Hahn is a master at stretching the suspense….just the right mix of chilling and thrilling.
The author of wildly popular ghost stories, Mary Downing Hahn has created a group of tales for fans of her "scary but not too scary" books. Even the stories without actual ghosts are spooky. Each tale turns something ordinary—a pigeon, a white dress, a stranger on the bus, a puppet—into a sinister link to to the supernatural.
For the human characters, secrets from the past or careless behavior in the present can lead to serious trouble. All the stories have a young person as the central character, so all will resonate with young readers who enjoy the eerie, the creepy, and the otherworldly. In a concluding note, the author talks about how she came to write ghost stories.
In a chilling ghost story that is also an insightful family drama, Molly, 12, and her brother Michael, 10, are wary of their sneaky seven-year-old stepsister, Heather. Ever since they became a blended family, Heather has lied, tattled, and created tension between their parents. Worst of all, Heather claims she has been talking to a ghost named Helen, and she warns Molly and Michael that Helen is coming for them. Molly feels certain Heather is getting herself into some kind of danger, but every time she tries to help, Heather maneuvers to get her into trouble. The whole family is at odds. It seems as if things can't get any worse.
But they do—when Helen comes.
When Travis and his sister, Corey, learn that their grandmother’s quiet Vermont inn has a history of ghost sightings, they decide to do a little “haunting” of their own. Before long, their supernatural pranks are drawing tourists to the inn. But Travis and Corey soon find out that there are other ghosts at Fox Hill Inn, and their tricks have awakened something dangerous and threatening. It’s up to these pranksters to figure out how to lay to rest the ghosts they’ve stirred. A fresh take on haunted houses, Mary Downing Hahn’s entertaining, spooky story pokes gentle fun at charlatan ghost hunters while suggesting that ghosts are not to be trifled with.
A family secret is at the root of Mary Downing Hahn's story of supernatural events in Maine. Ali, 13, is eager to spend her vacation with Aunt Dulcie, helping to care for her little niece, Emma, in the lake house where Dulcie and Claire, Ali's mother, spent summers. Claire, who is phobic about water, is dead set against her going but is forced to agree. The vacation by the lake turns unpleasant when Ali and Emma meet a mean, spiteful kid named Sissy. Sissy keeps talking about Teresa, a girl who drowned under mysterious circumstances when Claire and Dulcie were kids. At first Ali thinks Sissy is just trying to scare her with a ghost story, but soon she discovers the real reason why Sissy is so angry: she is the ghost of Teresa and blames Claire and Dulcie for her death.
Known for her spooky stories of ghosts and secrets, Mary Downing Hahn weaves a tale of two children who live near a decaying Victorian mansion, bound to the place by a mysterious set of rules. Only by connecting with the new girl who moves into the old Willis place can Diana and little brother George be free—but making contact with this girl would be a violation of the rules. The pursuit of friendship is at the heart of this haunting novel, and brilliant plot twists make The Old Willis Place an irresistible page turner.
When her adorable baby brother is replaced by an ugly, ill-tempered changeling, Mollie is determined to find the so-called Kinde Folke who took baby Thomas, return the changeling she calls Guest, and make them give Thomas back. Natural and magical obstacles and her own reckless temperament make her journey arduous and full of dangers, and a plot rich in surprises and twists makes this book a must-read for Mary Downing Hahn’s fans.