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All the Lovely Bad Ones

All the Lovely Bad Ones

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All the Lovely Bad Ones

3/5 (243 оценки)
213 страниц
3 часа
17 авг. 2009 г.


Travis and his sister, Corey, can’t resist a good trick—so when they learn that their grandmother’s sleepy Vermont inn has a history of ghost sightings, they decide to do a little “haunting” of their own. Scaring the guests is fun, and before long, the inn is filled with tourists and ghost hunters eager for a glimpse of the supernatural.

But Travis and Corey soon find out that there are real ghosts at Fox Hill. Awakened by their pranks, restless, spiteful spirits swarm the inn, while a dark and terrifying presence stalks the grounds. To lay the spirits to rest, the kids must uncover the dark history of Fox Hill and the horrors visited on its young inhabitants in the past.

17 авг. 2009 г.

Об авторе

Mary Downing Hahn’s many acclaimed novels include such beloved ghost stories as Wait Till Helen Comes, Deep and Dark and Dangerous, and Took. A former librarian, she has received more than fifty child-voted state awards for her work. She lives in Columbia, Maryland, with a cat named Nixi.

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All the Lovely Bad Ones - Mary Downing Hahn


Copyright © 2008 by Mary Downing Hahn

The poem from which the title of this book is taken was written in 1885 by James Whitcomb Riley (1849–1916). It is popularly known as Little Orphant Annie, but its original title was The Elf-Child.

All rights reserved. For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to trade.permissions@hmhco.com or to Permissions, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 3 Park Avenue, 19th Floor, New York, New York 10016.

Clarion Books is an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.


Cover photographs © Stephen Mulcahey/Trevillion Images (shoes), Shutterstock (Tombstone and additional images)

Photo illustration by David Field/Caterpillar Media

Cover design by Karina Granda and Sharismar Rodriguez

The Library of Congress has cataloged the hardcover edition as follows:

Hahn, Mary Downing.

All the lovely bad ones: a ghost story / by Mary Downing Hahn.

p. cm.

Summary: While spending the summer at their grandmother’s Vermont inn, two prankster siblings awaken young ghosts from the inn’s distant past who refuse to rest in peace.

[1. Ghosts—Fiction. 2. Haunted houses—Fiction. 3. Brothers and sisters—Fiction. 4. Hotels, motels, etc.—Fiction. 5. Behavior—Fiction. 6. Vermont—Fiction.] I. Title.

PZ7.H1256Al 2008


ISBN: 978-0-618-85467-7 hardcover

ISBN: 978-0-547-24878-3 paperback

eISBN 978-0-547-39167-0


To all the little children:—

The happy ones; and sad ones;

The sober and the silent ones;

the boisterous and glad ones;

The good ones—

Yes, the good ones, too;

and all the lovely bad ones.


dedication to Little Orphant Annie


Grandmother met us at the Burlington airport, a big smile on her face and her arms open for a hug. With a squeal of delight, my sister rushed toward her, but I held back. Public displays of affection were okay for girls, I guessed, but not for guys. After all, I’d be thirteen soon—way too old for that kind of silly stuff.

After giving Corey a big hug, Grandmother turned to me. Just look at you, Travis. You’ve shot up since Christmas. How tall are you?

I shrugged. About five six, maybe seven. Not all that tall. There’s a guy in my class who’s already six feet.

I’m almost as tall as Travis, Corey put in, never one to be left out. And I’m a whole year younger.

While Corey chattered about the plane ride from New York, Grandmother led us to the baggage claim. We grabbed our suitcases and headed for the parking lot. The late-afternoon air was cool and the sky was blue, a change from the heat and humidity we’d left in the city.

Welcome to Vermont. Grandmother opened the door of a shiny red pickup truck. Toss your luggage in the back and climb aboard.

Corey jumped in beside Grandmother, and I squeezed in by the door.

So do you think you’ll be able to stand being away from your parents for a whole summer? Grandmother asked.

My sister and I looked at each other and grinned. We’ll miss them a little, Corey said, but we’re used to summers away from home.

