The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian

After Airline Pilot Chip Linton’s emergency landing in Lake Champlain resulted in the death of most of his passengers on his small plane, Chip moved his wife Emily and their ten-year old twin daughters to a remote Victorian home in Northern New Hampshire. 

The plan was for Chip and his family to start fresh after the accident, but Chip is haunted by the memories of the crash, as well as it seems he is haunted by passengers that died on that fateful flight.  While Chip is battling the inner demons of the 39 lost people on his flight, a long ago sealed door is found in the basement of their home with 39 six-inch long carriage bolts.


While Chip makes a frightening discovery behind the bolted door… his wife Emily finds herself drawn to a group of herbalists in the area who seem to have taken an obsessive interest in her twin daughters.  Torn between the strange behavior her husband is now producing as he spends more and more time in the basement, and the odd women herbalists giving her children new names… Emily is left struggling to maintain her family when all she really wants to do is pack up and get far away from this strange place.

I am kind of digging this cover...

It’s hard to believe now that in my early 20’s horror/thrillers were my favorite genre.  Then, I read everything that Stephen King and Dean Koontz put out there.  As years went on, I went away from King, still enjoy a good Koontz, but have really moved on to a tamer, Harlan Coben for my fix. However, occasionally I have a craving (much like I do for 80’s music), where I want to dab a bit into the spooky genre, hoping to bring back the old thrills I used to get reading them.

This fact, along with my desire to read something by Chris Bohjalian, brought me to Night Strangers.  For this time of year, if just felt like it could be spooky good.

So… is it?

Well no doubt about it that Night Strangers will make you hear every bump in the night.  Putting anything in the basement is pretty spooky for me and that is barely touching the hair-raising happenings of Chris Bohjalian’s tale of the paranormal. 

I definitely got what I was craving and then some… I tend to lean more towards the good old spooky ghost stories than the modern paranormal horror so at times there was a bit of “WHOA!”  For the most part… I would call this book a ghost story with a triple energy drink kick. After all what s not to love about a book where not all your characters are living?  😯

If you are looking for a little spooky in your pre-Halloween week, look no further for great writing that will definitely make the hair on your neck tingle and have you checking the basement door. 


Amazon Rating

Goodreads Review

The 2011 WHERE Are You Reading map has been updated to include Night Strangers

I purchased this audio from

20 thoughts on “The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian

  1. Angie S.

    Read Secrets of Eden or Midwives. His books really make you think and they usually have plenty of twists. This book was good, but not one of his best.

  2. Sounds good! I want to read this book too. But that second cover… I thought: why does Sheila show us a cover of Her Fearful Symmetry here? Then I looked closer…

  3. Oh boy that is definitely a creepier cover than the one on the book I got from the library. I just started reading it. Can’t wait to get into it
    further. Have a great weekend!

  4. So funny, Sheila – I was the same way – read almost exclusively horror and suspense when I was younger. Ditto Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Now I rarely read stuff like that, though I am interested in Night Strangers because I have liked other Bohjalian novels.

    Thanks for the review –


  5. Thank you for your review. I had a hard time getting into the book. There were times, I wanted to call it quits. But, then all of a sudden it grabbed me. Now, I can’t put it down. I am so glad, I waited.

    The story is now, getting interesting, It is getting creepier, and creepier now. With calling the girls, a different names, the greenhouses, and the twin things.

    When I was reading on Halloween night, was not so bump in the night. I had to wait till this morning to get into it. Bad timing I quess. But, now it is evening, and I will start reading.

    Chris Bohjalian wrote a interesting article about the inspiration of The Night Stranger. He talks about scary books when he was a kid. If you have a chance check it out. You can find it either on his website or on his fb page. Happy Reading.

Comments are closed.