Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn


Wait Till Helen Comes, Mary Downing Hahn, 1986

My favorite quote: “A breeze sighed through the leaves of the oak. It was the loneliest sound I’d ever heard, as lonely as a ghost who had been lying alone in the dark for a hundred years.”

Notable characters: Molly, the twelve-year-old main character; Michael, her little brother; Heather, their strange younger stepsister; Helen, Heather’s mysterious friend  

Most memorable scene: What Molly sees — and hears — when she follows Heather to the graveyard

Greatest strengths: Emotional impact 

Standout achievements: Though written for kids, this book holds up amazingly well when I’ve read it as an adult

Fun Facts: This was the first book of author Mary Downing Hahn’s to be turned into film, and Hahn has a speaking role in the movie

Other media: The 2016 film of the same name

What it taught me: I was introduced to this book at ten years old when my fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Jorgensen, read it aloud to the class for Halloween. This was great for me, because I had a huge crush on Mrs. Jorgensen and this allowed me unlimited opportunity to admire her without feeling like I was staring. Somehow, I totally got into the story though and that’s when I learned that even as a child, there was one thing that could distract me from beautiful women: Ghost stories

How it inspired me: This, as I recall, is the book that truly began my love of ghost stories. While I’d read ghost stories before this one, it was Wait Till Helen Comes that really gripped me

Additional thoughts: Because this book deals with such subjects as death and suicide, many parents have long tried to have it removed from school libraries. I, for one, am glad those attempts have failed

Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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