The House By The Cemetery by John Everson is a brutal slasher set in an abandoned and rundown house that the town decides to turn into a haunted house attraction. But there’s one main problem, this house is already haunted.
Full disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my rating in any way.
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on The House By The Cemetery by John Everson
When this story begins, we meet a man named Mike Kostner who is down on his luck. His wife had left him for another man, his work is very sporadic, and money is tight. When he’s approached by a wealthy friend to rehab an old abandoned house to be able to open it as a haunted house attraction for Halloween, he’s hesitant, but can’t turn down the work.
From the initial walk through, Mike isn’t thrilled with the space and how much work needs to be done, but he has to admit that the bones of the house are sturdy. He reminds himself that he doesn’t need to make the space live-able, it just needs to hold up for a halloween haunt.
As he works over the next couple of weeks, various things occur in the house and Mike almost bails multiple times. But there’s a woman that has started randomly showing up, and not only does she help out a bit, she also serves as his motivation to finish the job.
Little does Mike know, this job isn’t going to end with the construction project…
I loved that the story begins with a bang before backing up to set the scene from day one of the project. There were so many creepy things that occurred here and there, but then when the story takes a brutal turn, there’s no going back.
And boy does it get brutal!
Right from page one, I was totally hooked. I read through this one in less than 24 hours because I needed to see what was going to happen next!
This story is organized centering mainly on poor love-struck Mike, but there are many chapters from the perspective of other side characters, some of whom added interesting depth and further twists to the overall plot. Some of these characters I definitely enjoyed more than others as some scenes really didn’t add much to the story other than having me wish they would get wacked next.
My only other slight complaint was the use of description between the characters of Katie and Emery. It felt as though the readers were bashed over the head with mentions of how pretty one of them was, and how un-pretty the other was. This just got really old for me very quickly.
But overall, this was a really fun ride!
My Favorite Passages from The House By The Cemetery
Then he opened the door and stepped into the foyer. The sunlight slipped away and the temperature dropped about ten degrees. Part of him whispered that this wasn’t simply because the house was holding the cool air still from overnight. He remembered the things in the room behind the bookcase. Bad shit had happened here. Of that, he had no doubt.
The sun had disappeared behind the house and the upper leaves of the forest before them glowed with the rays of the setting sun. Bird noise colored the breeze that shivered through the trees, making the leaves shimmer with light and shadow.
“Human beings, those are the monsters that you’ve gotta fear.”
My Final Thoughts on The House By The Cemetery
One part ghost story, one part romance, and one part slasher, this book was a hit for me! I had so much fun while reading and I found myself totally spooked and a few times, repulsed! I’m glad that I won’t be going into any haunted attractions any time soon…
This is a read I would recommend for fans of b-movie horror films and halloween haunted attractions.
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Thanks for reading!
What was the last slasher novel you read or movie you watched? I’m always open for recommendations for what I should check out next!