Chelsea's Reviews > The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall

The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall by Mary Downing Hahn
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Jul 07, 10

bookshelves: childrens, ghosts, historicalfiction, advance, 2010, own, middlereader
Read on June 30, 2010

** spoiler alert ** For a ghost story, it wasn't particularly scary. Now, it is a middle reader book, so take that with a grain of salt, but: I'm a huge wimp. Huge. Usually children's-book-scary is about as scary as I can take.

The actual ghost bit was pretty standard: cold spots, the feeling of someone watching you, weird whispers. But then Hahn lost what little creepy factor she had built up, because the ghost was a bratty, spoiled little girl with a mean streak.

Altogether, the book seemed disjointed. In a failed attempt to create suspense, none of the characters wanted to tell our heroine Florence (and thus the reader) how Sophia had died, just that it was a terrible accident, and that her brother James somehow felt responsible. Then we arrive at the climactic scene, and the three of them are up on the roof, and there was an info dump: they were on the roof a year ago today and Sophia dared James to walk the roof line but he said he wouldn't unless she did and she fell and died so she's haunting him because she's mad she died instead of him because she's so much cooler than him so she's decided she's going to make him walk it now because if he dies she'll come back to life and everything will be just like it should have been originally. (whew!)

And the ending... My best guess is that Hahn got bored halfway through writing this one, and figured "Eh, close enough. I'm Mary Downing Hahn, they'll read it anyway. Now, I'll just tack on a sentence about how my villain probably isn't defeated yet, and THE END! Writing!"

Hmmm... This review is probably a pretty bad representation of how bored I was reading this, huh? Let's try again: Florence is lame, Sophie is a psychopath, James is 6 and not in the fun way, and everyone else is vague and creepy in a way that only characters in bad horror stories are vague and creepy. THE END!
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