Haunted – Various authors

“Some of the best-loved children’s authors have come together to bring you this terrifying collection of ghost stories;
There’s a lost ghost child trapped in a mirror and wanting to pull you in; an evil soul eater waiting for its next victim; a ghost walk with a haunting twist; and the spirit of a drowned boy who needs to be put to rest. These and many spine-chilling tales will make you scream, shiver and gasp.
Open if you dare…”

Let me tell you this, if you want to scare yourself silly, especially on, or close to, Hallowe’en Haunted is the collection of stories for you!
I always find it difficult reviewing a collection of stories and when they’re all as amazing as the ones in Haunted I really struggle… which ones should I highlight to my readers… should it be the spooky tale of The Beach Hut with Bram’s night time wanderings? Or The Ghost walk which made me want to go back to York so badly I was looking up hotels straight after I read it? Or maybe even the tale of Hari Patel who finds himself in a scary and very awkward situation involving a computer? Truth is I enjoyed all of these tales for different reasons and I can’t possibly choose between them.
Therefore I am going try and say a little about as many as I can. First of all let me say that I haven’t actually read any of the authors who compiled this book before, they are all new to me but some I have heard of. I have been meaning to read Mal Peet, Derek Landy, Robin Jarvis and Philip Reeve’s works for quite a while and I’m so glad I read this because it really gave me an insight to what I am missing! However at the same time it really brought forward some others that I need to read more of.
The Castle Ghosts by Joseph Delany was a terrifying tale that really chilled me. I started this book late on Saturday night and only read this one story because I thought if the rest were like this I wouldn’t be able to sleep! It was very impressive, unique and had a brilliantly spooky setting.
The next is a little of a sore point for me.  I have heard amazing things about Mal Peet and his books so this is one I was really looking forward to, but it was probably my least favourite of the entire book. I LOVED the writing but the story, of a girl who was haunted by dreams of a huge black dog, really didn’t excite me. I was quite let down but the writing really made up for the story.
The Blood line by Jamila Gavin saw a character retrace the history of her family when  she and her husband move into a home that she’s certain has something to do with her past. I liked the way this one was put together and the character that were in it. Freddy was a sweet boy and I felt for him so much. This was the only book within the collection that had chapters and although it’s rare in the children’s short stories which I have read, it worked really well.
Eleanor Updale’s story of a boy and his technology obsessed ways really made me giggle. It was a frightening story but not as spooky as any of the others. I did really enjoy it though and I think a lot of young teen boys will sympathise with Hari.
Songs the Dead Sing was quite possibly one of the scariest stories in this collection. I have only heard amazing things about Derek Landy’s Skulduggery Pleasant series and this has made me want to read it more! What else could you want from a ghost story than a brutal murder of the main characters best friend and the victim coming back to him for help? I love a good mystery and this definitely had one!
The Ghost Walk by Matt Haig was impressive. I could see the end of the story right from the beginning but it was the writing, the description and the setting that had me sold. This was based in York, which is a city famous for its pubs and its ghosts. I lived in York for a year and unfortunately I was too busy partying – ahem I mean studying – to go on a ghost walk. Immediately after I finished the tale of Oscar’s family’s ghost walk I went to look for hotels to stay in so I could go on my own!
Then there was The Ghost Wood. Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines series has been on my wishlist for months and months yet I have never gotten round to buying myself a copy (even though I’ve bought my sister the first in the series for her birthday!) I have heard amazing things about the author and in this story he made forests come to live in the middle of a city; and I could see it all. That is what makes an amazing story! I think this was one of my favourites of the collection, if not the favourite and it definitely made me realise what I’m missing!
This is all of the stories, the others are just as good but I don’t want to bore you. I really would recommend these stories for people who love a good fright and a well told tale. There are 11 stories in total in the book and not one of them made me want to put the book down. I gobbled it up in a few hours, though I’m not sure that I’m going to sleep tonight (Sunday) after reading this book this afternoon!!
Haunted is an excellent collection published by Anderson Press. I am very grateful for the review copy that was sent to me in exchange for an honest review.


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