Grandmother smiled. I’m glad you chose the inn instead of camp.

Corey and I didn’t look at each for fear we’d laugh and give ourselves away. We hadn’t had a choice, actually. Camp Willow Tree had made it very clear that neither Corey nor I was welcome to return. It seemed we’d failed to get into the true spirit of camp. We’d started food fights, played hooky from evening campfire, made up rude words to the camp song, overturned a canoe on purpose, and let the air out of a counselor’s bike tires the day we were supposed to ride twenty miles up a mountain in the pouring rain. Was it our fault the camp staff had no sense of humor?

The truth of it was Corey and I tended to get in trouble wherever we went. Bad ones—that’s what we were. Well, not really bad. We preferred to think of ourselves as pranksters. But like the camp staff, adults (including Mom and Dad) didn’t find our antics as funny as we did.

Our parents had made us promise to behave ourselves at the inn. One bad report from Grandmother and we’d spend the rest of our vacation taking pre-algebra in summer school—a fate even worse than camp craft projects involving Popsicle sticks and feathers.

Just before the turnoff for Middlebury, we left Route 7 and took a winding road that rolled over hills, past farms and fields, red barns and sturdy farmhouses. Herds of black and white cows raised their heads to watch us go by. Beyond them, the mountains rose greenish blue against the sky.

Here we are. Grandmother pointed to a neatly painted sign: THE INN AT FOX HILL—NEXT RIGHT. Under the words was a picture of a smiling fox. A VACANCY sign hung below.

Grandmother swung into a long, straight driveway shaded by tall trees. At its end was a three-story pink brick building. The late-afternoon sun touched everything with gold—the lawn, flower beds, and wooden rocking chairs on the front porch. Behind the inn, clouds cast their shadows on the Green Mountains.

Grandmother parked the truck, and Corey and I jumped out. I grabbed for my suitcase, but Grandmother said, Leave your luggage for now. Henry can bring it in later. Martha’s promised to have a pitcher of ice-cold lemonade, freshly squeezed, and a plateful of chocolate-chip cookies, still warm from the oven.

We followed Grandmother down a stone path bordered with dense white flowers to a brick patio shaded by a huge wisteria climbing over a trellis. Nearby, a fountain splashed into a pool, and I glimpsed flashes of red fish swimming in its depths. Flowers bloomed everywhere, and bees hummed. Birds called back and forth in the trees.

As we settled ourselves around a table, a woman strode toward us carrying a tray. Her gray hair was pulled back tightly into a knot, and her mouth seemed to have settled into a permanent frown. Without so much as a smile, she set the tray down and stepped back.

Thank you, Martha. It looks lovely. Gesturing to Corey and me, Grandmother introduced us to the woman.

Pleased to meet you. Still no smile, just a quick dip of the head.

Mrs. Brewster is our cook, Grandmother told us. People come to the inn year after year just to eat her famous blueberry pie.

Another dip of the head and Mrs. Brewster left us to enjoy the lemonade and cookies.

Martha’s a little standoffish, Grandmother admitted, but she and her husband more or less came with the inn. And she’s truly magnificent in the kitchen.

Corey jabbed my ankle with the toe of her shoe and whispered, She looks like an old grump to me.

Grandmother leaned across the table to brush a strand of hair out of Corey’s eyes. You’ll change your mind when you eat your first meal here.

Corey helped herself to a cookie. While she chewed, she looked around. Is that a swimming pool?

Grandmother nodded. You can use it any time you like—as long as someone’s with you. I don’t have a lifeguard.

She pointed past the pool to the wide grassy lawn, dotted with old-fashioned Adirondack chairs, turned to face the mountains. If you like tennis, the court’s over there. I have bicycles for the guests. The state park just down the road has a great network of biking and hiking trails.

Grandmother ate a cookie. If it rains, she went on, there’s a library, computer, TV, DVD player, and at least a dozen old-fashioned board games. Hopefully, you’ll find plenty to do.

