Winter has come early for us here in the Midwest. Our Thanksgiving meals had barely digested when a Sunday night blizzard decided to breeze on by, treating us to a chilling coda of our holiday weekend. The East Coast had it bad as well a couple weeks earlier with Winter Storm Avery. What are we to do when snowy weather traps us indoors? I know – read a book, a book topical to our situation. How about a novel about a haunted house that stands against a snowy, storm-laden background? You can’t go wrong with that!
I have reviewed at least five winter-themed haunted house novels. I will list them here – in this post – with links, descriptions and pictures – Oh boy!! Please note: this is not a list of Christmas themed haunted house stories, for which I have written several reviews of various works. These stories, which may or may not include the topic of “snow”, are for a different list, perhaps an upcoming list. Hmmm…..
Anyway, it’s time to bundle up in your favorite blanket, get all cozy, and read some scary stories in the safety of your warm environment. Enjoy!
It’s more of a cabin really, but Maynard’s House, sitting there in the middle of nowhere in the snowy wilderness is definitely haunted. At least it is to Austin Fletcher, a war-weary veteran of the Vietnam War. who shacks up in this house during the brutal winter season. But is it is own tortured mind that churns out the hauntings?
Poor Austin has to contend with the workings of a witch in the woods, a haunted tree, a couple of “snow beings”, and a bear. A brilliant piece written by Herman Raucher.
An epic novel by Peter Straub. A small town is besieged by a snowstorm. Throw in a couple of vengeful spirits and we have quite that terrifying situation. This book has several haunted houses as the hauntings stretch far and wide – it is an epidemic, you see? There are many characters so there are many fronts. I regret that my review fails to do this book justice. I think I even state that the movie is better. Perhaps that has changed, since the story still sits inside of me years after I have read it. Should I reread it? Uh, not tonight, there are about a thousand pages or so. But don’t let that scare you away – dive in! Oh and the movie is very good too.
A Winter Haunting
Author Dan Simmons follows the child characters of this book Summer of Night into adulthood with several subsequent works. A Winter Haunting is one of these works.
Dale Stewart is all grown up and he returns to his childhood town. There was that one fateful summer when all he and his friends wanted to do was ride bikes and explore the countryside. Yes they did these things, but they ended up being haunted by ghosts and different kinds of undead entities. Dale barely remembers the details of that summer. I guess it was too horrific for him. But something is not right in his adult life, so he returns, searching for answers.
Dale stays in the farm house of that once belonged to the family of his childhood friend that died that summer. That friend is there with him during his stay, although he doesn’t know this, not on a conscious level anyway. But us readers will know it, the friend introduces himself to us.
Dale stays from Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day. He does a lot of “soul searching”. And he finds some souls, although not all of them are his own. A very, very interesting read!
Three authors, strangers to each other, meet in a cabin in the snowy, mountainous woods to collaborate on a book. Oh but they are not alone! Someone, of something, is watching them. They see strange creatures out in the snow. They ride snow mobiles and encounter weird sights in the surrounding area.
Written by author Michael Robertson Jr., this is the shortest book on the list, and my least favorite of the five. But it is worth a read. Check it out!
Do I really have to explain this one? It’s my favorite book by Stephen King and my favorite haunted house novel in general. A family snowbound in the humongous, mountain-side Overlook Hotel. Jack Torrance, the father, goes mad and tries to kill his family – all because the hotel told him to do so. Bad hotel!
Maybe you the reader of this post are sick of seeing this book mentioned in lists pertaining to haunted houses. Maybe to you it is a cliché. But seriously, if you have seen the movie but have not yet read the book, you are doing yourself a disfavor. Correct this – now!