The Dead House

The Dead House

by Dawn Kurtagich


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Welcome to the Dead House.

Three students: dead.

Carly Johnson: vanished without a trace.

Two decades have passed since an inferno swept through Elmbridge High, claiming the lives of three teenagers and causing one student, Carly Johnson, to disappear. The main suspect: Kaitlyn, "the girl of nowhere."

Kaitlyn's diary, discovered in the ruins of Elmbridge High, reveals the thoughts of a disturbed mind. Its charred pages tell a sinister version of events that took place that tragic night, and the girl of nowhere is caught in the center of it all. But many claim Kaitlyn doesn't exist, and in a way, she doesn't - because she is the alter ego of Carly Johnson.

Carly gets the day. Kaitlyn has the night. It's during the night that a mystery surrounding the Dead House unravels and a dark, twisted magic ruins the lives of each student that dares touch it.

Debut author Dawn Kurtagich masterfully weaves together a thrilling and terrifying story using psychiatric reports, witness testimonials, video footage, and the discovered diary - and as the mystery grows, the horrifying truth about what happened that night unfolds.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316298674
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 08/02/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 366,190
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.60(d)
Age Range: 15 - 18 Years

About the Author

Dawn Kurtagich is a writer of psychologically sinister fiction, and she has a dark and twisted imagination! She lives in Wales, an ancient and mountainous country within the UK (go to England's Midlands and turn left towards the sea). However, she grew up all over the world, predominantly in Africa. She writes and blogs for YA Scream Queens and is a member of the YA League. The Dead House is her first novel.

