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Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story
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Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  15,912 Ratings  ·  1,832 Reviews
Twelve-year-old Molly and her ten-year-old brother, Michael, have never liked their seven-year-old stepsister, Heather. Ever since their parents got married, she's made Molly and Michael's life miserable. Now their parents have moved them all to the country to live in a house that used to be a church, with a cemetery in the backyard. If that's not bad enough, Heather start ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published September 22nd 1986 by Clarion Books (first published 1986)
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Popular Answered Questions

Nikki Betty Ren Wright also wrote a ton of great ghost stories. For adult books, I'd recommend The Turn of the Screw as one of the scariest books ever.
Amanda I know this question is old, but all of her ghost stories are good. The Old Willis Place is my favorite. All the titles below, plus The Ghost of…moreI know this question is old, but all of her ghost stories are good. The Old Willis Place is my favorite. All the titles below, plus The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall and Time For Andrew. (less)
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Community Reviews

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Rating details
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Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mg-rereads-2017

as part of my personal reading challenges for 2017, once a month i will be revisiting a favorite book from when i was a little bitty karen and seeing if it holds up to my fond memories and determining if i can still enjoy it as an old and crotchety karen.

fingers crossed.

so: first things first. in answer to the question 'does this book hold up?' it does. i mean, i read this book countless times in my childhood, so the plot is still emblazoned on my brain and the tension of "what will happe
Jodi Meadows
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I was eleven, one of my teachers read this book to the class. I don't know what it was about WAIT TILL HELEN COMES, or if it was something the teacher said, but this was the book that somehow informed me that books don't magically appear on library shelves, as I'd previously believed. Books must be written. By people. Like, it's their job to make up stories. And if I worked hard enough, it could be my job, too.

It was also one of the first books I remember reading on my own where the magic w
Oct 29, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
Sigh...the good ghost stories that somehow passed me by as a kid...well, better late than never! This is a bone-chilling goodie, too. Everything I love in a ghost story: creepy little girls, hidden graves, faces in windows, crumbling ruins in the woods, even a dark and murky pond. Brrrrr!! A bit dated, but none-the-less, a gem of a read right before Halloween.
I was really enjoying this young adult ghost story until we got to the ending. I wish Hahn had gone a different route, or at least made it that things were not wrapped up so smoothly. Then again maybe I'm a blood thirsty reader who wanted some murder and mayhem to occur.

Told in the first person, we follow 12 year old Molly as she and the rest of her blended family move from Baltimore to some random place in the country.

Right away Hahn causes all my sympathies to lie towards Molly and her 10 ye
Melanie (Novel Descent)
Read in one sitting. Really great middle-grade ghost story.

Full review to come.
Paige  Bookdragon
This book is a bit childish and the only reason why it holds my interest for an hour or two is because Heather annoys me. I want pinch her cheeks.
Angie Elle
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read this book since I was a little girl, but I'm giving it five stars simply because I slept with my light on for a week after reading it!
Kristina Horner
This is a book I've literally had on my shelf for over 10 years. My aunt gave it to me years ago, as it was her favorite children's book. I, being a terrible niece, never read it. Until now.
Wait Till Helen Comes is an interesting book. I think it might have scared me, as a child. It deals heavily with death, some twisted forms of manipulation from a ghost, and multiple people dying in fires. Surprisingly dark for a middle grade book.
As an adult, I was extremely bothered by how terrible and worth
Feb 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
I loved this book! It was really creepy! I think all of you should read it! ......
Michaeal & Molly have to move to an old church (now a house) with their mom and new stepfather. They are not happy at ALL & will miss all of their friends! Unfourtunatly Molly has to share a room with her new step sister, Heather! She is really rude & creepy. One day Heather wanders off to the graveyard behind the house. She soon creepily comes attached to this one grave in particular. Then one day Heat
Aug 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
Just as creepy as when I was a kid. The kind of book that reminds me of what I like about ghost stories. Nothing over the top, just perfectly atmospheric and haunting. In some ways it reminds me of my favorite Disney movie from childhood.

