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The House of Lost Souls

3.33  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,403 Ratings  ·  186 Reviews
Just weeks after four students cross the threshold of the derelict Fischer House, one of them has committed suicide and the other three are descending into madness.

Nick Mason’s sister is one of them. To save her, Nick must join ranks with Paul Seaton—the only person to have visited the house and survive. But Paul is a troubled man, haunted by otherworldly visions that eve
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published July 7th 2009 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published November 1st 2007)
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mark monday
Sep 13, 2013 mark monday rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horrortime
first off, although there is an Evil House at its center, this is not a haunted house story, not really. it is rather the tale of two men pitted against ghosts of the distant past and the evils those ghosts have conjured up. and a rather starry set of ghosts they are, as they feature such celebrities as Aleister Crowley and Dennis Wheatley. the narrative moves all over place, through various locales and backwards in time as well. but outside of the climax, very little time is actually spent with ...more
Oct 19, 2009 Laura rated it it was amazing
When I was a kid reading a good book meant immersing myself in the story so deeply that often coming back to the "real world" was like waking up from a dream. That rarely happens now that I'm an adult, there's a part of my brain that always remains distant from the story and never really stops thinking about things like groceries and whether the dog needs a bath. I miss that feeling of really losing myself in a book and am always on the lookout for a book that can help me recreate it. I am happy ...more
Aug 15, 2009 Roz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spooky, favorite, british

I truly savored the last few pages of this book ... I could have finished it MUCH SOONER, but I just couldn't bear to say goodbye to it. it kind of reminds me of how I felt reading December, a book I
was very sad to see end. I CANNOT wait to read this author's new books!!! I think Dark Echo & Magdalena's Curse are the other titles.

Such intricate orchestration of multiple timelines leading to a present-day conclusion. I love that theme, in films as well as books. Such poetry of prose. The Eng
Dec 08, 2010 Eric rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
an absolutely wonderful novella wrapped in a rather mediocre slog of a book.

If the tale were just about Paul Seaton and his experience with the house and perhaps the diary of the photographer, this would be a five stars must read low key tale of obsession and consequence of one man's brush with evil, but that it starts with a special forces guy hiding in the trees to watch his sister attend a funeral and ends with a string of conceits and coincidences rather than natural plotting and strength of
Geraldine O'Hagan
Feb 10, 2012 Geraldine O'Hagan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Angela Wade
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 12, 2009 Laurie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good supernatural thriller is a rare thing, and one doesn’t expect it of a writer in their first novel. But Cottam manages a story on his first time out that combines suspenseful horror with actual good writing.

Paul Seaton had a run in with horror at the deserted Fischer House several years before the story begins, but thinks he has put it behind him. Then four students enter the house. One commits suicide and the other three are edging into madness. Seaton must face Fischer House again to sa
Jul 07, 2010 Terry rated it liked it
An ethics class inquiring into the nature of evil visits the Fischer House, an ancient mansion on the Isle of Wight. Now one of the girls is dead and the others are deteriorating. The enigmatic Malcolm Covey asks Paul Seaton to help them. Paul visited the Fischer House twelve years ago and, while it destroyed his world, he still survived it. Will the Fischer House let him survive a second time?

The set-up of House of Lost Souls describes a haunted house story, but the bulk of the narrative concer
Mallory Heart Reviews [Year of Cthulhu-#Vote Cthulhu]
Feb 27, 2012 Mallory Heart Reviews [Year of Cthulhu-#Vote Cthulhu] rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Literary Fiction, Historical, Horror, Supernatural, Mystery
What a superb book-and an author I am going to watch for! I was reminded throughout of the joy which reading John Harwood’s “The Ghost Writer“ brought to me. “House of Lost Souls” has that same slowed-down, gentle, “Between the Wars” pace, that same sense of barely-concealed secretiveness, the sense of mysteries piled in on themselves like matruska dolls. So many layers atop layers in this book, and every one a marvel. This is a book worth reading, buying, and keeping for reread.

