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Nazareth Hill

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  461 ratings  ·  55 reviews
"A rebellious teenager's tense relationship with her father liberates fearsome monsters of English history. Amy Priestly has always dreaded 'the spider house, ' as she privately calls the abandoned Nazareth Hill monastery. When she and her father, Oswald, move into an apartment in the newly gentrified 'Nazarill, ' her fears are reinforced by the building's gloom--crawly th ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 1st 1998 by Tom Doherty Assoc Llc (first published 1996)
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Average rating 3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  461 ratings  ·  55 reviews

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Nancy Oakes
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
The very long version is here; otherwise read on.

If you're looking for an average haunted house novel with ghosts and ghoulies and things that go bump in the night, do not look here. What you get in Nazareth Hill is a great story where the supernatural provides a backdrop for an intense psychological examination of a man as he sinks into his own madness. Sadly, he drags his daughter right along with him.

I don't understand the negative reviews of this novel -- some people didn't find it scary
Mar 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
A father and daughter move into a building that once housed a mental institution and the former occupants wreck havoc on the new tenants. This is one of the scariest books I have ever read. There were a couple of passages that frightened me so badly, I had to put the book down. The setting is divinely creepy and the characters are interesting and well-developed.
DeAnna Knippling
Laboriously, the crazy, abusive father is crazy and abusive. Too bad, a haunted house makes things even worse, the end. I didn't find this one fun at all, skimmed. It was one awkward, at first emotionally then physically abusive scene after another.
Heidi Ward
After the death of his wife, insurance salesman Oswald Priestly hopes for a fresh start when he moves himself and his teenaged daughter Amy into Nazarill, a centuries-old hulk of a building newly renovated into "luxury apartments." Unfortunately the renovations haven't entirely effaced Nazarill's bloody past, which lies closer to the surface than either Priestly is prepared for. When fifteen year-old Amy's adolescent (and totally normal) rebellions start to puzzle, then annoy, and finally infuri ...more
Emily Crow
I've been meaning to read something by Ramsey Campbell for a while, since I love dark fiction and horror, but every time I've tried, I was stymied by his plodding and overly ornate writing style. For the first 100 pages of Nazareth Hill, I was sure I was embarking on yet another Campbell DNF, but other reviews assured me that there would be some payoff by the end, so I persevered.

The story concerns a father and daughter, Oswald and Amy Priestly, who move into a creepy former asylum turned into a
Rebecca McDowell
Drawn out, garbled prose leading to a bummer conclusion. I simply didn't enjoy reading it. It took too long for me to figure out what the author was trying to say - it may be an issue of personal taste, but I found his writing style cluttered and difficult to follow. I believe other people have had the same problem.

The two other main issues I had:

1. Too many characters (and too much time spent describing people who didn't matter); and

2. Unrealistic characterization. I realize he was trying to ma
Nov 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
I have become spoiled by fast-paced thrillers. Novels like Nazareth Hill remind me to stop and feel the dread. toward the end of the read, I literally had my jaw drop in horror y
Pam Baddeley
This is the story of the disintegration of a relationship between father and daughter, and its descent into insanity and horror, with supernatural elements woven in. I found it rather a disappointment after some of Campbell's other novels, especially since the setting - a block of flats created from the derelict remains of an old building which had a past as offices and before that a lunatic asylum - and the cast of newly arrived flat owners did have potential. However, the involvement of the ot ...more
Lisa *OwlBeSatReading*
Mar 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Aah, that was so good!

The House on Nazareth Hill is a creepy and nostalgic story that is an absolute must for fans of slightly cheesy, traditional style horror.

Ramsey Campbell's narrative style reminds me of James Herbert, who is responsible for my love of the horror genre as I read The Dark when I was knee high to a grasshopper, and it hooked me right in. That's where my horror journey started and I've never looked back.

