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The Haunting of Granite Falls

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  850 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
American millionaire Hiram C. Hopgood will stop at nothing to make his daughter, Helen, happy—even if it means buying her an ancient Scottish castle and shipping it back to Texas. Assembling the castle isn’t a problem for the oil tycoon . . . it’s the ghosts that worry him. Hopgood has made up his mind: the ghouls have got to go. But these spirits don’t spook so easily. In ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published August 18th 2005 by Puffin Books (first published 1987)
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The Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanWait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing HahnDeep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing HahnThe Doll in the Garden by Mary Downing HahnThe Ghost of Crutchfield Hall by Mary Downing Hahn
Middle Grade Ghost Stories
61st out of 116 books — 43 voters
The Doll in the Garden by Mary Downing HahnWait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing HahnBehind the Attic Wall by Sylvia CassedySomething Upstairs by AviMoondial by Helen Cresswell
Children's Ghost Stories of the 1980s
16th out of 60 books — 5 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,467)
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Nov 05, 2010 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Another charmer from Eva Ibbotson. This time, a very young Scottish laird must sell his family's castle and the new owner is a Texan millionaire who wants the castle transported to his hometown for his ailing daughter to enjoy. He wants the whole dark Scottish castle atmosphere--except NO GHOSTS; he doesn't think his delicate daughter can handle being frightened. But, through an odd happenstance, the ghosts to make their way to Granite Falls, Texas--along with some sinister flesh-and-blood villa ...more
May 20, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't remember the last time I encountered such great ghosts in literature. They steal every scene with their winning combination of naivety, bloodthirstiness and touching loyalty. For a book aimed at younger readers it has some seriously black comedy - the first page with its cheerful recount of horrific murders by the inhabitants of Carra castle preps the reader for the tone to expect. The plot is slight and very predictable towards the end, but redeemed by unexpected twists along the way an ...more
Sep 23, 2013 Fadhilatul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy

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This is the second book of Ibbotson I read after Dial a Ghost. I still like Ibbotson's work respect with children's literature (fantasy). Meaning I like The Hauntin of Hiram, but I like better Dial a Ghost. Actually both of the books have the same concept; an orphan -boy- who owns a castle and doesn't know what he should do to maintain it. Then the boy has many invisible friends (ghosts) to accompany him living in this cruel world. It seems I exaggerate everything, huh
American millionaire Hiram Hopgood buys the family castle of Alex MacBuff, the impoverished heir of the MacBuffs of Carra, but he doesn't want the castle in Scotland -- he wants to move it to his hometown of Granite Falls, Texas, where his ill daughter, Helen, can enjoy it. However, Mr. Hopgood insists that the castle be ghost-free, so Alex has to convince his five ghosts to move out. When Alex and the ghosts all end up in Granite Falls, the stage is set for a lively, scary tale of kidnapping an ...more
Abigail H. Leskey
Nov 08, 2015 Abigail H. Leskey rated it really liked it
It had ghosts. It had Scotland. It had Sleipnir. It had evil kidnappers (including Adolfa, in love with Hitler). It had a severed hand, who was lovely.

