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Gallows Hill

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3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,206 Ratings  ·  149 Reviews
Alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here

Role-playing takes on a terrifying cast when 17-year-old Sarah, who is posing as a fortune-teller for a school fair, begins to see actual visions that can predict the future. Frightened, the other students brand her a witch, setting off a chain of events that mirror the centuries-old Salem witch trials in more ways than one.
Mass Market Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 8th 1998 by Laurel Leaf (first published April 7th 1997)
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Best of the Salem Witch Trials
15th out of 60 books — 157 voters
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DCPL's Teen Horror Booklist
20th out of 79 books — 68 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Inoli
Very good story and very well told. My second Lois Duncan and I think I'm going to make a habit of her for a while. I very much enjoyed the style of her writing as well as the story.

It's not complex or challenging to read but there wasn't a second during which it failed to hold high interest for me. I'm very fond of stories that have their origins in the Salem witch trials and speculate on reality and blur the line between what may or may not be true. Or extend the Salem experience across time
...more
Christina
Apr 29, 2016 Christina rated it it was amazing
read : can't remember lol middle school sometime
re-read : September 2015
Rachel Holland
It's strange when you remember a movie you once saw, remembering vivid scenes perfectly in your head; so you know the movie exists for sure, but cannot for the life of yourself remember what it was called.
So then you google keywords, doing a little searching, only to find that what you remembered as a movie is actually a book you once read and no movie of it exists. And you have the revelation that you did indeed read this book, and you suddenly remember that the book was so good that you though
...more
Stephen
Jan 12, 2016 Stephen rated it it was amazing
Shelves:
Sarah Zoltanne is having to become forced to move from California to Missouri with her mother and her mother's boy friend. even though it was a new experience, Sarah gets picked to be a fortune teller at a school event. Sarah has no idea what she is now in for or is about to experience. When Sarah begins to tell people what their fortunes are they turn out to become real causing Sarah to freak out a little bit. Sarah then starts to have freaky dreams about the Salem witch trials and starts to b ...more
Kelly Hager
Sep 14, 2015 Kelly Hager rated it really liked it
This is one of the Lois Duncan books that I somehow missed and believe me, I am kicking myself for this.

This is one of her most fun books and I was also completely tense the whole time reading it. (It doesn't help that the creepy town that Sarah and her mom moved to is basically one of those places where you know everyone knows something that you don't, and where any sort of mistake could have dire consequences.)

While reading it, I was expecting Sarah to be ostracized (the town and school are f
...more
Rodaw
Jan 24, 2015 Rodaw rated it liked it
Zajímavá knížka :)) Doporučila bych ji spíš teenagerům, pro mě byla docela dost předvídatelná... ale čtení jsem si užila, líbí se mi autorčin styl psaní :)
Více v mé videorecenzi: http://knihankov.blogspot.cz/2014/08/...
Cindy
Oct 24, 2015 Cindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror-challenge
This definitely reads like a YA novel (no cussing, stereotypical adults, etc) but for the most part it is an engaging plot. Sarah has been thrust into small town Missouri in her senior year of high school. Her mom moved them from California to be with a soon-to-be-divorced Ted. Sarah is set up as a fortune teller/Gypsy at the school carnival and then the creepy stuff starts. The author manages to include the Salem witch trials, reincarnation, and past life regression into the theme. I'm sure tha ...more
Diego
Jan 07, 2012 Diego rated it it was ok
The author of 'Stranger With My Face' has done nothing to make me like her anymore, in fact she's made me become weary of her novels.
In 'Gallows Hill' we are introduced to Sarah Zoltanne, who moves into a small conservative town named Pine Crest. After many terribly uninspired incidents, she is accused of being a witch.
Let me start off by saying the book was a mess. Plot ideas were everywhere, characters were unreal and dull, and karma and reincarnation themes were written badly. The novel see
...more
Angel
Oct 17, 2015 Angel rated it really liked it
After realizing the TV movie I've Been Waiting For You was based on a book, I knew I had to get my hands on it. I remember watching the movie when it aired somewhere around '97 and I enjoyed it. However, after reading Gallows Hill, I was a little disappointed in the fact that the movie didn't stick to the original story. It was completely different from what I was expecting and that's not a bad thing.

