Am I spoiled much-better written ghost stories and children books? Perhaps, but it never did do the trick.

Never do I use reviews to tell you about books, something that could spoil or something you can see already a few clicks away, so let's get to it:

The characters: whiny, annoying, flat. I can understand these in the stepsister. Hahn does a great job in making me hate this little g...more
Alex
The main characther in the story is Molly. Including her brother Michael, her mother, stepsister Heather, and her stepfather. Her mother gets married so they all move in the same home. When they move in, they find out their home was once a church, and they live on a graveyard. Molly and her brother have never got along with Heather because she always gets them in trouble by lying. Heather finds the graveyard very interesting because one the graves has the same initials as her own. The family sta...more
Ryleigh forist
The book wait till Helen comes is a good book because it keeps you wanting to read more. This book is about about a ghost named Helen. Molly & Micheal (main characters) have a step sister named Heather, ( also a main character)& Molly and Micheal hate Heather hates them to.

Helen is a lonely ghost that Heather can see. Helen & Heather end up getting attached to each other.
They become BEST FRIENDS & Molly knows about it. Mollys mother knows that she hates Heather so her mom tells...more
Corrinn
This book was really great, I loved the suspense it kept me in through out the whole book! I got really scared at some parts I could feel Helen in my room as i sat reading it (haha). This book is about Molly and her younger brother Micheal oh and of course Heather their younger step sister. When they move into a new house- with a graveyard in the back- things get a little strange, Heather stars saying weird things like: "just wait, wait till Helen comes you'll be sorry." The two don't believe h...more
Jennifer
I read this book in grade school and it has stuck with me ever since. It it easily one of the scariest books I've read. Perhaps that is because I was extremely susceptible to its horror themes when I was younger, or perhaps it's because a young dead girl wants to coax little girls to their death by drowning them. Either way, this book was a fantastic, scary, edge-or-your-seat read.
Jennifer Lavoie
This book, when I first started it, made me so angry! Heather's actions towards Molly and Michael were something I could understand, having seen something similar first hand from an older step-sibling. However, Dave's reactions towards his daughter and his constant blame of the other kids angered me the most. Even Molly's mom took Heather's side often, and it frustrated me to no end. The story did end on a positive note, and when I found out why Heather acted the way she did, I not only understo...more
Angel Gelique
This is a great mystery/ghost story for pre-teens. It is well-written and very entertaining. There are two siblings, Molly and Michael, who are coping with their mother's remarriage and relocation to a rural area. To add to their distress, they have a new stepsister, Heather, who is mean and cruel and never misses the opportunity to get them in trouble by manipulating her father. When Molly suspects that Heather has befriended a ghost, she does some probing and discovers that her stepsister may...more
Mandy
Another one of Sam's books he's been pushing on me. THe book was published in 1986. Surprised this is the first time I've heard of this author.

So I finished the book last night and I was not a fan. The young girl shows sociopath tendencies throughout the book without any sort of empathy whatesoever for anyone and by the end she is living happily with her blended family? Huh? I realize its a childrens book which explains the happily ever after ending but the young girl scared me and reminded me o...more
Crissy
I choose this book because when I first saw the cover it looked really good because I like ghosts stories they are really interesting. And it looked like a good ghost stories. This book is fiction not real. This takes place in the middle of nowhere and a oldchurch house with a grave in the backyard. The main character is Molly she starts to see Heather do weird things and she talks to someone but nobody is there and Molly thinks something is wrong. I don't know what happens at the end because I...more
Breah G
This book was an amazing book if your into mysterys. The book is about a girl named helen who moved with her fmily out to the country. Were they live there is a semitary in the back yard helen goes out there and speack to a dead person. As helen speaks to the dead person she tells her step sister and brother that this dead girl is going to come and get them and make them pay for picking on her.Then the step sister believes her but the step brother does not believe her he thinks shes lieing and i...more
Julie Decker
Molly has a new stepsister who's driving her up the wall. Heather is a brat and is always trying to get her and her brother Michael in trouble, and she resents the fact that she has to share her father. But even though Molly would really love to be rid of Heather, she can't help but become concerned when she finds out her stepsister is talking to a ghost. This ghost--Helen--promises friendship and a plan to win back her father's attention, but Molly has learned something terrible about the ghost...more
Penny Johnson
The author introduces us to a very real family, struggling to blend together, as so many "step" families do. A very troubled little girl, Heather, has added to the difficulty. In this story written in the first person, Molly admits "There was something about Heather that made me truly uncomfortable. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't even like her, let alone love her as Mom kept urging me to. It was hard to feel pity or anything but dislike for her."

When Heather starts talking about a ghost...more
Ashanti
Have you ever read a book so tedious that you wanted to sleep with a teddy bear? Well I have my recent book called " Wait Till Helen Comes". Its a suspense book. Its about a little girl who has a friend that's a ghost and they have something in common which makes them close friends.

The little girl name is Heather,and the other little girl name is Helen which is a ghost. The reason they are such close friends is because there's a secret between them that no one knows. The secret describes Helen...more
Sally Kruger
Since their father left, life has changed for Molly and Michael, and things are about to get even more crazy. Their mother and step-father have decided to move the family to the country. Their new home is an old, countryside church that will be turned into an art studio for their parents. Another change is the addition of Heather, a six year old step-sister.

Molly is uncomfortable in her new surroundings. Not only will she be sharing a room with Heather who is unpleasant at best, but Molly also l...more
Julia Brumfield
I have been holding off on this book and whether I wanted to read it or not since I don't like ghost stories/horror stories. Eventually I gave in reading it since it is one of the shortest books that I had in my reading pile while it turned to be a good surprise for me.

The book wasn't that very scary to me (I wonder if I would have had a different response as a younger) child. Instead I was captivated by the plotline and the emotions that the author was able to make me face again.

How many of...more
Deborah Walker
The setting took place in a church with a cemetery in the backyard. The characters lived there for a summer home. It was an old church, and it was a little desolated in the area, mostly just with no people or houses. The church was so old it was there since, about, the 1800's.
So, there is a mom and dad, a daughter named Molly, she is twelve years old, she likes to eras and she gets scared very easily. Next, is the youngest and only son, Michael. He is 10 years old he loves to explore and catc...more
Maddip
“Wait Till Helen Comes” by Mary Downing Hahn is a suspenseful ghost story that I couldn’t put down. Molly and her younger brother Michael have never gotten along with their seven-year-old step-sister, Heather. Now that Dave and Jean, Molly’s mother and stepfather, moved the family from Baltimore to a church in a small town. Heather finds a cemetery in the woods behind the old church and everyone btu Molly finds the cemetery interesting. Molly is bothered by having dead people in her backyard (wh...more
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Horror 3 13 Sep 04, 2014 05:10PM  
Are you looking for a good thriller? 5 20 Feb 03, 2014 09:06PM  
Why this was a wonderful book? 19 61 Oct 15, 2013 04:53PM  
fiction 3 10 Oct 04, 2013 06:38AM  
Would you have saved Heather? 3 14 Aug 28, 2013 07:01PM  
Goodreads Librari...: page number is incorrect 9 178 Aug 30, 2012 12:52PM  
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10006
I grew up in a small shingled house down at the end of Guilford Road in College Park, Maryland. Our block was loaded with kids my age. We spent hours outdoors playing "Kick the Can" and "Mother, May I" as well as cowboy and outlaw games that usually ended in quarrels about who shot whom. In the summer, we went on day long expeditions into forbidden territory -- the woods on the other side of the t...more
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