I am reviewing Darcy Coates book The Haunting of Blackwood House. If you read my reviews on books you know that I pretty much tell the whole story in a synopsis. So, if you want to read this book or any other books I review, I would suggest you don’t read this blog 🙂 Otherwise please read on.
This is first time reading a Darcy Coates book and I just happened to stumble upon it on my Kindle. I have Kindle unlimited so from time to time, they’ll shove books in my face wanting me to read them. I have a soft spot for horror, so I took a chance.
WARNING: SPOIL ALERT
Mara was a young woman from what I gathered. I’m assuming in her young twenties. She lived in a small apartment by herself, but had a boyfriend Neil. Something plagued Mara, and that was growing up with Medium parents (which means they were psychics). She always thought they were fakes and ripped off clients. They always told Mara that they weren’t fakes and that she too had the gift, but she didn’t believe them. She basically dropped her parents as soon as she was old enough to be out on her own.
Mara wanted out of her apartment and her boyfriend wanted to buy her a place or for her to move in with him. She was the type of person that was independent. She wanted to do everything for herself, and that included buying her own home.
When she and Neil started looking for a place, a realtor brought up Blackwood and something drew Mara to that place. The realtor was however iffy about the house, but that didn’t bother Mara. When they arrived to look at the house, Mara fell in love instantly. The realtor however, told her that there was a clause. That someone was murdered in that house. Neil wanted her to look else wear, but Mara was intrigued. She didn’t believe in the paranormal and didn’t care what anyone said. She accepted the offer to move in and the house was hers. Mara was excited to start this chapter in her life.
Soon after Mara moved in, things were starting to turn sinister. She would hear footsteps, see things she couldn’t explain, but she rubbed it off as some kind of explanation. She still didn’t believe in ghosts or hauntings.
The weeks that followed, things just got worse. Most the time Mara was left alone, and Neil went back to his own home. She would see things and hear things all the time. For example, a rocking chair moved on its own, but she dismissed it as the wind blew it. However, one night she dreamt and experienced something she never experienced before. She dreamt about the basement downstairs. It was evil. Pure evil. In the morning, Neil found her locked in the basement, in a puddle of blood that wasn’t her own. She thought maybe she just slept walk. Neil pretty much stayed with her after that.
Neil decided to look into the house. He found out that Victor Barlow, who was found out to be the owner of this home and actually Mara’s great great grandfather, was a murderer. He murdered people and actually was able to put a hold on families that lived there and murdered each other. He recruited a man Robert Cant who would do the killing for him with an axe.
They met with a woman who survived the house, and told them all about the creepy things that went on when her and her family lived there. Neil was worried about Mara, but she still didn’t believe it.
It wasn’t until things started to really take shape, and Mara was falling apart. Neil could see something was going with her, and told Mara to take a break from the house. That’s when he hired a Medium to come into the house and clear it out. While Mara was out she ran into her parents, and she was highly upset and decided to go back to the house.
When she saw the Medium and Neil and another guy in her house, she freaked out. Its like something possessed her. She threw chairs, picked up a table and even flipped out to Neil. She hated him and wanted nothing to do with him. In fact she wanted him dead. They exchanged words and everyone left, with the exception of Mara.
That night while she was laying in bed, things took a turn for the worse. Everyone exposed themselves to her. The blood on the walls, the man with the axe. The spirit living in the attic, that constantly keeps throwing himself out the window. She decides in a hurry to contact the spiritual medium that was there.
They show up to the house and they decide to try and cleanse the house. Mara doesn’t believe in all this psychic bologna, but they were her only hope. She wanted to call Neil, but she felt like she blew it with him and his phone went right to voicemail.
While the psychic and her assistant went to the attic, Mara had to grab some sage from downstairs, but while there, she was strung up by her neck by Robert. She couldn’t breath or scream. Luckily in that moment, Neil came in and freed her. He saved her life.
The psychic and her assistant made their way back downstairs and they tried to get rid of the head ghost, who they thought was Robert. They couldn’t do it. Instead, they provoked Robert and made it worse. He choked the psychic and she passed out. Her assistant ran away. Mara tried to help the psychic, but couldn’t free her. She blacked out.
When she woke up, she saw Neil standing there with a blank look on his face. He moved down to the basement, and Mara called after him. She didn’t like the basement, it freaked her out. Neil was acting strange. He wasn’t the same Neil he was before. Mara didn’t understand. She followed him anyhow. She realized it wasn’t him when he turned to face her. His face was distorted into someone else. She screamed and wanted to run. He picked up an axe and wanted to kill her, but she escaped. She tried calling Neil’s name, but nothing.
She realized she had sage on her and she threw herself on Neil. He managed to cut Mara’s arm with the axe, but she didn’t let that bother her. When she hit Robert with the sage, she realized it wasn’t Robert but it was Victor Barlow. He was the head of the ghosts. He leaped out of Neil’s body and tried to get to Mara, but she was doing a spell on him. She cast him out of the house. When she did that all of the other spirits left.
Neil woke up and Mara began passing out because of all the blood she lost from the axe cutting her. When she came to, Neil was there for her, apologizing. The psychic was fine and the assistant came back. They were impressed with Mara’s skill. The house in Blackwood was now clear.
A few months later, Mara remained in Blackwood. The psychic and her assistant rented a room in her home. Neil and his mother moved in as well. Mara loved it and she wasn’t alone anymore. She even joined the psychic on a few house calls.
She was feeling so good, that she needed to do one more thing. She made up with her parents.
I gave this story four stars out of five. At parts it dragged on and some parts didn’t make sense to me. For example, when Neil came just in the nick of time to find Mara, struggling for breath as she was being hanged. It was like okay he helped her, but then they had this whole conversation with her while this ghost is attacking everyone and everything around them. I had to laugh at that. I’m thinking if I was in that situation, I would be freaking out. I know it’s fiction, but come on. It took me about three months to finally finish it. Once I got toward the end of the story, I started to really get into it. I still however, enjoyed the story. I’m sure I’ll probably read Darcy Coats again.
Otherwise, I think the story was well written and the story flowed. I looked up the author and I saw that she does a lot of fiction stories on hauntings of other places, so I’ll probably have to check them out one of these days.
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