• Stirrings in the Black House

  • By: Ambrose Ibsen
  • Narrated by: Joe Hempel
  • Length: 4 hrs and 40 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (264 ratings)

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Stirrings in the Black House  By  cover art

Stirrings in the Black House

By: Ambrose Ibsen
Narrated by: Joe Hempel
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Publisher's summary

Fear is a place.

When struggling concert pianist Emil inherits a house from his late uncle, he thinks all of his problems are solved. Absconding to the mysterious Weatherby House in the suburbs of Portland where his famous uncle composed many classical masterpieces, Emil finds the place completely empty, save for one thing: his uncle's grand piano.

But Weatherby House is not the ideal getaway it appears at first glance. It has a dark past and is shunned by the locals. As the days pass, strange things occur on the property, leaving Emil to wonder if he isn't losing his mind.

Unplaceable footsteps resound in the upstairs; dark figures peer into the windows at night despite the empty acreage that surrounds the old house, and that blasted piano can't seem to keep quiet, loosing music at turns beautiful and terrifying even as no one sits before it.

In time, Emil discovers that there's something else living in Weatherby House.

And it refuses to let him leave.

©2017 Ambrose Ibsen (P)2017 Ambrose Ibsen

What listeners say about Stirrings in the Black House

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Creepy!!!

Emil loves playing the piano, but after a breakdown at one of his recitals, he doesn't have much options. He is living with his parents and is broke. Until one day he learns that his Uncle Gustav, a famous musician and composer, left him a house. What's odd is that Emil hasn't talked nor seen his Uncle in years. The last time was when Gustav attended one of Emil's recitals and told Emil he wasn't any good. So why would his Uncle leave him a house? As Emil settles into the house he learns some disturbing things about it and things aren't what they seem!!

I have quickly become a fan of Ambrose Ibsen because of how he can transport you into his stories. That isn't really a good thing though, because his stories are so incredibly creepy!!! I actually had to stop listening to this till the morning because it gave me the chills. Learning about the house and everything that happened just made it worse. It was so so scary and I just wanted Emil to leave! I know I wouldn't stay in any house where mysterious noises were happening. I'd skedaddle and get someone else to investigate!!

The author is also really good at making you connect with his characters. I felt for Emil. He is down on his luck but determined to make a better life for himself. He just wants to play music again and even starts hearing a certain song in his dreams. I was rooting for him the whole way through. I also liked Kelly, the girl he meets when he gets to the new town.

In all, this was a great little ghost story. Well written and developed and one that had me shivering, it's a must read. Can't wait to see what the author gives us next!!

Joe Hempel is also quickly becoming a favourite narrator of mine. He has such an easy voice to listen to that he makes it effortless. Plus he has an incredible array of tones and voices that it's like a full cast recording. Brilliant narration!!!

I was voluntarily provided this audiobook for free from the author, narrator, or publisher. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

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14 people found this helpful

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

<3 Ambrose!

This the 5th book I have read from Ambrose, and I have loved them all.
I will say I believe this one is my favorite though. I really enjoyed the storyline. I also love the characters!. The writers books seem to be creepy and dark but not too over-the-top. just the way I like them!
The narration was spot on. I look forward to hearing more from Ambrose!

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

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11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Just what I was hoping for!

This story is filled with horror, mystery, suspense and some creepy ghosts and a good bit of gore. Emil a concert pianist who lost what he had due to drug abuse inherits a huge house in a small town in Oregon. It's in the outskirts of town surrounded by nothing and has a history. Several people were murdered in the house. He doesn't know this upon inheriting it. It's talking with a local girl that he learns and she tells him of a book written about the gory murders.

The author does a fantastic job building the characters, giving them shape, form and depth. He also builds suspense, increasing one step at a time until hitting full blast with a toe-curling climax. I clung to each word and really didn't want it to end. I think that's my only complaint was the ending left me in a "that's it!". It seemed unfinished but otherwise an excellent story I'll listen to I'm sure again.

The narrator used great pacing adding to the excitement of the story, building as the author built. Great job and very clear sound quality.

I received this book free for an honest review.

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9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another great Ibsen/Hempel ghost story

I’ve listened to a few of Ambrose Ibsen’s books and this one ranks towards the top. His pairing with Joe Hempel always makes the book come alive. This story was my favorite of his so far and the ending was just as good as the story. The book wasn’t too scary but built a good level of suspense and tension.
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

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8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story and great narration

I received a free copy of this book in audio format from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

Playing piano is everything for Emil. After a breakdown some months before, he has no job nor prospects in life. Upon his death, his uncle Gustav, famous music composer, leaves Emil an old house in Portland, where Emil moves to and discovers an exceptional piano in the house living room. This could be a new opportunity for Emil and he takes it in stride, until the inhabitants of the little town close to the house start telling him about the gruesome murders committed in the house during the 70's.

I always enjoy a ghost story by Ambrose Ibsen. He is capable of building up the right amount of tension and creating the right atmosphere to make a story startling. Even though I do not believe in ghosts, as I have a rational mind like Emil, the flow of the story caught my attention and kept it until the end. I especially enjoyed the twist, and made complete sense as the only real possibility at that point. It is one of those stories where everything falls elegantly in place.

