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Nightmare House Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 2004

3.9 out of 5 stars 113 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Harrow Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An uncharacteristic period ghost story brings the Harrow haunted house trilogy to an apprehensive conclusion or beginning. In Mischief (2000) and The Infinite (2001), Clegg dropped portentous hints of past misdeeds and occult experiments that amplified the evil influence of Harrow, a sprawling Hudson River estate turned into a boys' prep school. The events of this novel, a prequel to the previous two books, don't so much explain as anticipate Harrow's later ghostly manifestations. In 1926, Ethan Gravesend inherits the estate from his eccentric paternal grandfather, who built the mansion on supposedly cursed land. Almost immediately, he witnesses eerie apparitions that emanate from Harrow's shadowy halls and gloomy grounds. In the company of housekeeper and love interest Maggie Barrow, Ethan stumbles upon a boarded-up room and a proverbial skeleton in the family closet that serves as lodestone for the formidable supernatural forces that pulse through the dwelling. Clegg milks each of the gothic set pieces premature burial, mesmerism, exorcism, as well as the inevitable specters for maximum spooky effect, but ultimately depends on a lengthy digression by the well-informed local constable to put them all together for Ethan's benefit. While he offers no ideas here that haven't already been explored by the weird fiction masters cited in his acknowledgments, Clegg's modern sensibility brings out the luster in some of the genre's well-used furniture and shows that tales in the classic horror tradition can still entertain.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Leisure Books; Reprint edition (May 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 084395177X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0843951776
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #310,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The novel Nightmare House succeeded for me (and I hope for you too) on many levels. I would like to share with you two of them.

First, Setting: The reader is immediately and constantly aware of time and place. Ethan's travels to Harrow through the villages and along the road. The grand tour of Harrow, through its many levels, seen and unseen. The reminders that this was a more simple time - gas lights, unpaved roads, a constable that arrived on bike.

Second, Realism: Now, that may sound funny when reviewing a horror novel, but I'll have to say that when I read this novel, I did not once say to myself, "No way - that makes no sense at all." The story flowed well and made sense. I felt as though I could put myself in Ethan's place and experience it this in the "real" world and not be surprised. Life is full of mysteries and the answers to what happens in the infinite have been faith-based and if you believe in good, you must also believe in evil. The afterlife has never been defined, only interpreted. Ethan's experiences in the Nightmare House kept me glued to the story and my fingers turning the pages.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of those novels that I just didn't want to put down and wished would never end. Douglas Clegg is truly a master of horror fiction. He knows how to strike the chords of terror within the human mind without the crutches of butchery and gore. His eloquent writing style captivates the senses in such a way you can almost feel, see, hear and taste his every word. Whether this makes any sense at all, I can best describe this novel as terrifyingly beautiful and that I was beautifully terrified.
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Format: Audio CD
The year is 1926, and Ethan Gravesend has just inherited Harrow House -- the Watch Point, New York, home of his grandfather Justin Gravesend (who tells the story of his own early years in The Necromancer). Called Nightmare House by the local newspapers because of the events that have taken place under its roof, it is also said that every stone, every piece of glass, of this English-style manor castle was chosen specifically by Justin with full knowledge of its history and possible black-magical effects.

"Harrow, you belong to me," Ethan proclaims upon his arrival. "But I was to learn," the elder Ethan notes in the telling of this story from the present day, "that this house belonged to no man." However, Ethan feels as if he has come home at last. He used to visit Harrow in his youth, but his parents kept him away except for those rare visits, though he would dream of it at night.

Newly single, Ethan is prepared to settle in to his newly acquired wealth and status -- until the dead woman is discovered in the secret walled-off room. Accompanied by chief of police Pocket and local boy Alf, other frightening events are to come (during what the elder Ethan calls a "night of mystery") that will cause him to wonder what exactly his grandfather has let loose in Harrow. But these events will pale in comparison to the new information he discovers about his family.

Author Douglas Clegg has said that Nightmare House is his version of the "quiet ghost story" -- in fact, each Harrow novel reflects a favored literary style of his. Clegg leaps around from first-person to third-person, past to present, with confidence, and he never misses a step. Reader Michael Taylor (from Books in Motion, the audio publisher who produced this edition) follows along gamely.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love horror fiction, especially haunted house horror fiction. Until recently, my favorite of these was Richard Matheson's Legend of Hell House. But with the publication of Nightmare House, Douglas Clegg's Harrow has replaced my previous fave. Nightmare House ties together pieces of his previous novels Mischief and The Infinite by describing some of the background of this fiendishly designed house. I loved his straightforward writing style so much, that once I had finished Nightmare House I purchased six more Douglas Clegg paperbacks to read over the summer. He has an imagination to rival Clive Barker at his most hellish. I'd still like to see another book on Harrow from the standpoint of the builder, the grandfather of Nightmare House's narrator. I want to really understand the design of the house, and also try to explore the evil/innocent dichotomy of the narrator's sister. I want to crawl around in Harrow and explore until all of my questions are answered. Nightmare House does answer a lot, though. I highly recommend this book, and basically anything by Douglas Clegg.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wow, now this was a spooker that gives chills right thru to the bones, and plays with your head, not to mention giving you nightmares. Ethan (birth name Esteban) inherits a great huge and strange looking mansion from his beloved grandfather. But, this house is full of spine tingling secrets and ghosts, who seem to take over all who dare enter. The book is written as a memoir of Ethan at the age of almost 100, remembering the occurrences when he was 29 and just moved into the home. Douglas Clegg is a fantastic author who expertly paints a picture of horrific nightmarish scenes, sounds, smells and characters. The reader becomes Ethan, and you aren't sure what is real or what is imagined but you ARE sure that you are scared! The entire storyline and the characters are all expertly developed. I am so impressed with this author, who I feel as if I just " discovered", I plan on reading many, many more of his books. I am a die hard fan of good horror, but very few authors can really give me the chills like Clegg.
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