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A Winter Haunting

(Seasons of Horror #4)

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  7,849 ratings  ·  658 reviews
A once-respected college professor and novelist, Dale Stewart has sabotaged his career and his marriage -- and now darkness is closing in on him. In the last hours of Halloween he has returned to the dying town of Elm Haven, his boyhood home, where he hopes to find peace in isolation. But moving into a long-deserted farmhouse on the far outskirts of town -- the one-time re ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 371 pages
Published December 31st 2002 by HarperTorch (first published 2002)
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Greg There are actually four books (and another with just a tiny connection). They are in publication order: SUMMER OF NIGHT, CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT, FIRES …moreThere are actually four books (and another with just a tiny connection). They are in publication order: SUMMER OF NIGHT, CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT, FIRES OF EDEN & A WINTER HAUNTING. The fifth book, DARWIN'S BLADE is only connected by a few mentions of the character Lawrence Stewart, younger brother of Dale Stewart, one of the main characters from SUMMER OF NIGHT.(less)
Gordon Grant I would definitely recommend reading A Winter Haunting during the dead of Winter. The silence of snow, the way it and cold weather tend to isolate peo…moreI would definitely recommend reading A Winter Haunting during the dead of Winter. The silence of snow, the way it and cold weather tend to isolate people and the way Summer seems so far away, almost unreal during Winter all allow the mood of the book to seep in a little deeper...(less)
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Average rating 3.60  · 
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 ·  7,849 ratings  ·  658 reviews

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Oct 08, 2012 rated it liked it

oh my god thank you dan simmons!


oh, dan simmons, i wish you had dedicated the terror to me instead of this one. spooky month is not going as well as i had hoped...

this is fine. it is a very straightforward, classic-feeling horror novel,like an early stephen king or something, and i still think simmons is a good writer, but this one just didn't thrill me the way the terror did.

it is at once a psychological horror novel and a t
Johann (jobis89)
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“All good things beyond sleep come precisely because we defy gravity while we live.”

Following his divorce and suicide attempt, Dale Stewart moves back to Elm Haven, deciding to live in the house his childhood friend lived in, to work on a new novel.

How, oh how, was this book going to live up to Summer of Night? Spoiler alert - it doesn’t. But that’s okay, because it’s still a very enjoyable and chilling tale!

I would NOT read this one before Summer of Night, it’s spoiler city in there! It’s not a
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
A great "sequel" to the classic tale, SUMMER OF NIGHT. Dan Simmons at his best again! ...more
Something's waiting for me at Duane McBride's old family farmhouse......

When the haunted 52 year old Professor Dale Stewart decides to return to his childhood stomping ground to revisit the inner demons of his past (by writing a novel) and expunge the errors of his ways, he encounters more than he bargained for with spirits from beyond as well as some pretty nasty humanoid beings.

While satisfyingly creepy, I did not find this novel truly scary like The Terror, but did like the way it was present

Oct 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a really pleasant surprise. As I was not extremely impressed with Summer of Night, I didn't exactly rush to read A Winter's Haunting, which was said to be a sequel.

I wish I didn't, as it's not a direct sequel, only uses certain events and characters from the first novel. It's an excellent tale in its own right: Dale Stewart, one of the characters from SON, returns to the town where he grew up. After a failed marriage and a sucicide attempt, he decides to finish writing his novel. He fee
Thomas Strömquist
A really enjoyable follow-up to the brilliant Summer of Night! We revisit some characters from that summer of 1960 at a much later date - however, I'm pretty sure there's no problem at all reading this one stand-alone. That said, it must be noted that having read the first book really adds a dimension as you get a fuller and quite vivid picture of the characters of the stories. As this is a ghost - or at least a mystery - story, I won't be writing about any synopsis as to not reveal anything. It ...more
Edward Lorn
2.5 stars rounded up.

I didn't like this one as much as my buddy Thomas, but I enjoyed it enough to finish it. Toward the end I realized I just didn't care about the main character. Reading about Dale Stewart as a kid in Summer of Night was big fun. But the grown-up version is nowhere near as entertaining. I did appreciate the twists, but overall, I am left with a numbing feeling of meh.

A Winter Haunting is not a direct sequel to Summer of Night, meaning it does not continue that storyline, but
Rachel Bea
This book is appealing in so many ways: The plot twists and turns with truly frightening moments and the suspense will keep you reading. Whenever I thought I figured someone out or knew what was going on, I was taken by surprise in where the story turned. The tension did not let up, although there was some comedic relief! I LOVED the ending.

