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The Mourning House

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  516 ratings  ·  92 reviews
Devastated by tragedy, Dr. Sam Hatch is a shadow of his former self. He travels the byroads of America, running away from a past he cannot escape. There is no salvation for him.

And then he sees the house. Like a siren, it calls to him. Yet the house is not what it appears to be. Is it a blessing, a gift...or a curse?
Kindle Edition, 182 pages
Published December 18th 2012 by Delirium Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  516 ratings  ·  92 reviews

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Oct 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, favorites
I often find something to bitch about when reading short stories and novellas because usually something is missing or lacking or characterization gets shafted in exchange for less words. Or, perhaps the worst sin of short stories, the ending is rushed. Don’t you hate that? The Mourning House is an example of how to do the novella the right way. It has a very small cast of characters, doesn’t attempt more than it should, builds with a slow, creeping sense of dread that slowly leads up to the non- ...more
Dec 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, read-2013
This is the first book I've read in 2013, and talk about starting the year with a bang! Sam Hatch has just suffered a serious tragedy and has found himself wandering the country. He finally stumbles upon a house in a small town and immediately buys it. He's not sure why the house speaks to him so much, but the residents of the small town all think that the it's haunted.

And maybe it is.

Because Sam begins to hear noises in it late at night, and when he goes searching for the sources, digging thro
Dec 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was an excellent haunted house story.

Dr. Hatch has lost his family. Broken by the weight of his guilt, he decides to leave the family home and wander aimlessly. Until he comes upon an abandoned house. The Mourning House.

I have read a few great haunted house stories in the last few weeks. This one stands right up there with the best of them.
Rob Twinem
Mar 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: darkfuse
I am a great fan of Ronald Malfi and think his writing is full of eloquence and heartbreaking moments. He has a descriptive style that is very easy to read and always draws the reader in. In The Mourning House we meet Sam Hatch a deeply disturbed and unhappy individual who has moved to an isolated dwelling following the tragic death of his wife and daughter. We soon learn that Sam is emotionally upset and his state of mind is spiralling out of control as he attempts to come to terms with his los ...more
Paul Nelson
Mar 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Sam Hatch has the perfect life, successful, lots of friends, lovely family, all until a car crash robs him of everything, with his family gone he’s now a shadow of the man he was and tormented to the point of drifting through life with no destination and no dreams.

During his travels a strange compulsion draws him to an old ruined house overlooking the Chesapeake Bay and astonishingly enough he buys the property.

He starts to renovate the house and pretty soon weird things start to happen, objects
Oct 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
"The Mourning House" is a very creepy haunted house tale.

Dr. Sam Hatch suffers the loss of his young family in a brutal automobile accident. Dropping out of life, Sam begins a decline that may be the side effects of anxiety meds, insanity or a haunting.

Malfi keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering what is coming next and keeps the reader in dread of what the next piece of the puzzle to fall in place will be.

Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-reads, horror
Another fine novella from Darkfuse.

To those who read lots of dark fiction, and ghost stories in particular, this is familiar territory. We even feel like we have been in this house before. Yes, there is the creaking floorboard and the shadow moving in the next room. Wasn't the staircase over there? Let's find the closets, because as we all know, a lot of things happen in closets and basements. Oh never mind. That doesn't matter.

While this story will definitely feel familiar, what isn't so commo
Fungi From Yuggoth
Review of The Mourning House by Ronald Malfi
5 Stars

