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A Winter Haunting (Seasons of Horror #3)

3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  4,994 Ratings  ·  369 Reviews
A once-respected college professor and novelist, Dale Stewart has sabotaged his career and his marriage -- and now darkness is closing in on him. In the last hours of Halloween he has returned to the dying town of Elm Haven, his boyhood home, where he hopes to find peace in isolation. But moving into a long-deserted farmhouse on the far outskirts of town -- the one-time re ...more
Paperback, 371 pages
Published December 31st 2002 by HarperTorch (first published 2002)
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Mary Kean There is another is the third book it is the 3rd in a series although some people seem to be ignorant of this fact. It is book 3 of the Seasons of…moreThere is another is the third book it is the 3rd in a series although some people seem to be ignorant of this fact. It is book 3 of the Seasons of Horror Trilogy the second book is Children of Night.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Oct 08, 2012 karen rated it liked it

oh my god thank you dan simmons!


oh, dan simmons, i wish you had dedicated the terror to me instead of this one. spooky month is not going as well as i had hoped...

this is fine. it is a very straightforward, classic-feeling horror novel,like an early stephen king or something, and i still think simmons is a good writer, but this one just didn't thrill me the way the terror did.

it is at once a psychological horror novel and a t
Oct 27, 2011 Maciek rated it really liked it
This was a really pleasant surprise. As I was not extremely impressed with Summer of Night, I didn't exactly rush to read A Winter's Haunting, which was said to be a sequel.

I wish I didn't, as it's not a direct sequel, only uses certain events and characters from the first novel. It's an excellent tale in its own right: Dale Stewart, one of the characters from SON, returns to the town where he grew up. After a failed marriage and a sucicide attempt, he decides to finish writing his novel. He fee
Thomas Strömquist
A really enjoyable follow-up to the brilliant Summer of Night! We revisit some characters from that summer of 1960 at a much later date - however, I'm pretty sure there's no problem at all reading this one stand-alone. That said, it must be noted that having read the first book really adds a dimension as you get a fuller and quite vivid picture of the characters of the stories. As this is a ghost - or at least a mystery - story, I won't be writing about any synopsis as to not reveal anything. It ...more
Something's waiting for me at Duane McBride's old family farmhouse......

When the haunted 52 year old Professor Dale Stewart decides to return to his childhood stomping ground to revisit the inner demons of his past (by writing a novel) and expunge the errors of his ways, he encounters more than he bargained for with spirits from beyond as well as some pretty nasty humanoid beings.

While satisfyingly creepy, I did not find this novel truly scary like The Terror, but did like the way it was present

This book is appealing in so many ways: The plot twists and turns with truly frightening moments and the suspense will keep you reading. Whenever I thought I figured someone out or knew what was going on, I was taken by surprise in where the story turned. The tension did not let up, although there was some comedic relief! I LOVED the ending.

I will add to my review later :)
Edward Lorn
2.5 stars rounded up.

I didn't like this one as much as my buddy Thomas, but I enjoyed it enough to finish it. Toward the end I realized I just didn't care about the main character. Reading about Dale Stewart as a kid in Summer of Night was big fun. But the grown-up version is nowhere near as entertaining. I did appreciate the twists, but overall, I am left with a numbing feeling of meh.

A Winter Haunting is not a direct sequel to Summer of Night, meaning it does not continue that storyline, but
Dale Stewart, fresh from a suicide attempt and heavily medicated, returns to his home town near Peoria to work on a book while living in an old farmhouse where as a child one of his friends died in a farming accident. The dead boy is in fact narrator of some chapters. The house comes alive at night and spooky things go bump, buMP, BUMP; and the audio reader Bronson Pinchot does a wonderful job of making us a little creeped out and pleasantly entertained all at once. Big black dogs (aka hellhound ...more
Rich Stoehr
May 10, 2010 Rich Stoehr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think that Stephen King tried to do this in "It," and I think he and Peter Straub tried it again in "Black House." Whether this is true or not, neither book succeeds in the way that "A Winter Haunting" succeeds. Here, Simmons gives us what we so rarely see in horror fiction - the psychological and emotional aftermath of a horrific experience.

Simmons also takes the standard genre elements and turns them on their collective head, all the while telling a good story that keeps you reading. "A Wint
Orbi Alter
Da je netko drugi napisao ovakvu knjigu, mozda bih i pomislila da je nista poseban zanrovski roman, ali ono okej... Ali kad ga Simmons potpisuje i kad je jos k tome nastavak knjige koja je toliko fenomenalna da me jos uvijek drzi pod dojmom, pa malo zaljubljeno uzdisem na spomen nekog lika/situacije iz prethodne knjige - onda je to potpuni promasaj. Naracija ide u tri pravca: pricu prica ubijeno dijete iz prve knjige koje mi je bilo najsimpaticniji lik i on prica o dogadajima 40 godina kasnije i ...more
Dec 25, 2016 Mindi rated it it was amazing
So I recently read Summer of Night, and after I finished I was excited to find out that there a couple of novels that follow up on the some of the characters from that book.

