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The Hunting Ground

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  453 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
When Elliott and his brother move into the old and crumbling Glebe House they don't expect to find themselves sharing it with ghosts. But soon sinister events are unfolding. An old diary reveals glimpses of the mansion's past - and of a terrible tragedy. An old woman talks to ghosts - but is she in fact being controlled by them? And what of the sinister East Wing - a hideo ...more
Hardcover, 274 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Orion (first published May 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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I give this book 3.5 stars.

The book started of quite well, with Eve at the beginning, When she was dragging her doll around on the floor.

But after reading few more chapters in the book, i found the book wasn't scary at all really.

The only thing i didn't really like was when they were reading the dairy of Theo Stark, i did at first, but then when they found more of the dairy pages, it didn't seem like a dairy anymore it started turning into a first person perspective.

But this was a great read.
This is a young teenage ghost novel that I think would suit an age range of around 12-14. The book starts off well and delves straight into a creepy scene with no slow build up. Tension is created right from the beginning and I actually found the start of the book quite unnerving. What can be more scary than small Victorian ghost girls that drag their dolls behind them, leaning over you in the middle of the night? Still gives me chills thinking about it...

The end of the book is also quite drama
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
A lesson in how NOT to write a ghost story...

Despite throwing heaps of information on the reader at the beginning, I still had to endure it all through the climax. What should have been a thrilling and exciting "hunt" was constantly interrupted by diaries explaining this, and old ladies explaining that... Hell, even the antagonist, Cullayn, started explaining when he should have been hunting! And for all his explaining, he was the most under-cooked villain I've ever seen. Does he even say why he
Arjun Thakrar (Excellent Reads)
When Elliott and his brother, Ben, move into the old and crumbling Glebe House they don't expect to find themselves sharing it with ghosts. But soon sinister events are unfolding. An old diary reveals glimpses of the mansion's past - and of a terrible tragedy. A mysterious woman talks to the dead. And evil lurks in the East Wing - a hideous labyrinth of passageways devised by a truly twisted mind. Can Elliott and his family escape the clutches of Glebe House? Or will they be trapped in the maze ...more
I haven’t read a ghost story in a while, so I thought a young adult book wouldn’t be too scary of a re-introduction to ghost stories. However, The Hunting Ground is quite creepy for a kids book! I guess that’s why it says “Not for younger readers” on the back of the book!

I found the book to start very well, with tension building immediately. I certainly felt a little wary when I put the book down and turned off the light… If anything had made a sound shortly after I’d put the book down, I’d have
✿ℎazℯℓ - thℯ ℛock Cℎick ℱairy✿
Chilling and really haunting.

When the characters are kids.. it's really hard not to get goosebumps, that's for sure.
The plot is surely well thought of. The characters have a mind of their own.

I like the twists and turns. I just have a love-hate relationship when it comes to the cheesy parts.

All in all, still a scary, yet really interesting and intense book.
Sarah Mains
Very poorly written
Emily Therese
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I remember reading this book when I was little. I enjoyed every moment of it. I didn't get scared throughout the book, but a couple of days later I started to get really creeped out. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ five starts from me! ...more
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
very predictable! That's all.
Mar 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, horror
This is a ghost story; shelving it as horror is a bit over the top but I realised I have no ghost shelf so here goes. It's definitively a young adult novel, the main characters are brothers around 16-17 years old, but it felt more like middle-grade. I can't explain why, but it just struck me as a bit like the old Goosebumps books.

Overall a quick, but not very memorable read. If it hadn't been on my to-read list for years I might not have bothered. I did like the brothers tho. And Janey.
Serendipity Reviews
May 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Cliff McNIsh knows how to scare the pants off you! This book is full to the brim of hair raising, spine tingling, ghostly moments that will leave you constantly looking over your shoulder. You won't be able to sleep at night, as you analyse each and every sound to convince yourself there is no such thing as ghosts!

This book is told from the point of view of Elliott, a sixteen year old boy who has moved into a rather sinister house with his father and younger brother, whilst his dad repairs the h
Kirsty (overflowing library)
The Hunting ground is a really creepy thriller which will play on your mind long after you finish reading it. It is well written and keeps you engrossed all the way through, with every word precisely selected and masterfully deployed to scare the pants off you.

The story centres around a family of three Elliot, Ben and their Dad who have moved into a creepy old mansion to renovate it. As time goes on strange things are seen and heard which makes the family start to worry that there might be somet
May 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
I do enjoy a good ghost story especially those with a subtle build up which don't rely on blood and gore to terrorise the reader - think The Woman in Black by Susan Hill, the ghost stories of M R James and, more recently, Dark Matter by Michelle Paver. I don't think there are enough good ghostly books out there for young teens as the focus has been on vampires and is now turning to zombies so this is a neglected zone which Cliff McNish is exploring. This is my first foray into the world of McNis ...more
Emma Adams
Oct 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
A creepy mansion with a tragic past not quite buried and an evil presence in the corridors… Cliff McNish tells a classic ghost story which proves that some things never fail to send chills down the spine, and sometimes, traditional ghost stories work best.

When siblings, Ben and Elliott, move into an old estate, they don’t expect their sleep to be disturbed by strange noises, nor the corridors to be filled with creepy paintings of the previous owner standing over the corpses of hunted animals.

