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The Watch House

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  108 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
The dust flew in clouds, making her cough. Anne looked inside the last glass case. More writing. It was moving Balls of fluff being pushed around like tiny mice. More letters appeared as she watched.

"AnHelpAnHelpAnHelp "

"Anne Help"

Who is writing the messages in the dust? What is the story behind the huge skull in the old Watch House?

Alone and unhappy in Garmouth, Anne know
Hardcover, 228 pages
Published 1977
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Jan 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, horror
I probably read this book for the first time when I was 12, and thought then that it was a good novel. I had a weak spot for Westall at the time. After all, he used to live not far from my nana, and the place of my grandfather's garden allottment was mentioned in another of his novels. It seemed almost a family legacy that I read and enjoy his books.

The Watch House takes place in Tynemouth Garmouth, a place which is like Tynemouth in just about every way but the name. It centres around Anne, a g
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, kids-and-ya
I got this book from someone who had a big pile of them to give away. I figured, 70s horror is cheesy and fun, this is probably a very dated win.

What I did not realize was that this is a young adult occult novel, and it delivers. The theme is loneliness: the loneliness of being the new kid in town, of being the weird kid, of being in an isoltated place, of being a priest, and of being a ghost.

The main character, Anne, is a teen of unstated age. Her mother has dropped her off "like a package" to
Orrin Grey
The Watch House is the first of Robert Westall's ghostly novels for young adults (in the back of the book he says "I always wanted to write a ghost story"). As such, its take on the supernatural isn't quite as nuanced as some of his later stuff. It really reads a lot like a Nancy Drew-esque YA mystery story (albeit with all the usual Westall touches), only with an added ghostly presence. That said, toward the end, there are some really good supernatural bits.

He's got an interesting take on the i
Not Westall's best in terms of plot or organization, but he's still a wonderful writer. The prose just flows so easily and the sense of place makes up for a bunch of cliched twists including the fact that the grownups have to come to the rescue at the end.
Jun 15, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
When an upset teen has to spend the summer with her elderly relatives in a coastal English village she encounters disturbing spirits in the lighthouse. She and her new friends work to unearth the mystery behind the ghostly activities, and have to figure out how to make the spirits rest.

I usually like these types of books, but had a difficult time reading this. It takes a long time to develop the characters and tension, and the language seems dated and stilted. I would not recommend this to teen
Shandi Leonard
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those stories that throws you right into the action. I loved how you could easily relate to anne and her emotions. When she discovers something strange about the watch house, you will be captivated by her journey and will always be wanting more! Great read!
Jen Garuti
Some strange content for a young adult book. Very dated in places. Really slow start, good second half, ok ending.
Rachel Brand
Oct 23, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen-ya, 2005
This book creeped me out so much, which is rather amazing considering that I lived off a diet of Point Horror when I read this!
Petra Be
A good story but rather slow.
Quite different from what I had expected from other Westall books.
Sean Williams
Nov 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually 4.5 stars. I liked it a lot.
Jan 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delightfully creepy without being overly gross - not bedtime reading!
Jul 27, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author by this name in the Goodreads database.

Robert Westall was born in North Shields, Northumberland, England in 1929.

His first published book The Machine Gunners (1975) which won him the Carnegie Medal is set in World War Two when a group of children living on Tyneside retrieve a machine-gun from a crashed German aircraft. He won the Carnegie Medal again i
More about Robert Westall...

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