There is an old, empty house in Devil's Cleave, a deep gorge that leads from the high moors down to the harbour village of Hollow Bay. The house is Crickley Hall and it's large and grim, somehow foreboding. It's rumoured to be haunted. It's thought to hold a secret. Despite some reservations, the Caleighs move in, searching for respite in this beautiful part of North Devon, seeking peace and perhaps to come to terms with what's happened to them as a family.
But all is not well with the house. They hear unaccountable noises. A cellar door they shut every night is always open again in the morning. They see things that cannot be real. The house is the last place the Caleighs should have come to, for the terror that unfolds is beyond belief. Soon they will discover the secret horror of Crickley Hall....
©2006 James Herbert (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
Hauntingly horrific heartache.
Even though this story is clearly a supernatural story, it's core is very, very human. The love of the family for each other and their shared grief and struggle over their loss is so endearing. On that same note the stories of the orphans is heartbreaking but also endearing, you feel for these people and you WANT them to be ok, to be at peace. Ultimately it comes down to people relying on each other and their faith to be strong in impossible situations.
David Rintoul is fantastic. His performance from Percy to the children, to the young women was incredible. It never felt silly, but was very sincere and very well done.
They will not be forgotten.
I've been listening to audiobooks since I was a little kid wandering the house, dragging a toddler-proof Playskool tape player behind me.
I'm a complete and total supernatural horror junkie, and this book scratched that itch like nobody's business.
There are, as one reviewer mentioned, quite a few "secrets" rather than one "secret of Crickley Hall", and some twists you see coming, others less so! In the end, while the book doesn't try anything too wildly unique, it also doesn't try to convince us to feel afraid of topiary bunny rabbits or fire hoses the way some (mysteriously) more well-known haunting tales do.
Most of all, David Rintoul gave this his all, and it shows. It took me almost a week to figure out why I was having trouble falling asleep when I had been listening to this book before bed. Even when he wasn't reading frightening parts of the story, Mr. Rintoul delivered his lines with such riveting intensity that I was too psyched-up to fall asleep! And, given that audio is such a wonderful medium for horror, I can't overstate how wonderfully his performance complements the text.
A+ haunted house, would visit again if armed with holy water.
(Content warning: there is violence against children in this book. Not Wes Craven levels, and thank God it doesn't run to Humbert Humbert, if you follow me, but it is horror and it is horrifying.)
oh hell. just read it.
get it. read it. good good good. being a jaded horror reader, i didn't think i would like Crickley Hall. I was wrong. I deeply enjoyed it. was it terribly scary? no, but i did get the creeps from time to time. and it was a very interesting read. the characters were good. their relationships were believable. there was plenty to keep me coming back when the chills were only so-so. the reader is extraordinary. his nuanced reading adds to the material. it lends the lines an extra push of reality, of "this is actually happening."
While I do enjoy traditional ghost stories as much as the next fan of horror, this story played it very safe with all of the conventions. It added nothing to the genre. The characters felt flat for the most part and I felt I had to finish the book. The ending was something you could see or feel coming from fairly far off.
I was enjoying this story until it got to the underlying story involving children. Then it became unbearable. I like this author, and I love horror stories, but this one just made me sick at heart.
The narration added to the atmosphere of the audiobook and this really drew me into the story. I don't think that the plot is amazing but the writing is very good and therefore the combination of great narration and good writing creates a good audiobook experience. ***** for narration, **** for the writing and *** for the story.
My first ever James Herbert read/listen and after this I'm a complete convert! The narration is perfection, the story grasped me from the start and I couldn't wait to get back to it for more. Being a newby to JH I can't compare this to other books by the author so all I say is give it a listen you will be pleased you did!😊
"Great book! Great listening!"
I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook but it's not for the squeamish! The narrator did an excellent job as usual.
"Amazing, absolutely loved it."
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish. The narrator was exceptional and bought the story to life.
Very very difficult to put down once you've started to listen.
"if you like a good ghost story you can't do better"
even better than the telly version and wonderfully narrated. KEeps you wanting to listen for hours.
"Classic Herbert, excellent narration"
It has to be up there in the top 10% for me, though I was a big James Herbert fan many years ago so I am a little biased. Also I live in Cornwall so I always love a good "West Country" ghost story
The actual finding out of what happened to the children........can't say much more, could be a plot spoiler!
David Rintoul absolutely made this book. Herbert's classic, vintage way of telling a ghost story was brought to life by the narrator. His characterization was fantastic and the way he got into the story just absorbed me into the plot more.Listening in the car was creepy enough, but David Rintoul through your headphones when the lights are out..............!Will definately look for more stories read by David.
Again, the plight of the children, but can't say more.
If you like a classic "chiller" and want a great narration you have just found it.
"A great story from a legendary writer"
The Secret of Crickley Hall is a very well written old fashioned type of ghost story, the characters were excellent & this is up there with the great James Herbert stories (Sepulchre, The Fog, Fluke & Others).
The whole tale has a eerie feel to it & as I listen at work I found myself looking forward to going into work mainly to continue this audiobook where I had left off.
David Rintoul brings real emotion to the story and then can have almost a grandfatherly type voice on the scenes where there is less action.
I didn't have an emotional reaction but I did find myself drawn into the plight of the family & the orphans from WWII.
If you haven't (like me) seen the BBC adaptation of this story or read the novel then I would highly recommend grabbing this audiobook, great story, brilliant narration & at no point in the eighteen hours of this audio will you lose interest.
Fantastic book, could not stop listening, wanting to find out what happened next. Narrator brilliant too... The only disappointment was that I finished it quite quickly. Will be listening to this one again and again :)
""WOW" - really creepy - great horror"
I have never read anything by James Herbert - this is my one and only - so far - and on recommendation of a friend. I quite like scary stories and this book is just that - if you like to be scared, this one will do the trick and David Rintoul does a good job of creating the ambience to go with it. It has a bit of suspense and a lot of intrigue and quite a few parts where you want to shut all your doors and look over your shoulder. Great story too, I tended to stop reading at sundown and I'm not easily spooked. Read/listen, enjoy being scared!!!
"Edge of your seat Thriller"
Yes, listening to the story especially a thriller gives a edge to a story, I've found I can't listen quick enough lol.
One of them was when two girls were visiting & the swishing noise had started I was sure they were going to be killed, great stuff.
The young boy Maurice who grows up to be a man & has a big part in the story.
I can't remember laughing but I was so upset about the little boy Cam & at how they treated the children at the school I got really annoyed with that.
I really enjoyed the book it was really good, the correct narrator was used so it all had a nice flow to it. Loved it x
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