What is Going on at the Eerie Blackwood School in the YA Classic 'Down a Dark Hall'?!

What is Going on at the Eerie Blackwood School in the YA Classic 'Down a Dark Hall'?!

Thursday, 3 September, 2020

The right book can instantly transport you to anywhere — and anytime — in the world. Every Thursday, we recommend one of our favorite books with a strong sense of place so you can see the sights, meet remarkable people, go on exciting adventures, and feel big feelings. Bonus: You don't even have to put on pants.

This post is part of our 'Weekend Getaway' series.

rule

This weekend, take a bookish getaway to a boarding school that will make you feel quite grateful to be an adult. I read this book when I was a teenager and again recently. It still packs an enjoyable spooky punch while perfectly capturing the uncertainty and frustration of that age between childhood and fully-functioning adult. — Melissa

Being a teenager is a tough business! There’s the changing hormones and the raging self doubt and the fact that adults make all of your decisions for you.

Plus they never ever ever hear what you’re trying to tell them.

When Kit Gordy finds herself sentenced to attend a private school at Blackwood Hall, she’s angry at her mother, anxious about her new fellow students, and heartbroken to be leaving her best friend behind.

And then everything gets much, much worse.

At first, it’s easy to reason away the weird dreams, nonexistent cell service, letters to family that go M.I.A., and the shadows that lurk in the dimly lit hallways of the creeky old mansion. The stress of the new environment and the academic pressures are surely to blame. But rumors that the school is haunted swirl around the students.

creepy piano with a candelabra
Photo courtesy of Richard Ludwig/Unsplash.

Soon, Kit and her classmates begin to exhibit previously undemonstrated talents. When and how did Kit learn to play the piano like that?! It’s unclear to her and her friends just what is happening, but she knows she doesn’t like it — and she’s terrified that she won’t found out what’s going on before it’s too late.

This novel by Louis Duncan — author of the YA horror classic I Know What You Did Last Summer and dozens of other books — is moody, unsettling, rich with atmosphere, and populated with relateable teens. The headmistress Madame Duret and her creepy cohorts are chilly and chilling villains you won’t soon forget.

Dragging in her breath, Kit did the only thing that she could do. She closed her eyes and screamed. — Lois Duncan

Down a Dark Hall

by Lois Duncan

This YA suspense novel (240 pages) was published in April of 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. The book takes you to an isolated boarding school in the country. Melissa read Down a Dark Hall and loved it; it wouldn't be on our site if she didn't recommend it.

Bookshop.org is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support independent bookstores and give back to the book community.

Down a Dark Hall

 

Top image courtesy of Drew Beamer/Unsplash.

Want to keep up with our book-related adventures? Sign up for our newsletter!

keep reading

Sure, you could spend the weekend apple picking or wandering a pumpkin patch. But we offer an alternative: How about a spooky weekend in a (maybe haunted) college dorm with a Ouija board and a group of misfits?!
This story has the ideal elements for a King horror tale — a creepy carny, a haunted ride, a fortune teller, and an unsolved murder — it's really a coming-of-age story that captures that breathless ache of summer.
Who could possibly resist the allure of secret family history, a crumbling mansion, a hidden 17th-century book, and an antique key?! Certainly not our heroine Connie Goodwin, which makes for a great story, indeed.

sharing is caring!

Can you help us? If you like this article, share it your friends!

comments!
our mission

Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.

get our newsletter
We'll never share your email with anyone else. Promise.

This is a weekly email. If you'd like a quick alert whenever we update our blog, subscribe here.

no spoilers. ever.

We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.

super-cool reading fun
reading atlas 2020!

This 30-page 2020 Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.

get our newsletter
We'll never share your email with anyone else. Promise.
follow us

Content on this site is © 2020 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.