The Secret of Crickley Hall

Author:James Herbert

James Herbert is labelled the number one chiller writer in the UK and when I had complained of not being ‘easily’ chilled by horror movies/books, my colleague lent me this book. I had not expected much, because I read Herbert’s The Dark before and wasn’t too fond of it. Surprisingly, this one turned out to be good.

Crickley Hall, the haunted mansion in which this book is centred around, had had its fair number of residents, but due to the hauntings, it wasn’t too popular. Of course, the continuous chill as well as the rainy season didn’t help the Calleighs in settling down to their new abode. Gabe, the man of the house, was a sceptic and did not believe in ghosts even after he had seen them with his own eyes. Eve, the wife, was nursing a heart break and depression for losing her young son in a park almost a year ago. And together with their daughters, innocent 12-year old Loren and 5-year old Cally, they started to experience paranormal like never before.

The thing that made me keep turning the pages was the revelation of the ‘secret’ within the mansion. This did not come towards the very end of the book, which I think should be elaborated more. The final ‘haunting’ which ultimately drove the ‘antogonist’ to his death was not too graphic. However, I did like the way Herbert had described how the family had ‘felt’ when the ‘ghosts’ were around.

The spookiness didn’t really ‘linger’ around, though I expect they should. Honestly speaking, I was really looking forward for it to keep me looking over my shoulders but I didn’t. I would probably get spooked perhaps when I travel and sleep alone in a hotel room when my job requires me to. Gasp. But hopefully by then the story would be more or less forgotten.

Anyway, I still liked the storyline and plot, which I must say is quite a page turner. Deserves its spot as one of my favourite books.


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