Jan 14, 2012 Isabella rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-book
My dad read this book for me when I was a kid and I really loved it. I read it again as a grown up and still enjoyed it. A perfect book for children (and their parents) and not to scary even though it's about ghost.
Jan 29, 2016 Honya rated it really liked it
As with most of Ibboston’s books, it’s difficult to explain the appeal of The Haunting of Granite Falls, even to myself. The characters are so nice that they really ought to be disgusting (like Little Lord Fauntleroy or Elsie Dinsmore), yet they are impossible to dislike. Similarly, despite containing some interesting twists, the plotline has a distinct inevitability, a certainty that “good will prevail” and all that. Yet Ibbotson somehow transforms what would usually be an insipid plotline into ...more
Jul 21, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, paranormal, children, humor
Overall Review: Alex MacBuff has no parents. He was raised by a group of ghosts that haunt his family’s castle in Scotland. When he is twelve, he finds he can’t keep his family home because he is broke. Enter Mr. Hopgood who wants to buy and pay top dollar. His only caveat: No ghosts! His daughter is sick and he’s afraid the shock would kill her. So, Alex has to ban his ghosts from the castle. The ghosts have to move to a relatives’ house, whose ghosts are far from friendly, so the Carra ghosts ...more
Lisa Wolf
I read this one out loud as a bed-time story for my 10-year-old -- this was one book that we both could enjoy. It worked well as a read-aloud, but a kid who’s comfortable reading chapter books solo should be able to handle this one just fine. We both found The Haunting of Granite Falls to have just the right combination of funny elements (a Viking ghost named Krok Fullbelly is good for all sorts of laughs) and dramatic action. 12-year-old Alex makes a fine hero as well, a nice mix of sensitivity ...more
Jan 27, 2015 Nicola rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't seem to get enough of Eva Ibbotson's children's books! This one begins in Scotland where Alex MacBuff, the 12 year old Laird of Carra, can't afford to keep his ancient Scottish castle and has to sell. He agrees to sell it to Hiram C Hopgood, an American millionare who wants to move it to Texas for his ill daughter, Helen (I don't like the thought of that but it's not real :P). He gives one condition, however, and that's that there are no ghosts in the castle. So something has to be done ...more
Oct 21, 2010 Audry rated it really liked it
Set in Scottland. Teenaged Alex is the heir and the laird of Carra, but there is no money for upkeep. He sells it, but the buyer, who has a frail teenaged daughter named Helen, has a condition on the sale. There can be no ghosts. Alex has a talk with the ghosts and they agree to go away. The castle is sold and the ghosts go to live at a relative's of Alex's. The resident ghosts there don't like the new ones, and make things so bad the Carra ghosts leave. They return to Carra, but find it is bein ...more
Alex MacBuff is 12 years old. He is also the sole surviving owner of the ancient castle of Carra. While Alex does his best in the upkeep of the crumbling castle, he soon realizes that there’s never going to be enough money to meet with the ever-increasing expenses. The only solution is to sell the castle and hope for the best. And luckily, an American millionaire Hiram C.Hopgood is willing to buy the castle…crumbling turrets, underground passages, blood-stained drawbridge et al. But he has one c ...more
Oct 29, 2014 Tammy rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-the-kids
Read this to my son. While it had some very small parts I had to skip (language), it was a fun book. It was just scary enough for a 10 year old and had a lot of humor in it. We will probably always talk about the hand. Our favorite part: "Welcome. From the hand. (severed)"!
Theo kids
Aug 29, 2015 Theo kids rated it it was ok
Despite my efforts to do so, I just couldn't fall in love with many of the characters. I found myself skimming half way through, bored with the thoughts and interactions of all but a few characters. The plot was interesting, but not enough to carry the book, unfortunately.
Laina SpareTime
Feb 07, 2016 Laina SpareTime rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
(Probably more like 2.5.)

I love Eva Ibbotson, but this is not my favourite of her books. She writes ghosts wonderfully. There's so much colour in them, and they are so very British. They're really fun, and she's not afraid to, like, flat-out murder the bad guys which can be very satisfying when you're young, and I think a lot of kids would enjoy this. This is a type of book where you need to go in expecting the silliness of it - ghosts exist, they live in castle, that castle is gonna be moved. Y
May 02, 2012 Molly rated it liked it
I gave this book 3 stars because it’s not the best book but it’s good enough for 3 stars. This book was detailed but I thought it could be a little more detailed because it talks about how Alex is selling the Laird of Carra to a millionaire, Mr. Hopgood. But there is one problem; he has to get rid of the ghosts that raised him in the Laird of Carra. So Alex talked to them to tell them they have to leave. The ghosts had a hard time finding a new home especially when Mr. Hopgood moved the Laird of ...more
Kimberly Ann
Feb 10, 2016 Kimberly Ann rated it really liked it
An entertaining tale of Alex the Laird of Castle Carra in Scotland (which has been relocated to Granite Falls, TX), the Castle's ghosts, and the soon to be kidnapped millionaire's daughter Helen... Bad guys, good guys, ghosts, a severed hand seeking revenge...a fun tale.
May 31, 2016 Kitvaria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, ya-fantasy
This was one of my favourite books as a kid.

It's the absolutely hilarious story of a rich American, who buys a haunted castle. He hires people to dissemble it stone for stone and transport it to his home. BUT: The ghosts have to stay and find a new home.

I really love the (for a childrens book sometimes a bit dark) humor in tis one. One of the ghosts tries to drown itself on a regular basis for example, which will never work, as she is already dead of course.