Corey and I leaned back in our chairs and drank our lemonade, just as fresh and cold as Grandmother had promised. It looked as if it was going to be a good summer. No schedules. No organized activities. Nobody blowing whistles at us. No boring crafts. For once, we were free to do what we wanted to do. Including nothing. Nothing at all.

Corey studied the inn. Do you have many guests?

There are six rooms, Grandmother said. Four on the second floor and two on the third. We can house twelve guests, but tonight we only have two—a couple of young men.

Corey looked around. Where are they?

They’ve gone out bicycling, but they’ll be back soon for dinner.

You must usually have more people than that, Corey said.

Grandmother sighed. That’s what I thought when I bought the place, but the inn’s kind of remote. Tourists like to be closer to Burlington or Middlebury, Stowe or Woodstock. She shifted in her chair as if she were about to get up but then changed her mind.

Actually, the inn’s location is only part of the problem, she added slowly.

Corey and I sat up straighter, as if we both sensed something exciting.

For a moment, Grandmother stared at the inn, her gaze drifting from one window to the next as if she were admiring the flower boxes.

I wouldn’t bother telling you, she said at last, "but you’re sure to hear the guests talking about it. Fox Hill is mentioned in Haunted Inns of Vermont."

Corey and I leaned closer, our eyes wide. A little shiver raced up and down my spine. A whole summer in a haunted inn—what could be more exciting than that?

Oooh, Corey murmured. I’ve always wanted to see a ghost.

Don’t be stupid, I told her. You can’t even watch a horror movie without having nightmares.

Huh, Corey said. "Just last week I watched one of the Scream movies, and I didn’t even close my eyes or cover my ears once!"

Don’t worry. Grandmother patted Corey’s hand. No one has seen a ghost since the Cornells sold the inn to me.

Where do you think they went? Corey asked.

To North Carolina, I think, Grandmother said. They wanted to open an inn at the beach.

Not the Cornells, I said. "The ghosts. Where did they go?"

Grandmother shrugged. In my opinion, they were never here in the first place.

You don’t believe in ghosts? Corey looked surprised.

Of course not. Grandmother laughed. But sometimes I find myself wishing they’d come back. Business might improve.

What do you mean? I asked.

You’d be surprised how many people come here because of that stupid book, Grandmother said. Then they leave in a huff because they didn’t see a ghost. Some even want their money back.

Do you have the book? I asked.

Of course. Grandmother got up and led us into the inn, through the kitchen, and down a hall to a large room in the front of the house. The library, she said.

Tall windows let in long bars of afternoon light. Several pairs of soft leather armchairs flanked the windows. A matching sofa stood near the door. In front of it was a low table covered with magazines. Books crammed the shelves built into the walls.

Grandmother picked up a thick, well-read paperback and handed it to me. Page 103, she said.

I sat down on the sofa, and Corey perched beside me. I opened the book to page 103.

The Inn at Fox Hill was built in the late 1700s. Originally a private home, it has changed hands many times. Although I checked old records, the inn’s history is sketchy at best. Apparently, it served several purposes—among them, a boardinghouse, a tuberculosis sanitarium, a private school. In 1940, the place was abandoned. For fifteen years, it stood vacant. Weather, neglect, and vandals took their toll. Smothered in ivy and surrounded by weeds, the mansion was soon reduced to a shell of its former self. To passersby, it was the very image of a haunted house.

In 1955, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Cornell, young vacationers from Boston, saw the building and recognized its potential. They spent more than ten years restoring the house and grounds. In 1967, the Inn at Fox Hill opened for business.

Soon the Cornells began receiving complaints from guests. A woman in a long white dress roamed the grounds at night, moaning so loudly she woke them up. Others were kept awake by noisy children playing in the halls. Many reported hearing footsteps on the stairs, banging doors, barking dogs, sobs, and laughter. Lights and radios came on in the middle of the night. Water gushed from faucets. Toilets flushed continually. The power went off for no reason—and came back on again for no reason.