Initially, this had a slow start, with lots of character development and de
Lindsey Albright
Jun 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Psychological Thriller Lovers, Horror Fanatics, and People that Love the UK
Recommended to Lindsey Albright by: Teri Graham
I really enjoyed this story. I don't think it's one I'd ever read twice, but I did like it.
I struggled through some characters' perspectives and found myself at constant internal conflict over my opinion of a few of them. I can't honestly say that I actually liked any of them completely. Personally, I just didn't know what to feel while I was reading, other than aggravation and distress. The reason that this book didn't get five stars is because this is a review from what I experienced and what
Sep 13, 2008 rated it did not like it
Will someone tell me what I’m missing about Ramsey Campbell? I’m being serious here. I haven’t been able to finish one of his novels yet. I tried to read his newest, “Grin in the Dark,” which features an evil clown that unleashes a nameless evil on the world. Stephen King did the same thing a thousand times better when he wrote “It,” and at the time he was coked out of his mind.

Anyway…Nazareth Hill came highly recommended by a fellow librarian who also happens to be a horror connoisseur. I figur
Grainne Rhuad
I .can see why this book received so many poor reviews on Goodreads. It is terribly unweildy, taking forever to get to the point, and that is in nearly every paragraph.

However, it was hard for me to hate it because the IDEA, the story was so compelling to me. I'm going to say, it was tedious to read at times. Okay, most times. It left me feeling some how less intelligent. As if me not connecting and diving in was my fault.

But then I reminded myself of my book enjoyment rule. "If there is a goo
Mar 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
This might have been a decent read if it was half as long. The extremely one-dimensional characters were its undoing. A short list of evil people: the religious, authority figures, anyone working in an office, old people. The good: people who have multiple facial piercings, do drugs, ride around in psychedelically painted vans. I thought I was maybe being oversensitive, but then came the part where her father's co-workers, who otherwise seem to simply be normal people at a small-town insurance o ...more
Mar 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A chilling story... As a child, Amy was afraid of the old building on the hill, called Nazerill by the town's inhabitants. Now, at fifteen, she and her father have taken up residence in that same building, which has been converted into luxury apartments. But the house on the hill holds dark secrets, and they are worming their way to the surface...
Jan 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
This guy's books are fabulously written and one of the few authentically scary authors out there... so much so that I actually don't recommend reading him. Pleasurable disquietude that has too much disquietude and not enough pleasure. Sorry, ramsey!
May 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Pretty good horror novel. Campbell does a great job of building the suspense throughout the novel. The relationship between the father and daughter is fascinating. And the ending will blow you away!
Thomas Burchfield
May 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: literary-horror
Ramsey Campbell is one of my favorite authors in any genre for his exquisite prose style which imbues everyday life with ferocious menace in the same intense fashion that Vladimir Nabokov imbued everyday life with brightness and magic. There's really no one like him in his skill at turning the world inside out through his black magic prose and his portrayals of loneliness and alienation ring true. Like the great VN, he is truly "trippy" as he twists reality around to make us see it all a little ...more
Jon Vaughan
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nazareth Hill is a powerful and moving novel featuring many of the qualities that make Ramsey Campbell so good. Compassionate social commentary, clever wordplay, and a tightening sense of dread and unreality frolic on the pages between a flawed, but idyllic, home and a towering inferno of madness. It goes a bit off the rails at the very end in a way that makes sense thematically but not as much in a dramatic sense. Even then, there are some very good bits at the end. But the best stuff is the le ...more
Nov 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
As loathe as I am to mark down one of my favourite authors, I think that Campbell's best writing is in the short story format. His longer work, such as this novel, feels more episodic and a bit constrained at times by the format. THE HOUSE ON NAZARETH HILL is a book I first read as a teenager; I borrowed it from the library shortly after release and found it a depressing experience. Now, some 20 years later, I decided to have another look.

The book is a spin on the old haunted house format, with
Joe Bogue
Jan 31, 2019 rated it did not like it
Was very disappointed in this book. Great premise, but absolutely no pay off. Excruciatingly slow pace with no build up of tension. The language is too British to be easily relatable. Side characters get featured in chapters that don't add to the main narrative. Then those characters are never featured again, if they are even mentioned again. The narrative starts linear than begins to backtrack between character perspectives. This kills any tension that might have been built up by the previous c ...more
Dennis D.
Creepy on multiple levels. I’d give it 3.5 if I could!
Dec 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
A father and his teenage daughter move into a new apartment, which is housed in a former asylum. The longer they are there, the more insane everything gets.

