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3.7  ·  Rating details ·  92 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
It came in the dead of the night—a rhythmic creaking sound that only the children could hear. Jackie and Johnny tried not to listen. But it called to them, whispering of evil, luring them into the darkness of the attic.

With its brightly colored saddle and painted-on eyes, it was the most beautiful rockinghorse Jackie and Johnny had ever seen. But as they took turns riding
Mass Market Paperback, 428 pages
Published January 1986 by Zebra Books/Kensington Publishing Corp.
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Wow, this novel had a lot going on! A "haunted" house (I use the term haunted lightly here as the house was so much more), animated body parts, good vs evil, forest creatures, dead beings that are alive (no, not more of that tired zombie genre; totally different) and of course, a rocking horse which really creeped me out and I'd bet it'll creep you out too!

I haven't read much horror from the 80s but if it's anything like this, I certainly will read more! The story starts out innocently enough bu
Jul 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of 80's-style horror
ROCKINGHORSE, by William W. Johnstone is a book that I first read in the 1980's, and now it's finally being re-released! Johnstone doesn't shy away from brutal scenes or from comments and characters that might be "controversial". As a result, we have a horrific story filled with all sorts of grisly, emotional, and supernatural terror.

Tracy and Lucas decide to take a "summer vacation" with their children, Johnny and Jackie. Unfortunately, they decide to go to on old mansion that is in Lucas' fami
Janet Robel
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Spooky and somewhat entertaining! Held my interest in the beginning but there was too much going on between evil entities and cult members to make sense of it all. It has some scary moments but not one of my favorites as far as horror goes. Not bad but I was hoping for better since by the end, I didn't care who survived. I would certainly like to read something else by this author to see if there is a different b
Jul 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, arcs, 2016-reads
I received an ARC version of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wow, where to start? Williams Johnstone wrote some really enjoyable and at times bad dream inducing horror novels back in the 70’s and 80s. This was not one of them. What a hot mess this book was! It was as if the author had three books, possibly four, in mind and decided to write them all in one book. It was like Sybil wrote a horror novel.

We have, all in one book, (1) a demon possessed
Jul 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
I have to say first that this description seems a bit off to me, Jackie and Johnny did not take turns riding the horse... nor were the they only ones who could hear it. Anyway on with the review.

Lucas and Tracy Bowers, a not so happily married couple have been arguing, mainly over the success of Tracy's career. They decide to pack up their kids Jackie and Johnny and take a road trip to Bowers House for the summer. Bowers House is a mansion in Georgia that belonged to Lucas's grandparents before
Nov 13, 2016 rated it liked it
This had me turning pages, had some really gruesome and creepy scenes. Something about it had that 80's horror movie feel. The ending was my only issue. It felt a bit rushed and the dark creepiness of the book became kind of silly. That being said, I did like this author's writing style and would be interested in reading more of his books.
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
To start with the premise is very misleading. In fact, I don't recall either child ever actually getting on the horse, nor were they lured into the attic by the horse. In fact - this story was just plain weird. For the most part, I found myself completely lost while reading it. Yes, there were moments of absolute gore, and a real battle of seemingly "good and evil", but the story as a whole just did not work for me. It also seemed to end on a cliffhanger leaving the reader to wonder just what ha ...more
Sarah Davies
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was given a copy by Netgalley for a fair and unbiased review.

Tracy and Lucas are married but married life isn't going well, they live in New York City and have two children Johnny & Jackie, Tracy is very successful and Lucas and Lucas slightly resents Tracy's success so they decide to spend the summer in Lucas's dead grandmother mansion and have good old fashioned family time.

The Mansion grounds haven't been kept up, but the mansion looks like it has been repainted?? With no one living in
Aug 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
If you're young and impressionable, this is bound to scare the crap out of you. Johnstone wrote some of the finest horror of the 80's and he didn't leave anything out of this one. A scary toy, insane family, and a whole lot of butchering goes on in this haunted house.

