[Review] A Head Full of Ghosts
Story / Atmosphere 4
Character Development 4
Accuracy 4
Originality 4
Scare Factor 4

A chilling thriller that brilliantly blends psychological suspense and supernatural horror, reminiscent of Stephen King’s The Shining, and Shirley Jackson’s..

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[Review] A Head Full of Ghosts

A Head Full of Ghosts is a chilling thriller that brilliantly blends psychological suspense and supernatural horror, reminiscent of Stephen King’s The Shining, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, and William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist. The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.

To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight.

With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show, and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.

Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long-ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface—and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.

Marjorie is a high school freshman with severe issues. She’s also freaking out her younger sister by the disturbing but very true historical events that she claims just pops into her head, and the downright creepy visions she’s having. Not to mention that she’s now started talking to herself and acting possesses. In a panic, her father demands to have her exorcized but her mother is a true Atheist, and now the younger sister, our hero is caught up in the middle of it all. Is Marjorie really possessed? Is she faking the whole thing? Or perhaps she’s schizophrenic.

We watch the story through the eyes of eight-year-old Mary, Marjorie’s sister, who watches as her sister turns from her best friend to a terrifying nightmare and as her idyllic family comes apart at the seams. There’s a great moment where Marjorie questions her father, asking if you could really trust a ghost if it’s lying: maybe it’s a demon that’s so convincing, you can’t tell the difference. When the end of the book slams into you, it’s impossible not to consider that there really is something supernatural going on behind the scenes.

To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. The priest also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show.

When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show, and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend. A Head Full of Ghosts is an examination between religion and science and our need to be saved by one or both, a very scary horror novel, but mostly it’s a story about two sisters and the way their love for each other sustains them and chips away at them at the same time.

 

[Review] A Head Full of Ghosts | Grim MagazineTitle: A Head Full of Ghosts
Author: Paul G. Tremblay
Published Date: November 3, 2015
Series: No
Genre: Fiction, Horror, Suspense
Publisher: William Morrow
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle
Pages: 304 pages
Reviewed by: Kathryn Price
Our Rating:  4.0 /5

 

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