Read The Haunting of Gad's Hall by Norah Lofts Online


No one at Gad's Hall could admit what they knew about the room in the attic. The locked room that held the Thorley family's most shameful secret. The terrifying room that had once been the living tomb of a beautiful young woman possessed by the darkest evil. Years had passed but the relentless diabolic force abided - waiting until it could once again possess an innocent anNo one at Gad's Hall could admit what they knew about the room in the attic. The locked room that held the Thorley family's most shameful secret. The terrifying room that had once been the living tomb of a beautiful young woman possessed by the darkest evil. Years had passed but the relentless diabolic force abided - waiting until it could once again possess an innocent and inflict its horror upon the living. It was a force countless centuries old. It was simply a matter of time before it would strike again. And when the Spender family moved into Gad's Hall, that time had come......

Title : The Haunting of Gad's Hall
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780385143868
Format Type : Unknown Binding
Number of Pages : 276 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Haunting of Gad's Hall Reviews

  • Werner
    2019-04-20 12:48

    This is, of course, the sequel to the author's Gad's Hall, and the earlier book should definitely be read before this one; not only the supernatural element but other plot strands as well originate in the first book and depend on it for full understanding, and almost all of the characters are continuing here and can be known and understood much better having read the first. (It would also probably be better to read this one right after the first, rather than over four years later as I did; though I actually didn't have too much trouble picking up the various threads and re-connecting with the characters.) Again, there is a Part I and Part II structure, but reversed; here, Part I continues with the story of the mid-Victorian occupants of the Hall, and Part II returns to the 20th-century family that's moved in.Much of what I wrote in my review of the original book ( ) is relevant here, too. On the whole, however, I didn't enjoy this sequel as much. Originally, I meant to give it three stars; and I'd really rate it at three and a half. After mulling it over for a day or so, I decided to round up rather than down, on the strength of a really strong ending that grew on me as I thought about it. But it suffers from comparison with the first book in two ways.As I noted in the first review, the supernatural element in the first book isn't constantly stressed; there are mundane plot strands and content as well. But there, the supernatural element is at least much more evenly distributed through the book (though of course becoming very prominent in the denouement). Here, though, it's almost wholly absent from Part I, which at over 250 pages is by far the longer of the two. There's one very definite depiction of the sinister aura of the haunted attic in the nighttime experience of a sensitive visitor, and a later reference to a creepy feeling; but otherwise just a handful of mostly vague references to the past tragedy. In Part II, the supernatural power of evil in the house is the central and almost sole focus from the get-go; but this part is only 55 pages long. So supernatural and descriptive elements here aren't really very well balanced; and readers looking for the former might feel a bit gypped.In the first book Lofts is. as usual, very aware of the dark side of life; the mundane strands of the plot involve a significant amount of tragedy and human folly with ruinous consequences. But there's more of a balance there between these aspects and more upbeat ones. Here, though, the sordid and tragic elements dominate Part I to a large degree. The affairs of a family readers have come to care about take repeated marked turns for the worse; and characters we like and respect, confronted with the moral choices that are the stuff of truly great literature, incessantly fail their tests --for reasons we can understand, but that doesn't make the failures less destructive. We see the worst side of Victorian sexual hypocrisy, sexism, and class snobbery, in things like marital infidelity, seduction and abandonment, abortion, soul-killing ostracism of the innocent, the dehumanizing attitude toward the poor. (And we know, in reading all of this, that the more things have changed, the more they have remained essentially the same. :-( ) The besetting tendency of many evangelicals (a group Lofts never particularly liked) towards confusing evangelical sub-culture with the essence of Christianity, and presenting the latter in a way that repels rather than attracts, is front and center, with predictably damaging results. But the staid respectability of the state church offers no felt antidote, in the form of a concept of redemption and forgiveness that people actually take seriously, to genuine and sanity-threatening guilt, either. Ill-advised marriages, lack of understanding and communication, poor parenting, premature death, suicide, alcoholism and the like combine with the above to make a read that can be genuinely depressing, and that pushed a lot of my hot buttons (not in a good way). As usual, Lofts presents all of this without her own commentary or assessment, a detachment which often adds to the starkly negative vibes.For all that, there are solid strengths to this work. Lofts couldn't be boring if she tried; the book is compulsively readable, keeping you turning pages to see what happens. The characters are seemingly as real as living people; some of them have become your friends, and your heart bleeds painfully for them precisely because the author's achievement in commanding your sympathy for them is so masterful. Part I has its flashes of light in the prevailing darkness. And the handling of the supernatural element in Part II is outstanding, with a perfect pacing that builds real tension, rising to a crescendo at the climactic confrontation which is a real clash between Christ and Satan (which paradoxically derives added force from our viewing it through the eyes of a nonbeliever, who nevertheless can't deny what she sees, and from Lofts' virtuoso use of symbolism). The ending here is in five-star territory all the way.The two novels might have been improved by separating them differently, with the supernatural plot line presented in its entirety in one novel, and the other novel a descriptive-fiction historical set in Victorian times, and embodying all of the mundane strands. (Of course, in that case it would have been doubtful if the latter would have gotten more than three stars; but the former could easily have commanded five.) But as it is, I felt that both earned their four!