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The Dead House 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lauren Watkins More than 1 year ago
Before I start this review I think its really important that I pre-face this with this book can be read in 2 different ways. Not like Replica different ways. But in how real you want it to be. It could be interpreted as a story about a girl with multiple personality disorder which I hadn’t even considered until I read Jen’s review (since removed as they no longer blog). However I read it as a purely supernatural book due to everything that happens in it. So do take this into consideration when reading! The Dead House follows Carly and Kaitlyn. Two girls who inhabit one body. One has the night, the other has the day. Until one day they disappear. But not until after a few mysterious and supernatural events happen at their school. One of my favourite aspects about this book is that its made up of found material; newspaper clippings, transcribed interviews, diary entries, and transcribed videos. This allowed the book to have a very unique style whilst nailing the horror aspects very well. Almost perfectly. It was creepy and eerie. The fact that barely anyone will believe the girls about their supernatural existence is frustrating but allows for some interesting interactions. Particularly between the two girls too as they can so easily keep information hidden from each other. I think the story picked up the most pace once one of the girls disappears because obviously they’ve never been alone before. Even as a reader its scary to experience her desperation for the other half that should be inhabiting the body. Nadia is possibly my favourite character for accepting and believing that there is two souls in one body and doing her best to help them when one goes missing. The realisation something is haunting the girls, perhaps demanding the extra soul adds to the supernatural elements already at play. Things start going hopelessly out of control and the story has some very spooky moments. I really would not like to enter the Dead House. Hands down, this is one of my favourite horror’s out there and I’m pretty confidently going to say I’ll read anything by Dawn Kurtagich.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
She came out at night and I thought she was the fun one, the dark one. These two girls left each other notes to communicate, to let each other know exactly what was happening and what to expect should someone mention something that they didn’t understand. It seemed to me that Kaitlyn was more dependent on Carly than the other way around, for Kaitlyn talked about Carly continuously and she worried when she hadn’t heard from Carly even if it was just for a day or two. It wasn’t the perfect scenario but it worked for them until the day Carly vanished and the communication between the two of them was severed. What really happened to Carley? Did it have to do with the Dead House or was it Carly herself? Kaitlyn panicked, she was losing it when Carley didn’t respond to her: where did Carly go and why did she leave her? It wouldn’t be such a difficult question to answer if, Carly and Kaitlyn where not the same person. Carly is a girl, a girl who everyone sees during the day and Kaitlyn is the person who exists in the nighttime hours, taking over Carly’s body. Strange, yes, interesting, of course. What I found most intriguing about this novel was all the different formats the author uses to get to the bottom of this mystery: letters, tapes, journal entries, diary entries, and interviews. These formats were recovered and now were being reconstructed to solve the unknown. There had been an accident where the lives of Carly and Kaitlyn’s parents were taken but the girls do not recall it. Between a facility where the doctors hope they can help them and their school, the girls meet a variety of individuals who help round out this novel. Each of these characters are instrumental to the case. Using a variety of formats, they try to piece together what happened and the story is relived. They are recreating history. I enjoyed listening to this novel as I thought the audio helped reinforce the different formats used in this novel, making the story more realistic. It was such a difference novel to listen to, not scary but mysterious and shadowy. I highly recommend listening to this novel on audio to get the full effect.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
quibecca More than 1 year ago
This book was so interesting. I don't think I have ever read a book about DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder a.k.a. Multiple Personality Disorder). It was fascinating and scary at the same time. Carly and Kaitlyn are the same person. One lives in the day and one lives at night, and they both think they are real. They leave messages to each other in their diary, so they know what each of them are doing. Carly and Kaitlyn are being treated by a Psychotherapist who is convinced that Kaitlyn was developed to protect Carly from the trauma in her life. Carly knows that something has happened, and that she can Kaitlyn and their little sister Jamie are just trying to survive. Jamie has been sent to live with someone else, and Carly and Kaitlyn have been sent to a school. I cannot even begin to tell you how creepy this book was for me. The mind is such a fascinating thing. To go through this journey with Carly and Kaitlyn was so intense. They have a lot of issues, but things in their life seem to just keep going wrong and neither of them can figure it out. Carly's therapist is trying to have her integrate Kaitlyn and deal with the trauma she has blocked so that she can get better. There are forces in this book that are far more determined to not let that happen. This is a mind trip of a book. Which I have to admit was kind of awesome. Nerve racking at times, but awesome. If you like intense, and psychological thrillers this is a good one. I don't think the actual book was scary, it was the disorder, and all the things that came with it. Source: I bought this book for myself. I was not compensated in any way for this review. These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book. Content: Some language, some talk of sex, and a few acts of sex.
