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HAUNT by S. Graham

Our Review:

HAUNT by S. Graham plunges readers into a riveting tale of a home’s dark history and its impact on those who dare to cross its threshold. The ten bedroom Victorian Mansion’s history spans across decades, revealing the dark heart of a house with a penchant for despair and dread. The dreams and hopes of anyone who wishes to occupy the home are eventually drowned.

Haunt kicks off with Emily and Bryan, a young couple soaked in optimism, pouring their dreams and savings into a dilapidated house. Their dream is to transform the neglected structure into a charming bed and breakfast. Their vision for a peaceful retreat is quickly clouded by the chilling realization that they are not alone. The house, with its creaking floors and whispers of the past, becomes a character of its own—watching and waiting.  The couple is fully aware of the homes troubled past, but what they encounter goes far beyond a fixer-upper’s typical issues. What’s compelling about S. Graham’s approach is how the characters lean into the haunting—they don’t waste time denying the eerie bumps in the night.  This realistic acceptance moves the story along at a brisk pace and aligns closely with how you’d expect real people to react if dropped into a ghost story.

S. Graham deftly avoids the pitfall of dumbfounding his characters for the sake of plot. Instead, Emily and Bryan confront their unnerving residents with a blend of fear, curiosity, and a desperate need to stick it out, driven by finances and sheer will. Haunt forces readers to reflect on life’s harsher realities—the ones that keep you anchored to a place no matter its shadows. S. Graham’s writing style is direct and engaging, capturing the reader’s attention from the very start. The initial setup of the story might feel comfortably familiar to aficionados of the genre— an old house with a nebulous past, eerie occurrences, naive couple . Yet, there’s an undercurrent of anticipation that keeps the pages turning.

Just when we think Emily and Bryan’s story is at an end and the fear is over, the book’s second act brings us more with Anna and Jack. Anna and Jack are just looking for a relaxing get-a-way from the stressors of being parents, but the nightmare isn’t over. This time, it’s Anna and Jack who experience the lingering malevolence of the house, as they try to piece together it’s past. The segue into this new chapter in the house’s life introduces a clever narrative symmetry, connecting with Emily and Bryans past with the present in ways that are both haunting and intriguing.

S. Graham’s writing shines when it delves into the eerie ambiance and the layered history of the house. The descriptions are vivid, crafting scenes that flicker between the macabre and the ordinary with ease. Each chapter builds tension with ghostly encounters and the human responses to them, painting a picture of a the houses curse. Haunt blends the terror of the unknown with the thrill of discovery. As the characters uncover more about the house’s past, the reader is pulled into a compelling tale of curses and history that refuse to stay hidden.

Haunt is a masterful blend of horror and historical mystery that offers a chilling read. S. Graham’s exploration of what it truly means to inhabit—and be inhabited by—a place with a dark past questions the very nature of home. Is home merely a place where we lay our heads, build our families and eat our meals, or does it hold a deeper grip on our lives and destinies? Haunt is a classic americana horror story, but with writing that makes you double check your windows are locked at night.

For fans of Stephen King and newcomers to horror alike, S. Graham’s Haunt offers a modern twist on the haunted house narrative, ensuring you’ll think twice about the history of any place you call home or visit on vacation. Haunt is a finely crafted reminder that sometimes the scariest stories are those that feel like they could happen just down the street—especially if the street ends in a Victorian mansion shadowed by tales of the past.

 

“Haunt is a finely crafted reminder that sometimes the scariest stories are those that feel like they could happen just down the street—especially if the street ends in a Victorian mansion shadowed by tales of the past.”

“Haunt is a classic americana horror story, but with writing that makes you double check your windows are locked at night.”

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