Rather amusingly, one woman was especially indignant about an impudent child who called her Fatso but who ran away before she got a good look at him. More seriously, several guests complained of theft—watches, rings, jewelry, and the like disappeared from drawers and bedside tables.

Mr. and Mrs. Cornell were as mystified as their guests. They investigated the plumbing and the wiring; they kept doors locked at night; they even hired a night watchman. Nothing helped. The incidents continued.

Soon psychics descended on Fox Hill, followed by ghost hunters with special cameras and recorders. The experts agreed: Ghosts roamed the halls of the inn.

As we all know, some people are sensitive to the presence of ghosts. Others are not. If you want to test yourself, spend a night or two at the Inn at Fox Hill. I did . . . and I was not disappointed! When I woke, the cheap ring I’d left deliberately on the bedside table was gone.

And remember, even if you don’t see a ghost, you’ll enjoy the Cornells’ hospitality, the inn’s charm, the fresh Vermont air, the gorgeous scenery, and the meals prepared by the cook in residence, the excellent Mrs. Martha Brewster, a rare marvel.

I closed the book and stared at Grandmother. Are you sure, I began, but she cut me off with a wave of her hand.

It’s absolute nonsense. She shook her head disdainfully and returned the book to the shelf. Five thirty, she said. Time for dinner.

As Corey and I followed Grandmother out of the library, we glanced at each other. Without saying a word, I knew my sister was thinking exactly what I was thinking. Rappings and tappings, footsteps, doors opening and shutting—we could do that. And more. Bringing ghosts back to Fox Hill would be like playing haunted house all summer long.


The dining room was large enough for at least two dozen people, but only two other tables were occupied. The bike riders sat together by the French doors, open to a view of the mountains. Lean, sunburned guys with huge leg muscles, they didn’t look as if they’d come to

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Что люди думают о All the Lovely Bad Ones

243 оценки / 24 Обзоры
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  • (3/5)
    When Corey and Travis arrive at their grandmother's inn for the summer and hear rumors that it's haunted, they decide to have a little fun and make the guests believe they're seeing ghosts. Little do Corey and Travis know that their pranks will rouse the ghosts that haunt Fox Hill. When the siblings find out about the horrible history of the inn, they must do what they can to put the ghosts to rest. My nine-year-old self would have looooved this book. It's atmospheric and spooky with a dash of history thrown in. Recommended for fans of ghost stories.
  • (3/5)
    A deliciously, fast-paced mystery and horror tale. Two children spending the summer with their Grandmother at her Inn decide to have some fun by "haunting" the Inn. More successful than they know, they inadvertently arouse real restless spirits and unearth a mystery from the time the Inn served as the county poor house.A little bit of horror, mystery and history, the children eventually learn the fate of real people sent to live at the poor house and who were at the mercy of the Jaggs, a brother and sister duo who pocketed the county money and mistreated the residents to the point of death.I felt the ending should have involved the county making restitution to the dead by providing the grave stones, not the grandmother. There were unexplained occurrences such as Martha Brewster being able to "touch" the dead and the ghost children being able to use shovels to help dig up Ada's grave. But, it is a ghost tale, so I suppose anything is possible.Spooky, but not nightmare scary. A good choice for middle school readers.
  • (4/5)
    Deliciously creepy! Kids in grades 4-7 who like ghost stories will eat up this 2011-12 VRC nominee. My one quibble-- narrator Travis doesn't always sound like a 12-year-old boy (more like an adult who's trying to tell the story through the eyes of a 12-year-old boy), but overall a fun and spooky read.
  • (4/5)
    Travis and his sister, Corey, a real pranksters. So when they find out that their grandmother's inn is supposed to be haunted, they decide to do a little haunting of their own. Little do they suspect that their actions will wake the real ghosts that have haunted the house over the years.This was a good scary book for kids. It is not too scary but has some real chills. Travis does wander a bit as he tells the story, but it rang true for a kid telling a story. I will definitely be recommending it.
  • (4/5)
    This was a quick read and although it had a somewhat predictable plot, there were some events that occurred that I really had not predicted. It was a quick, light haunting tale.
  • (4/5)
    Corey and Travis go to stay with their grandmother in her inn in Vermont for the summer. They find that business is slow and decide to stage a haunting to draw in more tourists. It does that, but their mischief also awakens some real ghosts who set about haunting the place. Hahn does a pretty decent job of creating a chilling, spooky atmosphere that seems just about right for her target audience of middle schoolers. The two main characters are both annoying and endearing, and there is an interesting cast of supporting characters as well. This is a fun, quick read, especially if you enjoy ghost stories with a little history thrown in for good measure.
  • (4/5)
    A quick read, and just scary enough to be interesting. When Corey and Travis decide to scare up some business, they have no idea that they will actually end up summoning restless spirits who will begin haunting the inn for real.
  • (5/5)
    gave me nightmares and i had to keep rereading the last part
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed this short story even though it wasn't what I thought it would be. I do love a good ghost story. Especially when the none believer becomes a believer. Great teen read, lots of creative touches and very well written.
  • (2/5)
    Travis and Corey are spending the summer at the grandmother's isolated Vermont inn--an excellent alternative to the summer camp they got banned from after last summer's pranks and mischief. Grandmother's inn isn't doing too well, though, since the ghostly activity has ceased, as people don't come so far out of their way to visit an un-haunted inn. The siblings vow to turn things around for their grandmother, and stage a haunting to convince the current guests that the inn still has some secrets. Their plan goes off the rails when the real ghosts awaken--from the mischief-making group of ghost children to Miss Ada's malevolent spirit. Since Corey and Travis awakened the ghosts, it's their job to put them to rest again--if Miss Ada's ghost doesn't put them to rest first.

