The Hanging Hill (Haunted Mystery, #2)
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The Hanging Hill (Haunted Mystery #2)

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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  327 ratings  ·  66 reviews
How serious is stage fright? At the Hanging Hill Playhouse, it can kill you.

After narrowly escaping a malevolent spirit in The Crossroads, Zack and Judy are hoping to relax during the rehearsals for a show based on Judy’s bestselling children’s books. Little do they know that the director is planning to raise a horde of evil specters from the dead, and to accomplish this,...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 11th 2009 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published July 31st 2009)
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Community Reviews

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Patty
So, how is it that one author can write so well to two different audiences and carry it off so well? I'm always boggled by an author who writes really well - but those (and there are many) who can do it for more than one series just amaze me.

This is the second in the YA series with Zack, his step-mother Judy and the problems they have with ghosts. This time Judy and Zack have traveled to the Hanging Hill Playhouse to produce one of Judy's books as a musical. This is a very old house and, of cour...more
Viccy
Zach sees ghosts. He killed a demon in "The Crossroads." Now he has to free the ghosts at the Hanging Hill Playhouse and send the demons back where they came from. Guided by his mother's ghost (with whom he had a very bad relationship before she died), his dog, Zipper, and a little juggler girl ghost, Zach, once again, comes to the rescue of people who need it, including his stepmother and the rest of the cast of "Curiousity Cat," a musical based on his stepmother's books. Lots of fun, as always...more
Nicola Mansfield
Reason for Reading: The sequel to The Crossroads.

Comments: Zack and his step-mom, a famous children's book author, are spending the summer at the Hanging Hill Theatre where, for the first time, one of her books is being turned into a musical. The Theatre has been around for well near a century while both the building and the land have quite a chequered past. So it comes to no surprise to Zack when he starts to see the occasional ghost. But when the ghosts start talking of demons and Zack meets...more
Samantha Boyette
Alright, I'll admit I didn't like this one quite as much as the first book, but it was still pretty good. Granted it's been a while since I read the first one, but I felt like it was a little more epic. This one felt more obviously like a book aimed at kids. Still very enjoyable for any fan of a good ghost story though.

We follow Zack and his dog Zipper on another ghost adventure as they tag along with his step mom to the Hanging Hill Playhouse where a play based on her book is about to be prefor...more
Gail
This is a second in the series. A young boy can see ghosts. He and his step mom go to a theater to put on a play that his step mom has written. He meets some other child actors there and they soon find that there are several ghosts at the theater. One of them is the main character's mother. She didn't love him while he was alive and it appears that the ghost has not changed. The children try to help stop a man from opening up the portal to hell and letting loose many bad people. In the end they...more
Sarah
I don't know what I can say about this one that I didn't already say about the first book in the series. Grabenstein has created a delightfully spooky and mysterious series for middle-grade readers that I can't devour fast enough. The books are fun and exciting, fast-paced and filled with memorable characters (both physical and spectral). I loved that this one took place in a haunted theater. Perhaps the only thing I didn't love about this one is Zack's dead mother's attempts to make amends with...more
Nigarsan
This book, "The Hanging Hill" by Chris Grabenstein is about how a boy named Zack that can see ghosts and goes to a theater to see one of his stepmother's books in a play.But then, he finds out that two of the actors are in danger from a necromancer who wants to bring the world filled with dangerous ghosts.With his rare ability to see ghosts, he teams up with himself and with advice from ghosts who acted in the theater to stop the necromancer from doing it and put the world in hell.