I will add to my review later :)
Cody | CodysBookshelf
Aug 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dan-simmons
Dan Simmons returns to the territory of his classic novel Summer of Night in its sequel, A Winter Haunting. Taking place almost forty years after the events of its predecessor, Haunting sees Dale Stewart -- a recently divorced and suicidal college professor/author -- return to the small town of Elm Haven and the memories from childhood it holds for him. He rents the home of a childhood friend for nine months, hoping to finish his latest novel and get a grip on his post-marriage life.

From the s
Rich Stoehr
May 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think that Stephen King tried to do this in "It," and I think he and Peter Straub tried it again in "Black House." Whether this is true or not, neither book succeeds in the way that "A Winter Haunting" succeeds. Here, Simmons gives us what we so rarely see in horror fiction - the psychological and emotional aftermath of a horrific experience.

Simmons also takes the standard genre elements and turns them on their collective head, all the while telling a good story that keeps you reading. "A Wint
Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So I recently read Summer of Night, and after I finished I was excited to find out that there a couple of novels that follow up on the some of the characters from that book.

A Winter Haunting is mainly about Dale Stewart, one of the main characters in SON, but it pretty much at least mentions every important character from the first novel. It is even partially narrated by one of the other characters, and I loved those parts of this story.

The book takes place 40 years after the events in SON, wi
Dale Stewart, fresh from a suicide attempt and heavily medicated, returns to his home town near Peoria to work on a book while living in an old farmhouse where as a child one of his friends died in a farming accident. The dead boy is in fact narrator of some chapters. The house comes alive at night and spooky things go bump, buMP, BUMP; and the audio reader Bronson Pinchot does a wonderful job of making us a little creeped out and pleasantly entertained all at once. Big black dogs (aka hellhound ...more
Jen from Quebec :0)
I wish that I had NOT read the AMAZING book that comes prior to this one ( 'Summer of Night' ) as this book might have been less disappointing were it not a sequel to a book that I loved. I was REALLY looking forward to the continuation of the story in Elm Haven; reuniting with Dale, Kevin, Mike, Jim, and all the gang....instead, this was a let down. The book only really features Dale, and while it IS a GOOD ghost story, it is NOT, however, a great SEQUEL, which is what I was hoping for. Bummer. ...more
I didn’t know this novel was the third part in a series, but I’m not in the slightest upset about this news. I’m heading off to find book one and two to listen to, and then I’ll probably just listen to book #3 again so they are then set straight in my head. And with a good book like this one, listening to it again is no chore. In fact, I listened to the last two-thirds of the last chapter three times just now, so I could keep everything straight in my flu-addled brain. It was awesome, and I cann ...more
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked this one. Written very well with lots of strange and creepy, ghostly goings-on.
Aug 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
On a Halloween night, Dale is returning to his dying childhood town of Elm Haven, Illinois. Dale is a survivor of an unhappy marriage, that lead to divorce and a fail attempt to have an affair with one of his students. Dale also failed at trying to kill himself, the gun jammed. With all his problems, Dales is being treated for server depression. Dale is taking a sabbatical from the college that he is teaching at. Dale is also a writer and is looking for the right environment to write his new boo ...more
Karlen HK
Wow, that was boring. Perhaps this suffered due to a bad narrator on the audio version but I could not pay attention and when I did, I did not care. There was no tension. There was nothing spooky. There were hardly real characters. I found myself two-thirds of the way through wondering when the action was going to start. Was the whole thing supposed to be narrated by Dwayne? That seemed like a narrative framework that Simmons only remembered occasionally and then would throw in awkwardly.

Feb 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Warning...this review may contain minor spoilers for those who have not read Summer of Night. Minor really, nothing that the 2011 edition of Summer of Night's intro doesn't contain, but still...reader beware.
Also, one really should not be reading this book before Summer of Night. Also, pretty much any genre fan should read Summer of Night. This novel is not a must read for everyone, but any fan of Summer of Night would enjoy it, if only just to revisit the beloved characters of the first book. A
Oct 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, 2016, favorites
I read this when it was first published and had no idea it was a sequel. A few years ago, I read the first book, Summer of Night, and looooooved it. Finally, I got around to re-reading (listening) to A Winter Haunting and now I am familiar with the characters and their history. So, even better this time around. I wish the book could've gone on and on because it was just so darn creepy and held my attention. ...more
RJ Vermillion
Feb 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. Was actually compelled to write my first review of a book ever when I closed it earlier today. Is it "Summer of Night"? Nope. I thoroughly enjoyed that book as well, but for different reasons. The prequel was nostalgic, adventurous, and scarier with a wide-eyed innocence. In this one, Simmons strips off any sentimentality (from this story or "Summer"). Duane, the narrator now actually "shakes his head" at the wistfulness of the first story--which is interesting given what we find out o ...more
I did not read the first book but this was a very creepy book all by itself. Dale Stewart is a college professor whose marriage is almost non-existent and has lost his job. He thinks that returning to his home town to discover where his lost memories from the summer of his eleventh year, maybe just the thing he needs to help him get things straight in his head. Upon his return on Halloween night to Elm Haven he feels that things aren't quite right but he can't put his finger on what. Soon he enc ...more
Oct 11, 2015 rated it really liked it

