The Night Strangers

The Night Strangers

A Novel

Book - 2011
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From the bestselling author of The Double Bind, Skeletons at the Feast, and Secrets of Eden, comes a riveting and dramatic ghost story. In a dusty corner of a basement in a rambling Victorian house in northern New Hampshire, a door has long been sealed shut with 39 six-inch-long carriage bolts. The home's new owners are Chip and Emily Linton and their twin ten-year-old daughters. Together they hope to rebuild their lives there after Chip, an airline pilot, had to ditch his 70-seat regional jet in Lake Champlain after double engine failure. Unlike the Miracle on the Hudson, however, most of the passengers aboard Flight 1611 died on impact or were drowned. The body count? Thirty-nine, a coincidence not lost on Chip when he discovers the number of bolts in that basement door. Meanwhile, Emily finds herself wondering about the women in this sparsely populated White Mountain village, self-proclaimed herbalists, and their interest in her fifth-grade daughters. Are the women mad? Or is it her husband, in the wake of the tragedy, whose grip on sanity has become desperately tenuous? The result is a powerful ghost story with a palpable sense of place, an unerring sense of the demons that drive us, and characters we care about deeply. The difference this time? Some of those characters are dead
Publisher: New York : Crown Trade, 2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307394996
Characteristics: 378 p. ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

List - Haunted
GRPL_staffpicks Oct 03, 2019

A hidden door in the basement secured with 39 bolts in your new home is always a bad sign.

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Jul 28, 2020

Are they herbalists or wiccan? A mother and father with their twin girls move to a small new hampshire town. He was a pilot whose plance crashed and killed all but 9 of the people aboard. His PTSD morphs into visions and the herbalists in town seem to have strange interests in the twin girls. A page turner.

Jul 20, 2019

I feel like I shouldn't have liked this as much as I did; it's not that it was so fantastically well-written or plotted. I think I was in the right mood for a bit of a scare and because I'm such a wuss, this was just the perfect amount of scary for me. I fell for everything - the witchy coven, the haunted dad, the overwrought and susceptible mom, the imperiled twins, the ghosts - loved it all.

An added note: Bohjalian is a pretty interesting guy. This, The Double Bind, Trans-Sister Radio, Skeletons at the Feast - what do these books have in common? Absolutely nothing at all, except the author. He's got quite the fresh head. (An apt expression from my old neighborhood.)

Jun 04, 2018

One of this author's better books. The detail about plane crashes is spot on, as are the symptoms of PTSD experienced for Chris and his family. Suspenseful to the end; was hard to put it down. I did not see THAT ending coming - not what I expected!, but that was part of what made it a good book and reflected the creative talents of the author.

ArapahoeLesley Nov 16, 2016

I really liked his style and Chip was a haunting character. His struggles with the plane crash were great but then it's becomes all ghosts and witches and I lost a bit of interest.

Feb 18, 2016

Part about botany and herbalistics is good, but part about ghosts - no.
Chip character - is difficult to understand: who he is, what he's thinking, is that a healthy person or he’s acting under the influence of certain herbs - can never be understood as you read. His 10 years old daughters seem to be much smarter than him.
There is some tension in descriptions of what is going on – in last pages of the book. Although it seems that something like this has happened repeatedly in many books and films.
The end is really a big disappointment. Really - disgusting.

Dec 15, 2014

I don't know why I felt the need to finish it but I'm sorry I did.
What a disappointment.

sharonb122 Feb 25, 2014

The novel is suspenseful and difficult to put down. A ghost story that is not TOO far out, so had a more believable tenor to it. All along it wasn't hard to figure out who the villans were but I had to keep reading to figure out how it all comes out.
(spoiler alert)
I was frustrated with the end because I wanted all the secrets to come out and the "bad guys to get theirs"! Still, it was a surprising and rather creepy ending...
enjoyed it very much.

LMOH Dec 30, 2013

An insidious ghost story set in New Hampshire (aren't all of Bohjalian's books set in New Hampshire?) that is reminiscent of Stephen King's The Shining. A haunted old house (complete with scary, boarded up room in the basement), an imbalanced dad, a set of twins, and neighbours who are witches...creepy!

grandquilter Dec 18, 2013

Have read some of his other books. This was a disappointment. Not one to give up on a book, so I suffered through it.

KateHillier Aug 15, 2013


It was wonderfully gothic and I loved the sense of creep factor in the location. I was almost creeped out more by the place than the people. I liked the turn at making witches 'herbalists' and the very unsettling grouping of having all these women named after plants and having them all take new names. It was almost like the Borg from Star Trek when Emily became Verdena and Garnet became Cali even though that change pretty much happened off the page.

I've read reviews where people thought this book was boring and repetitive. Repetitive yes but not boring. It was drawn out and eerie which is just the way I like it. I even liked the second person parts, it just made it hit that much harder.

The ending on the other hand just seemed like a cop out. It was an annoying use of Machina without the positive benefit. Chip, Garnet/Cali, and Emily/Verdana are all living in this town soon and are deeply involved (and are ignorant of the fact that their own daughter was killed by this group) because of magic. I mean I get what was trying to happen here (it's almost "The Shining" in a way) but it just seemed strange. Aside from the problem of Emily just flat out not noticing how weird these ladies were around her twins. You would think you would do something about it, especially considering how no one else in town will talk to them or you.

Aside from that I did like it. It was a very atmospheric book and was all about a haunting, in more ways than one. The witches plot seemed a bit silly (I admit being a little 'seriously?' at the eternal youth ploy) but it all worked out for me in the end. I can certainly see many people not really being this book's biggest fan though

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