  • Sheila
    2019-04-02 13:40

    4 stars--I really liked it. These Gad's Hall books are so strange. (And though there's two of them, they're really just one big book.) They're supposedly haunted-house gothics, but they're more like gentle family sagas. There's barely anything supernatural. I was fascinated by the family and its history, though, so this mildness didn't bother me. The "modern" family, that's used as a framing device, was barely touched upon--but again, I was interested in the "past" family's saga, so that was fine.I liked the characters and enjoyed watching how their lives played out, so 4 stars from me.

  • Jeanette
    2019-03-25 18:56

    This is the follow up novel to the first of the duo which was titled "Gad's Hall". This one gives more process and closure to Gad's Hall, but far less of the mood and menace. And it truly is not a stand alone, IMHO. In fact, you will have numerable questions and blanks here if you had NOT read Gad's Hall first. This brings us into the midst of the original family with 4 daughters and a son from the mid 1800's and continues their life paths until the oldest members are deceased. The youngest child is named George and he is the Grandfather of the George that appears in the "modern" times (post war)England. Those "modern times" are covered within the small portion named Part II, near the end of this "Haunting of" book. So we have a bookend reverse of the first book within the two time ranges, exactly the opposite. And within this second sequence book 90% is of the period 1840's-1860's at Gad's Hall. It's an excellent look into that period of beginnings of "outside" jobs for wives and mothers, IMHO.Overall in effect, this one is far more a novel of manners, domestic outcomes and workplace advancements for females- than it is a mood piece/ Gothic or cross-genre as the first title in the series was. I would give it 3.5 star, but cannot round it up. Primarily because it probably should have been included in the first of the series in one VERY long book, instead of two. And should have been less within the 1800's and much more filled out for the final period of exorcism. Spoiler here for the general description of the ending; Gad's Hall is the exception to most HAUNTED HOUSE tales in completion.The intense and critical eyes within the 4 marriages (both husbands AND wives for their emotions and cognition) of this book are absolutely 4 star. 4.5 star! Excellent. Marriage is seldom captured in its truth of reality and process of time passing as it is here. And especially for that era when the months/years/ days before marriage often saw little real contact or time spent within work or normal daily processes with their prospective spouse. This book, I can totally understand, NOT being popular in and for today's sensibilities. Also as with all of Norah Lofts, I notice time and again that PC police posters would balk.

  • Katharine Edgar
    2019-04-15 14:51

    Makes more sense as a historical novel than a ghost story. This MUST have been meant to be part of a single Gad's Hall book, because otherwise the structure is too weird - the spooky events happened in the previous book, and the modern family who are affected by the haunting only pop up right at the end of the book (having only appeared at the start of the last one). Don't read this except as a pair with the previous book, Gad's Hall.However: as a historical novel, great stuff. Fascinating, well-researched detail in which the lives of three Victorian girls develop along different paths. The characters are well-drawn and memorable, the events compelling. This is good Norah Lofts but not her best.

  • Mary
    2019-04-01 12:55

    I was very worried that I wouldn't like the Gad's Hall books. They're two of my mum's favourites and I'd hate to have to tell her they were a disappointment. Luckily neither of them were.I have to say that once again it wasn't a book that focused on the spooky very much at all. There's enough of it in there to deny Trading Standards a collar but it's a very minor part of the story.It continues where the first book left off. In both time settings. The vast majority of the story is dedicated to the historical family. I was glad about this as their story was much more interesting to me than one set in more modern times. This is a novel about family. The trials and tribulations that families go through together. Where is stands up well for me is the characters. They are all vividly written. It can't have been an easy job to write five very different female characters all so well. I believed in each one and the actions they took. It's not a sentimental book. It writes its characters very honestly. Faults and good points all included.I'm not sure whether or not I would keep the supernatural element of the story in if I were to advise the author. It seems only to be there to direct the tale back to the historical era. I don't really think it's necessary. It doesn't spoil the story but it does feel a little tacked on. The historical tale is a great read and leaving it open to the reader to decide what was actually at work would have pleased me more.I really enjoyed a story set in the not too distant past centred around well written women,

