October Reading: Book Review of “Ghost House” by Clare McNally


I decided to raid my brother’s bookshelf (he blogs at Cody’s Bookshelf) as I have done many times before and I came across the gem that is Ghost House by Clare Mcnally. The novel was written in 1979 and was inspired by the Amityville Horror hauntings. I felt this book went along perfectly with my B.E.D.O. (Blog Everyday in October) theme so let’s discuss it.

*Slight Spoilers*

The Synopsis

After an infidelity almost tears the family apart Gary and Melanie VanBuren with their three children need a fresh start. They purchase a beautiful, old mansion on Long Island’s South Shore and begin to make themselves at home. Soon though strange, and dangerous, accidents begin occurring. People are mysteriously pushed down the stairs, choked and have hot water thrown on them, just to name a few. The family catches glimpses of a tall and handsome man on the property and even in the house but when they try to capture him he disappears. An elderly neighbor tries to warn the family of the imminent danger that they’re in and soon after she is murdered in front of the house. The family feels like they’re going crazy and knows that one of them is going to end up hurt, or even killed. All of this tension culminates into a battle of wills between the living and the dead. Will the VanBurens be able to reclaim their home or will they have to flee for their lives?

My Thoughts

This. Book. Is. Hilarious. This might possibly be one of the cheesiest “scary” stories I have ever read. However, I think it’s important to keep in mind that this was written in 1979 and what we consider to be scary now is usually much more intense. Something I found interesting about this book were it’s similarities to American Horror Story: Murder House, season one. It could be coincidence, but two things were basically the same.

  1. The family moves because there’s been an infidelity. In Ghost House the wife cheats on the husband and in AHS the husband cheats on the wife.
  2. There is a lot of ghost sex/rape. In Ghost Story the spirit that haunts the house, Jacob, has sex with every woman that moves into the house because he thinks they’re his dead lover, Lydia. (Side note: none of the women realize it’s not their husband they’re having sex with even though the ghost has a British accent but okay.) In AHS Tate Langdon has sex/rapes Vivien Harmon multiple times and she doesn’t learn until later that it wasn’t her husband. Sneaky ghosts.

There may have been more similarities but those are the main two that jumped out at me. I won’t spoil anymore of this fascinating story in case you want to experience it for yourself.

If you are looking for a quick and a so bad it’s entertaining read I highly recommend this book. There’s even a sequel, Ghost House Revenge. Let me know if you’ve read this book or want to and what you thought! Thank you for reading and have a great day!



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