Julian and Claire Perry aren’t exactly enjoying the neighborhood they live in, so when the decision is made to move, the couple start house-hunting. They find a house that seems to have everything they could ask for – except little do they know this “dream” house will turn into a nightmare. Shortly after they and their two teenaged children move in, strange things start to happen. A laundry basket keeps being found in a hallway, music starts to play on its own, footsteps and a man’s voice are heard in different areas of the house, and a strange face is sometimes seen on a wall and even in a toilet. Then there is the cellar, which 12-year-old James is deathly afraid of for some reason he can’t fathom. He and his father have nightmares about the cellar, and Megan, who is a bit older than James, starts receiving strange texts on her iPhone.
The Haunted by Bentley Little is a disturbing, frightening and terrifying story. The family keeps shrugging off the strange things happening in their house – it was imagination, forgetfulness, nothing really – until the scary events escalate and they cannot ignore them any longer. Young James is fixated with eating dirt, even digging a giant hole in his backyard (where he finds the skeletons of various animals) and it seems as if something is controlling him or brainwashing him in order to kill him.
Julian turns into an asshole later in the story. He lies to his wife, hides information from his wife and even goes so far as to rape his wife one evening when it was obvious she DID NOT want sex. There is a lot of sex in this story and some of it was pretty disturbing. For example, the time Claire and Julian are having a housewarming party, and Claire goes downstairs into the cellar to find her friend masturbating with a Barbie doll. Oh, yes, it WAS the ghost possessing this woman to do that, but it was still disgusting. It also seems like the ghost haunting this house is a pervert with a sexual interest in young girls; one night that Megan has a sleepover, the ghost lifts the shirt of one of the girls while she is sleeping and feels her up. Another scene has the ghost trying to touch Megan after she got out of the shower. There’s also the ghost sending text messages to Megan like “ICU” and “Take off your pants.”
This is a spooky story to read, to be sure. And if you can get past the disturbing parts, it might be a horror story worth a second read. The story frightened me, but the disturbing content was a little too much and I won’t be reading this novel again.
The Perry family's new house is perfect-except for the weird behavior of the neighbors, and that odd smell coming from a dark corner in the basement. Pity no one warned the family about the house. Now it's too late. Because the darkness at the bottom of the basement stairs is rising.