“House of Lost S
Tim Niland
Aug 25, 2009 Tim Niland rated it really liked it
Paul Seaton is a broken man. He lost his girlfriend, his job and for a while his sanity after his obsession with a beautiful and enigmatic 1920's flapper photographer leads him to investigate the notoriously haunted Fischer House on the Isle of Wight. Years later, after four students enter the house on a lark, one is dead by suicide and the three others hover near insanity. Joining forces with the brother of one of the stricken students, Paul returns to Fisher House to end the horror once and fo ...more
Sep 15, 2009 Ellen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In my opinion, this is a nearly perfect spooky book. It certainly gives a lot of authors a run for their money. The Fischer House is haunted by a beast summoned from beyond and a cast of ghosts. It wreaks havoc on the lives of a group of female students of philosophy who are interested in the "problem" of evil incarnate. Nick Mason's sister is one of the girls and he is willing to sacrifice his own life to help her recover from her experience. This leads Nick to consult Paul Seaton, a survivor o ...more
Jul 12, 2012 Nadia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I should have liked this book. After all, it's about the paranormal, the occult, 1920s flappers, and has a pretty cover to show for it. And yet, it wasn't as good as I expected at all.

Some of the detailed descriptions in this book were amazing, and there were some interesting moments as well.

However, for the most part I found it to be extremeley confusing, for one thing. After having read it, I'm not quite sure I'd understood everything. The first two chapters of the book were quite difficult t
The House of Lost Souls is a creepy story with some truly spine tingling moments.

I was nervous when the story starts to unfold and learned that a group of students entered a long abandoned haunted mansion to study evil. I’ve seen a movie or two with a similar premise, a group entering a creepy mansion to do some sort of study (The Haunting and it’s spoof Scary Movie 2 come to mind right away).

Luckily, The House of Lost Souls doesn’t follow the same worn path as the films. In fact there is very
Sod it. I'm not giving it another 40 pages, I think 110 pages to give a book a chance is absolutely plenty! I am extremely disappointed, I picked this book up from the library excited, I thought what a great premise it has, maybe I've found another Peter James type of author to follow (pre crime fiction days-his horror was much better). Alas, it wasn't to be....because quite honestly I didn't like this at all. I really should have given it one stars but given the thought behind it having a good ...more
Jul 04, 2010 Kelly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Very scary -- the genuinely spooky atmosphere and portents of evil kept my attention from beginning to end.

However, this book could have used a stern edit. Some of the prose and even scenes were incomprehensible, even on multiple readings. And the narrative was glossed over in places, where the MC had an epiphany -- "This must be the way it happened!" -- and the reader was expected to take that speculation as fact, with very little evidence presented. The characterization of Pandora Gibson-Hoar
Idril Celebrindal
Oct 30, 2015 Idril Celebrindal rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
For starters, this book is wildly, unnecessarily wordy. Cottam never uses one word if he can possibly find three to use instead or just repeat himself. Take these two examples which occur on the same page, in a minor scene of our main character Paul chatting with his friend Mike:
"It's not for me. It's for my girlfriend. It's for Lucinda." Lucinda owned a good camera. Mike knew she did.
Mike also already knows Paul has a girlfriend named Lucinda, so why are you making such a fucking point of te
Sep 22, 2009 Brett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Horror fans of all kinds and anyone with an interest in mysticism.
Shelves: have-read
I just finished The House of Lost Souls and have not been able to stop thinking about it. This is one of the best books I have read this year, maybe even in the past few years.
This is horror of a different kind. The kind where your skin crawls, you jump at shadows and feel eyes watching always.

I can't say much without giving it away except to saay that if you are any kind of horror fan, you MUST read this book. You will not regret it. Except you might end up a little more jumpy.
Kristin Cheripka
Normally I'm not into this genre but I decided to give it a try for the Halloween spirit. It was chilling in a totally addictive way! Very well written with a psychological twist. I would love to see this as a movie.
Nov 06, 2015 Jamie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 30, 2009 Nancy rated it really liked it
Recommended to Nancy by: Laura
Shelves: supernatural, fiction
This is a perfect Halloween or any-other-time scare yourself story. The book is well written and hard to leave once you get started.
Cottam centers his book on a group of college students who become hysterical after spending some time in the haunted Fischer house, and there are some real historical characters in this book -- Dennis Wheatley and Aleister Crowley. The students, one who commits suicide and others who are sedated after their harrowing experiences in the house, are of this time. The
Vitor Frazão
Feb 16, 2012 Vitor Frazão rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“A casa das almas perdidas” é tipo de livro que me faz lembrar porque adoro géneros como o horror, o policial e o romance histórico, sendo composto por uma mistura de empatia pelas personagens e assombro silencioso perante o terror dissimulado existente no quotidiano.