KelsNotChels More than 1 year ago
This book creeped me the HELL out. It is so twisty and twisted and I love books that present flawed, broken, and still beautiful characters. The format is INSANE. Documents, found notes, post-its, transcripts of video footage and interviews. It was so seamless. And the format--for me--melted into the background and I was truly submerged in this "case file." Meaning, I didn't find myself distracted by the changes in timeline/pov, etc. These choices made the book BETTER AND BETTER for me up until the very end when I was sweaty palmed and desperate for closure! Dawn provided some, for sure, but also left some mystery unsolved in a delicious way. So satisfying and dark and SCARY and awesome.
PnJ_Dreaming More than 1 year ago
Review of "The Dead House" by Dawn Kurtagich. February 2, 2016 From the book cover, to the description, to my peek inside to see in the middle of the book to see if the writing was worth reading, (yes that's a terrible habit I have. Especially when I get back to said peeked at place and say "Well I'll just skip this because I read it 6 months ago in the bookstore when I bought it because I didn't have Indie books to review," and then realize, was this the one that had the snuffalupagus in roller skates or the mad hatter serving everyone arsenic??? Maybe I should stop that. Yet, as always, I digress.) I will say I have been beyond excited to read this book and it absolutely did not disappoint me! This book is a delightfully creepy novel that is told in the fashion of diary entries, post it notes, psychiatric records, and police investigation notes from the view point of "Kaitlyn," or is it "Carly" whose haunted voice I still hear ringing in my head a few days after being finished. In the telling of the story the character "Carly is who gets the daytime. The warmth and comfort of the sun and what we all proceive as the "normal" part of the day, while Kaitlyn gets the night with all its back alleys and shady people. The part of our society and our own lives that we awe afraid of. The night is the boogie man's time, the night is for Satan and evil, the night is where we all walk just a little faster, while looking behind us for "what was that noise?" The night is for Kaitlyn. The author, Dawn Kurtagich," pulled an amazing plot twist which I never saw coming and that's very unusual for me. There is the background of an accident, and accident that claims the lives of her parents, but leaves Kaitlyn and her little sister Jaime alive, but broken. The story is set in a school meant for recovering, troubled kids that are just coming out of institutions before going home. I just can't give away spoilers as I HATE when I have that happen, so what I will say is there is murder and mayhem, people disappearing, the body count is almost as high as the characters we are introduced to, and there is love and psychosis. Those are always a GREAT combination as well as black magic and the peril of many souls are at stake. The uniqueness of this book is that once you start it you are reading newspaper articles, then journal entries. The pages appear burned and as if something horrible has happened. The more you turn those fabulous pages the deeper you delve into the world of Kaitlyn, and her world of madness. This alone causes people to shudder. Are we all afraid that madness might be catching? This book for me was creepy, compelling and I definitely felt compulsed to continue reading the book. (So I will admit being up almost 48 hours because I didn't want to put it down!) What a dark and twisted story telling world lives within the author, Dawn Kurtagich, and I am in love with it! I hope to find more wonderful books by this author! So without ado.... "The Dead House" by Dawn Kurtagich was such a fantastic read that I will break my own rule on reviews and give it 5 parachutes out of 5 parachutes from this humble book reviewer. (And Dawn, should you ever read one of my reviews, especially this one, I would love to swap stories with you. This humble emergency nurse and tender to broken souls and those in need of rescue felt amazing that you tackled mot only psychosis and our growing mental health population, you did it with class and in a horror st
eternalised More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book’s unique format the most, with the newspaper clippings, screenshots…this gave the book a realistic feel. The main character is compelling, and the way the author describes her dissociative identity disorder added an interesting angle to the book. However, the reason why is a little flat, and the book lacked creepiness. I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
This was one strange and creepy book. The main character was one body with two people living out of it. She was Carly by day and Kaitlin by night. The story was told my diary entries, newspaper accounts, doctor's notes, post it notes left between the girls and video taken by the room mate Nadia, but transcribed for the book. It was like nothing I have read before. As much as I wanted to put it down (due to the different way it was written which was sometimes hard to follow), I couldn't. I just had to know how the heck the author was going to explain this phenomenon. So, I was definitely intrigued and engrossed in the book. If your into the exotically creepy and strange, then this is the book for you. Because this one was out there! Thanks TeenReads for pulling my name out of a hat and letting me win this. I would definitely recommend this if this is your style.
