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Down a Dark Hall
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Down a Dark Hall

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  3,568 ratings  ·  330 reviews
Kit Gordy sees Blackwood Hall towering over black iron gates, and she can't help thinking, This place is evil. The imposing mansion sends a shiver of fear through her. But Kit settles into a routine, trying to ignore the rumors that the highly exclusive boarding school is haunted.

Then her classmates begin to show extraordinary and unknown talents. The strange dreams, the...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published April 19th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published September 1st 1974)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Shirley Marr
Dec 29, 2011 Shirley Marr rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes stories where girls go mad
Recommended to Shirley by: Wendy Darling
Shelves: usa-ya
Before I begin: it's retro lulz time! A description of the leading male hottie, the music teacher who is "slim and fine-boned, with glossy black hair which framed a face so perfect in feature that it might have belonged to a television star" ...

"Jules Duret was waiting for her in the music room. He was wearing a pale blue shirt, open at the throat, and a pair of white flared pants"

Did anyone say Saturday Night Fever? You can tell this novel was written in the 70s can't you? I wonder if they will...more
Jan 13, 2008 Kitty rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: For a GOOD LAUGH
This is one of the first full length novels I read. I remember it serving as one of the seminal moments in my literary formation. I remember it being suspenful and full of immagery.

This book was republished in 1990, but was originally published in the late 70's. I read it in 5th or 6th grade.

While studying children's literature as part of my Masters program, we had to choose a book that we had read in elementary school. The assignment instrcted us to look at our influential book with adult eyes...more
Kit Gordy was accepted into Blackwood boarding school and she was really looking forward to it when she thought her best friend Tracy would be accepted as well. But Tracy wasn't accepted and as much as Kit tried to get out of going, she couldn't.
Kit's mom and stepfather are going away on their honeymoon, but before they leave, they take Kit to Blackwood themselves. Kit isn't thrilled about going and when they actually arrive, Kit does not want to be there. She thinks the place feels strange. The...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This has always been my favorite Duncan, and the only one I've reread several times since I was a teenager. When Kit Gordy enters a private school, she's shocked to discover that there are only three other students, and she's disturbed by the school itself, whose atmosphere she immediately feels is evil. Eventually, Kit makes a chilling discovery about why she and the other three girls were the only ones selected; I don't want to reveal this, as it would be a massive spoiler, but this aspect of...more
3 or 4 stars....a very interesting concept, and hard to put down! I felt there were a few unanswered questions at the end, but mostly I found it intriguing.
I love this book, especially since it connects to music.
Kelly Hager
Kit is attending boarding school while her mom and stepfather are on their honeymoon. From the beginning, she's against the idea, but once she sees the school it's even worse. She has a sense of wrongness almost immediately, and the longer she stays, the worse it gets.

And it's even weirder because there are exactly four students in the school (and that's counting Kit). Soon, they're all doing things they weren't able to do before. Lynda is painting these amazing landscapes and Sandy is writing p...more
Dear Miss Kalwanaski,
This week I'm writing about the chilling characteristics in "Down A Dark Hall", written by Lois Duncan. I'm writing about this book again because I've not had enough time to start another one. Last week I told you what I enjoyed about the book. This week I will be telling you why I enjoy these chilling characteristics.

I enjoy these chilling characteristics for multiple reasons. I find chilling characteristics to be the heart and soul of a book. Chilling parts of a book is...more
Sarah Whisted
This book is one of the very few books I remember reading as a kid for fun (I didn't read that much back then) and I remember it scaring the crap out of me. To the point that I found myself listening to Yanni's "One Man's Dream" on repeat just to be able to finish it.

I was excited about re-reading it to see if I reacted the same way as an adult now that I am an avid reader and I can happily report that it still had that perfect eerie feel. I wouldn't say it scared me because I'm older now and ha...more
So, this is one of those books that I have a hard time forgetting even though the first time I read it was more than 2 years ago! I felt that it was time I gave this a thorough rave review. Duncan’s “Down a Dark Hall” had all the right ingredients to a goose bumps-arousing mystery book. It was as gloomy and dark as it was hard to put down.

Kit is a new student at a highly respected boarding school with a past. Though at first, she tries hard to ignore the rumors behind this mansion, she starts t...more
kit gordy got accepted into blackwood a school for young kids. the school building is a creepy old house and when kit once gets there, she gets the chills. she feels something evil here but cannot explain it. her parents leave for europe on their honeymoon once she gets settled in. strange things start happening at the school and she wants to escape. the "principal" tries her best to stop them but fails.

i think that kit's a brave girl. if i was her than i would have done the same thing except at...more
Nicole Palumbo Davies
This book was creepy, so creepy that I had to put the book down when I was in my dark house alone. Down a Dark Hall is about Kit, a 14-year-old girl starting out at an exclusive boarding school called Blackwood School for Girls. The school is so exclusive that there are only 4 students. Kit senses immediately that there is something wrong with the school, but it takes her and her schoolmates time to figure out what that bizarre something is.
This book was first published in 1974, but it is not as...more
Jonathan Lee
I thought that this was a great book to read with a lot of suspense and action. This book is mainly about a private school that has many secrets. Furthermore the school is extremely mysterious because there are only four students in it. The main character Cat begins to have suspicions as to what is happening in the school when her classmates start acting weird. She discovers the headmasters plan and you'll have to read the book to find out the rest of the story. This really is a great book and c...more
I read this book in several hours as part of a book club challenge - reread a favorite book from your childhood.