I chose this...more
Margo
The Hanging Hill is Grabenstein’s sequel to The Crossroads, and in some respects it is an even better read. The protagonist Zack is funnier and more well-rounded, and there were flights of imagination that had me laughing out loud. There is an exciting mystery, and of course, more ghosts for Zack to meet, and evil demons to vanquish, including one from his past, although this time he is not alone. Apparently there are other people who can see ghosts, and Zack teams up with a few of them to rid t...more
Sheila Beaumont
This scary, funny sequel to The Crossroads is even better than the first book! Young Zack, who is a ghost seer, accompanied by his stepmother, Judy, and his Jack Russell terrier, Zipper, travels to the Hanging Hill Playhouse, where a play based on Judy's "Curiosity Cat" children's books is to be performed by the Pandemonium Players. Unfortunately, the director, who obviously has a screw loose, has other plans, which involve using an ancient Carthaginian ritual that will feed children to Moloch a...more
Jada Bennett
So I recently took two family trips-road trips, might I add-and being desperate for some kind of opening-to-book connection, I figured I might share that with you :) The main character, Zack, is going with his stepmom on a road trip to a playhouse where her children's books will be made into a play. The only problem is is that Zack's starting to see ghosts again, as an after-effect from his last adventure with them. Luckily, there's more people who can see them in this book, so he isn't complete...more
Jackie
In The Hanging Hill: A Haunted Mystery, the second installment in the series, Zack and his stepmom, famous children's author, Judy McGruder, head to the Hanging Hill Summer Theater, where Judy's book, The Curiousity Cat will be performed under the watchful eye of famous director, Reginald Grimes.

As in The Crossroads, though, Zack is in for much more than meeting famous child actors, hanging out with his best dog, Zipper, and catching up on summer fun. Ghosts are aplenty at the theater and Zack...more
Spuddie
#2 in the YA paranormal mystery series featuring Zack Jennings and his family. Eleven-year-old Zack and his stepmother Judy are off to Chatham, CT where Judy's book Curiosity Cat is being produced as a play by the rather famous director Reginald Grimes at the Hanging Hill Theatre. Theatres are notoriously full of ghosts as Zack and Judy, who can also see ghosts, find out quickly, much to their dismay.

Some ghosts are benevolent, others seem neutral and still others downright evil. Zack is excite...more
Holli  Ronquillo
I still enjoyed this story (same characters who happen to run into some ghosts who need help and/or closure). But it didn't resonate as much with me as the first book of the series did. The bad guy seemed like a regular mean guy, but he suddenly was ok with murder, mayhem, etc. It just didn't ring true to what most people are like (i.e. pretty nuanced, and at least initially uncomfortable with murder). Even so, it was an enjoyable, fun read that a middle grade reader would probably like.
Jenny
Zack and his stepmother Judy are working at a summer stock theater where they encounter the ghost of one Connecticut's most notorious crimminals.

This is the sequel to The Crossroads also one of Chris Grabenstein's books. I really liked the first one and had a hard time putting it down but this one I had a harder time getting into.

First of all in this one Zack new he had a special gift, which he did not want by the way, to see ghosts. As he encounters the ghost in the motel he tries not look at...more
Stacie Morrell
A haunted theatre. We've been there before, but I think that's a plot to revisit again and again. However, when the plot also includes an evil Middle-East cult who raises demons and a janitor who uses a Ouija board to speak to the evil dead, I stop reading.
Patti
This is Grabenstein's second book for younger readers, a sequel to The Crossroads. The main characters have discovered that they really have a talent for seeing ghosts; their first adventure wasn't a fluke. Zack and his stepmom Judy really can see ghosts, and the Hanging Hill Playhouse seems to be full of them. They are there for a production of one of Judy's children's books that was turned into a play. This is a fast-paced read, with ghosts, bad guys, attempts at magic and bringing people back...more
Mindy/fangedmom
I just found out I won this book in the Goodreads First Read Program. I am so excited. I love a good ghost story and this book sounds like it has a great creep out factor. I am seriously considering getting the first book just to make sure I read them in order. Thank you so much for this booK!!!

