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(David Ash #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  6,345 ratings  ·  404 reviews
Three nights of terror in a house called Edbrook. Three nights in which David Ash, there to investigate a haunting, will be the victim of horrifying and maleficent games. Three nights in which he will face the enigma of his own past. Three nights before Edbrook's dreadful secret will be revealed - and the true nightmare will begin. ...more
Paperback, 228 pages
Published 1989 by Pan Books (UK) (first published 1988)
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Livingdeadpunk I knew it, too, from watching the movie, but it is still definitely worth reading.
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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,345 ratings  ·  404 reviews

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Feb 26, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror-thriller
Stephen King gushes over James Herbert; I don't see why. Herbert is a decent writer and storyteller, to be sure; but, I found nothing fascinating about HAUNTED. For a haunted-house story, it was pretty clear from the beginning that Herbert never intended to do anything different from the already established sub-genre of horror fiction (how can a writer expect to top THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE?). With that said, it does have an interesting protagonist, an anti-hero named David who is battling his ...more
Nov 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
James Herbert continues to impress me. This book was so much better than an average haunted house fare, it was dark, well written, atmospheric and really kept the reader guessing as to what was going on. The characters were interesting and well developed and the pacing kept me turning the pages and finishing the book pretty quickly. Years ago (before I read any Herbert) I watched a movie this book was based on, I couldn't remeber much of the plot, but I remembered some of the cast and so while r ...more
Adam Light
Nov 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it, series, horror
David Ash is sent to a remote village to investigate a haunting at the Edbrook house. Ash is renowned for debunking supernatural phenomenon, and he dives into this assignment ready to do just that.
Too bad the place is really haunted.
Well executed, but fairly predictable ghost story with some genuinely hair raising scenes.
I will certainly read the rest of the series.
Oct 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of dark, horrific supernatural fiction
Recommended to Werner by: It was a common read in one of my groups
"Our complacency is shaken; we thought the universe was a tidy, locked room, but there seems to be a scratching outside the door. For a moment, we pretend to know everything and pridefully assert, 'There is no such thing!' Something out there seems to respond, 'Oh, really?'" --Lint Hatcher, "The Truth That Is Out There," Rutherford, 1995.

The above quote could well serve as an epigraph for this novel; for the author has very clearly set up a conflict here between two opposite views of the world.
Nancy Oakes
can't think of a star rating I'm happy with right off the top of my head right now.

Back when I initially read Haunted (which was probably in the 90s), for some reason I thought it was one of the best haunted house stories I'd ever read; now rereading it, I think that it had its moments, it was fun, but in the end, it's really only the ending that saved this story from being just another ho-hum haunted house story. Before anyone who is a huge James Herbert fan starts mentally pelting me with rot
Kevin Lucia
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've already read Ghosts of Sleath - the sequel to this, didn't know it existed - and The Shrine, and it's very clear I need to read more of James Herbert's work. ...more
Jul 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
I really liked the movie better! The book was a bit tedious. Maybe I was a bit balanced because I've first seen the movie. ...more
Maria Hill AKA MH Books
My thoughts:

At the beginning - I love me a Ghostbuster tries to debunk the haunted house story with lots of cliches.

1/3 the way through - That is the wrong use of the word Szchiophrenic - I am really not liking this story.

2/3 of the way through - I know exactly where this is going - I love this particular twist when done well.

85% through - the protagonist is only beginning to suspect the twist ? He should read more ghost stories and see more movies.- wait this was written in the 1980's - some o
Apr 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ash is a great character. The story a wee slow.

Paranormal investigators are a bit of a tired trope these days. I wish I would have read it years ago when it first came out. Still a good and entertaining read. I will definitely be seeking out the next in the series.
joyce g
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty darn creepy!
Feb 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
First published back in 1988, `Haunted' was Herbert's fourteenth full length novel to be published.

`Haunted' was the first novel to introduce the anti-hero character of David Ash, who later returned in Herbert's 1994 novel `The Ghosts Of Sleath', which takes on the role of a loose sequel to `Haunted'.

From the very beginning the reader soon becomes accustomed to Ash's bad habits, cynical view on life and overall downbeat traits, of which followers of Herbert's work will recognise as a somewhat
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Add one over-enthusiastic GCSE English student to a generous helping of equally over-enthusiastic grammar teacher and arrive at a grade 2 result.

Total fucking drivel, possibly the worst thing I’ve ever read.

So it goes.
Gripping novel with a finale that shocked me !
Oct 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting haunted house tale. First in a series starring paranormal investigator David Ash. The plot had some genuine chills and unexpected turns. Spooky fun!
3.5 stars rounded up
This was another of the BOGO Audible selections I picked up last month, and to be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect. I listened to the sample probably 4 times before taking the plunge and going for it anyway, because the reader didn't really do much for me, but it was one of those scenarios where I wasn't completely in "NOPE." mode either. I was just undecided which way it would go - whether I'd end up enjoying the reader or whether I'd regret it. I'm rather picky about audiobook readers, and ...more
May 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, favorites
I've read this book more than once and still enjoy it. David Ash is a paranormal investigator, but with a cynical outlook that has him continually unmasking fakes, frauds and con-artists. The Merriel haunting should be just another case, but the three siblings and their old Aunt seem to be delighted to tease him and play games ... even put his life in danger. But it is the links to his own past that cause the biggest scares.

