Down a Dark Hall

Down a Dark Hall

by Lois Duncan


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A paranormal rollercoaster ride with goosebumps at every turn--now a motion picture starring Uma Thurman and Anna Sophia Robb!

Kit Gordy sees Blackwood Hall towering over black iron gates, and she can't help thinking, This place is evil. The imposing mansion sends a shiver of fear through her. But Kit settles into a routine, trying to ignore the rumors that the highly exclusive boarding school is haunted.

Then her classmates begin to show extraordinary and unknown talents. The strange dreams, the voices, the lost letters to family and friends, all become overshadowed by the magic around them.
When Kit and her friends realize that Blackwood isn't what it claims to be, it might be too late.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316098984
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 04/19/2011
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 72,921
Product dimensions: 5.45(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.85(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Lois Duncan is an acclaimed suspense author for young adults. She has published nearly 50 books for children, including I Know What You Did Last Summer, which was adapted into a highly-successful horror film, and Who Killed My Daughter?, a non-fiction book about the harrowing experience of her daughter's murder.

Read an Excerpt

It was twelve-thirty--half past midnight--on the eighth day of September, and Kit lay sprawled across the bed, writing a letter to Tracy. She knew it was late to be writing letters. If she had been at home with her light on at this hour her mother would have been rapping at the door, calling in a worried voice, "Kit? Is anything wrong, honey? It's much too late for you to be up."

At Blackwood nobody sounded a lights-off curfew, and Kit was glad. Although she had been at the school for well over a week now and was adjusting well on most counts, she still did not feel at ease at night. The light at the end of the hall had not been fixed--"It's almost impossible to get electricians to come out this far," Madame explained apologetically--and though Kit's own room was often lightened by moonlight, she could not shut out a strange nervousness about the oppressive darkness on the far side of her closed door.

She did not sleep well at Blackwood. She dreamed. She knew that she dreamed, for when she woke in the mornings the feeling of the dreams still clung to the edges of her mind, and yet in most cases she could not remember what they had been. She needed to be very sleepy to turn off the light and settle into slumber, and so she had begun to form the habit of studying and writing letters during the early part of the night.

"Dear Tracy," she wrote now, "I'm sorry to have been so long in writing. I got a note off to Mom the first day here so that she would have mail waiting for her in Cherbourg, and then I got snowed under with schoolwork. The work here is harder than it was in public school, mostly, I guess, because the classes are so small. There are only four of us here--can you believe it? Four students in the entire school! So it's almost like having private tutors. I'm taking math and science from Professor Farley, a dear old goat of a man with a funny little bear --really sweet--and literature from Madame Duret. And piano from Jules! I guess I'd better put a row of exclamation marks--!!!!!!!--to give you an idea of what he looks like. All of a sudden I'm getting interested in music.

"The three other girls here are very different. My favorite is Sandy Mason--she's shy and quiet, but nice, and I've started to stir her up a little with plans to short-sheet the other girls' beds and maybe raid the kitchen one night and bring the food up to the rooms for a midnight feast. Lynda Hannah and Ruth Stark knew each other before. They went to the same prep school last year, and when Ruth's parents decided to switch her to Blackwood, Lynda persuaded her mother to let her change schools too. Ruth is homely but very bright, and Lynda is the opposite, awfully pretty but not much in the brains department. They seem to balance each other.

"I still don't understand how we four were selected. Professor Farley says we have the special attributes the were looking for in their students, but I can't imagine what they might be. We seem to have nothing in common with each other, and I don't see how you could have failed to get accepted if I was. I tried to ask Madame Duret about it, but she only said that she didn't discuss test results.

"I wish I could say I like it here. In a way I do. Everybody's very nice to me, and the classes are interesting. But there's something--I don't know how to put it into words, and you'd probably laugh if I did--but I've got this creepy feeling that something's wrong. I felt it first when we entered the gates and started up the driveway, and I feel it more and more every day, as though--"

Somebody screamed. Somewhere in the blackness on the far side of the door. It was a funny scream, choked off in an instant as though a hand had been pressed suddenly to cover the mouth.

It went through Kit like an electric shock. Her hand jerked, and the pen made a lurch across the page, so that the word "though" ran off the side of the paper.

Pulling herself upright on the bed, she sat, tense and shaken, listening. There was nothing but silence.

But I heard it, she told herself. I know I heard it.

Somewhere in the quiet dormitory someone had shrieked. In pain? In terror? Perhaps only from a nightmare, and yet, perhaps for some other reason. For--help?

I won't, Kit thought. I can't. I just can't open that door and go out there.

And yet, what if one of the other girls were ill? No one screamed without reason. Was someone lying even now in one of the rooms along the hall, wretched with fear or in physical agony, praying that her cry had been heard and would be answered?

Slowly, as though impelled by something other than her own will, Kit got off the bed and crossed the room and opened the door. The terrible blackness of the hall stretched before her, lessened only by the patch of lamplight that fell from her own doorway. Beyond this there was nothing but stillness and dark.