Se moralismos ou banal bidimensionalidade Cottam apresenta-nos uma demanda do Bem contra o Mal, no qual o último parece uma presença constante, capaz de reduzir o primeiro à insignificância.

As personagens e a história estão bem con
Apr 06, 2010 Lucy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes creepy reads
The House of Lost Souls
This is a great haunted house story. It contains sorcery, ghosts and all the twists and turns you can imagine. It is one of the creepiest and chilling stories I've read in a while. Four college students visit the Fischer House (located in a secluded wood on the Isle of Wight, very atmospheric) to research the nature of evil. Afterward, one commits suicide and the other three are insane. The imagery is the best! Young Mr. Breene's description of his first encounter with Al
Sep 12, 2008 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Atmospheric chiller, this story unfolds with a mounting sense of uneasiness as its hero tries to confront the evil that has wrecked his life. It's a spooky story that relies on character and fine storytelling rather than guts and gross-out moments to draw the reader on. At its heart is a young reporter, Paul Seaton, who is enjoying an idyllic relationship in the flush of Eighties London. This central section of the book is evoked wonderfully with its clubs, pubs art-school fashionistas and music ...more
Oct 25, 2009 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love how reading and life collide. My obsession with "Twilight" then Edward- Rob Pattinson lead me to Dennis Wheatley, who is one of the supremely creepy haunts in this book. Through Paul's retelling of his harrowing experience and the diaries of Pandora Gibson-Hoare, we learn the details of an experiment in 1937 at Fischer House that has nearly destroyed Paul and threatens the remaining students. It is hard sometimes to separate the present from the past, Seaton's endeavors sprinkled with shi ...more
Jul 07, 2011 Monica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
F.G.COTTAM: “The novel deals with the modern repercussions of events set in the 1920s and 1930s that involved black magic as practised by the elite of English and continental European society. I'd call it a historical mystery with a strong element of the occult. It does involve haunting and it involves a haunted house. It is located mostly in London, but the house of the title is on the Isle of Wight.”

This was a wonderful, haunting book to read…original and so totally believable that I found my
Jamie Gibbs
While the book had some beautiful descriptions and I believe that Cottam's characterization of Pandora was wonderful, the book as a whole was gravely disappointing. By page 300, they had not yet gone to the house and the ploy that Cottam used to dispose of the threat that was in the house was rather lame and cheap.

Overall, I think the book could have been significantly better than it was. Attempts to be "innovative" with narrative technique fell flat on their face because they became too tangled
Mar 10, 2015 Melinda rated it really liked it
Twelve years ago, while researching a famous 1920's woman photographer, journalist Paul Seaton visited the derelict Fischer House. What he encountered there nearly destroyed him. Now three girls spend the night at the same house and they are on the verge of insanity and suicide. Nick, a brother of one of the girls, hooks up with Paul and together they investigate a decades old death and confront a demon to save the girls' souls. The House of Lost Souls is much more than a haunted house story. Th ...more
Fantastic! An original, inventive and brilliantly involving read, this is both a compelling mystery and a genuinely unnerving ghost story. I felt truly drawn in by the secrets of the Fischer house and the unorthodox nature of the 'hauntings', and found myself constantly eager to know more. However, there's just too many simple errors and annoying instances of repetition - which, I feel, could easily have been ironed out before the novel was published - and they were noticeable enough to taint my ...more
Jan 18, 2016 Ben rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 19, 2014 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
A more effective story than Dark Echo, the first book of this author's that I read. Excellent characters, good atmosphere, fine writing, an intriguing storyline and a perfect length.

Others have described the story in more than sufficient depth so I'll just focus on the atmosphere or, more correctly, the atmosphere's impact on me. I actually felt myself living through the main protagonist's journey, downbeat when he was suffering, scared when he was scared. When he first stepped into the house, I
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the occult, demons 1 7 Apr 05, 2013 07:19PM  
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Reading is a cheap and totally effective way of being transported to another world. The same is true of writing. Mundane concerns only afflict your characters if you decide you want them to.
University was where I first thought seriously about fiction; hearing about Hemingway's iceberg theory and Eliot's objective correlative and having the luxury of time to ponder on the mechanics of the novel.
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