Eerie and atmospheric, THE ROOM AT THE END OF THE HALL by Lori R. Lopez unfolds in the vein of an American Gothic Ghost Story: suspenseful, thrilling, dripping with chills . . .
A mix of quiet and psychological horror, nonstop dread, and mysterious lurkings to keep you wondering, while a chamber’s ominous secrets are explored.
The tale is told through innocent eyes that have glimpsed too much. This is no place for children. Yet the Teen Protagonist grew up at the edge of a forest on a secluded estate, raising seven younger siblings largely alone.
For generations the furtive peculiar Garand Family resided in their crumbling mansion — where faces in windows and an arcane forbidden door would invite speculation thick with tension. One night, as the Skeleton Key turns, a wealth of terrifying truths will be unlocked for a descendant chosen to carry out the Bloodline’s darkest traditions.
Some doors are better left unopened.
The Ghost Novella is part of Lori’s SPOOKTACULAR TALES Collection.
Recommended Age Range: 12 and up
Approx. Length: 21,920 Words
“When you don’t halt Evil, it builds empires.”
Hand shaking, I inserted the Skeleton Key in the lock. A click echoed. The key automatically tipped forty-five degrees, now grinning. My fingers rebelled, letting go. It had to be enchanted by some occult spirit.
Nonsense. It’s just a creepy old key. Shirking the notion, inhaling, I turned the knob.
At last — as I gawped incredulous — the blue door swung inward, heralded by a classic ominous creak. The sinister aura framing it ebbed to patches of an eldritch sheen: a phosphorescent taint leading into a darksome domain.
~ from The Room At The End Of The Hall
For centuries men fought each other in wars. They created new ways to kill. Soldiers, often Civilians were casualties. They buried explosives under a layer of earth for enemies to detonate. This house was a Minefield. Our every step an extreme risk. Awareness lay below the surface, like bombs . . .
~ from The Room At The End Of The Hall
“We were never told not to enter. It was strongly implied.
Don’t know why the silence of restriction, a stern unspoken rule, inspired the mind to dwell, whether daydreaming or asleep, in the space beyond that door.
Blue paint intrigued: not as pale as a broken shell of sky; a richer hue. Masquerading all sorts of purposes behind its facade. Ulterior reasons for whatever type of room abided, festering with morbid inhabitants. I reposed in bed and believed at every sound of the house settling, the rumble of wind or pipe, a sibling’s stir — I heard it rattle, shudder, creak. A slab of wood possessed. Frigid nightmares envisioned lights and shadows in the crack beneath. Mists and odors emanated, wafting, rising. Or so my Senses conjured. A coppery taste riled the mouth whenever I was in its vicinity . . . down an elongated shaft.
Not that I went there often. In spite of my preoccupation, I kept a wary distance. Curious but not dumb, I hadn’t tried the knob. I wasn’t brave enough, and I was the eldest of the children.
None, far as I discerned, ever dared to trek across the barrier, that forbidden threshold: the room at the end of the hall. And not once had I witnessed a soul alive or dead step out.”
The Room At The End Of The Hall is . . .
“intense and exciting and you won’t be disappointed!”
“When you read anything by Lori R. Lopez you’ll likely be getting something more than you expected. You’ll be getting horror with a unique, curious twist. The author herself admits her work is “infected by quirkiness”. That only makes it stand out more and keeps you flipping the pages. With The Room at the End of the Hall you’re picking up a ghost story that ends up being so much more. You’ll meet lots of characters - some you will dislike, some will creep you out, some will surprise you, and some you will root for.
This is a quick read that you’ll be happy you read and won’t soon forget.
I think Lori even designs all of her covers which I adore!”
Books Of Horror Group Facebook; Goodreads Review
“A really good ghost story. The imagery brought to mind via the words written was incredible. I enjoyed how much courage Gemma had to take on the ‘spirits’ of the house to get her and her siblings out of there. She was wise enough to realize that she and her siblings were the way to end the horrible crimes her family had committed. I look forward to reading more books by this author.”
“I really liked this novella. My imagination ran wild with the words used to write the story. Thank you Lori R. Lopez for the opportunity to read this.”
Books Of Horror Group Facebook; Amazon Review
“'The Room' is a novella, so it is a short story, but it feels more than that.
It tells the story of a highly dysfunctional family, in a haunted place, but this is just the background where weird things happen.
I loved the weirdness of the setting, the unpredictability of the plot, and the suspense interwoven into each page.
The story is told with varying degrees of ambiguity and uncertainty, so the reader has to keep guessing what’s real and what’s not, in a surreal tale – not an easy task, but certainly delightful.
I had a strong mixed feeling regarding the writing style of the novella – I think it is one of the strongest reasons why the story is so impacting, but at the same time it acts as a deterrent due to the difficulty of understanding it.
I am not a fan of authors that use complicated words trying to pretend an artificial sophistication (Lovecraft kinds of come to my mind in this sense, although I am a fan of his stories).
That said, the prose on this novella is made so richer by the use of the author’s writing style that it seems a natural part of it, and a big reason of its shine for me. I feel this work is a piece of art because of it.
This same trait, however, was a big obstacle to me, as my non-native English brain struggled to read and understand it. Even the electronic dictionary of Google’s Play Books was unable to provide translation for some words.
Sometimes I wished the language was simpler and more focused on simply narrating the story, but at the same time I knew that part of the enchant of it was the writing style – not sure you could have a work of art feeling without its complex style. Maybe a middle ground would make the novella more accessible, but I am unsure of affirming it because I am not such an expert in English to assume that others would have the same hardships I had.
I will end this review saying that it is a testament of the strength of the story that I went to the end of it, turning the pages as quickly as I was able, in-between my daily tasks and the struggle to decipher parts of it.
I don’t hesitate DNF’ing books that I am not enjoying for a reason or another, but I was hooked by the plot and characters and wanted to follow the story until its end.”