How to Sell a Haunted House
October 28, 2022
Book Review

How to Sell a Haunted House

reviewed by Chelsea Hofmann

“A puppet is a possession that possesses the possessor”

Why did their parents flee their home in the middle of the night? What had them in such a rush that they were killed instantly in a car crash? That’s what Louise and Mark Joyner want to know. The estranged siblings lost their parents in an instant, but nothing has prepared them for their next task- selling a haunted house. 

Their mother collected puppets, and the house is filled to the brim with the dolls of their childhood. Each sibling is harboring a dark secret about one puppet in particular- Pupkin. He led them through their childhood, and seemed to take on a life of his own…but now he has a life of his own? Going through the house, Pupkin comes alive in a new and terrifying way. He doesn’t want the house to sell, and Mark and Louise start to realize that the only way to break away from their past might be to burn it all down.

Hendrix has the uncanny ability to write horror in a funny and entertaining way. This story made me scared to sleep with the lights off, sick to my stomach, and laughing out loud all in the same few chapters. It is first and foremost a horror book, but the undercurrent of meaning behind the plot touches on how sometimes we feel like puppets, controlled by our childhoods. Our past can keep us safe, but it can also bind and suffocate us. 

Memories are subjective, and nothing really is as simple as we think. This book exacerbated my already fragile fear of puppets and took it to a whole new level. I found myself wanting to look away from the book, but simultaneously obsessed with finishing each chapter. Fans of The Southern Book Clubs Guide to Slaying Vampires will fall in love with How To Sell A Haunted House.  

Thank you to Berkley Publishing and Grady Hendrix for my ARC of this book. Opinions are my own. How To Sell A Haunted House comes out on January 17, 2023

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