I liked that fact that there were more scenes in the book involving the Salem witches. Lois Dun
...more
Vicki Krivak
Feb 24, 2011 Vicki Krivak rated it liked it
This story starts with an unusual paperweight that an old woman bought at a shop. She looked into it and when she died she had all of her affairs in order. Now it falls into the hands of her granddaughter, Sarah. Sarah saw a reflection of a yellow dress in her mothers mirror before she bought it. She saw Charlie fall down the stairs before it happend. Is Sarah a witch? Or is she just losing her mind?
This book compliments the extreme suspense and style that Lois Duncan posseses. The story is fant
...more
Terri
Sarah moves from Ventura CA to a small Missouri town with her mother to live with her mom's new boyfriend. It is not a friendly town and when Sarah is approached by the class President to do a fortune-telling act at the school's big festival, she allows herself to be talked into it. Only sometimes she really does see things in the crystal paperweight that was her grandmother's. And this town is conservative and turns against her, only it seems to all be related to The Salem Witch Trials and Karm ...more
Juniper Shore
Sep 08, 2015 Juniper Shore rated it did not like it
Lois Duncan occupies an odd position in young adult literature. She writes thrillers featuring older teens (think age 18-19) but the target audience is much younger (maybe 13-14). We end up with books that feature murders and hints of other dark subjects, but there's no vivid description or "inappropriate" content. Even more bizarre, there's no profanity. As a result the books instantly feel dated, even when they're not objectively all that old; Gallows Hill was written in 1997 but it reads like ...more
sh(e)reader
I LOVED Lois Duncan as a teen. Devoured her books, both the paranormal and the more realistic fiction. Gift of Magic (and that epilogue ... another child was born to the Duncan family, they named her Lois, and she was born with the gift of storytelling. Ahhhh! LOVED that!)

I wonder if I would have liked this more if I read it as a teen. I wonder if I reread the same books I adored as an adult, if I'd feel more blah about them ... or if this book, written more recently, just didn't have the same s
...more
Jessica
I loved Lois Duncan's books as a teen. They were like book potato chips for me, and I gobbled most of them up by the time I graduated from high school. I still own four or five of the paperbacks, and I peruse them occasionally when I want the comfort of reading something that used to be a favorite. (Something I'm sure other book nerds will understand.)

Gallows Hill is not my favorite Duncan novel, but it's still pretty good. It follows the same formula as most of Duncan's other books--a teen gir
...more
Niles
Nov 05, 2014 Niles rated it it was amazing
"Gallows Hill" is a very well crafted suspense/supernatural thriller. Although I don't usually go for the paranormal books, this one was presented in a way that was, for the most part, believable. It is also supposed to be a young adult book, but I found it entertaining for the not-so-young adults as well.

The book starts with Sarah Zoltanne being forced to relocate from Ventura, California, to tiny Pine Crest, Missouri, for her final year of high school. She was forced to follow when her mother
...more
hannah
Apr 11, 2013 hannah added it
Shelves: ya
Let's look at all the ways this book is deeply problematic, shall we?

1. All the usual horrible things about "gypsies."
2. "She's adopted, but nobody's supposed to know."
3. "She was Hungarian and very exotic-looking."

So those are the big ones, but also, this just isn't like the cool (though sometimes just as problematic, coughexoticnativeamericanscough), creepy plots I remember from reading Duncan as a kid. This book was just lamely plotted and dull. :-(
Cecilia
Sep 22, 2015 Cecilia rated it it was ok
I remember being terrified and paranoid for weeks after reading Lois Duncan books in middle school. I can't remember any of the titles anymore, but murderers, haunted children, pianos, car chases, and creepy stalkers come to mind. I was so scared but at the same time so fascinated that once I got over my nightmares, I would pick up the next unread book on the shelf.
Of course with Halloween coming up, I just have to revisit Duncan again. However, this one was a disappointment. I don't know whethe
...more
Natalie
May 30, 2015 Natalie rated it liked it
Sarah and her mom move to a small Midwest community, so her mom can be close to the married man she wants to marry (when his divorce is final). Sarah has her own problems to worry about, she's an outcast at school for being from California, liking New Age music, and speaking her mind.

She is asked to be the fortune teller at the Senior's Carnival, but little does she realize she'll open herself to psychic abilities that leave her questioning strange possibilities and her neck in a noose.

This book
...more
K
Dec 31, 2014 K rated it really liked it
I first read this book in middle school, and ever since it's been a tradition of mine to reread it around Halloween. The characters are not particularly enthralling to me, and the story isn't incredibly original, but something about Gallows Hill always gets under my skin. It gives me this spooky, trapped feeling, like I'm right there with Sarah. Duncan's writing sets the perfect mood for a dreary fall evening, and leaves me aching for a cup of hot cider and a lonely walk through crunchy leaves
Eden
Oct 13, 2015 Eden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sarah just moved to Pine Crest with her mom. She instantly didn't like it and wanted to go back home, but her mother insisted on staying, so she could be with Ted.
She doesn't get along with Ted's daughter, Kyra and she isn't really making any friends. Although, she prefers it that way. But then, Eric Garrett comes to Sarah with an idea - he wants her to be a fortune teller at the high school fair. Sarah finally agrees. She wears a Gypsy custom with a earphones hidden underneath to get informatio
...more
Veronica Morfi
Nov 06, 2013 Veronica Morfi rated it it was ok
Rating: 1.5/5

*sigh* This book... It put me in a reading slump. Gallows Hill had so much potential. The premise was really good. Sarah is playing the part of a fortune teller in a carnival and suddenly she starts seeing images of the future, for real. After that everything went downhill. There was too much high school drama, or drama in general. I dare you to read this book and not get mad with every signle person in that town. There were all getting on my nerves. Even Sarah sometimes, cause she
...more
Hester
Sep 13, 2013 Hester rated it liked it
Sarah Zoltanne's mother loses her marbles and gives up her teaching career her friends and uproots her teenaged daughter in her senior year of school to chase after some married douche bag. The town of Pine Crest is backwards and inbred and Sara is the outsider who has a scarlet letter branded on her even though it's her mother and her fellow classmate's father who are shacking up, because the town of Pine Crest is all holy and pure like that.

