Eight-year-old Liam is as thrilled as any other kid to move to a new house in a new town, especially when it turns out to basically be the haunted house of the neighborhood. In other words: Not much. He's even more nervous when he hears mysterious noises and sees mysterious things he can't explain. Then his big sister Kelly and her best friend Mitali think it would be fun to play a scary game; Bloody Mary. To their shock, the horror becomes real. Dum dum DUM. There is an appropriately terrifying but ultimately happy ending and readers are ready for the next tale of thrills and chills.
The black and white illustrations are appropriately grim and gruesome without being too terrifyingly graphic. The illustrator even manages to make a simple unplugged cord look menacing! Preller manages to be scary without being overly dramatic or silly and while I wouldn't hand this series to parents who have concerns about ghosts, witchcraft, etc. the average kid will gobble them up with delight.
Verdict: This is AWESOME. Perfect for kids who desperately want scary stories, but aren't ready for Goosebumps or Alvin Schwartz. Buy several copies and I promise you will not regret it.
ISBN: 9781250018861; Published July 2013 by Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan; ARC provided by the publisher at ALA Midwinter 2013; Purchased for the library