Posted in Horror, Teen, Young Adult/New Adult

Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall is a good haunted house story

dead girlsThe Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall, by Katie Alender (Aug. 2015, Scholastic) , $18.99, ISBN: 978054564000

Recommended for ages 12+

Delia just inherited a house from her great-aunt Cordelia, but it’s not just any house – it’s a former asylum for troubled females, and there’s an evil that’s keeping a lot of the former residents there. Delia, who’s already in trouble with her parents for being defiant, can feel right away that something’s wrong with the house, but her parents ignore her – and the house kills her. Now, Delia’s a ghost, and she’s got an eternity to unravel the secrets of Hysteria Hall.

This is a fun haunted house novel with an intriguing mystery that kept me turning pages until the end. Delia is a likable character – she’s a rebel, she argues with her parents and gets annoyed by her younger sister, but there’s something inherently likable about her. As a ghost, she’s witty and sarcastic, but she’s incredibly vulnerable at the same time. She loves her family and feels their loss just as much as they do hers.

Delia meets other ghosts during her time at Hysteria Hall, and we get fascinating back stories on them, all of which are integral to the plot. Most are likable – there are a couple that should rile readers up, as any good ghost story should.

Told in the first person in Delia’s voice, The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall is a good haunted house novel for readers who like their scary books lighter on the scary, heavier on the characters. I loved it, and can’t wait to get it on the shelves at my library. I foresee some great book discussions on this one.


I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

One thought on “Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall is a good haunted house story

  1. love haunted house stories! Good HH stories always start with great characters. Seriously, I can’t get enough of this kind of book (I’m currently writing one too).

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