Selena | Beauty's Library
The Carrow Haunt Review
The idea of ghosts and what they can do within this one was such an interesting take.
"The dead are restless here..."
Remy is a tour guide for Carrow House, a notoriously haunted building. When she's asked to host seven guests for a week-long stay to research Carrow's phenomena, she hopes to finally experience some of the sightings that made the house famous.
At first, it's everything they hoped for. Then a storm moves in, cutting off their contact with the outside world, and things quickly become twisted. Doors open on their own. Seances go disastrously wrong. Red liquid seeps from behind the wallpaper. Their spirit medium wanders through the house during the night, seemingly in a trance.
Then one of the guests dies under strange circumstances, and Remy is forced to consider the possibility that the ghost of the house's original owner, a twisted serial killer, still walks the halls.
But by then it's too late to escape.
This was my second read from Coates. And after the whirlwind ride with The Haunting of Ashburn House (you can check out my review for it here), I couldn’t wait to see what was in store for me with this one.
The Carrow Haunt follows ghost tour guide, Remy, who hosts tours for the Carrow House, one of the most haunted buildings in the country. After one of her tours, she’s approached by a guest asking for her to host a week-long stay at the house. Hoping to finally see some of the paranormal entities she’s only ever talked about on her tours, Remy agrees. Now Remy and seven strangers are spending the night at one of the most haunted locations. A location that’s practically located in the middle of nowhere, on an almost isolated island. What could go wrong?
I thoroughly enjoyed this one. However, I will say now, this did not beat Ashburn House. And that’s primarily to do with how this was paced. Not to say I was bored, I wasn’t but not a whole lot happened until past the halfway point in this one.
Not to say I was bored, I wasn’t but not a whole lot happened until past the halfway point in this one.
This had me entranced from the start as we follow Remy giving one of her tours. We get to hear about the history of Carrow, and I loved all of it. But it’s afterward, when we’re seeing the transition to everyone arriving at the house for the stay, not much happens during this stretch. I kept waiting for something big. We do get to see little haunts throughout this section, so it wasn’t completely uneventful and it did keep my attention.
But as I said, it’s not until we’re past the halfway point that it starts to really pick up with the haunts. And then about 100 pages to the end, it was like a mad dash to finish. And while I so very much enjoyed these last 100 pages, I would have liked to see this start a little earlier or at least some of the reveals we see.
...it’s not until we’re past the halfway point that it starts to really pick up with the haunts.
This was also another haunted house that gave me The Haunting of Hill House vibes! Even more so than Ashburn House did. And it’s mostly to do with our setup in this one. The Carrow Haunt involves strangers staying together in the house for research, which is basically the same setup in Hill House (the book.) And if you didn’t already know, I found the Hill House book to be extremely disappointing, so this was once again a much better read to make up for that disappointment.
I absolutely loved the premise of the Carrow house as well. The history we get to see of who the owner was and what’s happened over the years, it was simply tantalizing. The idea of ghosts and what they can do within this one was also such an interesting take. So different compared to Ashburn House.
The history we get to see of who the owner was and what’s happened over the years, it was simply tantalizing. The idea of ghosts and what they can do within this one was also such an interesting take.
Speaking of which, I was honestly glad to see this wasn’t a cookie-cutter of Ashburn House. The Carrow Haunt was uniquely its own. Both books have such unique and thrilling haunted houses. I can’t wait to read more from Coates!
I think if you enjoy haunted houses and like to be scared, you might enjoy this one too!