So for the readers ages ten and up, wh
Feb 14, 2013 Josh rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
I really oscillated a lot on this one between 3 and 4 stars. I finally decided, that judged on what it tries to be, it deserves 4 stars. What this book tries to be is a light, fun romp that will bring a smile to your face on several occasions. That's what it does. Don't look here for deep meaning or surprise plotting. The characters are fun, not particularly deep. Who hasn't ever wanted their own castle full of nice ghosts that are practically part of the family? As long as you too are puzzled b ...more
Camille Stanford
Nov 01, 2013 Camille Stanford rated it liked it
Shelves: cute-romance, ghosts
When a rich American buys a castle in Scotland for his daughter and rebuilds it near his home, he is assured there will be no ghosts. In other words, the resident ghosts lose their home, and eventually end up in a theater nearby the castle. It is a good thing they stay close, too, when a trio of criminals tries to kidnap the daughter!

After reading Dial-a-Ghost I picked up this book, and I found that I rather like this author. This book is cute, and I will keep an eye out for Eva Ibbotson's other
Cynthia Egbert
Jan 01, 2015 Cynthia Egbert rated it it was ok
This one is alright but I don't know that I would recommend it to anybody. It was pretty much formulaic and silly.
Nov 10, 2015 Guguk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kukis-gula-merah
Buku Ms. Ibbotson yang pertama kubaca~ yaa sampe sekarang baru baca 3 sih (^ ^;)> aku ketinggalan...

Waktu membaca buku ini, timbul perasaan gembira yang muncul seperti biasanya kalau aku baca buku anak-anak yang bener-2 aku suka (^,,^)

Tokoh antagonis yang keji, anak yang memiliki kastil tapi miskin, dan, favoritku, hantu-hantu yang unik (^-^)

Suka sekali ending-nya yang ditutup dengan pernikahan itu~ (>,,^)
Adam Z
Feb 24, 2010 Adam Z rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I liked this book because it was very exciting and you really couldn't guess on what was going to happen next. What I didn't like about this book was that it was really confusing on all of the different names that all of the characters had. I gave this book five stars because at first I really didn't think that I would like it, but when I started reading it I couldn't put it down. I would recomend this book to everyone.
2.5 stars.

This lacked the charm and sense of atmosphere I usually find so prevalent in Ibbotson's MG books.

The idea of a Scottish castle transported to America, Texas no less, and its ghosts following it there was a cute idea (and based off a true story, excepting the ghosts!), but I was having trouble mustering up energy to really care. It's cute, no doubt, but not among my favorite of Ibbotson's.
Ilana Waters
Feb 03, 2013 Ilana Waters rated it it was amazing
Another delightful, endearing cast of characters from Ibbotson. Although I found some parts a bit dark for younger readers (the female villain based on Hitler was especially chilling), it's balanced with laugh-out-loud humor. Finally, the fast-paced and high-stakes plot will leave you on the edge of your seat--providing you don't fall off giggling first. ;-)
Jag gillade Spökena från Carra. Det var en gullig barnbok om spöken. Men det är just det. Det är en lättsam barnbok om en pojke som tvingas sälja sitt slott och vad ska nu alla husspöken ta vägen? Den var gullig but that’s it. Jag älskar Ibbotson och tyckte att boken skulle passa bra efter två missfires. Den var lättsam, gullig och rolig.
May 30, 2011 Litha rated it liked it
buku yang bagus untuk adik-adik sd-smp, karena isinya tidak berat. ceritanya juga bagus, mengisahkan tentang pewaris kastil MacBuff yg terpaksa menjual kastilnya karena perawatannnya muahal, dan terpaksa juga harus mengusir hantu-hantu yg sudah menjadi temannya sendiri.
Astrid Lim
I love this book! From the funny ghost story, the castle moving from Scotland to Texas, and the haunting movie theater, everything fell nicely into the book. Heartwarming, a bit absurd but quite original, Eva Ibbotson could become my new favorite author :)
Eva Ibbotson - ghost and beast specialist.

A very entertaining, easy read for confident junior readers or tweens. Some engaging (and unlikely) characters, including the Hand, who reminded me of Thing from the Addams Family. Very satisfying.
Mar 11, 2016 Nina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
Buku yang menghibur. Mz Ibbotson memang pakar dalam dunia perhantuan. Hantu dalam buku ini bervariasi dan unik unik. Mulai dari viking, vampir ompong sampai hell hound panjang. Seperti biasa, buku ini happy ending.
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Eva Ibbotson (born Maria Charlotte Michelle Wiesner) was a British novelist specializing in romance and children's fantasy.

Eva Ibbotson was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1925. When Hitler came into power, Ibbotson's family moved to England. She attended Bedford College, graduating in 1945; Cambridge University from 1946-47; and the University of Durham, from which she graduated with a diploma in edu
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