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The Poor and the Haunted

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  240 ratings  ·  94 reviews
As a child Jimmy Lansford and his sister Kelly suffered crushing poverty, their father’s unexplained and frightening suicide, and their mother’s constant abuse and cruelty. Having grown to be a successful adult, Jimmy must contend with the sudden re-emergence of memories from his childhood in Oklahoma and unexplainable events occurring inside his own home. Is it more than ...more
Kindle Edition, 153 pages
Published October 31st 2019 by Black Rose Writing
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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  240 ratings  ·  94 reviews

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Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Poor and the Haunted is a psychological drama that is enthralling, full of suspense and possesses a supernatural dimension that leads to horrors as the story unfolds.

Jimmy Lansford is the protagonist of the story which is told over two time periods; as a young boy of fifteen, in 1997, and as a married man and parent, twenty-two years later. As a young boy both Jimmy and his sister, Kelly, lived a very grim and poverty-stricken existence at the hands of abusive and drug-addicted par
Schizanthus Nerd
It was terrifying to know nightmares didn’t wait for the sun to fade - or for sleep to come.
Jimmy and Kelly knew fear and uncertainty from a young age. Their parents fought regularly and violently, drank excessively and abused drugs. Living in poverty and neglected, Jimmy did whatever he could to protect his younger sister. When their father dies by suicide, their mother becomes increasingly abusive.
In the Lansford home, normal was not an option, and Jimmy faced two choices: Let life eat hi
M - The long hot spell
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Love is expressed in all sorts of ways, words being the least important among them.”

The Poor and The Haunted is definitely a horror story it just may not be your ‘classic’ horror tale. The elements are there but they twist around the real-life horror. Trauma is a main feature in McKissen’s story of two young people who get a shocking start in life with terribly drug-addicted parents - but worse than just addicted, they are nasty, selfish and violent.
The thing about this novel is that while it
Tana 🌻 Cozyreadings

i recieved an e-arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Lets start this off with the fact that this is not a horror story for me. This book is sad and heartwrenching, about a boy living in a horrible family with his sister, and surviving the best they can. Years later he has to face his childhood demons again.

I did not expect this book to make me feel the way that it did. I didn't think that 160 pages would be enough to tell a story, let alone tell it well. I was wrong.
May 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
This is a case of mistaken identity...I thought this book was a horror story, which it is not. It is about childhood trauma and its impact on mental health. It is a sad story but not one that gripped me in any profound way. There was something lacking in the writing, and as a result, I never really connected to the characters or plot. I wanted to like this book more than I actually did. As they say, to each their own, and this one just didn’t work for me.

I received an ARC from Netgalley in excha
Theresa Raymer
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received this book as an ARC from the Publisher Netgalley and the Author Dustin Mckissen for an honest review.
Expected publication: October 31st 2019 by Black Rose Writing.

I would not really say this novel is a horror story but it will pull at your heartstrings. Jimmy and Kelly was raised in an abusive home with both parents being alcoholics and drug addicts and being very poor. When the children's father committed suicide when Kelly was just 12 yrs old their life did not get better. Jimmy and
I have literally just closed my kindle after finishing The Poor and The Haunted and I have a tear running from my left eye. This book filled my heart and touched me to the core, at a time that I really needed it. I expected horror, since that's where I found it listed. It's hard to say too much about what transpires without giving spoilers. I'll try.
Jimmy is a good man with a loving family. They're all good to each other. His childhood was another story. His parents were both mean, abusing, dru
Nov 08, 2019 rated it liked it
This was not an altogether bad book, but it is misleading to call it a horror novel. It isn't. It is the story of a man who was raised in an abusive and neglectful home by drug addled parents living in a poverty of their own making. It is a story of strength and love, it is a story of how this man escaped these awful circumstances, attended college and built a life for himself. It is a story of stopping the cycle of abuse, raising his own children with his wife and making a real family. I
Kirsty ❤️
Dec 13, 2019 rated it liked it
This was more psychological than the horror novel I expected, exploring the darkness of mind and survivors guilt. Jimmy is struggling with his mental health and imagining various ghostly horrors but are they real? The book flips between this and his upbringing with sister Kelly and their abusive, addict parents and how he builds his life away from the dramas to have a loving happy family of his own. It's an enjoyable enough debut but not the horror story it's billed as.  ...more
 Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri
What an incredible, enormously gratifying, horror novel. Stomach-churning and heartwrenching, indeed, but the true unconditional love between two siblings, the police officer who valued them, and the young man's family-in-the-future, is enough to restore my lost faith in human nature. I think I shall rank this novel alongside Garth Stein's A SUDDEN LIGHT--top praise indeed! ...more
Keith Chawgo
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not sure where I should begin, with this book but to say, what an emotional page turner that delves deep into the past and the present and the thin line between the two. McKissen’s novel has a strong core with so much substance that the genre where it tries to fit doesn’t really do it justice.

Starting out as a haunting, we are given a back story that switches between the past and the present whilst unreveling the story of brother and sister Jimmy and Kelly. This heart breaking tale has so much e
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book weaves an intricate story of a brother and sister trying to survive an abusive and neglectful childhood. It’s not your typical horror story, and if may not even technically qualify into the horror genre, but I’m pleased I came across it. Few books cut me open and leave my emotions in a jumbled mess. This book did just that.
Jimmy and his younger sister Kelly leaned on each other through a disturbing and abusive childhood. Their father committed suicide, their mother is drunk and cruel,
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Poor and The Haunted is an amazing spiral of a story that provokes a multitude of emotions throughout the entire tale. I was drawn into the characters from the beginning page until the final page. I do have to say that the story was different than I had anticipated when I read the synopsis. However, I was blown away by Mr. McKissen, the characters that he created and the story that he weaved.
Told in alternating times frames, the reader is taken along on a journey with Jimmy, the main charac
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Due to me breaking my shoulder yesterday, this will be a short review - but one I put much effort in, since the book deserves that.