This novella is perfect, compact, and complete. A strong plot line, a couple of back stories, good characterizations, and an old abandoned house which is a character all in itself. Yes, the title does play out in the course of the story, although the working out is subtle. In general, this story is all about subtlety: no bludgeoning nor splatterpunk here. This is the work of an accomplished author (and I knew to expect that after reading Mr. Mal
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The more I read Malfi, the more I like him. The man surpases any genre limitations/expectations and never take an easy way out. His horror is literary, intelligent, moving and exceptionally well written. So much more than another book about haunted real estate, this is a story of loss, sadness and despair, of a man drowning in it all and a house that serves as his sinking hole. Short read, only took an hour, but extremely satisfying. Thank you Charlene for my first ever Kindle loan. Deeply depre ...more
Timothy Ward
Jul 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, horror
I could give all of Ronald Malfi's books five stars. His characters move into your soul and make you endure their story through his poetic, haunting, and suspenseful tales. He's my favorite horror author and this one was just what I was hoping for. It's a shorter length story, but that doesn't take away from its power. A doctor has a terrible accident, becomes a drifter and winds up at an old house with eerie powers. He intends to fix it up, but the house develops a hold on him that is beyond be ...more
This was a short spooky read about a man that loses his family in a horrific accident and moves out to a house in the woods to get away from it all. The house is haunted as he soon finds out and the house weaves itself around the man as he explores not only his inner self but the rooms of the house. Giving it five stars for keeping me entertained and spooked.
Dec 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
This story is about a man named Sam Hatch who loses his wife and daughter in a car accident. Then decides to drive and leave everything behind. He comes upon this old beat up abandoned house (The Mourning House). He decides to buy it and fix it up to live in. This is when he starts seeing and hearing and finding strange things in the house. I did enjoy this quick read. It was not one of RM best, but still a good read. I gave it 3 1/2 stars.
Carl Alves
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
As the name would suggest, The Mourning House is a bit of a dreary and depressing novel. The novel starts off with Dr. Sam Hatch getting into a car accident that kills his wife and young daughter. That starts a downward spiral for Sam as he abandons his life and becomes a drifter. He winds up buying a house in the middle of nowhere that has some mysterious and mystical properties. The house “calls” to Sam, and he begins renovations on it. Without going into spoiler territory, things get weird af ...more
Dec 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Mourning House is one of the first short stories to make its way into my tablet via Kindle, and as such, it would have had to have been fantastically bad to fail me. The whole new approach to books is really addicting so, fair warning. May contain undue bias.

With that out of the way, let me say that there could have been few better welcomes to my new reading reality than this. I am a long time fan of the genre; particularly ghost stories and the afterlife. but I am accustomed to far more run
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, read-2012, novella
The Mourning House is a sad, haunting, emotional story about a man who’s lost it all. Sam lost his wife and baby daughter in a terrible accident that’s haunted him ever since. He can’t stand to live in his house anymore, an empty shell, a memory of his life long gone. He walks through empty rooms and hears his wife’s voice or his daughter’s cries. He runs away from the tragedy, and spends a year traveling from place to place, a refugee without any place to call home. Until he comes upon a creepy ...more
Brett Talley
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In life, there are times when one comes upon a work of art that is so stunning, so brilliant, and so fantastic that the mind struggles to accept that it is real. So is Ronald Malfi’s “Mourning House.” For years, I have searched for a piece of storytelling, a novel, a short-story, a movie, a television show, that could chill me. That could reach down in my soul and twist it. That could make me shudder and break out in goosebumps. Something I could savor every moment of and enjoy at some deep, tra ...more
Jan 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, horror, owned
I lost my Kindle before I wrote this so I cannot recall the names precisely. Suffice it to say a man has a car crash where he gruesomely loses his wife and child. He cannot seem to put it behind him. The dilapidated house he rents at the beach to fix up literally turns into the nightmare he was trying to run away from and as he becomes part of it he literally fades away.

It's a nice but depressing novella that tells a compelling story well. We can see Dr. Sam Hatch just fade away a little more e
Todd Russell
A haunted house tale with some real bite about a man who stumbles upon a creepy, rundown house (a "dump" as it's called in the story) and is compelled supernaturally to restore it. This novella is a tightly compact tale with some great chills (view spoiler). I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The fifth DarkFuse title I've read since joining their book club. Must read horror novella, especially for those who love haunted house tales!
Jul 19, 2018 added it
I picked this up again the other night, thinking that maybe I had read it.