I enjoyed it as much as I did as when I was younger. It seemed like there was something missing though--perhaps my imagination was more engaged when I read this in middle school. The charm is still there, however, and the plot is really intriguing--unlike anything I've read before.

This book was written in 1974. Evidently Lois Duncan has gone through her publications and 'modernized' th...more
◄Shane► ◄K►
Kit, Lynda, Ruth, and Sandy are all an ESP (I can't remember what it stands for but it has something to do with sixth sense) which is the reason why they are here in Black Wood school. Madame Duret the principal, I sensed the "evilness" in her when I read and she chose those girl to be in Black Wood school, how evil is that and other girls that applied the school ? They were rejected. Kit, Lynda, Sandy and Ruth are now scared becuase of the experience they had in the hallway of their bedroom. T...more
I thought that this was a great book to read with all the suspense and action. This book is mainly about a private school that is extremely mysterious because there are only four students in it. The main character Cat starts being suspicious as to what is happening in the school because he friends start to act weird. She discovers the headmasters plan and you'll have to read the book to find out what she does. This really is a great book and can also be confusing so you might have to read it a f...more
Jia Hui
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This story was written by a very well known author, lois Duncan. The story is mysterious and suspenceful from the first chapter. Kit Gordy goes to a nnew school. The school brochure say "small classes" but Kit never expected for there to be only 3 other girls in the school.
thing get even more wierd when Sandy, kit's closest friend in the school starts having wierd dreams of a woman staring at her. Soon all the girls mysteriously get talents. Lynda starts painting. Sandy writes poetry, and Kit p...more
This was one of my most beloved childhood horror stories, it's really and truly frightening. I loved all of the characters, and found them all to be really believable. The most chilling part is the philosophical debate that this novel raises, which requires a lot more thought than a lot of trashy pulp horror directed at young readers. You find yourself inevitably asking many questions about the situation that the characters are in, and how you would react, and whether your reaction is what's bes...more
In Blackwood boarding school for girls, the mansion is gloomy, very old, and filled with dark halls. This is an elite school, but the things about it make it even more creepier. This school only has four students and two teachers. These students are Kit, Sandy, Ruth, and Lynda. Madame Duret chooses these girls especially for their great talent and abilities. But soon, Madame Duret's plans start going terribly wrong. They all became scared and impulsively took actions. When they're room caught fi...more
Klah-Rih-Sah  |♥|↵
Kit's mom has just re-married after her father was killed in a car accident while he was away on a bussiness trip.
Now, so that Kit's mom can go on her honeymoon, Kit has to be sent to an all girls school, Blackwood.
Kit doesn't want to stay there but she agrees to make her mom happy.
She has a funny feeling about the place, the fact that the dorm lock is outside of the door and not on the inside sorta' makes her wonder. The fact that the school is located in a far away place, and that its not in t...more
I read this book for a class at school and i thought it was going to be just another book, but, i was surprised. this book was about a girl named Kit whos mom married another man and was on their way to their honeymoon. They decide to drop Kit off at a new all girls school named Blackwood. Kit is reluctant to go but is forced. Their she meets only a few girls who got accepted, Sandy( her best friend at the school), Ruth, and Lynda. But after a few days weird things start to happen like Lynda dra...more
Kori Looker
This book is a good book that I'd recommend to anyone who likes a good mystery that takes forever to solve. This book is about four girl students that go to a creepy mansion that is a school called Blackwood. After being sent to Blackwood all of the girls, Kat, Ruth, Lynda, and Sarah, end up have strange happenings occur to them. These occurrences change who they truly are and Kat gets to the bottom of it. Kat had dreams that seemed real life of her playing the piano amazingly and woke up with s...more
I would have LOVED this book when I was the age of its intended audience. It is extremely successful in building up the creepiness as Kit gradually understands the situation.
Feb 17, 2008 Debbie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teen horror fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was one of my favorite books when I was twelve. I remember it as being the scariest in Lois Duncan's long list of excellent suspense novels. The copy I just read is an original 1975 first edition and it did indeed come across as a quintessential 70's gothic. I loved the scary premise of gifted girls being forced in to automatic artistic revelations from beyond the grave by dead poets, composers, painters, etc. Frightening concept, perfect period piece. I discovered that this book has been r...more
Afton Nelson
Three things: First, the author picture is a painted portrait. Like nearly full length of Ms. Duncan in a floral dress in front of a impressionistic bookcase, looking over her shoulder in a "I know I'm cool, but what are you" type of way. Second, I nodded off to sleep while reading this creepy classic and thought dead people were trying to take over my body and use me as a vessel for their poetry writing and math problem solving. It was terrifying. Third, the ending was abrupt, but for some reas...more
Laura Zimmerman
I read this book when I was in middle school, many years ago. I read it at least three times because it grabbed me so thoroughly. The fact that it still stays with me, all these years later, is a testament to how much I enjoyed the book. I recall the themes of mystery, teenage crush, fear, suspense, and spiritual ideas (as in spirit world, not religious); I also remember there being a dream-like quality to the story. I read a lot when I was that age and I'm sure there are many books I read that...more
Oh how I loved this book as a preteen! Cable TV didn't exist in my home yet, I wasn't old enough for horror flicks at the cinema, and the scariest thing I had seen on television was Dark Shadows. So all the Lois Duncan books I found in the library were just entrancing to me, especially this one. Girls at a boarding school get up in the middle of the night and start composing like Mozart or painting like Monet... even though they had only limited artistic experience before coming to the school......more
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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
More about Lois Duncan...
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