A Winter Haunting is mainly about Dale Stewart, one of the main characters in SON, but it pretty much at least mentions every important character from the first novel. It is even partially narrated by one of the other characters, and I loved those parts of this story.

The book takes place 40 years after the events in SON, wi
Feb 18, 2013 Bandit rated it really liked it
Warning...this review may contain minor spoilers for those who have not read Summer of Night. Minor really, nothing that the 2011 edition of Summer of Night's intro doesn't contain, but still...reader beware.
Also, one really should not be reading this book before Summer of Night. Also, pretty much any genre fan should read Summer of Night. This novel is not a must read for everyone, but any fan of Summer of Night would enjoy it, if only just to revisit the beloved characters of the first book. A
Aug 17, 2014 Peter rated it really liked it
On a Halloween night, Dale is returning to his dying childhood town of Elm Haven, Illinois. Dale is a survivor of an unhappy marriage, that lead to divorce and a fail attempt to have an affair with one of his students. Dale also failed at trying to kill himself, the gun jammed. With all his problems, Dales is being treated for server depression. Dale is taking a sabbatical from the college that he is teaching at. Dale is also a writer and is looking for the right environment to write his new boo ...more
Eric Liddle
Feb 18, 2012 Eric Liddle rated it it was amazing
Loved it. Was actually compelled to write my first review of a book ever when I closed it earlier today. Is it "Summer of Night"? Nope. I thoroughly enjoyed that book as well, but for different reasons. The prequel was nostalgic, adventurous, and scarier with a wide-eyed innocence. In this one, Simmons strips off any sentimentality (from this story or "Summer"). Duane, the narrator now actually "shakes his head" at the wistfulness of the first story--which is interesting given what we find out o ...more
Aug 21, 2008 Robert rated it liked it
It turns out that this book is the sequel to a book, Summer of Night, that I've never read. It doesn't seem to matter much; I understood and liked it anyway.

It's a ghost story and a story about a man who has become self-destructive; an easy and entertaining read. It doesn't have the ambition of many Simmons novels, but it does have a few red herrings to keep you guessing about what is going on, as the past literally comes back to haunt the protagonist when he returns to his home-town and spends
Oct 13, 2010 Melissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, horror, 2016
I read this when it was first published and had no idea it was a sequel. A few years ago, I read the first book, Summer of Night, and looooooved it. Finally, I got around to re-reading (listening) to A Winter Haunting and now I am familiar with the characters and their history. So, even better this time around. I wish the book could've gone on and on because it was just so darn creepy and held my attention.
Oct 11, 2015 Chuck rated it really liked it

This is was a bit of a slow burn, but it was definitely good. Dan Simmons is a total pro.
Nov 01, 2013 Kathrina rated it liked it
Shelves: horror-thriller
Maybe more of a 2-star "it was ok", but I can't bear to give Dan Simmons anything less than a 3.
It started out gang-busters -- unusual narrative perspective, spooky, portentous backstory. Then we meet Clare Two Hearts, and I'm pissed as hell to be spending time on her. And Duane's voice keeps shouldering in on the narrative -- clever in the beginning, disruptive by the middle. I get that device, in the end it makes a kind of sense, but Clare can go hang. If she's a red herring, too many words a
Apr 23, 2014 Randee rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Dan Simmons is one of my favorite authors. I've been reading his work for many years and I have enjoyed every book. This is another story set in Elm Haven, Illinois with some cross over characters from a previous book, "Summer of Night." You needn't read the first to enjoy the second. "Summer of Night" takes place several decades previously when the storyline featured children. The crossover characters in "A Winter Haunting" are now in their 40's. Mr. Simmons once lived in southern Illinois wher ...more
I did not read the first book but this was a very creepy book all by itself. Dale Stewart is a college professor whose marriage is almost non-existent and has lost his job. He thinks that returning to his home town to discover where his lost memories from the summer of his eleventh year, maybe just the thing he needs to help him get things straight in his head. Upon his return on Halloween night to Elm Haven he feels that things aren't quite right but he can't put his finger on what. Soon he enc ...more
Timothy Ward
Apr 16, 2017 Timothy Ward rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, audiobooks, 2017
One of my favorite horror books was Summer of Night by Dan Simmons. This one didn't quite reach that level because what I loved about Summer of Night was the lost innocence of the kids and their neighborhood bike gang unraveling the mystery of the ghosts in town, and this book, while using some of the same characters (was it only one?), did not elicit the same feel. Our one remaining character is in his forties, is depressed following a divorce and end of the affair that caused it, and is strugg ...more
Aug 27, 2016 Cody rated it really liked it
Shelves: dan-simmons
Dan Simmons returns to the territory of his classic novel Summer of Night in its sequel, A Winter Haunting. Taking place almost forty years after the events of its predecessor, Haunting sees Dale Stewart -- a recently divorced and suicidal college professor/author -- return to the small town of Elm Haven and the memories from childhood it holds for him. He rents the home of a childhood friend for nine months, hoping to finish his latest novel and get a grip on his post-marriage life.

From the st
Mar 30, 2011 Erin rated it really liked it
My advice: Read Summer of Night first.
(Note- This isn't a proper review, just a word about reading order.)