    This fast-paced ghost story will appeal to upper-elementary or early middle school readers looking for a quick thrill, but isn't fully developed enough to really hold an older reader's interest. The plot is predictable almost from the first page, and even the central characters never develop beyond their most basic attributes. Only the grandmother has any kind of change of heart, and her change from skeptic to believer is too abrupt--even under the circumstances--to feel at all authentic. The climax manages to be both sluggish and rushed, without any real sense of urgency. Still, this is a quick read to tingle the spines of kids looking for more gentle ghost stories, or for Hahn's established fans.
  • (4/5)
    Grades 4 thru 7. Travis and Corey like nothing better then to stir up trouble. Sent to their grandmother's inn in Vermont they soon discovered they have stirred up things beyond their control. "All the Lovely Bad Ones is a ghost story with a bit of history mixed in. Fast read and it kept my interest.
  • (4/5)
    This is a YA horror / ghost story. A very quick read; aimed at middle grades readers. I would have LOVED this type of novel in my tweens ~ I had to jump straight from Nancy Drew to Stephen King with no in-between. I would recommend this for any young reader as well as for older readers who want a quick ghost story fix.
  • (5/5)
    Corey and Travis have played one prank too many. Banned from Camp Willow Tree their parents have no choice but to send them to their grandmother's in Vermont. The Inn At Fox Hill is listed in Haunted Inns of Vermont. Knowing that their grandmother doesn't believe in ghosts, but some of her guests do, Corey and Travis decide to put on a show that will definately bring guests in. Unfortunately their plan backfires when they wake up the ghosts who actually haunt the Inn. Corey and Travis must find out what the ghosts want and then help them so that they can rest in peace. Like all of Mary Downing Hahn's books she has definately crafted a book that will leave the reader feeling creepy. The main characters may be young but even adults will love the story line. Recommended to all who love a good ghost story. Not recommend as a bedtime read.
  • (3/5)
    imaginative ghost story
  • (4/5)
    Ghost story for kidsAll the Lovely Bad Ones was a fast-paced, easy read with just enough creepiness to make it a perfect recommendation for kids between 8-11 years old who want to enjoy a ghost story without being terrified.
  • (3/5)
    Entertaining book about a brother and sister, known for their pranks, who visit their Grandmother in Vermont. She runs an inn, reputedly haunted, and Corey and Travis decide to drum up more business by having the girl, Corey, pretend to be a ghost. This stirs up the real ghosts, who make mischief around the inn. One of the ghosts is the spirit of the evil woman who helped run the work farm that existed there in the 1800's. The children must help the ghost children find peace and drive away the evil Miss Ada. Some scary parts, but more 6th and 7th graders will like this than older students.
  • (5/5)
    Great ghost story. I wouldn' read it to younger children or give it to children who don't like a little scarier story. It's perfect for those who love a little thrill. I'd guess that the age depends on the level of tolerance for the slightly frightening.
  • (3/5)
    I liked it, thought it was good, but maybe nothing too special or unique. Maybe it could have had a bit more mood and atmosphere. Quick read.
  • (3/5)
    Mischievous brother and sister go to their grandmother's bed and breakfast for summer and encounter real ghosts. They began by pretending to be ghosts only to stir up trouble.
  • (4/5)