  • C.
    2019-04-11 14:05

    Ignore the description about evil. A fragment is there; suppressed 100 years ago as a family’s worst event. Other than nuances of a haunting, this isn’t horror. Become entrenched in this saga! I’ve acquainted the Thorleys so well, I could write their essay! Accept the lively journey these pages hold. After George Thorley dies, his business-minded second wife turns convention on its head. His daughters Deborah & Caroline are the most compelling, although Isobel Thorley’s daughter, Diana gains my respect in this sequel. Her youngest, the spooky but artistic Lavinia, died as her three elder sisters were set to marry.This portion sees us through the adult lives of the trio. Isobel is concerned marriage didn’t pan out the way her girls hoped. Party girl Caroline married a wonderful doctor after her beau chose a friend. She is stymied when their friend dies and he becomes single. Deborah married for love; too quickly to know her mate proselytizes a religion she couldn’t abide. Needing an income that couldn’t be traced to horses; she wrote a thriller about her sister, Lavinia. She is a bestselling success! Diana loves her husband but the lawyer was unsuccessful in London. She impresses stores with her fashions. Remarkably: these few highlights tell nothing of this book’s adventures!George II, son of both parents, is such a partier; Isobel strong-arms him into learning their business before he’s eighteen. His son is the farmer from whom Bob & Jill Spender buy “Gad’s Hall” in 1977. It’s perplexing that the farmer doesn’t know the names of the sisters George adored. Diana & Caroline definitely have descendents in town. There are no further heirs to George, Deborah, or Lavinia. It’s sad any of them would blink out of common knowledge, when every one of them made a resounding splash.

  • Barb
    2019-04-01 14:39

    I read the combined edition with both stories in one volume; Gad's Hall and The Haunting of Gad's Hall. This is the first novel (or novels) by Norah Lofts I've read and honestly I found it (them) somewhat disappointing. I thought that I was sure to find something spooky between the covers given the title. But sadly this story just didn't do much for me in the spooky department. The story is about two families. There is a contemporary story and an historical one, both center around an old Tudor home in England. The contemporary family moves into the old house and the daughter and the grandmother are afraid of something there. The reader is taken back in time to learn what happened in the house that caused the evil feeling to linger. I thought the story was rambling, the details somewhat tedious and the historical portion of the story lacking in period details. I thought Lofts gave endless details about the lives of these characters but at the same time they didn't feel fully developed to me. The story drags and there is plenty of filler that could have been trimmed out. The haunting portion was very predictable and basically uninteresting. I wish Lofts had focused more on the events in the life of the youngest daughter in the family in the past as well as the relationships the contemporary mother had with the owner of the house. Those two stories were the most interesting to me and also seemed to be the most neglected. I did like some of this but overall I was disappointed and didn't feel satisfied when I turned the last page.

  • F
    2019-03-21 12:41

    Two timeperiods in this in the 1970's and one during the Victorian Age....both involving the same house. I saw character parallel between the two times: Isabel Thorley, strong female during Victorian Age, and Jill Spender, strong female on the 1970's. This sequel saw demise in the Victorian marriages of Isabel's girls. Deborah Thorley Bridges became a writer on her own, developing into a self-sufficient female. The relationship which never physically materialized between Jill Spender and her neighbor was beautifully written by Norah Lofts. There were issues in the latter part of the novel that I didn't grasp, namely the seemingly parallel between the house evil and the neighbor's dog.

  • Lyn Stapleton
    2019-04-20 18:51

    I really enjoyed these two books (Gads Hall and the sequel, The Haunting of Gads Hall). There was nothing really spooky about the books, but a well told told story of two families, one in the past and one in the present, tied together by the house, Gads Hall. She junps from the present to the past with ease. I read Norah Loft's Town House Trilogy many years ago and loved them. I will certainly be reading more of her books.

  • Philip
    2019-03-27 18:43

    As with its predecessor, three stars is really half a star too many. There was very little 'haunting' in this novel (despite its British title being HAUNTED HOUSE). Actually, the two novels together form one longer novel, with the modern-day story as 'bookends,' but not very successfully. As with the first one, I seemed to have a lot of trouble keeping some of the characters straight.

  • JackieB
    2019-04-05 11:38

    I enjoyed this, although I don't think it is really a ghost story as such. It is really a story about how a family was destroyed by a secret, with a hint of the supernatural. It needs to be read after Gad's Hall, and I don't understand why it was published as two books as the two books together tell one complete story.

  • Michelle
    2019-04-05 13:38

    Enjoyed the first half of the book as much as Gad's Hall, but then it went downhill in my opinion. Not all of the loose ends were tied up, and I found the ending unsatisfactory. Perhaps the two books in this series should have been part of a trilogy.

  • Rebekah
    2019-03-26 16:01

    A good ghost story following the lives of two families and their successes and failures. Sequel to Gad's Hall.

  • M
    2019-04-03 17:48

    Good story but not scary in the least. A good British saga, as Loft's is known for. The haunting part is more of a factual element than a spooky element.

  • Linda
    2019-03-30 19:04

    Good sequel to Gad's Hall.

  • Joy H.
    2019-03-27 15:03

    Added 2/6/15.Mentioned by Werner at my GR group.

  • Patrik Sahlstrøm
    2019-04-18 15:47

    A good book, if a little of a letdown from the magnificent start of book 1 in the series. Strange mixture of oldfashioned horror and romance this book is a most enjoyable read!

  • Cws
    2019-04-18 11:47