Who doesn’t love a good ghost story? Glenn Rolfe’s violent haunting of The Bruton Inn, just outside the town of Hollis Oaks, is creepy and mysterious, with Joe Hempel’s narration giving it that extra sinister touch to bring on the goose-bumps.
In a twist from the usual, Rolfe not only unveils the reason behind the Hotel’s haunting, but we’re made privy to the evil entity’s viewpoint, getting inside her head as well as those battling the murderous presence.
We meet a range of characters who are all relatable and likeable, including the “urban Shaman” Lee, an uninspiring night clerk named Jeff, and his co-worker Rhiannon. We also step over the breach to meet Sarah, the malicious Ice Queen and Christina, who was once her best friend and is now fighting to stop her.
The action jumps back and forth through time, and the deaths are frequent, often told in graphic detail. Between gruesome scenes are terrifying moments of tension and uncertainty.
Hempel’s well-timed narration milks the moments, teasing the uncertainty and making the characters’ fears real. His characterisations are believable and he refrains from histrionics and pantomime depictions of the malevolent supernatural events. That’s not an easy feat when dealing with extreme events like those depicted in Rolfe’s gripping novel.
The Haunted Halls is a cheesy, disappointing title for a surprisingly enjoyable ghost story. Rather than judging this book by its cover however, leave the lights on while you listen. The audiobook of The Haunted Halls runs for approximately 6 hours and 16 tense minutes and is sure to satisfy most lovers of graphic, ghoulish ghost stories.
The Haunted Halls was released by Alien Agenda Publishing in September 2016. It runs for approximately 6 hours and 16 minutes and is available through audible.