The Inman family — Don, Jan, and daughter Beth — have just moved to Maine and they are living in a house that once belonged to Don’s grandparents. The house and woods surrounding it have a sordid, creepy past; naturally, strange occurrences start happening. Beth finds an old doll in the house, and for me that was one of the most unnerving aspects of this novel. Dolls scare me!
A lot of this book deals with Native American culture, which I find interesting — and it is something that can make for good horror. The skeletal remains of a human hand are found in the Inman’s backyard, and it is soon discovered that their yard could be home to an Indian burial ground some thousands of years old. Naturally, curiosity gets the best of the Inmans (especially Don) . . . and, well, things go from bad to worse.
I really loved this novel. I picked it up at my local thrift store yesterday and expected nothing more than a cheesy Stephen King-wannabe tale. Rick Hautala’s 1986 bestseller is much more than that: it is a genuinely unsettling look at Native American burial traditions, and what can happen when an old house ‘goes bad.’ Fans of King would do well to check this out, though, for it does take place in Maine and bears a few passing resemblances to some of SK’s novels such as The Tommyknockers and Pet Sematary. A ripping good read, I finished this thing in two days — I didn’t want to put it down. 5 Stars.
Read for ‘Haunted House’ in Halloween Bingo.