Horror has many faces. Addicted parents an a traumatic childhood definately belong there. It was not my first idea of what a horror book would be like, but let's say 'The Poor and The Haunted' changed my view.

Books like this one, that give insight in the psychological horrors of it's characters,
Jan 08, 2020 rated it liked it
There's nothing wrong with this book. It just really isn't my thing. I just have a really hard time reading stories full of abuse. Overall an ok book. ...more
Kelly Smale
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OMG what a book. This is a story about two kids, Jimmy and Kelly, growing up in a drug and abusive household. They have no one to rely on other than themselves.

"Real love never ends with anything - no matter how final the illusion of an ending may seem - because
real love simply never ends. Ever."

This will take you on a thought provoking and heartfelt journey and will have you crying. Not a horror, more a domestic novel in my opinion.
I can't really say too much without giving things away, but
Kathleen Blanchard
The depravity cuts you to the core, and stays with you long after the final page is done. The book is truly a test of the human psyche, for the characters, and the reader.

The slow burn of the novel was welcomed, as each chapter—alternating between past and present—provides one more clue to the underlying horror of the story.

No, it isn’t a singular horror novel, but also a psychological thriller and a gripping account of childhood abuse. Where the horror is rooted is up for debate.
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I gem of a book. I loved all of it. From where he came to where he ended. I was just knocked down in the last chapter. Not at all a horror read, save his parents ... who were evil in parenting.
I cannot wait to tell the world of this book.
Thanks, NetGalley for the advance copy to review.
Reanna Byars
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jimmy Lansford and his sister Kelly grew up in a poverty stricken family. Money isn’t everything, but there was no love in their home either. Their parents were abusive, drug addicts, who only saw their children as an inconvenience to their lives. After Jimmy and Kelly’s dad commits suicide, in the most violent and unexpected way, the two cling to each other to get through the abuse of their mother. After growing into an accomplished adult, with a family of his own, Jimmy starts to get an eerie ...more
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd been hearing about this book and how amazing it was, so when Netgalley approved my request to read it I immediately started on it. It was everything I'd heard about it. It was beautifully written. It was suspenseful and dramatic. It was heartbreaking.
It is not your average ghost story. There are somewhat supernatural elements that help set the mood, but this is a book that is more about hauntings of the mind. (It's hard to not give it all away.)
It was a lovely book with references to Steph
Melinda Anders
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jimmy and his little sister Kelly live in a horrible family where the parents are abusive and addicted to drugs. They take out all their anger out on the children. Jimmy's dad commits suicide and the family moves to public housing. A policeman that was one of the first on the scene takes the kids and watches over them through the years. Though the family is poor they succeed in other ways with good grades and for Jimmy track.
We are watching Jimmy in his adult years with his own family thinking
Josephine Sorrell
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Poor and the Haunted Is billed as a horror novel. It didn’t read that way to me. The parents were horrifying to say the least. The story follows the children of Ronnie and Diane Langford. They are alcoholics, drug addicts and child abusers. Ronnie, it is believed he committed suicide by an unconventional and most brutal method.
Jimmy and his sister Kelly are the unfortunate offspring of these pathetic parents who are constantly unemployed and violently fight with each other. Jimmie is older,
A disturbing journey into the mind of a man who believes he may be possessed by a demon, and a story about a childhood full of negligence, but devoid of love.

Jimmy and Kelly grew up in a family where their parents spend their days being stoned or drunk or both. One day, their father commits suicide, but in such an unusual and brutal way that makes Jimmy believe he wanted to escape something evil inside of him. As an adult with a family of his own, Jimmy starts to believe that now he is the haunt
Paigelauren Forrester
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is fantastic.

I fell in love with this book because it isn’t the usual ghost story. Its a great story abut love, love and pain. Many people have had terrible pasts and not everyone can form normal relationships after but this book reminds me that even though I have one eye staring at the darkness I still have one eye to watch the sun.
Family can make all the difference.
This book is written brilliantly, I love the way he has done the chapters but most of all I love the message this books
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review featured at

I have to agree with the beginning of a number of other reviews. This story is not really a horror story unless you consider the horrors both Jimmy and his sister dealt with as children.

And now Jimmy has to deal with the demons that he wonders are part of his DNA makeup or if he is going crazy.

I found this book heartbreaking and interesting. I think this author has a bright future in the way he writes. The story is short (160 pages) but there is a lot sa
Rachel Dawn Drenning
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC of this book. If you are looking for a story about the ways our lives can be haunted with the past, this is it. This is not your typical ghost story. It has a LOT of feeling and emotion. This book is about how life and our past can destroy us, if we let it. Loved this book!
Sandra Burns
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic, fast read

Poor, abused kids, leaned on each other to survive. The oldest of the two, got a scholarship for college. He planned to go to get his sis, when she was of age. The brother, was being haunted, or so he thought. It was not a haunting.
Debbi Smith
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this from #Netgalley. Thank you.
A great haunting take with a twist I never thought of. Highly recommended.
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful ending to a sad, horrible story of a family, parents were drunk and addicts to 2 wonderful kids
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Dustin McKissen is an award-winning journalist, author, novelist, and short story writer. "The Poor and The Haunted" is his first horror novel. He lives in Bellingham, Washington with his wife and three children. ...more

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