I liked Emil, a young tormented soul with hopes to forge a better future for himself, and Kelly, the girl who introduces him to the house and stays by his side when he needs it the most. Despite not being a very long novel the characters are fully fleshed, and their actions and words feel natural and fluid.

The narration was beautifully done by Joe Hempel, bringing to life each one of the characters. Not changing them but giving them a little extra, making the book shine and become alive. Listening to a book narrated by Joe Hempel is always an unsurpassable experience.

This is my second book by Ambrose Ibsen, and I am impressed by his writing skills, not only creating characters that are alive but also places with a soul. I am looking forward to listening to his other books.

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7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Ghost story at its best

Ambrose Ibsen is a master of ghost stories. This chilling tale of murder, music, cults, possession and more will leave you with all the lights on in your house...of course that just makes the shadows darker and deeper.the author weaves a masterful tale narrated in chilling detail by joe hempel. This tale of a house with a dark history will lead you down a path and take you through twists and turns down paths you never expect. Be ready to be scared. Be ready to find out what is stirring in the Black House. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

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5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A great scary ghost story!

Would you listen to Stirrings in the Black House again? Why?

too scary!

Any additional comments?

Stirrings in the Black House by Ambrose Ibsen is a pretty good scary story. Emil inherits a house from an uncle that never really seemed to care for him. Shocked but in need of a place and down on his luck, he happy with his luck. He moves in and soon finds out that this house has a history, a bad history. He also finds out why his uncle gave him the house. The book started out a little slow but soon it made up for it and ended with an exciting bang! Great ghost story! I was requested an audio version and the review is voluntary.

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5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

a vulnerable young man, isolated from his family,

Stirrings in the Black House was a fun haunted house story. When I say fun about a haunted house book, I mean thrilling, scary, nerve racking and had it been a movie there would have been several jump scenes. I enjoyed listening to it.

Emil is a washed up concert pianist. At twenty-three, he is living with his parents and being supported by them. His career as a pianist came to a screeching halt due to his addiction to Percocet. He is now clean but in the way of all addicts, still just one misstep from using again.

Everything changes for Emil when his uncle Gustav dies. Gustav was a world class concert pianist of the caliber to play with the London Symphony Orchestra. He was a composer too. Gustav had come once to see Emil play and then dismissed him as having no talent. Emil had not seen or heard from his uncle since. Why would Gustav leave him a house? A house that is across the country from where he and his parents live? Looking for a fresh start, Emil drives his beat up car with his meager possessions to Newberg, Oregon. To Weatherby House.

The story is told in the first person. It allows the listener to share the emotions and thoughts of Emil as he arrives and finds a large two story house empty except for a massive black Steinway Grand Piano. No other furniture. No light bulbs in any light fixtures and no electricity. With his limited funds, Emil sets up electrical service and buys a few light bulbs and basic foodstuffs and settles in.

The fresh start is going as well as can be expected for Emil when he meets Kelly, a local girl. Kelly, upon hearing he lives in Weatherby House, tells him of its sordid history. The house was constructed by a cult who believed they could possess the bodies of victims they tortured to give them eternal life. When one victim escaped, the cult leaders were caught and jailed. They all died before going to trial.

At this point, I cannot discuss the plot any further with spoilers. So to recap, we have a vulnerable young man, isolated from his family, in recovery from addiction. We have a town that openly shuns Weatherby House and refuses to acknowledge it. We have a house with a bloody and occult history. Even an optimist can see this is going to end badly.

Joe Hempel does a great job narrating. He conveys the tension and fear in Emil’s voice and thoughts very well. He also does a great job on Kelly and other characters. I really enjoyed his narration. I will be seeking out more of his work as well as that of the author, Ambrose Ibsen.

Stop by Weatherby House for a few hours. Just not with all the lights off.

Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An Excellently Written and Performed Horror Story

I loved Stirrings in the Black House. It was a perfect horror story. It was edge of your seat and I couldn't stop listening. It was a creepy scary; not a scare me out of my wits scary. I listened to this audiobook after revisiting the Manson murders and learning that QT is making a new film about them. This book was amazing and I love Ambrose Ibsen's writing. He's my new favorite spooky story author. It's 01:45 and it's so good that I can't turn it off.

The people that lived in the Weatherby House before uncle Gustav were a cult group named the Endless Circle. This story like the house had a spooky good backstory as well as Emil being his uncle's protege as a pianist and inheriting not only the house but his Steinway.

Joe Hempel's performance was top notch. His voice was perfect for Emil. I also loved the character of Kelli. He had awesome voice inflections and put this book over the top excellent. Highly recommended.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this honest review.

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4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Horror!

Another great horror story by Ambrose Ibsen. This is my third book by this author. I definitely plan to check out more of his books! Like the others I've listened to so far, this book was very suspenseful throughout. Of course that is partly due to the great narration by Joe Hempel!

Ghosts, a haunted house, a group of reincarnated cultists, and a whole lot of creepy! Emil is a washed up pianist and recovering drug addict. After his Uncle Gustav passes away he inherits the Weatherby House. The old house is full of dark secrets and a beautiful old Steinway grand piano. Not long after moving into the house Emil learns of the house's dark past and realizes he may not be alone in the house.

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3 people found this helpful