This book was AMAZING! I absolutely loved it. I will now be getting all the other books that Chris has written. I cannot wait for my kids to read this book. I loved the story, the setting, the characters....more
Samantha
I can't get enough of Zack (Jack with Z), Zipper, and Judy. By the end of The Hanging Hill, I had had enough of "The Exalted One" and his henchmen, however. What an evil windbag. I appreciate the way Zack's strained relationship with his real mother is being addressed. I think that other authors might dismiss what this mentally abusive relationship can do to a child and simply brush it off by the second book. It's refreshing and it is helpful for kids, young adults and even adults who know what...more
Natalie
This book was a amazingly good sequel to The Crossroads. It involves acting, ghosts and a old ancient civilization with weird thoughts. I liked the first book the best and I think I got more in to it then this one. It was a good idea and had a lot of description but for me there was just something missing to make it amazing. I did love how he explained the ghosts and major scene's in the book. If you are a mystery or history person I would recommend this book for you. I am so going to read the n...more
Brenda
Second in a series with 11-year old Zach Jennings and his stepmother, famous author Judy. Zach and Judy have a lot in common. They both great imaginations and love joking around. And they can both see ghosts. In "The Hanging Hill", one of Judy's books is being performed as a musical so Judy and Zach are spending part of their summer at a small town theater. Reginald Grimes is the world famous director but also part of a horrific plan to open the door between the real world and Pandemonium, the c...more
Carol
Zack, Zipper, and stepmom Judy are back for another romp. This time in a haunted theater - and what could be better than that? Basements full of ghosts and evil necromancers, a ghost who juggles, an actor who keeps taking her final bows and a live girl who can see the ghosts just a plainly as Zack can.
I enjoyed this book even more than the first one - the characters are expanded upon and the story was a quick fun read!
Jennifer
Enjoyable sequel. Zach and his stepmom, Judy, go to a haunted theater for the debut of her first musical. Of course, there are problems. The director is the descendant of a cult of necromancers and has plans to open the portal between the human world and the demonic with the help of the sacrifice of a few children. Good thrills, and a wry sense of humor make this a good read. The plot stretches believablilty, but hey, what ghost story doesn't? Zach and Judy's relationship develops nicely.
Jessica H.
This book was fantastic book but some of the ghosts are a little creepy. Like this one ghost Lilly Pruet, like the jump rope ryhme "Lilly Pruet said she didn't do it, she was liaying and everybody knew it!" Its a creepy ryhme but I kept on reading the book, I couldn,t take my eyes off of it! The book was soooooo cool that I almost took it to dinner with me, but I decided not to so there was now chance I coul'd mess up the book!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 8D =D
Christi
Sequel to The Crossroads.

Zack Jennings and his stepmother encounter really evil ghosts again, this time the setting is a theatre in Connecticut about to stage a production of Judy's popular children's book Curiosity Cat. I found Crossroads to be a genuinely frightening ghost story and was sucked into believing in the world where the ghosts existed; however, the setup for this haunting seemed a bit outlandish and therefore less "real" to me.
Pandora
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heather
A bit gruesome, but not disgusting. I think older kids/younger teens would be a good audience. (They aren't super grossed out by things anyway, right?) Judy is a great character, and I really liked Meghan and her mom as well. I am still a bit confused by the encounter involving Zack's mom. I am not sure if Zack mistook her intentions or if she was truly bad. I am hoping this is answered in the next book!
Larissa
Even better than the first! Just the right mixture of creepiness, humor, and heart. Once again, I enjoyed reading from so many different perspectives, and the pace was perfect. Thanks for letting us hear from Zipper this time, Mr. Grabenstein -- he made my whole family laugh. :)

If you liked The Crossroads, you'll love The Hanging Hill.
Emilyn
I read this one without having read the first in the series, and while some parts were a bit confusing, on the whole it made sense. I liked all the characters and thought it was a good fantasy for 10-12 year old reluctant readers. It was pretty dark, but I liked all the characters and the fact that the stepmother was nice and well-liked.
Manny
WOW....another great one by Mr. Chris G. This is the sequel to the amazing Haunted series Crossroads, and let me tell you it was just as good as the first if not more chilling and creepy with such a great plot :) I was very happy again with this one. There is one more book in the series so I will be up on that one soon!
Chrissy
Grabenstein does a really lovely job of crafting supernatural mysteries for middle-school age readers. This second in the series about Zack, a boy who can see ghosts, and his dog Zipper has truly creepy moments and some nice comic touches that bring that scare level down at important moments.
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Chris Grabenstein is an award-winning author of books for children and adults, a playwright, screenwriter, and former advertising executive and improvisational comedian.

Winner of two Anthony and three Agatha Awards, he is also the co-author with James Patterson of The New York Times bestseller I FUNNY.

A former writer for Jim Henson's Muppets and past president of the New York Chapter of the M...more
More about Chris Grabenstein...
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library Tilt-a-Whirl (John Ceepak Mystery, #1) The Crossroads (Haunted Mystery, #1) Mad Mouse (John Ceepak Mystery, #2) Whack A Mole (John Ceepak Mystery, #3)

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