Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Haunter by R. L. Stine

That remarkable fellow R. L. Stine is at it again. This time around he created a rather traditional haunted house story that’s campy, creepy and fun. It’s all about this kid named Sammy Baker who happens to be a bit shy. His problems are magnified when his friends decide to visit the Marple House, an abandoned mansion that’s reportedly haunted by a kid who was burned to death inside. Sammy meets “The haunter” rather quickly when he experiences a freezing sensation. To complicate matters, his school chums are not all that friendly, and Sammy takes the brunt of their practical jokes. Of course, there’s a girl he sort of likes, and maybe she even likes him, too, but Halloween is going to be a very long night, and Sammy isn’t convinced any of them will survive their visit to the Marple House. Stine is masterful at creating situations and characters that young readers can relate to, and that’s why his stories have remained popular for so long. Stine delivers the chills, suspense and youthful angst that his readers have come to expect. I just can’t let Halloween slip past without a nod to Stine who remains as creative and creepy as ever. The Haunter is great fun, but don’t let that fool you. This is still a ghost story with some delightfully scary moments. Read it at night when the doors are locked.

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