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Down a Dark Hall

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  4,962 Ratings  ·  481 Reviews
Why does the exclusive boarding school Blackwood have only four students?

Kit walks the dark halls and feels a penetrating chill. What terror waits around the next corner?
Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 1st 1990 by Laurel Leaf (first published September 1st 1974)
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Community Reviews

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Joe Valdez
The first Young Adult novel I've read as an adult is Down a Dark Hall, the supernatural mystery by Lois Duncan first published in 1974. This revised edition released in 2011 modernized the novel by introducing cell phones, texting and the Internet; "Why don't those girls call 911?" or better yet, "Isn't there an app for that?" being considerations for the suspense author of today. Antiquated usages like "Mother" were also updated, but what I was thrilled to find preserved was a sense of Gothic d ...more
Shirley Marr
Dec 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes stories where girls go mad
Recommended to Shirley by: Wendy Darling
Shelves: usa-ya
Before I begin: it's retro lulz time! A description of the leading male hottie, the music teacher who is "slim and fine-boned, with glossy black hair which framed a face so perfect in feature that it might have belonged to a television star" ...

"Jules Duret was waiting for her in the music room. He was wearing a pale blue shirt, open at the throat, and a pair of white flared pants"

Did anyone say Saturday Night Fever? You can tell this novel was written in the 70s can't you? I wonder if they will

Lovely 'vintage' gothic written for young adults but can be enjoyed by all. This story immediately brought "Haunting of Hill House" to mind and it continued to be reminiscent of it throughout in my opinion. That's a good thing because I liked it a lot, as well.

It has the trademark Lois Duncan creepy ambience and great descriptions of the house, environment and characters. Loved Kit and her fellow schoolmates. They were painted so vividly and the paranormal experiences made me feel like I was th
Jan 13, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: For a GOOD LAUGH
This is one of the first full length novels I read. I remember it serving as one of the seminal moments in my literary formation. I remember it being suspenful and full of immagery.

This book was republished in 1990, but was originally published in the late 70's. I read it in 5th or 6th grade.

While studying children's literature as part of my Masters program, we had to choose a book that we had read in elementary school. The assignment instrcted us to look at our influential book with adult eyes
Aug 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kit Gordy was accepted into Blackwood boarding school and she was really looking forward to it when she thought her best friend Tracy would be accepted as well. But Tracy wasn't accepted and as much as Kit tried to get out of going, she couldn't.
Kit's mom and stepfather are going away on their honeymoon, but before they leave, they take Kit to Blackwood themselves. Kit isn't thrilled about going and when they actually arrive, Kit does not want to be there. She thinks the place feels strange. The
Apr 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
YA gothic/supernatural novel set in a creepy, secluded boarding school. A real page-turner that's lots of fun to read.
Kay Jay
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ох, как мне нравится тема заброшенных лечебниц/психбольниц, домов, школ и тд.
Вроде бы ничего нового - заброшенный дом, который превращается в школу, со своими тайнами... Но на самом деле книга очень оригинальна. Не похоже на то, что я раньше читала.
В школу приехали обучаться четыре девушки, помимо них в школе работают 5 человек.
У героинь начинает получаться то, что им раньше вообще не давалось. Линда, в жизни не бравшая кисти в руку, рисует шедевры. Сэнди внезапно пишет шикарные стихи. А главн
Dec 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a teenage favorite of mine, and I was reminded of it a few days ago by another book. So, when it came up as a suggested book on the library's website, I considered it fate and grabbed it to reread. I remember I used to think of Kit's dad, and hoped that mine was watching over me just like hers watched over her.

I really wish Ms. Duncan hadn't updated these books! In doing so, I really think she added some plot inconsistencies that weren't there in the original edition.

If I were a teen, u
Aug 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
I love this book, especially since it connects to music.
Oct 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Dear Miss Kalwanaski,
This week I'm writing about the chilling characteristics in "Down A Dark Hall", written by Lois Duncan. I'm writing about this book again because I've not had enough time to start another one. Last week I told you what I enjoyed about the book. This week I will be telling you why I enjoy these chilling characteristics.

I enjoy these chilling characteristics for multiple reasons. I find chilling characteristics to be the heart and soul of a book. Chilling parts of a book is
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This has always been my favorite Duncan, and the only one I've reread several times since I was a teenager. When Kit Gordy enters a private school, she's shocked to discover that there are only three other students, and she's disturbed by the school itself, whose atmosphere she immediately feels is evil. Eventually, Kit makes a chilling discovery about why she and the other three girls were the only ones selected; I don't want to reveal this, as it would be a massive spoiler, but this aspect of ...more
May 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
I used to sneak Lois Duncan books home from the library when I was in middle school. I'd check them out, of course (I'm not a monster), but would sneak them into the house as I was pretty sure my parents would not have approved. I hold nostalgia responsible for me choosing to read this book. I actually didn't read this one as a kid but can imagine it would have been slightly more thrilling if I was still a thirteen-year-old smuggling scary books into the house buried deep in my backpack. This st ...more
Oct 06, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Je suis très confuse par cette fin que nous offre l'auteur. c'est beaucoup trop soudain. un chapitre ou deux de plus auraient été les biens venu!
L'histoire était pas mal, parfois un peu rapide. Les personnages étaient assez attachant. C'était bien trouvé!
Oct 05, 2009 rated it liked it
3 or 4 stars....a very interesting concept, and hard to put down! I felt there were a few unanswered questions at the end, but mostly I found it intriguing.
Lisa Leon
Jul 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Effectively chilling little shocker for Young Adults by Lois Duncan. The sense of isolation, entrapment, and betrayal experienced by the young protagonists (at the hands of the adults around them) is palpable and disturbing. But the pacing is waaaay off. I don't mind the gradual build up. But just when we and the protagonists realize what their situation really is....just when the conflict becomes really interesting and is all of a sudden resolved. And then to make matters even w ...more
Ruth Santiago
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was anticipating this to be meh. But it was gripping to the last page. And to think it came out before I was born... I have heard of the author but have never read any of her books until this one and I can actually say I resent not reading any of her books before...
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Spooky story!
Sam Brown
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan is about a teenage girl named Katherine, also known as Kit. Kit’s parents are going off to their honeymoon and leaving her at an all-girls school named Blackwood, ran by a lady named Madame Duret. Blackwood is a school for special girls with an ability to summon the dead through their dreams. The dead are past poets, authors, artists, and pianists working through the girls to finish the works that they could not complete in their past life. Strangely, only four g ...more
Dec 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
So, this is one of those books that I have a hard time forgetting even though the first time I read it was more than 2 years ago! I felt that it was time I gave this a thorough rave review. Duncan’s “Down a Dark Hall” had all the right ingredients to a goose bumps-arousing mystery book. It was as gloomy and dark as it was hard to put down.

