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Monday, September 4, 2023

Book Review: The September House by Carissa Orlando

The September House
by Carissa Orlando
September 5, 2023
Publisher: Berkley
ISBN: 9780593548615
When Margaret and her husband Hal bought the large Victorian house on Hawthorn Street—for sale at a surprisingly reasonable price—they couldn’t believe they finally had a home of their own. Then they discovered the hauntings. Every September, the walls drip blood. The ghosts of former inhabitants appear, and all of them are terrified of something that lurks in the basement. Most people would flee.

Margaret is not most people.

Margaret is staying. It’s her house. But after four years Hal can’t take it anymore, and he leaves abruptly. Now, he’s not returning calls, and their daughter Katherine—who knows nothing about the hauntings—arrives, intent on looking for her missing father. To make things worse, September has just begun, and with every attempt Margaret and Katherine make at finding Hal, the hauntings grow more harrowing, because there are some secrets the house needs to keep.


Margaret and her husband have the chance to buy a large Victorian house at a reasonable price, they are happy to finally get a house of their own. Only the place is haunted, not by one ghost but by many. And it always begins each year in September. 

When her husband leaves and never comes back, Margaret says he is at a motel or something, But when their daughter, Katherine, visits, she says he never has returned her calls. Margaret becomes frantic because it is September and the hauntings will begin. When they do search for him, the hauntings grow worse, especially from down in the basement. But no matter what, Margaret is determined to stay in her house even as it has proven to be a nightmare.

Margaret reminds me kinda of Eleanor and Hill House in The Haunting of Hill House, in that like Nell, the ignoring and yet understanding of a house of terrible hauntings. And like Hell House by Richard Matheson, there is a central area the hauntings revolved around. And now the haunted house of The September House, joins them in a tale of what one will do to keep their “dream” house, no matter how bad the hauntings grows.

I gave The September House 4 Sheep.


Reviewed by Pamela K. Kinney

About the Author:
Carissa Orlando has a doctorate in clinical-community psychology and specializes in work with children and adolescents. In her “day job,” Carissa works to improve the quality of and access to mental health care for children and their families. Prior to her career in psychology, Carissa studied creative writing in college and has written creatively in some form since she was a child. It was only a matter of time before Carissa, an avid horror fan for much of her life, merged her understanding of the human psyche and deep love for storytelling into a piece of fiction. 

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