THE GHOST HOUSE by Norman Berrow


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Amateurish and bland supernaturalism from England, with a conventional cops-and-smugglers climax. Newly-married Gerry and Jill are caught driving in a storm in the country and stop overnight at an old rambling manor famed for its ghosts. They are welcomed by Mr. Ingalls and his alcoholic, sexy wife, plus some other guests and thuggish butler Carter. But the house sits on an island, and during the three-day storm the bridge to the mainland collapses--or has Ingalls smashed it with an ax? Then: weird screams, a horrible howling (called ""the Devil's Laugh""), and Jill finds herself looking into mirrors that summon up twisting faces of the dead. Finally, when a drug-squad agent who has washed up on the bank is brought into the house (he pretends that his boat went down), it's revealed that the Ingalls aren't really the Ingalls and that the pseudo-ghost house is being used as a heroin-smugglers' cove. Everything supernatural gets explained away except Jill's ability to call up faces in the mirrors--making this a pallid variation on all those high-school haunted-house plays, not even of interest to insatiable occult fans.

Pub Date: April 28th, 1980
Publisher: St. Martin's