Billy’s new job at the ghost prison may be the death of him.
Billy Calder’s spent nine years at the Home for Unfortunate Boys, and he’s ready to get a job; he takes one as a guard at the prison in an old castle on the hill outside his medieval village. He and the other orphans have always enjoyed frightening one another with tales of witches and ghosts dwelling in the castle, but Billy was never sure if those tales had any truth to them—until he’s asked to work the overnight shift. Mr. Adam Colne, Billy’s boss, tells him that someone requested that Billy be assigned to the night shift…someone dead. Netty, the ghost of a witch hanged at the prison, asked for Billy, and she usually gets what she wants; her displeasure’s hard to bear. Colne tells Billy Netty’s story and warns Billy to stay away from the Witch Well, for something awful dwells there. Billy follows that rule until one night when the rest of the guards are sick…and Billy has to feed what lives in the Witch Well. Delaney, author of the Last Apprentice series, packs a lot of scare into this slim volume, and Fischer’s black-and-white illustrations delightfully increase the fear factor.
Not for the faint of heart, this probably should be read with the lights on…they’ll likely have to stay on. (Horror. 8-11)