Amber_Elise More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars One thing's for sure, you won't be able to believe anything you've read once you put this book down! Plot: From the getgo, I knew that this was going to be a weird book. You may think that this book would have a clear plot twist, that there is something that can explain all of the weirdness happening at the school. Nope, from day one we are introduced to Carly and Kaitlyn, two people who exist within the same body. Somehow, Carly gets the day and Kaitlyn gets the night. As all good things go bump in the night, Kaityn starts to notice little changes in her surroundings and in Carly. The end result is a confusing half conclusion that will make you reflect on every character interaction and what you know about these characters. The format is definitely engaging. The Dead House is told in a non-linear format and told through diary entries, patient files, and surveillance footage. This makes the overall atmosphere very chilling and spooky, unfortunately for me, I never really got scared while reading The Dead House. Confused yes, but not scared or shocked. Characters: While Katilyn and Carly share the same body, Kaitlyn gets 99% of the "screen time" so the speak. There is a hodge-podge group that gets together to help solve the mystery, and oddly I felt that none of the male characters were fleshed out. The female characters, Kaitlyn, Kaitlyn's psychologist, and best friend Naida, felt much more involved in the than mystery than the male characters did. Kaitlyn is a great unreliable narrator. Her diary entries are sometimes just streams of consciousness or sometimes responses to nothing that was never addressed previously in the book. Just when you think you've got a handle on what's going on, Kurtagich, through Kaitlyn, will through you for a loop! World Building: The Dead House is unique because it creates this creepy atmosphere through unconventional storytelling. Surprisingly, a lot of landscapes have been covered in this small British town and the video surveillance footage helped give The Dead House depth. Short N Sweet: The Dead House is not a book that you want to miss out on during this Halloween season, especially if you're okay with never knowing what's happening.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Years have passed but what exactly happened that night at Elmbridge School that resulted in student deaths and the disappearance of the main suspect has remained a mystery wrapped in urban legend shrouded in myth. Paranormal researchers and the curious visit the old school, but without the voices of those involved, how will the truth ever be known? At the dark heart of the puzzle is Carly Johnson and the girl she has "always" called her sister, Kaitlyn, the girl their doctor at the mental hospital insisted was an "alter," a part of her personality that split off after a family trauma to protect them from the terrible memories. Carly is present in the daylight hours, attending Elmbridge High, while Kaitlyn takes over in the dark, exploring the night - time world of the school and keeping in touch with her "sister" through hidden notes and diary entries. But both girls are plagued with the sense of another presence, a Voice, that threatens what little slice of mental peace they've managed to hang onto. What if they are sane...but their uniqueness has caught the attention of something Other, something that will influence them to do terrible things? Told through police interviews, recovered diary entries, and psychiatric notes, The Dead House is a darkly intriguing view of madness and sisterly love and a mystery that won't die.
Andrea17 More than 1 year ago
I love scary books. I love the creep factor and feeling the chill of a perfectly written horror novel. I don't love the waking up at 2:00 in the morning convinced that somebody is knocking on my closet door (which leads to the attic), but that's the price I pay. The Dead House is the perfect book if you feel the same way I do. I love reading this story through Kaitlyn's entries, her doctor's notes and recordings of their sessions, as well as recorded sessions with a detective and various individuals connected to Kaitlyn / Carly. These varying narratives make this novel a uniquely written and terrifying book. Through her diary entires, we witness her slow decay into madness. Kaitlyn and her sister Carly are two souls that share the same body, with Carly "awake" from sunrise to sunset and Kaityln "awake" from sunset to sunrise. Kaitlyn refers to herself as the Dark Half and Carly as the better of the two. Another piece of their lives we get to encounter are the notes they write to one another through purple post-its or their message book. Their relationship is extremely interesting as they consider one another sisters and state they've been together since they were born, that their parents knew, and look forward to the day they can move to London and have it just be the two of them. After leaving the mental hospital and going back to school Carly befriends Naida, a girl from Fair Island who believes in Mala and is convinced that Kaitlyn and Carly are two souls sharing one body, refusing to believe Dr. Lansing diaganious of DID (Dissociative identity disorder, once called multiple personality disorder). She warns them that this is dangerous and evil spirits will be after her, which happens after a Halloween party where their friends play with an Olen board, which brought Kaitlyn / Carly to the attention of said malevolent spirits. While the story before this was interesting, after Halloween is when things really take a turn and you find yourself completely sucked into the story. I couldn't put The Dead House down! The mixture of diary entries, videos, and interviews keeps you guessing and trying to figure out what is happening, but you have no idea. This is one of the best things about Dawn's writing, in my opinion. I didn't need a standard narrative to enjoy this story or characters. If anything, such a narrative wouldn't have made The Dead House as perfect as it is. I cannot say enough good things about this novel and I don't want to speak too much more about the plot because I don't want to spoil things. Half the fun of the novel is getting surprised by the twists, turns, and scares on each page. You won't regret reading this into the late hours of the night - just make sure you can convince yourself that those noises are your dog and not something in your closet.
