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Down a Dark Hall

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,514 Ratings  ·  428 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
Paperback, 240 pages
Published April 19th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published September 1st 1974)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Shirley Marr
Dec 29, 2011 Shirley Marr rated it really liked it  ·  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

Lovely 'vintage' gothic written for young adults but can be enjoyed by all. This story immediately brought "Haunting of Hill House" to mind and it continued to be reminiscent of it throughout in my opinion. That's a good thing because I liked it a lot, as well.

It has the trademark Lois Duncan creepy ambience and great descriptions of the house, environment and characters. Loved Kit and her fellow schoolmates. They were painted so vividly and the paranormal experiences made me feel like I was th
Apr 17, 2011 Eden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 13, 2008 Kitty rated it did not like it  ·  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
May 11, 2016 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I used to sneak Lois Duncan books home from the library when I was in middle school. I'd check them out, of course (I'm not a monster), but would sneak them into the house as I was pretty sure my parents would not have approved. I hold nostalgia responsible for me choosing to read this book. I actually didn't read this one as a kid but can imagine it would have been slightly more thrilling if I was still a thirteen-year-old smuggling scary books into the house buried deep in my backpack. This st ...more
Jul 04, 2008 Ally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
I love this book, especially since it connects to music.
Oct 28, 2011 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 13, 2008 Aly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ashley Ehlers
Jun 07, 2016 Ashley Ehlers rated it really liked it

Originally posted on Paranormal Sisters:

Chills......that's the word that comes to mind when I look back on this book.

Simple plot written in bone chilling words, page after page. What more can I say.

Kit is a strong willed young adult who isn't going to do anything she doesn't want to do. But the one thing she can't fight against is ending up at the all girls boarding school, Blackwood.

Being accepted and without her best friend, she gets another surprise to
Sam Brown
Jan 11, 2016 Sam Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan is about a teenage girl named Katherine, also known as Kit. Kit’s parents are going off to their honeymoon and leaving her at an all-girls school named Blackwood, ran by a lady named Madame Duret. Blackwood is a school for special girls with an ability to summon the dead through their dreams. The dead are past poets, authors, artists, and pianists working through the girls to finish the works that they could not complete in their past life. Strangely, only four g ...more
Oct 14, 2015 Marie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Je suis très confuse par cette fin que nous offre l'auteur. c'est beaucoup trop soudain. un chapitre ou deux de plus auraient été les biens venu!
L'histoire était pas mal, parfois un peu rapide. Les personnages étaient assez attachant. C'était bien trouvé!
Maria Oceguera
Apr 08, 2016 Maria Oceguera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you ever thought about if it is possible to rise people from the dead ? Well you should read Down A Dark Hall by Lois Duncan. Only four girls made it to the special school and one of them were Kit. They are in a school with special ability's and they are able to rise people from the dead. Kit is there while her parents are at there honeymoon in England.
When she first got to the school and thought it was evil. Kit made new friends there and then they started to have ability's they didn't kn
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.
Oct 11, 2015 Scott rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, horror
I'm not really sure why I keep reading horror books - I don't actually like spending time with evil things but yet a couple times a year I find myself reading some morbid depressing book about evil incarnate.

This is the one I picked this time. I have always enjoyed Lois Duncan's writing and consider her to be very talented. This book was really good (hence the 4 star rating) but I'm glad it's over as I don't like to spend my free time with books like this.

The setup: Take a 16 year old girl who's
Kelly Hager
Sep 13, 2015 Kelly Hager rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 01, 2012 Sharmin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jay G
Jun 26, 2016 Jay G rated it it was ok
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Kit Gordy is sent to Blackwood Hall, a boarding school for girls when her mother remarries and travels to Europe for her honeymoon. When she arrives, she instantly gets a weird feeling, something is wrong but she can't quite put her finger on what it is. When the other girls in her class begin to have strange dreams and develop unbelievable talents, she begins to wonder what Madame Dure
Feb 24, 2010 Alice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jun 14, 2016 Eliza rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting to read this as an adult -- I remember loving it so much as a kid, and even though it didn't have quite the same affect on me now, it's still a good story. The new edition is updated to make it more modern - cell phones, email, etc. I guess that seemed a little too bad too me, since it's not like kids are incapable of understanding that there was a time before text messaging. Still good though. I enjoyed the author's note at the end and was sad to learn about Duncan's daughter being ...more
Jonathan Lee
Nov 13, 2011 Jonathan Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 02, 2011 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
◄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
Jun 13, 2011 Jonathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: advisory
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
Mar 23, 2012 Jia Hui rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lanie (Lanies Book Thoughts)
Originally, I read this book when I was younger and it terrified me. Reading it again as an adult, I still have the same feelings. I love the anticipation of finding out whats going to happen next, and the build up of suspense you get with this story. It really is a great creepy book, specially for Halloween!
May 27, 2009 Jose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4th-quarter
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
This is really great teen gothic fiction. Try to get your hands on an old copy if you can - I unfortunately read a version that was "updated" in 2011. The updates work a little better here than in some of Lois Duncan's other works, but they're not great.

As for the story, the premise here is a bit silly, but the book up until that reveal is fantastic.
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
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Lois Duncan (born Lois Duncan Steinmetz) was 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 grew up in Saraso ...more
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“I feel now as though I’ve been sitting all my life inside a box, and suddenly someone is lifting the lid and I can look up and see the stars.” 3 likes
“Today the average lifetime is over seventy years, long enough for a great number of accomplishments. But this development has occurred within the present century. Before that, people tended to die much younger than they do today, and among those early deaths were those of many brilliant and talented people who had much to give the world. It is those people to whom I reach out. It is to them I offer the opportunity to return.” 2 likes
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