This is was a bit of a slow burn, but it was definitely good. Dan Simmons is a total pro.
Oct 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good horror story about a man who is dealing with the demons of his past - both figuratively and literally. The first half of the book is a little slow; however, readers who stick with it will be rewarded by a very good second half. The book is a sequel, of sorts, to Summer of Night, but you don't have to have read that book (I didn't) to understand this one. There is alot of psychological horror in the plot, along with the supernatural. While this isn't my favorite book by Dan Simmons, it sti ...more
Aug 21, 2008 rated it liked it
It turns out that this book is the sequel to a book, Summer of Night, that I've never read. It doesn't seem to matter much; I understood and liked it anyway.

It's a ghost story and a story about a man who has become self-destructive; an easy and entertaining read. It doesn't have the ambition of many Simmons novels, but it does have a few red herrings to keep you guessing about what is going on, as the past literally comes back to haunt the protagonist when he returns to his home-town and spends
Dec 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
I had to DNF. I'm just sick to death of reading about tortured male protagonists whose problems are brought on by themselves.
I think I'm supposed to feel sorry for the main character but that just didn't happen. Oh no, your female student fell out of love with you because you're old? Sucks dude. Really sucks.
This book was the epitome of male authors referring to women solely as their boobs. I cannot count the number of times I had to read about perky tits or hard nipples.
I came here for g
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great haunted house book, centering on a middle-aged novelist who returns to his childhood town to work on a book and figure out his life, his loves, his work, his everything...


I enjoy Dan Simmon's writing, his way of waking things up and how he often twists things back upon themselves. In this one, (a sequel to Summer of Night), a man who left his past behind returns to find that past still quite alive. He moves into the house of a (deceased) childhood friend in order to
Oct 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one is a good, quiet, haunting ghost story, and a good follow-up to Summer of Night, which should be read first. It's much shorter and more direct than Summer of Night, and has more the feel of a coda, if you will, than a direct sequel. (The other books in the "Seasons of Horror" sequence aren't really impacted by the reading order.) It's also a good mystery story, and the ambiguity of the mental state of the protagonist adds some question as to the reliability of his narration. It's a very ...more
Nov 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror-thriller
Maybe more of a 2-star "it was ok", but I can't bear to give Dan Simmons anything less than a 3.
It started out gang-busters -- unusual narrative perspective, spooky, portentous backstory. Then we meet Clare Two Hearts, and I'm pissed as hell to be spending time on her. And Duane's voice keeps shouldering in on the narrative -- clever in the beginning, disruptive by the middle. I get that device, in the end it makes a kind of sense, but Clare can go hang. If she's a red herring, too many words a
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Brilliant as usual from Simmons, but nothing like he's ever written.

I was really excited to return to Elm Haven and Dale Stewart, as he was one of my favourites from the Bike Patrol in Summer of Night, and A Winter Haunting did not disappoint.

This does not have the usual amounts of detail and description that Simmons normally puts into his novels and is more 'straight to the point'. I feel that in certain areas of the novel, a bit more explanation would have been nice, but it kept the novel at a
Apr 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Dan Simmons is one of my favorite authors. I've been reading his work for many years and I have enjoyed every book. This is another story set in Elm Haven, Illinois with some cross over characters from a previous book, "Summer of Night." You needn't read the first to enjoy the second. "Summer of Night" takes place several decades previously when the storyline featured children. The crossover characters in "A Winter Haunting" are now in their 40's. Mr. Simmons once lived in southern Illinois wher ...more
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Horror Aficionados : A Winter Haunting by Dan Simmons 34 63 Feb 05, 2017 09:36AM  
Spoiler question... 1 47 Nov 04, 2013 10:24AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: This topic has been closed to new comments. A Winter Haunting 1 8 Mar 01, 2012 03:05PM  

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Dan Simmons grew up in various cities and small towns in the Midwest, including Brimfield, Illinois, which was the source of his fictional "Elm Haven" in 1991's SUMMER OF NIGHT and 2002's A WINTER HAUNTING. Dan received a B.A. in English from Wabash College in 1970, winning a national Phi Beta Kappa Award during his senior year for excellence in fiction, journalism and art.

Dan received his Master

Other books in the series

Seasons of Horror (4 books)
  • Summer of Night (Seasons of Horror, #1)
  • Children of the Night (Seasons of Horror #2)
  • Fires of Eden (Seasons of Horror #3)

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