Thank you the publisher, Andersen Press, for sending me a copy of Haunted: Ghost Stories to Chill Your Blood. Also thanks to Kaleidoscopic Tours and LoveReading4Kids, for the opportunity to be part of the buzz for this book.
I am also hosting a giveaway for residents in the UK – for a chance to win a copy of this book head over to my Instagram:
Haunted is a collection of short ghost stories, written by multiple authors. The authors are the following: Joseph Delaney, Susan Cooper, Mal Peet, Jamila Gavin, Eleanor Updale, Derek Landy, Robin Jarvis, Sam Llewellyn, Matt Haig, Philip Reeve and Berlie Doherty.
It is incredible that these amazing children’s authors gathered together. They managed to create stories that kept me in a good cozy spooky mood for a while, giving me unexpected chills from time to time. It was a perfect Halloween read, and I am so glad I got the chance to read it! Even the author’s biographies in the end were a bit spooky. Below you will see a breakdown of my opinions for every story, in case you want to know more. My rating is the average rating of all stories combined. I had to hold back on some information for some, to prevent spoilers. There are no spoilers in the next section, but if you’re planning to read the book, I would suggest you dive into it blindly. That way, you’ll get the full experience!
1. The Castle Ghosts by Joseph Delaney – ★★★★
When a young man starts a night shift at a castle full of prisoners, he has no clue of what’s about to happen. The castle is scary at night, and there are stories that it’s haunted as well. Then, unexpected things begin to happen. I enjoyed this story. It was engrossing and intense, but slightly too short to my liking. I liked the haunted vibe though, as well as the incredible ending.
2. The Caretakers by Susan Cooper – ★★★★
A beautifully written spooky story about a family that travels to Devon for a vacation. Anna doesn’t really get along with her brother James. And James has issues of his own, one of them being a complete disregard of social clues and people’s feelings. It was a bit slow at the beginning, but the amazing ending made up for it. I really enjoyed the love Anna has for her brother, even though he may not be able to see that.
3. Good Boy by Mal Peet – ★★★
Katie Callan has a recurring nightmare of a dog walking towards her. She has had this dream since she was a child. When she grows up and moves into another city, a dangerous situation will finally reveal why she has had this dream all along. I liked the story, but it didn’t intrigue me or spook me like the others did.
4. The Blood Line by Jamila Gavin – ★★★★★
This was so far my favorite story. It is longer than the others and it contains family drama with a spooky element of ghosts having unfinished business. I liked Freddie a lot as well.
5. The Ghost in the Machine by Eleanor Updale – ★★★★
This story was cool and unexpected. It was also a modern day one, where the ghost is in electronic form. I really liked that idea. The creativity and the way how it worked were put together very nicely. I just didn’t feel the spookiness.
6. Songs the Dead Sing by Derek Landy – ★★★★
A ghost story that was also heartwarming. Well, that’s a first. I enjoyed this one a lot. Maybe because it had a detective vibe, as well as intensity throughout the way. The ending made me smile.
7. The Beach Hut by Robin Jarvis – ★★★★★
Bram is staying at his aunt Pat’s cabins during the summer with his mum and his older sister. He doesn’t have any friends and his sister ignores him. Then one day, he decides to spend the night in the beach hut. But little does he know – the hut is already occupied. But a girl who is a ghost. This story is another favorite of mine. I loved that it was set in the summer. We usually associate scary stories with autumn, or cold weather, and this was a nice change to remind us that ghosts can appear in any season. I loved Bram and could relate to him a lot. He was a brave soul, who loved adventure and didn’t have many friends. I also loved the ghost story and how it ended. The plot twist was very unpredictable and I loved it so much!
8. The Praying Down of Vaughan Darkness by Sam llewellyn – ★★★★★
Another great story, this one written in the form of a diary. Connecting events of the past and the present – I really enjoyed the ending. It was very intriguing, and the story telling was spot on. I wanted to know a bit more about the ghost in the end.
9. The Ghost Walk by Matt Haig – ★★★★★
The Ghost Walk is my ultimate favorite. It is also the one story that I can’t say what it’s about without spoiling anything. But it was wonderful and it was intriguing. It kept me glued to the pages until the very end. It also gave me shivers a couple of times!. If you’re only going to read one story from this book, it should be this one.
10. The Ghost Wood by Philip Reeve – ★★★★
So adorable and sad. Especially the ending. And another story that I won’t reveal the synopsis of. It was a bit slow at the beginning and too descriptive for my taste. But the ending made up for it.
11. The Little Ship’s Boy by Berlie Doherty – ★★★★
Jez stays in Cornwall with his uncle and aunt. And there’s a story about a haunted ship that appears during big storms. But when Jez also sees a child, asking to be saved, he needs to do something. Filled with intensity and singing sailors, this story gave me the chills. There’s also a music sheet for the song as well, and I wish I was musically educated to be able to play it.