I had a few years back. At the end I was greeted with another surprise. I had reviewed it on Amazon, but not on here. So here’s my original review. I just want to note that I enjoyed reading it the second time as well:

The mystery here unfolds at a perfect pace. The main character at times seems to descend into madness, but Malfi keeps you guessing. Maybe the occurrences in the story are real and not some product of the pr
John Wiltshire
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I do believe that horror is one of the most difficult genres to write in--if you want to get it right. Slasher, gore shock-fest isn't hard, but genuine, disturbing creep is. Of course, it depends on what unnerves you, I guess. This novella is unsettling. As with all Malfi's books, it's beautifully written, and not in that literary-critics-love-it way, but in the way of great storytelling, that sense of just sinking down into something comfortable to be told a good story. Great storytelling is hi ...more
Chris Berko
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very good Malfi story that's atmospheric AF. As with his other stuff there is this building sense of dread right with a fitting and emotional conclusion. This is the shortest piece I've read by him, the other three were novels, but everything I've come to love about his writing is here just found in shorter doses. Recommended for a short read when wanting to be creeped out.
Joe Hempel
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
In today’s horror literary world, you find more works trying to shock you with scenes of gore rather than chill you to the bone. When you pick up Malfi’s work though, you won’t find scenes of shock, you will find tortured characters, locations that seem to have a life of their own, and descriptive writing that’s on par with the masters of horror past.

While Hatch is the main character the real star of the story is this house that he finds. It manipulates you, drives you to see things and interpre
Kari Dennis
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review contains spoilers

A beautifully written, very creepy story. A man falls asleep behind the wheel and his wife and baby die in the accident. After the funeral he takes off without a word to anyone, and almost 2 years later a dilapidated house that should be condemned catches his eye. He buys the house, begins repairs, and almost immediately strange things begin to happen. Is someone else in the house? Things are moved around, but even stranger, things placed in a certain closet seem to
May 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of well written Horror
Recommended to Robby by: DarkFuse
A big shout-out to DarkFuse for giving me the opportunity to accept this novella as one of their gift offers for membership. This was my first reading of Ronald Malfi; though I have other novels by the author; "The Mourning House" won out. And am I glad it did. This was an exceptional novella and I would prefer to rate it as (4.5) if that was possible with this system. I must profess to procrastinating when it comes to finally writing this review on the aforementioned title; in that I finished i ...more
Jan 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Dr. Sam Hatch had everything, a beautiful wife, a brand new baby daughter and a good paying job. He lost all of that the night of the car crash. Sam had fallen asleep at the wheel and his wife and daughter were killed. Sam could not take the pain of living in the home that he once shared with his family. Sam runs away from the heartbreak and spends a year traveling from one city to another. Sam spotted this small white abandon house on this deserted service rd. Something drew Sam to this house b ...more
Heidi Ward
Having recently lost his wife and child in a car accident while he was at the wheel, Dr. Sam Hatch is drowning in grief and self-recrimination. Driven to abandon his old life, Sam has set out on a cross-country journey to nowhere in particular . . . until he finds himself compelled by a ruin of a house on the periphery of Chesapeake Bay. And, despite his uneasy feeling and the local rumors, he also feels compelled to buy it and fix it up. And the rest . . . well, you should read it.

The Mourning
Oct 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
God, I love me some Ronald Malfi. I have read a couple of his books and have another one waiting for me on my Nook, so when I saw Netgalley offering this novelette, I jumped on it.

It is written with his same incredibly descriptive scenery and twists which leave a reader scratching his/her head! Malfi is one of those authors who can write a mean short story or full length novel with the same level of quality which is a rare feat as they require different writing capabilities.

In The Mourning Hou
Murray Andrews
Sep 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
This short story is a superbly well written novella. It's creepy as hell, wish novels of the same genre could be written this well. It's a must for anyone who loves haunted stories.
 (shan) Littlebookcove
Sep 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this I felt a surge of utter tragedy throughout the story. a sense also to house of leafs all in all an awesome story.
Jan 15, 2013 rated it liked it
While I liked this story, the predictability was a bit uh, predictable, which is why it got only three stars from me. Also, this isn't truly a novel. It's a novella, and it feels a bit unfinished. The ending has sort of a 'tacked on' feel. Malfi should have done a better job explaining why the house in the title is what it is, and how it got that way. That doesn't happen. This, coupled with the questions regarding the ending leave the reader feeling like some pages got lost somewhere along the w ...more
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Ronald Malfi is an award-winning author of many novels and novellas in the horror, mystery, and thriller categories from various publishers, including Little Girls, this summer’s 2015 release from Kensington.

In 2009, his crime drama, Shamrock Alley, won a Silver IPPY Award. In 2011, his ghost story/mystery novel, Floating Staircase, was a finalist for the Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Awa