Beth Kemp
Jan 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this in a day, because I started it on the way to work, continued on the way home and snuck away to finish it before dinner so that I would be able to comfortably go to bed. This is not a book for the very young (and I wouldn’t recommend it at bedtime, either!). It’s no gory horror, but it is excruciatingly tense. Cliff McNish is a skilful craftsman who knows how to manipulate the tension level and keep you guessing – there is a mystery element to this novel as well.

As the blurb shows, t
Sep 20, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was creepy. It wasn't that scary, no. But the dark atmosphere of the book lingers like a dark cloud above it's reader's head, even long after you've read the book. The way the writer depicted and wrote the story seems normal enough while you're reading, but before you know it, once you get sucked into the world of Elliott and Ben, you'll most definitely feel it--a slight chill in the back of your bones, that someone's-watching-me feeling creeping in.

I found myself inexplicably drawn o
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was entertaining and pretty scary at times. I never did read it alone. Otherwise I may have been really creeped out. There was a point in the story where I wasn't sure where it was going and then it took off. So many times I was genuinely creeped out. A great spooky story and a great for Halloween time!
Sep 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

so the setting was great, a bit cliche,(seeing how everyone goes for the haunted, gothic, eerily beautiful mansion,) but nonetheless great.
the characters were great too and I loved the way they were protrayed. the ghosts were freaking scary at first but upon finding out about their intentions, i started to warm up to them.
of co
Jan 26, 2014 rated it liked it
The Hunting Ground is a well written, fast paced creepy thriller and keeps you hooked all the way through.

The story is above a two children and their Dad who have moved into an old mansion in order for their Dad to renovate it. As the story evolves strange things are heard and seen, which makes the family become worried and curious about their new surroundings. They soon learn that something is not quiet right with their new accommodation, especially the east

The story is told by Elliot, wh
P.J. Roscoe
Nov 04, 2014 rated it liked it
It started off very well and kept me hanging on, wanting to learn more, however, about three quarters of the way in, it just became 'silly' for me anyway. I found it difficult to imagine the hunting ground or the baddie but I found the ghosts and the clairvoyant unrealistic in their behaviours and abilities which ruined it for me. I don't want to ruin it for anyone else so i won't say what they did, but it felt like two types of genres merging. The first half, a great, spooky story, then more li ...more
Sam Pope
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another chiller from Cliff McNish - although a young adult author his books are as scary as any adult ones I have read. In this, two brothers are tormented by the ghost of a young girl almost immediately after they arrive at Glebe House, which their dad has been commissioned to renovate. The secret seems to lie in the East Wing and in the old lady who wanders the grounds in a dress covered in wilting flowers. Increasingly, the younger boy Ben becomes obsessed with the portraits of the former mas ...more
Jun 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: uk-authors
I’m not a fan of ghost stories but I couldn’t resist this and I’m so glad I didn’t. The Hunting Ground is creepy and disturbing for all the right reasons. I was so engrossed in the story I forgot pretty much everything around me.

The Hunting Ground has a split narration; most of the story follows Elliott and his younger brother as they unravel the mystery of Glebe House but one of their clues is the diary of a young boy called Theo whose family were the last occupants at Glebe House in the 1960s.
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was ok

One lazy Sunday at the library, the sinister cover of this book beckoned me over, and whispered in my ear ‘’ Read me, you must’’

In a trance, I picked this up, stopped for a minute to question it’s obvious title, flipped it around and read the preface – which seemed promising enough, and proceeded to check out.

But! boy, oh boy.

The second I flipped the book open, I was smacked in the face with a bulging sack of paranormal activities.
Cliff McNish clearly, had zero interest in following the usual c
Jan 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
The Hunting Ground sounded so intriguing, going off the synopsis and the reviews, and the beginning did not disappoint, however I quickly discovered that what started off creepy and interesting turned out to be quite cheesy. When I say 'cheesy' I mean the Halloween movies that Disney make that were totally scary when I watched them as a child, but now are silly and flawed. Although the plot (and some tiny other details) were not very well thought through, McNish's writing style and scene setting ...more
May 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
A Haunting Hunt

I was sent a copy of this to review.

This story of two brothers and their father who roam the country renovating houses slips comfortably into an easy reading style. Pages slip past under your fingers and before you know it the birds are singing outside the winter.

The tale starts with the ghost of the little girl, Amy, watching the boys sleep and descends further into terror with each passing page. The tales of the former occupants is told in back story through the medium of pages
Annmarie Ager
Mar 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
i really enjoyed this book. as a bit horror fan this was my sort of thing while its still for young adults the horror is at a minimum but the chills the book gave me and the times i looked over my shoulder whole reading the just proves how good the book is. the book had an amazing story that leaves you wondering why you may in bed DID I HEAR A NOISE....IS THAT SHODOW MOVING....DO I HEAR WHISPERS. if you like a scare but with minimum blood read this :)
Adele Broadbent
This is a great ghost story with a bit of a difference. The ghosts of children are still hanging around wanting vengeance on the man who killed them. He's an evil dude, with a twisted bent for hunting. But who will be the hunted and who will do the hunting?

Jul 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
very good haunted house story- brought the characters (including the main entity and the house itself) top life and I couldn't put this book down. Some images still remain in my head- and that proves it was a good read!
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According to my Mum, when I was arriving in this world on the night of 24th August 1962 the electricity in the house failed, and all the lights went out. So I was born part in darkness and part in candlelight. I’ve no idea what significance that has, but it sounds impressive somehow…

I was born in Sunderland, a city in the north-east of England. I’d like to say I picked up the local Mackam accent,
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