Eric is a grade A douche bag and an all around asshol
...more
Felicia Jordan
Nov 30, 2013 Felicia Jordan rated it really liked it
In the Gallows Hill by Lois Duncan, the main character Sarah, who has been taken from friends and family in her senior year, moving from California to a small town in Missouri after her very independent mom mysteriously falls in love and moves to be with the man she loves. Sarah is not so happy with either her mother’s choice of beau or her decision to move them at such a crucial point in her high school experience. Shortly after moving to the small town, Sarah becomes involved with Eric a popul ...more
Kay
Dec 06, 2015 Kay rated it liked it
Shelves: from-childhood, 2015
So much melodrama! I loved this book as a tween/teenager, and had a touch of nostalgia when I found it on Kindle Unlimited. I reread this in a couple hours (it's easy reading) and remembered some of the grammar mistakes that worked their way into my own speech. Took years to get rid of those. Interesting plot, some sympathetic characters, ultimately a quick and dirty thriller with not a lot of character development. Because of my own level of knowledge now, I found this less enjoyable than I use ...more
Jenny
Nov 30, 2014 Jenny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, horror, own
There's nothing more disappointing than finishing a mediocre book. I used to really enjoy the cheesy-mystery-horror Lois Duncan wrote in my childhood, but perhaps I have aged too much or there was a reason I skipped this one in middle school.

Gallows Hill was supposed to be sort of a trashy escape, but instead I felt bored a lot of the time reading it. It seemed very underdeveloped and it wasn't even fun, which is something I remember I Know What You Dod Last Summer, Summer of Fear, and Killing M
...more
Kristin Curtis
Dec 10, 2012 Kristin Curtis rated it liked it
Shelves: eng-356-13-25
This book is about Sarah Zoltanne. Her mother has dragged her to this new town, following a not-yet-divorced man that she has fallen in love with. Sarah is bitter about leaving her friends and school and she doesn't like her mother's boyfriend or his children. A popular boy at school asks Sarah to be the Halloween party's fortune teller because no one knows her yet. Sarah reluctantly agrees. As she stares into her deceased father's crystal paperweight, images start to appear and these images sta ...more
Rachel
Jun 07, 2015 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice reminder of my teen years

I have it a 4 because it's so short but when I read Duncan originally, I was proud of reading a 200 page book. I was also 13 and only starting to become a reader. It's fun to visit 13 once in a while. There are 4 of these on Kindle unlimited and I plan to read them all in a row. 13 is a nice break from adulthood. These book are good, clean, not quite scary fun.
Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆
rating: 2.5

This book was just ... missing something. I thought the concept and idea that revolved around reincarnation was interesting but it was terribly done. Most of what I thought was fascinated only happened at the very end. It's a 'good idea destroyed' kind of book.

The rest of the book is very stilted. I just couldn't buy the reason Rosemary moved and the whole 'karma' thing (in the way it was presented) seemed a bit stupid. The characters weren't fully developed either. I don't think the
...more
Maragad
Aug 04, 2014 Maragad rated it liked it
V knize čtenáře provází úryvky z procesů s čarodějnicemi ze Salemu, které hodnotím velmi pozitivně. Příběh je díky tomu strašidelnější a napínavější. Úryvky naznačují čtenáři směr děje a díky tomu se zvyšuje zvědavost nad tím, jak to se Sarah dopadne. Téma karmy a křesťanské společnosti, která má až fanatické sklony, bohužel nepůsobí příliš reálně, ale to příběhu rozhodně neubírá ani na zajímavosti ani na čtivosti.
Sherrel Fox
Jan 06, 2009 Sherrel Fox added it
Recommends it for: everyone
This book was absolutely amazing. It’s obvious that Duncan did her research well. Gallows Hill is the story of Sarah Zoltanne who is whisked off from Ventura, California to Pine Crest, Missouri by her mother who had fallen in love with the English teacher there, Ted Thompson. Sarah, having trouble making friends, is suddenly asked to do a fortune-telling booth at the school’s Halloween carnival by the handsome class president, Eric Garrett. From there all goes downhill as the students begin accu ...more
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what is wrong with the characters in this book 2 22 Jun 29, 2013 05:27PM  
  • The Haunting
  • Twins
  • Beyond the Burning Time
  • Help Wanted
  • Tituba of Salem Village
  • The Star Group
  • Making the Saint (Circle of Three, #10)
  • Dreadful Sorry
  • Book of Magic (Diadem, Worlds of Magic, #3)
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Lois Duncan (born Lois Duncan Steinmetz, April 28, 1934) is an American writer and novelist, known primarily for her books for children and young adults, in particular (and some times controversially considering her young readership) crime thrillers. Duncan's parents were the noted magazine photographers Lois Steinmetz and Joseph Janney Steinmetz. She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but gr ...more
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