Home Before Dark|Review

Home Before Dark – Published 2020

What was it like? Living in that house.

Maggie Holt is used to such questions. Twenty-five years ago, she and her parents, Ewan and Jess, moved into Baneberry Hall, a rambling Victorian estate in the Vermont woods. They spent three weeks there before fleeing in the dead of night, an ordeal Ewan later recounted in a nonfiction book called House of Horrors. His tale of ghostly happenings and encounters with malevolent spirits became a worldwide phenomenon, rivaling The Amityville Horror in popularity—and skepticism.

Today, Maggie is a restorer of old homes and too young to remember any of the events mentioned in her father’s book. But she also doesn’t believe a word of it. Ghosts, after all, don’t exist. When Maggie inherits Baneberry Hall after her father’s death, she returns to renovate the place to prepare it for sale. But her homecoming is anything but warm. People from the past, chronicled in House of Horrors, lurk in the shadows. And locals aren’t thrilled that their small town has been made infamous thanks to Maggie’s father. Even more unnerving is Baneberry Hall itself—a place filled with relics from another era that hint at a history of dark deeds. As Maggie experiences strange occurrences straight out of her father’s book, she starts to believe that what he wrote was more fact than fiction.” – Goodreads


This book has been on my TBR for months, having ordered back when I was still getting a Book of the Month. I finally got around to reading it for a spooky October book, and I liked it. I flipped between the audio and the physical book, and thought the narration was great. I like a lot of what this book has to offer; the potential of ghosts or intruders, a perfect setting with an old house, changing POVs and time periods, and some dark history within the home of previous tenants.

I think this would have been a 5 star for me if I hadn’t seen The Haunting of Hill House. To me, this book seemed a lot like the show (I haven’t read the book). Both have an author in the family who has made money on the family’s experiences, strained relationships within the family, a family member who believes the house to be haunted and others who don’t remember or want to accept it, and a lot of gross and spooky things happening. But the show was much scarier; this was a lukewarm thriller, in my opinion.

This was my first book by this author, but won’t be my last. I like that it had me questioning whether or not actual ghosts could be responsible for what was happening, because I am not usually invested in paranormal stories. I recommend giving this one a go!

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