Mr. Balcoms Class
Dec 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this one aloud to my students again.

Nothing gets the blood chilling like ghost children. Shiver...
Bentley ★
I remember reading this as a kid, but could not for the life of me remember what this book was called or who wrote it. It's haunted me (pardon the pun) for years trying to remember it until I randomly came across it in my feed tonight! This is why I love Goodreads so much!
This was a *re-read* of one of my favorites as a kid. (One of my own kids is writing a book report on it, so I thought I'd pick it up to refresh my memory). I have to say, as an adult, I found a lot "wrong" with this book, but as a kid, it seemed perfectly natural for parents to say, "Go play" in a strange neighborhood, and not see their kids again until dinner time.... ;)

Three stars, as an adult.
Lauren Fidler
this book gave me nightmares as a small child and yet i reread it at least 97 times between the ages of 8 and 13. i think i still own a copy, actually...

re-read: december 3rd, 2011:

i forgot how much i hate heather in this book. yes, it's written in first-person from molly's POV, so, of course, we're supposed to hate heather, but dang! that girl is a witch!

and what's with parents marrying people that their children don't get along with? this plot point probably nagged me as a kid, but now, as a
May 30, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It the words of Charles Barkley- "turrible."
Oh some days don't you wish were twelve again? Well, probably you don't, at least if you were like me. I was awkward and chubby and had all sorts of acne. Puberty is a biotch!

BUT...I remember my love for little gems such as Wait Till Helen Comes. Don't you love ghost stories? I love a ghost story. I love getting a little thrill from being afraid of what may or may not be lurking around the corner or in the dark. Not because I believe in ghosts, mind you. I sort of really scoff at the idea. Most
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever wondered if ghost exist or not ? well after you read this book you will question your whole idea about ghosts . The genre of the book "Wait Till Helen comes" is a supernatural fiction . I think this book is really good and is a must read for everyone all ages . Wait Till Helen Comes is about a twelve year old girl named Molly and her ten year old brother Micheal . Molly and Micheal's mom marry a man who has a 7 year old daughter named Heather . Micheal and Molly have to share a hou ...more
Dana Wallace - Not Enough Books, Not Enough Time

“Helen doesn’t like either one of you, and when she comes, you’ll be sorry for everything you ever did to me.”

This book was a great start to my scary October reading. It had everything: a graveyard in the backyard, creepy children, death, possession, etc. The writing was amazing and vivid, I almost couldn’t believe that this was a middle grade read besides the length of the book and the main characters. This book had been recommended to me
May 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-reviews
Title: Wait till Helen comes
Author: Mary Downing Hahn
Year: 2008 Pages: 184

Intended Audience: anyone who loves ghost stories
Main Issue: A little girl brings up a ghost from the grave.

Setting: The sitting at the old church just adds to the creepiness of the story
Description: Molly - 12 years old, oldest child; Michael - 10 years old, loves the outdoors; Heather - 7 years old, has psychopathic problems.

Summary: A family moved into the country in an old church with a graveyard in the backyard. One
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am reviewing Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn. It is written more towards children in grades 5-7. I stumbled upon this book and thought that I would give it a shot. It looked interesting. What did I have to lose?

I was pleasantly surprised with this one. It may have been written for the younger crowd but it doesn't always feel that way. It deals with very serious issues such as adapting to blended families, severe guilt, communication, fear of abandonment, and forgivene
Joana Rosales
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Do you believe in ghosts?After this book your opinion will change. The genre of "Wait Till Helen Comes " is supernatural. I think "Wait Till Helen Comes" is a good book and will change you mind about ghost. The book sometimes has some spine chilling parts. This book is about a girl named Molly and her brother Micheal they're have to move in with there new sister Heather and new dad because her mom married Heather's dad. They had to move at an old house that used to be a church that has a cemeter ...more
Oct 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Molly and her brother have a stepsister Heather which they don't like. They move to the a church which has a graveyard in the back. Heather finds a grave and starts to talk to imagined friend Helen ... Or is she? Well Heather get killed by Helen? Why does Heather hate her new family? What secret is she keeping? Is Helen real?