This is one of many William Johnstone books of horror that is being re-released by Kensington books - Lryical Underground. I plan to get every one. This is the horror that I love. It's well plotted and a satisfying read. While I won
Susan Angela Wallace
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Rockinghorse by William w Johnstone is a horror read.
It came in the dead of night—a rhythmic creaking sound that only the children could hear. 
Jackie and Johnny tried not to listen. But it called to them, whispering of evil, luring them
into the darkness of the attic.
This was an absolutely fantastic read. With brilliant characters.
This is a must read and I would highly recommend this book. Thanks to netgalley for the arc.
Jul 25, 2016 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this from the publisher, I believe because it is getting reissued. It was an old school scary story, originally published in the 80's. A quick read with a few spooky parts, but overall didn't impress me much.
Sep 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Read this as a young teen all those years ago. Scared the daylights out of me.
Jul 23, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a fun "pulp horror" novel from the 1980's. The plot involves a town that is possessed by some form of evil that seemed to pop up every other day in the 80's. Mindless good fun.
Carolyn Injoy
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Rockinghorse by William W. Johnstone Rockinghorse by William W. Johnstone is a frightening horror story. Because it had numerous typos, I gave it four stars. That did not reflect on the quality of the author's writing.
It is about an evil house with lots of dark scary secrets. A family is almost torn apart by the events that take place. It kept me up late reading, then I couldn't sleep because of a "nightmare" running rampant through my thoughts.
There were some very disturbing scenes, but they
Feb 04, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is ridiculous. I'm annoyed with myself that I finished it. It's way too busy, has far too many random things happening, and (in the Kindle version) has errors that make the story nearly incomprehensible. Oh, and it features the actual worst psychic in history. Don't waste your time. Zero stars.
Beth Hemenway
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it!

Read it years ago and loved it so much I searched to find it. The older stuff was written so much better!
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Classic 80s horror. I really liked the idea with the evil rockinghorse. Many satanic elements and the whole book reads like a movie. Clear recommendation!
Ti Maja-Roebuck
Aug 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: horror fans
Rockinghorse was originally published in 1987 and has recently been re-released. As with most of the books of the 80's the blurb has almost nothing to do with the story.

The story starts off slowly introducing a slew of characters. There's a general underlying sense of danger and perversion as the Bowers family interact with the creepy caretaker, the friendly local store owner who just so happens to also deal in guns on the side, a highway cop and his psychic wife, the suspicious "coven" next doo
Jul 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Epic Chilling Horror

I am so very pleased that books from horror’s golden age (lol – okay, the 1980’s) are being issued, and Rockinghorse is one of the best! I read many of these books when I was a kid, but completely missed this one, so I’m even more pleased that I had a chance to read this one.

In pure William W. Johnstone style, the most innocent of items – in this case an adorable rocking horse, becomes a tool of great evil. The book is fast, violent, and extremely scary.

If you’ve read Johnsto
Jul 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, 2016, horror
This is a re-release of a much beloved 80’s type horror book. I remember reading this so many years ago, and found myself enjoying the story yet again. The book is filled with lots of supernatural beings, some gore that leaves a sickly feeling with the reader, and a bit of mystery surrounding it all.

The only thing that truly bothers me about this book is the description! The children never rode the horse. Others could hear the horse whinny. I don’t know why this is listed as a description but i
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, fiction, own-it
Excellent story, I read it in one sitting.
Shelleen Toland
Aug 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received this book from NetGalley for an honest review. I thought it was great. A family goes to an old family home and they run into evil things. AN old rocking horse comes to life. Strange creatures in the house and the house breathes. I loved the family and the people who came into their lives. This was an older book written in the 8o's and very well written. I could not stop reading it!
Oct 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, netgalley, arc, kindle
I received this arc from Netgalley.

Good book. I'm pretty sure that I read this book way back when it was first published. The reasoning behind that is that I read everything by Zebra Horror(publisher) that I could get my hands on. It was an exciting read and I really enjoyed reading it.
Lakin Aleyse
Jan 16, 2017 rated it liked it
**I received this as an ARC from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

I think this was a good, old school, kind of pulp horror writing style, but I don't think this particular story is for me. I would love to try another novel by the same author.
Katie Warburton
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for a honest review via Netgalley. I thoroughly enjoyed every page, the story grabs you and the characters are believable. I enjoyed this book so much, I have requested more books from this author.
Polly Krize
Sep 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Horror at its best! A great re-issue of this novel from the 80s, and just as horrifying now as it was then. The premise of a rockinghorse that is evil makes this an unforgettable story. Recommended.
Chantale Canadian Book Addict
this book was ok but it isn't something I would be reading again in the future. I like the author's writing style .
Saralee Hooks
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May 27, 2013
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William Wallace Johnstone was a prolific American author, mostly of western, horror and survivalist novels.

Born and raised in southern Missouri, Johnstone was the youngest of four children. His father was a minister and his mother a school teacher. He quit school when he was fifteen and worked in a carnival and as a deputy sheriff. He later served in the Army and, upon returning to civilian life,
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