I think I like this because there is no nonsense - it gets right on with
Jul 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Took another dip into 80s horror with Herbert's Haunted and found a good one. 80s horror can be a rather mixed lot, but a few authors rise above the rest, and Herbert is definitely one of them. David Ash, a professional investigator/debunker of paranormal activities, gets a call to investigate the Edbrook estate for a suspected haunting. Herbert does a good job providing backstory with a series of flashbacks and builds Ash's character up well. As soon as Ash arrives at Edbrook, things quickly be ...more
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Deciding to jump headfirst into the world of David Ash is one of the best choices that a person can make. David Ash is one of the best characters I have found in a very long time, being easy to understand as well as being much fun to read – developing so much across the three books.

In this first instalment of the parapsychologist we’re thrown into a classic ghost story. It’s a relatively short story compared to the other books in the series but it works to set the scene for the following books,
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: james-herbert
Uhh... Chill peace of work.
For a moment, I had felt my heart bounced like a hammer from the stonewall.
I do not know why I have waited so long to finish this book, but, life has a strange ways...

I gave it only four stars (only) because the first part of the book was a little slow and did make me unexpectedly dull. But, as the story goes on it become better and better, until the end. It was very, very good. :-)

At last, I would recommended it to anyone who do not have a weak heart and do like a hor
Nov 16, 2010 rated it liked it
David Ash, a cynical and jaded investigator of the paranormal (or ‘irregular-normal’) heads out to a country house to investigate – and disprove – a tale of a haunting. It’s a nice set up, as in this disbelieving ghost hunter figure, there’s both a great knowledge of the supernatural and an immense scepticism. As such he can spout of all the ghostly rules that a book like this needs, while at the same time being totally shocked when things start to get out of hand. Indeed the world weary man wit ...more
Christina Rochester
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love James Herbert’s work, even when the twists can be a little obvious sometimes. He doesn’t strive to make every chapter full of horror, instead there’s more of a sinister building of suspense, and then bam you get hit by the twist.

For the first time ever I’ve read a book where one of the main characters shares a name with myself and I have to admit it was a strange feeling because I kept going “That’s me.” Honestly how do those of you with common names do it?

I really liked Haunted, and I
Aug 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
There is a reason why Herbert was one of the BEST in his field. Fact. If you've not read any of his work, do it now!! And a great place to start is with Haunted; the first in the Ash trilogy. Tense, atmospheric, dark, sinister, creepy. It basically ticked all the boxes for me ...more
John Naylor
Jan 17, 2020 rated it liked it
James Herbert is often recognised as possibly the greatest British horror writer. What he doesn't get enough recognition for is being a great writer regardless of genre. His use of language and words does set him apart from many of his peers.

I don't think it is too much of a spoiler to say that this book is a ghost story. The title does indicate that. It is also the first book in a trilogy. There is enough here to make me want to read the others. The main character is an interesting invention a
While this was a good read and was well set in a creepy and creaking old house where the walls seemed to have a life of their own, this felt like more of a psychological mystery than a horror (it could be that I'm just hardened against such things). The story follows David Ash, a paranormal investigator sent to Edbrook to look into the haunting that the family have been subjected to over the years. In doing so he is forced to face his own past and his own ghosts, something that he has tried to a ...more
Alan Aspinall
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
First off, I had already read the sequel, The Ghosts of Sleath, before I was even aware of the haunted. Which meant I already knew of the books main plot twist. Which was a shame, but other then that I really enjoyed the book.
The story focuses on David Ash, a paranormal investigator who has a reputation for debunking all thing supernatural, whether its mediumship, or supposed ghost sightings, David doesn’t believe in any of it. But that is about to change, as David has been asked to visit a cou
Theresa Braun
Mar 23, 2018 rated it liked it
On one hand this book moves quickly. And, Herbert’s descriptions are exceptional—extremely engaging of the senses. It’s really easy to get lost in the setting and the paranormal happenings. For those reasons I really recommend this novel. Apparently scads of readers agree.

I do have a few criticisms, however. The protagonist, David Ash is not the most likeable. Not that the main character has to be, but he doesn’t have much going for him. He’s kind of a wet noodle the entire book. In light of his
Vicki Willis
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: z-2016, audible
This was not the book for me. I listened to it on audible and found it very difficult to pay attention to the story. Then I found that it didn't matter that I wasn't paying attention because very little was happening. The last hour of the book was definitely the best part, but basically I was happy it was short and now over. ...more
Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk)
Apr 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was one of the best stories about the haunted house I've ever read, and I can easily put this novel beside such classics as "The Haunting of The Hill House" by Shirley Jackson, "The Woman in Black" by Susan Hill or stories by H.P. Lovecraft.
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James Herbert was Britain's number one bestselling writer (a position he held ever since publication of his first novel) and one of the world's top writers of thriller/horror fiction.

He was one of our greatest popular novelists, whose books are sold in thirty-three other languages, including Russian and Chinese. Widely imitated and hugely influential, his 19 novels have sold more than 42 million

Other books in the series

David Ash (3 books)
  • The Ghosts Of Sleath (David Ash, #2)
  • Ash (David Ash, #3)

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