September House

Carissa Orlando

Adult Horror

A woman is determined to stay in her dream home even after it becomes a haunted nightmare in this compulsively readable, twisty, and layered debut novel.

When Margaret and her husband Hal bought the large Victorian house on Hawthorn Street—for sale at a surprisingly reasonable price—they couldn’t believe they finally had a home of their own. Then they discovered the hauntings. Every September, the walls drip blood. The ghosts of former inhabitants appear, and all of them are terrified of something that lurks in the basement. Most people would flee.

Margaret is not most people.

Margaret is staying. It’s her house. But after four years Hal can’t take it anymore, and he leaves abruptly. Now, he’s not returning calls, and their daughter Katherine—who knows nothing about the hauntings—arrives, intent on looking for her missing father. To make things worse, September has just begun, and with every attempt Margaret and Katherine make at finding Hal, the hauntings grow more harrowing, because there are some secrets the house needs to keep.

-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.

Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.

My Opinion 

“You can live with something without approving if it.” 

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) Um wow. I’m a bit speechless about this one. So many people rave about horror so I keep trying them, only to be put off by them. But not with this!

One of my biggest problems with horror is that it’s too unrealistic, too much for my brain to even agree it could ever happen. So it’s never scary. With this book, she wrote it differently. I was sucked in and was highly curious while also somewhat understanding the ghosts.

Let me preface this with; this became very gory at the end. If you’re sensitive to that you need to pass this one up. But because I had become so committed to this story, it felt more realistic making it scary for me. Isn’t that why we read horror, to feel that prickle of terror? I’m not typically scared in books but this was done well enough that I couldn’t read it before bed. I even couldn’t read it while eating. There were too many descriptions!

The premise of the book is that an older couple move into a very old home and start experiencing paranormal phenomenon. Events such as blood coming down the walls, ghosts showing up looking like they did when they were killed and screaming at night. What? Why would you live there?

The wife, Margaret, is very connected to the house and follows the “rules” which she has learned. She accommodates the ghosts in ways to make them more agreeable, therefore making her life easier. Some of the ghosts and their stories were harder to hear and some were far less intense. It’s contemporary paranormal which I normally don’t like but it had just enough realism to it to make it more believable. 

The only problem I had with the book was that Margaret was too nonchalant about everything. Nobody would not freak out with blood gushing down their walls. But she just picks up her bucket and starts cleaning. That seemed too unreal to me to really fall 100% for the book but I was definitely entertained and I will for sure be recommending this to all the horror lovers!

AUDIO REVIEW: Fabulous! It was an older woman’s voice narrating so it clicked well with the story. Kimberly Farr was perfect with the nonchalance, the inflections needed in her voice for the scary parts and I feel she made it more real. It was as if a friend was telling me this story. Which is probably why it felt more believable!

General content summary: This has a lot of gory scenes and descriptions on how people were killed (even children), and what they looked like after the killing. I do not recommend this for sensitive readers!

F words= 20+, blood, ghosts, many birds die, previous death by ax, someone was previously chained, burned and killed, digging up buried body (multiple), f/f relationship, alcohol and alcoholism (multiple), descriptions of corpses with injuries (some gore), sedative unwillingly given, spousal physical abuse, gruesome deaths (blood, broken bones, gore, details, multiple).

Thank you to PRH Audio for the copy!

**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 

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