    For students:Looking for a creepy read that will keep you up late at night? Check out Mary Downing Hahn's All the Lovely Bad Ones. Travis and Corey go to spend the summer with their grandmother at her inn in Vermont. After hearing rumors that ghosts once roamed the grounds, they decide it would be fun to play ghost and scare the other guests. But they don't realize that the ghosts never left; they've just been asleep. And now, Travis and Corey have woken them up again...Told with shivery, spine-tingling details, this short novel is sure to keep you up with a flashlight, as is the central mystery. Who were these people before they were ghosts? What horrible things happened to them when they were alive? And what evil presence still lurks around the inn, just waiting for its revenge?For educators and librarians:A solid addition to your mystery/horror collection, this book is great for middle school kids. This is more thriller-mystery than gory horror, so you won't have to worry about nightmares. But kids will get engrossed in the story quickly and might stay up a little too late to finish and find out what happens to Corey and Travis.Reading level: 5th--8th gradeAppropriateness: nothing to worry aboutWho would like this book: mystery readers, kids interested in horror novels or ghosts; would be a good recommendation for reluctant readers as well...
  • (3/5)
    Good ghost story for older elementary and junior high age kids with main characters who are believable (a brother and sister who are very mischievious). The ghosts become main characters and the reader wants justice so they can rest in peace.
  • (5/5)
    In this spine-tingling book from Mary Downing Hahn 12 year old Travis and his younger sister Corey are sent to live with their Grandmother for the summer. Being the energetic children they are, when they find out the Inn she runs is haunted they start causing mischief. Their fun and games quickly turn into terrifying moments when they awaken the evil spirit of Ada Jaggs, the woman who ran the poor farm that once sat there. Now Travis and Corey must find a way to rest the evil spirit and help the ghost of the children that still roam the grounds. Can they succeed?
  • (2/5)
    This book was ok I guess and its a decent ghost story, but I didnt really like it all that much. The ghosts are creepy and the history of the farm suitably grisly, but nothing truely unexpected happened. I didnt find the main character particularly likable and still dont understand why the problems in the story werent resolved differently.
  • (4/5)
    All The Lovely Bad Ones is a delightful YA story about a brother and sister who are sent to stay at their Grandmother’s country inn for the summer holidays. They read about the inn’s history, finding out it was once a community poor house, and also discover that it has a reputation for being haunted, even though their Grandmother firmly denies this.Deciding that they should provide the guests with a ghostly apparition, they stage a pretend haunting, but to their horror they find that they have managed to awaken the ghosts and now must deal with the situation. Eventually they realize they are dealing with two types of ghosts, a group of small boys that were once under the care of an evil woman Ada Jiggs, who is the other presence.The children vow to help the young ghosts by competing three tasks. First they must find Adas’ journal where she has entered the names of all the people she and her brother worked and starved to death and where they are buried. Secondly the young ghosts long for a headstone to mark both their and their families resting place. The most difficult task is the third one, to exorcise Ada. The author keeps this story moving along at a good pace, supplies the appropriate amount of chills, and although geared for children, I found All The Lovely Bad Ones a very engaging read.