I really liked this book for the most part. The writing was great and the plot was pretty good for the most part. At first it's pretty boring but in the last quarter of it i
My sister's never been much of a reader, but she LOVED this book growing up. It was only ever okay for me, but I didn't remember much at all, so I decided to re-read it.

Sadly it remains only okay for me, but WOW does Hahn ever get the UNFAIRNESS of being a kid right! Being blamed for stuff your sibling did, your parents not believing you!!! My blood boiled reading all those scenes!!!! IT WAS KRISTA, MOM AND DAD, NOT ME!!!!!!!!
Linda Lipko
Aug 10, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
A blended family moves to the country. The host of characters includes a mother with two children, a father with a bratty little girl and her ghost friend Helen.

While the story was well crafted, I couldn't connect with it and cannot recommend it. It will go back to the library sale table tomorrow.
Mar 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is amazing if you like thrillers this book is just that.
Panada Vang
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book that I’m reading is Wait Till Helen Comes.IT is about a twelve year old girl named Molly and her brother named Michael , the never like their young step sister because she make their life miserable and the step sister can talk to a ghost name Helen.

What i like about the book is that it scary and sad at same time.molly saw Helen and she keep tell michael over and over again but he didn't believe her.Their step sister keep going to see the ghost heather want Molly, michael ,and their moth
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A rediscovered favorite from childhood - I must have read this at least a half dozen times in elementary school, and I was completely captivated (and scared). The story doesn't hold the same appeal now, but when re-reading I was reminded pretty vividly of being scared by the idea of living in a house right by a graveyard, and how I used to be terrified of Helen's ghost.
It's interesting to come back to this after so long - as a kid, I didn't understand/appreciate the absentee/unaware parent trop
The main characther in the story is Molly. Including her brother Michael, her mother, stepsister Heather, and her stepfather. Her mother gets married so they all move in the same home. When they move in, they find out their home was once a church, and they live on a graveyard. Molly and her brother have never got along with Heather because she always gets them in trouble by lying. Heather finds the graveyard very interesting because one the graves has the same initials as her own. The family sta ...more
Sep 29, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought it was great book because there was a lot of tention exciment and thrilling scenes i would reccomend this book to a lot of people. This book is about a family who move their children out of Baltimore for a better life. They move into a church they had three children Heather is the adopted one, Molly, and Michael they didnt like the idea of moving out of Baltimore. Just one day all of the three had their own activities to do during the day michael went out looking for bugs Molly just st ...more
Lauren Munoz
I haven't read this book for almost twenty years, but when my dad came across it and sent it to me, I had to check it out again.

As a child, I found this book terrifying. I remember reading it in bed at night with chills, even though I knew exactly what happened after the first time through.

As an adult, I found the book sort of annoying. The parents act like selfish fools (I would never forgive a stepparent who asked me what kind of little monster I was, for example), and the little girl at the c
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is this book appropriate for children? 6 27 Jan 01, 2017 09:15AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn 1 8 Oct 31, 2015 08:52PM  
Horror 3 21 Sep 04, 2014 05:10PM  
Are you looking for a good thriller? 5 26 Feb 03, 2014 09:06PM  
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I grew up in a small shingled house down at the end of Guilford Road in College Park, Maryland. Our block was loaded with kids my age. We spent hours outdoors playing "Kick the Can" and "Mother, May I" as well as cowboy and outlaw games that usually ended in quarrels about who shot whom. In the summer, we went on day long expeditions into forbidden territory -- the woods on the other side of the t ...more
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