MorrisMorgan More than 1 year ago
“The Dead House” is a wonderfully inventive and creepy book centered around a girl who may or may not suffer from dissociative identity disorder. Part mystery and part horror, it is one of the best psychological young adult thrillers I have read in a long time. The thing I most loved about the book is the way in which the story is told. There are journal entries, therapy transcripts, police interrogations, transcripts of video footage, and news articles. Since none of these are told from the point of view of someone who knows the full story, it places the reader in the role of a detective. All of the evidence is laid out to be examined. I found it very fun to try to decipher it all, even if it did lead to a sleepless night. The main character(s), Kaitlyn and Carly, are wonderful and complicated. You can literally feel their fear and confusion in the diary entries. It’s actually quite disturbing. In a good way, of course. My only complaint is that the secondary characters seemed a little too flat. I liked them, but would have preferred to know a bit more about them. Overall, “The Dead House” is a quick and engaging read that is sure to appeal to horror and thriller lovers from ages 14 and up. Its fast pacing makes it an excellent recommendation for reluctant readers. Highly recommended! Just be sure to keep the lights on. This review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
HeresToHappyEndings More than 1 year ago
Review originally posted on my young adult book blog, Right now I’m going through a “horror and thriller” phase when it comes to books – I just want to read creepy stuff (yeah, and then comes the problem of not being able to sleep at night, but hey, small price to pay for a good scary book, right?), and when I came across The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich, I knew I had to read it. The cover is creepy, the title is creepy, and the synopsis promised quite a thrilling, interesting read. Let me just say that The Dead House follows through on those promises. It’s creepy, it’s weird, and it’s one of the most original books I have ever read. The Dead House isn’t like your average, ordinary novel. No, this book is made up of interviews, police reports, therapy session notes, diary entries, and camera footage notes. The entries, reports, and notes are dated, and you get to see what goes on before and after the accident in question. While the beginning of the book seems a little bit confusing, and it can be hard to figure things out because of the different format that’s going on in this book, it really does make for a better story. It’s creepier, and I couldn’t imagine this book being written any other way now that I’ve read it. In the beginning of the book, we learn about a horrifying event that occurred at the Elmbridge High that caused several deaths and many injuries to the students there. While the case has never been solved, and no one knows exactly what happened, the notes, records, diary entries, and e-mails in this book will pretty much paint a picture that gives an idea of what may have happened and who might have been responsible. We move on to hear about the story of Carly Johnson, who is a student at Elmbrige High. She is currently receiving treatment for an eating disorder, and while she is there, she kept a diary – a diary that didn’t belong to her. It belonged to Kaitlyn Johnson, and the majority of entries are only at night. But why, and how is this even possible? Well, it turns out that both Carly Johnson and Kaitlyn Johnson exist – and they both exist in the same body. Yes, that’s right – two souls in one body. If that idea doesn’t seem crazy enough, reading this book might make you question your own sanity – it’s just that good. There is so much weird stuff going on in this book, and at times it’s utterly unbelievable. Ms. Kurtagich creates a very compelling and frightening story that pulls you in and makes you feel like you’re really part of it. This book definitely satisfied my need for a horror novel, and I know I’ll end up reading it again and being just as impressed! The Dead House is an absolutely mind-blowing thrill ride that will pull you in right from the start and have you wanting more when it’s over. Note: I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
tpolen More than 1 year ago
Wow. This is definitely a book that will stick with me for a while - a dark, haunting, enthralling story I was reading at 3 am to finish. I was that hooked. Be warned - this book isn't for the faint of heart and the writing style may not be for everyone, as the story is told through police reports, psychiatric reports, transcripts of video footage, and diary entries. Personally, I thought telling the story in that way and alternating between time lines was genius and it grabbed me immediately. I don't know what I can say without spoilers, but is full of twists, turns, chills, misdirection - just a fascinating blend of horror and psychological thriller and a small clue toward the end that could easily be missed, but gave me an idea as to what might be going on. The imagery is wonderfully vivid and if you're on the squeamish side or scare easily, I wouldn't recommend reading this alone or at night. This is a debut novel for this author and I'll be adding her to my watch list. Highly recommended. This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was supposed to be a horror novel? I must have missed all the scary parts then. I thoroughly hated this book and in actuality my thoughts on it are really a lot more vulgar.