This novel was too slow moving for me. The story had potential, but the writing didn't drawn me in.
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
There are many problems with this book, and neither the cruelty that pervades it nor the bleak ending are the worst. Slightly more importantly, it is strangely devoid of emotion, whether in its display of a romantic relationship without any sign of affection, the father and daughter that can only seem to have an empty and aimless anger between them, or the dialogues that can at best be called disapproving.

In fact, anger and disapproval appear to be the main traits of every character, without exc
Jul 05, 2012 rated it liked it
I have such mixed feelings about this book. At times, it felt like a true chore to read. It probably could have used some heavy editing to trim its somewhat considerable fat, and there were parts where the pace dragged to the point that slogging through it felt more like homework than leisure. Sometimes I find Ramsey Campbell's prose a little impenetrable or clunky. Occasionally, I have to read certain sentences more than once to make sure I understand what they were intended to communicate.

Lisa (Harmonybites)
Oct 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Horror Fans
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
This one took a while for me to get into, I almost stopped at fifty pages where nothing had happened yet but a truly boring tenants meeting However, the setting of modern Northern England as written by a British writer had an inherent fascination for me.

Nazareth Hill is where witches once danced and where an insane asylum once housed them after witch hunts went out of fashion--and there are strange happenings going on there--ones witnessed by several people, particularly a fifteen year old girl
Chris Cangiano
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Ramsey Campbell's novels are always rather hit-or-miss affairs for me. I either find them terribly entertaining or deadly dull, unfortunately for my tastes, Nazareth Hill falls decidedly in the miss category. He starts with a sound idea, a block of luxury flats into the frame of an old mansion on the site of a former insane asylum, and explores the way that past sins come back to haunt the present occupants. One of my main problems with the way the story is presented is that the pace is not mere ...more
Apr 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book on Andrea's recommendation. Besides, it was only a dollar. Even if it wasn't my type of book, I was only out a dollar. I didn't really read too much of the covers till I typed it into Goodreads and noticed that Andrea had rated this as one of the scariest books she's ever read. Knowing that she's a Stephen King fan, I was scared out of my wits to try to read this book. In fact, I very nearly didn't. But I put on my big girl panties and waded in.

That said, I didn't find this bo
Craig Herbertson
This is a horror tale of the gradual oppression of a young girl which works at a number of levels. Campbell is skilled writer so as one would expect it is well plotted with more characterization than the average horror tale. The book is ripe with metaphors and similes - perhaps too rich for the average horror fan and to my mind it would have benefited from a ruthless editor who could easily cull thirty or forty pages to no detriment of the book. It was difficult in the concluding chapters to ide ...more
Peter Greenwell
Oct 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Not one of Campbell's better efforts. It starts out a bewildering mess, being introduced to a dozen or so characters who subsequently have zero or almost to do with the story. Halfway through the novel, it picks up and boy, does it ever. It's page-turning stuff, but why did a reader have to wade through a bunch of inconsequential padding first?

Trimmed of about a third the volume, and the meaningless first few chapters excised, this book would've been a five star effort, like The Hungry Moon was
Dec 01, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Okay. I'm not a reader of horror/suspense fiction and happened across this book as a random pull off the library shelf. It seemed mildly intriguing, but I honestly couldn't make it more than 50 pages into it. The story was sloooow and the dialogue awful! I can't even describe the inane conversations of the characters. And the 'apartment security meeting' was the end of it for me. Explain to me why a man in an apartment building would call his neighbors together at random, suggest forming a watch ...more
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Ramsey Campbell is a British writer considered by a number of critics to be one of the great masters of horror fiction. T. E. D. Klein has written that "Campbell reigns supreme in the field today," while S. T. Joshi has said that "future generations will regard him as the leading horror writer of our generation, every bit the equal of Lovecraft or Blackwood."

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