In the House in the Dark of the Woods

Narrated by: Vanessa Johansson
Length: 5 hrs and 20 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (117 ratings)

Audible Premium Plus

$14.95 a month

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $29.65

Buy for $29.65

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

The eerie, disturbing story of one of our perennial fascinations - witchcraft in colonial America - wrapped up in a lyrical novel of psychological suspense.

"Once upon a time there was and there wasn't a woman who went to the woods."
 

In this horror story set in colonial New England, a law-abiding Puritan woman goes missing. Or perhaps she has fled or abandoned her family. Or perhaps she's been kidnapped, and set loose to wander in the dense woods of the north. Alone and possibly lost, she meets another woman in the forest. Then everything changes.

On a journey that will take her through dark woods full of almost-human wolves, through a deep well wet with the screams of men, and on a living ship made of human bones, our heroine may find that the evil she flees has been inside her all along. 

In the House in the Dark of the Woods is a novel of psychological horror and suspense told in Laird Hunt's characteristically lyrical prose style. It is the story of a bewitching, a betrayal, a master huntress and her quarry. It is a story of anger, of evil, of hatred and of redemption. It is the story of a haunting, a story that makes up the bedrock of American mythology, but told in a vivid way you will never forget.

©2018 Laird Hung (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"With the surprise of fairy tale and fable but with the complexity of one's favorite literary novel, Laird Hunt again gives us fierce, complex women living in American history." (TaraShea Nesbit, author of The Wives of Los Alamos)

"Hunt's accomplished prose creates the atmosphere of possibility and danger that lurks in the best fairy tales, where anything can happen but everything has a cost. Highly recommended for fans of that amorphous border between fantasy, horror, and literary fiction as found in the work of Kelly Link, in Joy Williams' The Changeling (1978), or in Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber (1979)." (Booklist, Starred Review)

"Like Richard Hughes' In Hazard or Arthur Machen's 'The White People,' Hunt's In the House in the Dark of the Woods tells a dark story brightly, leading the reader to see and sense the things that the protagonist isn't saying, and maybe can't even acknowledge. A wonderful, luminous, sly tale that orbits around a very grim core, growing darker and darker as it goes. A stunning contemporary fairy tale." (Brian Evenson, author of A Collapse of Horses)

Editorial Review

A strange, hypnotic fever dream of a novel

The premise seems simple enough: a Puritan woman, on a walk to pick berries for her husband and son, becomes lost in the woods and encounters a series of bizarre strangers and events. But from the moment this novel begins, an eerie sense of unease takes over. An unreliable narrator, a collection of perhaps equally unreliable (and questionably real) supporting characters, combined a lurking sense of an evil force waiting just beyond the shadows make this one of the creepiest, most unsettling horror novels I’ve ever listened to. Vanessa Johansson’s performance is masterful, juxtaposing the bright-eyed naïveté of the main character’s voice with the sinister tones of her experience. It’s safe to say I’ve started off this October sufficiently spooked. —Sam D., Audible Editor

What listeners say about In the House in the Dark of the Woods

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    30
  • 4 Stars
    30
  • 3 Stars
    33
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    10
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    49
  • 4 Stars
    37
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    5
Story
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    29
  • 4 Stars
    23
  • 3 Stars
    24
  • 2 Stars
    18
  • 1 Stars
    13

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Darkly Tinted Whimsy

Narrative poetry is the best I can come to describing the author's style in this modern fairy tale. The sense of wonder and ethereal other worldliness is helped along by intermittent bursts of rhymed meter within the story's rich prose. This is the first Laird Hunt piece I've listened too and found myself captivated by the sheer strangeness of the tale. The narration was strong and brought life to the many female characters within. I'd strongly recommend for those with a inclination to fantasy and literary tales.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

No thank you

As much as I wanted to like this book, I found it to be fairly nonsensical.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

better to read it

this was hard to listen to, as you are in the dark on the plot the entire time and the author is purposefully vague For plot reasons. I enjoyed it but needed to read with my eyes on this one.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Grown up fairy tale

I liked it, the story that is, not so much the characters. But, I wonder, if that was not how it was meant. I thought I had figured it out, and for the most part was correct - but not the why. When that was revealed it all clicked. " Ah, well there you go" moment.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

This stayed with me

The first 3/4 was easy to follow. The language wavered between being beautifully poetic and overwrought. At its best, it was a totally unique sensory experience. At its worst, it felt a little bit like a 17/18th century A Handmaid's Tale (the TV version). I really don't think of this as a horror book. I think I understand the cyclical metaphor of the last 1/4 of the book. If there was supposed to be a more specific reading of wtf happened, then it was lost on me. I was annoyed when I finished it, but the deliciousness of the feeling of the overall book has stayed with me so it is kind of worth it? It's only like 5 hours, why not try it?

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • kw
  • 10-28-18

Interesting! I was surprised how much I enjoyed it.

This was a good listen and an interesting fairy tale. At first I wasn’t sure but it really sucked me in. I’m glad I got it!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Started off strong

Hooked from chapter one. Then lost me somewhere before the end. Certainly entertaining. Four stars

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

what?????

This had to be one of the most unusual stories I have ever listened to. It put me in mind of Alice in Wonderland. A lot of times it made no sense!!! Going to return it.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible.

This book is so boring and confusing that I gave up any hope in it being good after the first two chapters.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Shakespeare or story?

it was written like a Shakespearean play! very difficult to get through. would not recommend to others.