Kit stood with one hand on the door jamb, listening. The only sounds she could hear were the thud of her own heart and the quick, sharp noise of her breathing.

Perhaps I imagined it, she thought. Perhaps I dozed off a little, there on the bed, and dreamed.

And then she heard it--not a scream this time but a little moaning sound, half a sob, half a wail. It seemed to come from the end of the hall where Sandy had her room.

Well, that does it, Kit told herself resignedly. I have to go.

Drawing a deep breath as if in readiness for a dive into icy water, she stood poised for a moment on the edge of the patch of light. Then, bracing herself, she stepped out into the darkness.

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Down a Dark Hall 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 94 reviews.
katlores22k More than 1 year ago
WOW!!! This is such a great book I did not want to put it down.I read every chance I got, my friends thought I was a different person cause they saw me READING.Lois Duncan is such a good auther all of her books are great.This book got me hooked since i started reading it felt so real sometimes it felt like i was in the room with Kit.if you really want a good book you should get this one!!! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like this book because it's about a girl called, Kit Gordy. Her father had died and her mother had suffered a lot. But then her mom met Dan Rheardon which she got married to. They decided to go around the world for their honeymoon so they had to leave Kit somewhere while they were gone.They took Kit to a private school named, Blackwood. Once they left her there she already had strange feelings about this place, it was old and surrounded by dusty tall gates. Then she met Lynda, Sandy, and Ruth her new classmates.Throughout the whole book spirits little by little start to get inside them which eventually start controlling the girls. These spirits are famous musicians and artists who died and didn¿t have enough time to finish their music notes or paintings. Mme Duret, the woman in charge of Blackwood, gets all the work which she uses to sell them and get money in return. I like this book because it has a lot of mysteries these four girls have to solve. The way these spirits use these girls is pretty clever.Once you start reading this book you won't stop that¿s why I suggest you read this book if you like mystery books.
AlainaBrown More than 1 year ago
It kept me guessing until the very end. Love the creep factor and mystery. If you've read any Lois Duncan book or enjoy a good mystery I recommend this book.
JBKJNF More than 1 year ago
This book was very interesting.
I recommend it.
andersonden on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A sort of "scary", paranormal story. Duncan does suspense well and got the teenage girls' characters right. I go back and read this every few years. It loses a little tension with age (and expectation) but is still good.
oceanbreeze217 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of my all-time favorites. This author is amazing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't scare easily, and this book is more creepy than scary. But that's OK, because the book gets under your skin and stays there. It also has a satisfyingly feisty heroine in Kit, as well as some truly hissable villains in Madame Duret (whose first name is never revealed) and Professor Farley (likewise). Kit's classmates -- high-strung Sandy, coldly logical Ruth, and pretty but vapid Lynda -- are only developed enough to serve their purposes in the book, but they interact well with Kit. Same with Madame Duret's handsome son Jules. At first it seems like Blackwood itself is the evil force Kit senses, much like the Overlook Hotel was in "The Shining." But really, the evil force is in the unholy alliance between Madame Duret and Professor Farley, who are willing to sacrifice lives for the pseudo-altruistic purposes of "giving beautiful paintings/music/poetry to the world." They are, as Kit puts it, not even human. Fortunately, Jules -- who knew about his mother's "experiment" but not what it did to the two previous sets of girls in her European schools -- finds out the truth and is more than willing to defy his mother and save the girls. Of course, it's Kit who performs the final act of selfless bravery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this a few years ago and found myself talking about it at a gathering when someone asked me about my favorite books, though I couldn't remember the title. I was looking through my archived Nooks and realized it was this one all along. So glad I found it. (:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wut is this book about????????????????????????????????????????????????PLZ RESPOND
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could be in the same room as kit
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ive read this book before an its absolutly amazing!!!!! Absolutly 5 stars ~derp face
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book is really descriptive from what i read. I couldnt stop reading it. i sat and sat and sat until finally my alarm scared me this was sooo good and i can wait to finish it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read it for school. Just finished it today! I told my teacher I have to finish it TODAY! Just a warning it is a semi cliffhanger. I didnt think it was but my friemd said that it is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read pretty much read all of Lois Duncan's books and I have to say this book was probably the best out of all of them. (And I can say I didn't enjoy a lot of them.) Creepy and full of suspense. Took off a star because of the ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The same great story, with subtle updates. Bonus author interview at the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing book so far. It is full of fun, adventure, mystery, and few girls dreams coming true in the wrong way. Read this book or you'll be sorry . . .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book and I loved it! Apart from R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike, Lois Duncan is a really good author! She makes good books that will have you on the edge of your seat. Down a Dark Hall is a mystery that will keep you wondering whatever happened to them? So I highly recommend this book to young adults and adults.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is great i can't stop reading it .
voraciousreader24 More than 1 year ago
Even though this is a YA book, it is one of my favorite horror/thrillers. Kit is a terrific protagonist and you feel her fear every second of the book. My biggest issue with this Duncan thriller is that it ends too quickly. I'm a huge Lois Duncan fan and think this would make a terrific film.
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