I've heard A Winter Haunting described several ways: as a direct sequel to Summer of Night, as a loose sequel, and as a stand-alone novel whose characters overlap with SoN and Children of the Night. Since I particularly love haunted house tales and AWH was the only one available for Kindle*, I was tempted to skip SoN and read this one first. I'm so glad I didn't.

I finished SoN a few days ago
Chris Wolak
Oct 27, 2012 Chris Wolak rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
This is a solid horror story. Part psychological, part supernatural. It's my first Dan Simmons novel and I'm told it isn't his best, but I enjoyed it. Got creeped out at times. Liked all the literary references. Kept me guessing and worrying about what was going to happen next. Made me happy I don't live alone. Even after finishing it I find myself thinking about its twists and turns.

A Winter Haunting is the second horror novel in a row that I've read that goes beyond just tipping its hat to He
Jan 06, 2009 Wendy rated it it was ok
Well, I decided to read Dan Simmons "A Winter Haunting" because I'm a big Stephen King fan, and I want to branch out into other horror authors. I don't think Dan Simmons is what I'm looking for, though. My big problem with the book is that his writing style is so self-conscious and affected. Like the way he always calls the character Clare: "Clare Hart (Clare Two Hearts)" as if we don't remember 5 pages ago when he wrote that she had changed her name from Clare Two Hearts to Clare Hart. Even in ...more
Sep 11, 2015 Joyce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, horror, un
So glad to find this on audio--finally--and wonderfully read by Bronson Pinchot in a low-key Midwestern voice that underlines the growing horror. This is a sequel to Summer of Night (which I hope to listen to on audio one day soon), but you don't need to have read that to appreciate this story. We know we're in trouble when the opening words are from a kid who died 40 years earlier! Duane was killed by a rampaging tractor (I think--farm equipment in any case) in SON, but he introduces us to his ...more
Apr 24, 2012 Mark rated it it was amazing
Wow. I rarely write reviews but I felt the need to review this one. Dan Simmons is one of my favorite authors. I was first introduced to his writing with Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion. Both books were outstanding and while I read and enjoyed Endymion and the Rise of Endymion they just didn't have the magic that the first two in the series had. But now I'm getting off the subject of the review.

I first read Summer of Night which was a very entertaining book. It reminded me of the movie The San
Apr 27, 2009 Nick rated it it was ok
Shelves: gothic
Reading this book brings to an end a month-long (which has turned into two weeks over a month) attempt to catch up on some Gothics, both rereads and contemporary. As such, I feel rather nostalgic about the book, and I am probably prone to rate it higher than I normally would. "A Winter Haunting" is a sequel to Simmons's "Summer of Night" but it's forty years later and therefore not the story of little boys any more, and hence not a rambling trip down a nostalgic memeory lane to when times were s ...more
I read this in the same way my mum watches Spanish soap operas, constantly cussing at the protagonist and telling them not to do that, to go the other way, make the other decision, to even abandoning it and saying I'm done with it, only to pick it back up thirty minutes later. The protagonist, Professor Dale Stewart, on his much needed sabbatical decides to visit his hometown where his bestfriend, Duane, died in a freak accident. Not only does he visit Elm Haven, but he rents Duane's old family ...more
Dec 07, 2013 Angie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: horror, paranormal, ghosts
Recommended to Angie by: it was the sequel to another book
This is the sequel to Summer of Night,but out of all the kids it only has Dale in it , although Duane is in the book as well, as a sort of voice in his head.

Even though i feel it isn't as good as the first it still deserves 5stars. Dale is staying at Duane s olds farm house and soon starts to see people from 40 years ago. It's a very creepy book and at one point it looked like it was following the horror film route of big dinner, too much booze, it's dark out, so it's a good idea to open up the
Kevin Groosalugg
Feb 07, 2012 Kevin Groosalugg rated it it was amazing
This is the second thing I've read by Dan Simmons and I love them both. He is a very talented writer, descriptive, ironic, good use of foreshadowing... This is the story of a man who has lost everything, so he decides to return to the town where he grew up 40 years ago and write a story about the summer of 1960, and the death of his 11 year old friend. He isn't prepared for what he finds there. It's a simple ghost story, but so well written it stands out above the rest. This is actually the segu ...more
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Horror Aficionados : A Winter Haunting by Dan Simmons 34 38 Feb 05, 2017 09:36AM  
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Madison Mega-Mara...: A Winter Haunting 1 6 Mar 01, 2012 03:05PM  
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Dan Simmons grew up in various cities and small towns in the Midwest, including Brimfield, Illinois, which was the source of his fictional "Elm Haven" in 1991's SUMMER OF NIGHT and 2002's A WINTER HAUNTING. Dan received a B.A. in English from Wabash College in 1970, winning a national Phi Beta Kappa Award during his senior year for excellence in fiction, journalism and art.

Dan received his Master
More about Dan Simmons...

Other Books in the Series

Seasons of Horror (3 books)
  • Summer of Night
  • Children of the Night

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“... all good things beyond sleep come precisely because we defy gravity while we live.” 16 likes
“What, after all, is more real to us than the geography of our childhoods?” 10 likes
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