The Haunted House Family memories of a haunted house and how it eventually was torn down
The Haunted House was a strange and interesting story. At first glance it's a tale of sadness and heartbreak, but it's also full of family memories, survival and a story of how even in the face of the biggest tragedy something good can still come from it.
This book is full of such memories, as well as sadness. In fact, one of the things that struck me most about this novel was the way it captures how quickly things can change in the face of tragedy. It's an interesting story that I would recommend for anyone looking for something different from typical YA novels.
I was reminded of the importance of gathering around a bonfire or sitting by a fire at night. Being close to nature and the outdoors is relaxing and grounding. It's important to set aside time in our lives for just being still, along with making and sharing memories with family and friends.
The story follows the family of James McClean, who lives in Ireland during the Great Famine. The famine is described as an event that affected Ireland so severely that over one million people died from starvation or disease. It was described as being “the most devastating event in Irish history” (The Haunted House).
James' wife Mary has just been left alone with their children while he goes to work on a farm nearby. She spends her time reading stories to her children until they fall asleep at night, before taking them into bed with her and holding them close until morning (The Haunted House).
As James arrives home, he finds his house filled with ghosts who are begging for food, water and shelter (The Haunted House). He is forced to leave his home and settle down in an abandoned house nearby where there is no electricity or running water. This house has been known throughout history as being haunted by ghosts from previous inhabitants who have died here (The Haunted House).
For all its creepiness, "The Haunted House" is still an uplifting story that is just one of the many gems within R.L. Stine's collection of "Goosebumps." His books were scary enough for my six-year-old self to love, and the 25+ year old version can still find enjoyment in them today.
And that's how the Haunted House became a story that will never be forgotten. Whether or not it's true is a question I'll leave to the imagination of the reader, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that if you want to keep a story alive, you pick up those sticks and start drawing in the dirt.
This story follows all the characters through the ups and downs of this terrifying event, but what makes it so compelling is that there are also moments where you feel like everything is going right for them again—like they can finally start moving on with their lives after all they've been through.
I think we all know what it's like to be in a haunted house. You're just trying to get by and make it through the night, and then BOOM! Something happens that makes you wish you were anywhere other than there.
Although I've walked away from the Haunted House with a story fit to tell around any campfire (and, hey, good enough for a blog), it does raise some questions about our society and how we remember loss. At times like this, when the grief is still fresh and questions are all that's left, we're forced to turn to each other for answers. Sometimes all you can do is hear someone else out—yes, even if they ended up walking away with a blog post as well. In the end, although telling these stories might bring us closer in some ways, it's an experience that won't be replicated by anyone else.
Thus, the haunted house story is a powerful example of how much an individual's experiences shape their perspective, and that ultimately a life well-lived is the greatest legacy that we can leave behind.