Kit is a new student at a highly respected boarding school with a past. Though at first, she tries hard to ignore the rumors behind this mansion, she starts t
Ashley Ehlers
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Originally posted on Paranormal Sisters:

Chills......that's the word that comes to mind when I look back on this book.

Simple plot written in bone chilling words, page after page. What more can I say.

Kit is a strong willed young adult who isn't going to do anything she doesn't want to do. But the one thing she can't fight against is ending up at the all girls boarding school, Blackwood.

Being accepted and without her best friend, she gets another surprise to
Kelly Hager
Apr 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Kit is attending boarding school while her mom and stepfather are on their honeymoon. From the beginning, she's against the idea, but once she sees the school it's even worse. She has a sense of wrongness almost immediately, and the longer she stays, the worse it gets.

And it's even weirder because there are exactly four students in the school (and that's counting Kit). Soon, they're all doing things they weren't able to do before. Lynda is painting these amazing landscapes and Sandy is writing p
Dec 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, horror
I'm not really sure why I keep reading horror books - I don't actually like spending time with evil things but yet a couple times a year I find myself reading some morbid depressing book about evil incarnate.

This is the one I picked this time. I have always enjoyed Lois Duncan's writing and consider her to be very talented. This book was really good (hence the 4 star rating) but I'm glad it's over as I don't like to spend my free time with books like this.

The setup: Take a 16 year old girl who's
Feb 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
kit gordy got accepted into blackwood a school for young kids. the school building is a creepy old house and when kit once gets there, she gets the chills. she feels something evil here but cannot explain it. her parents leave for europe on their honeymoon once she gets settled in. strange things start happening at the school and she wants to escape. the "principal" tries her best to stop them but fails.

i think that kit's a brave girl. if i was her than i would have done the same thing except at
Nicole Palumbo Davies
Sep 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This book was creepy, so creepy that I had to put the book down when I was in my dark house alone. Down a Dark Hall is about Kit, a 14-year-old girl starting out at an exclusive boarding school called Blackwood School for Girls. The school is so exclusive that there are only 4 students. Kit senses immediately that there is something wrong with the school, but it takes her and her schoolmates time to figure out what that bizarre something is.
This book was first published in 1974, but it is not as
Jay G
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my YouTube channel:

Kit Gordy is sent to Blackwood Hall, a boarding school for girls when her mother remarries and travels to Europe for her honeymoon. When she arrives, she instantly gets a weird feeling, something is wrong but she can't quite put her finger on what it is. When the other girls in her class begin to have strange dreams and develop unbelievable talents, she begins to wonder what Madame Dure
Jonathan Lee
Nov 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I thought that this was a great book to read with a lot of suspense and action. This book is mainly about a private school that has many secrets. Furthermore the school is extremely mysterious because there are only four students in it. The main character Cat begins to have suspicions as to what is happening in the school when her classmates start acting weird. She discovers the headmasters plan and you'll have to read the book to find out the rest of the story. This really is a great book and c ...more
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read this book in several hours as part of a book club challenge - reread a favorite book from your childhood.

I enjoyed it as much as I did as when I was younger. It seemed like there was something missing though--perhaps my imagination was more engaged when I read this in middle school. The charm is still there, however, and the plot is really intriguing--unlike anything I've read before.

This book was written in 1974. Evidently Lois Duncan has gone through her publications and 'modernized' th
May 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4th-quarter
This story was written by a very well known author, lois Duncan. The story is mysterious and suspenceful from the first chapter. Kit Gordy goes to a nnew school. The school brochure say "small classes" but Kit never expected for there to be only 3 other girls in the school.
thing get even more wierd when Sandy, kit's closest friend in the school starts having wierd dreams of a woman staring at her. Soon all the girls mysteriously get talents. Lynda starts painting. Sandy writes poetry, and Kit p
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Lois Duncan (born Lois Duncan Steinmetz) was an American writer and novelist, known primarily for her books for children and young adults, in particular (and some times controversially considering her young readership) crime thrillers. Duncan's parents were the noted magazine photographers Lois Steinmetz and Joseph Janney Steinmetz. She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but grew up in Saraso ...more
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“I feel now as though I’ve been sitting all my life inside a box, and suddenly someone is lifting the lid and I can look up and see the stars.” 4 likes
“Today the average lifetime is over seventy years, long enough for a great number of accomplishments. But this development has occurred within the present century. Before that, people tended to die much younger than they do today, and among those early deaths were those of many brilliant and talented people who had much to give the world. It is those people to whom I reach out. It is to them I offer the opportunity to return.” 2 likes
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