The Haunted Room, by A.L.O.E.
Rating: 9 out of 10 stars
My term: Excellent
I don't give too many books 9 out of 10 stars, but The Haunted Room, despite its name, is really an excellent book. It is yet another interesting and thought provoking story by A.L.O.E. The narrative follows Emmie Trevor and her two brothers, Bruce and Vibert, as they move from their comfortable home near London to a run-down estate which their father has recently inherited. Upon arrival, they find the house rapidly going to ruin, the grounds an overgrown jungle, and the tenants almost as ignorant as savages. Worse yet, to Emmie, there is a bricked-up chamber in the house said to be haunted, and as the room next to it is in the best condition, it is the one chosen for her by her kind brother, Bruce, and fitted up to be her bedroom.
Shortly before moving, in a conversation discussing the “haunted room” with their uncle, the young people are challenged to search their hearts and see if they can find a “haunted chamber” there- some secret besetting sin which they are blind to, but appears plainly enough to others. They ask him to tell them what he sees as their “haunted chambers”, which he agrees to do. All are surprised, and somewhat angry when he complies with their request, and reveals that Bruce's besetting sin is pride, Emmie's mistrust and fear, and Vibert's selfishness.
Then they move to the new house, and Emmie soon realizes that her besetting sin is indeed the one pointed out by her uncle. She is terrified of almost everything- the storm she is caught in on arrival, the old housekeeper, the possibility of illness among the tenants, and most of all, the haunted chamber. Things go from bad to worse when she accidentally finds her way into it, and discovers not ghosts, but an evil trio who are carrying out their lawless business in the privacy of the old house. To make matters even worse, Vibert is neglecting his studies, and has fallen under the influence of a man who is teaching him to gamble, and using him as a cat's-paw for his own devices. The climax comes when Bruce mysteriously disappears and terrible news comes from London concerning Vibert. Emmie eventually overcomes her fear, and is the means of saving her brother's life, and then they travel together to London, as Bruce conquers his pride in his desire to save Vibert. In the months following, the younger brother overcomes his selfishness and learns to love others more than himself. Overall this is an excellent book, and I recommend it highly.
This book is available from Google books, and Project Gutenberg. Links below.
Gutenberg version: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/35533/35533-h/35533-h.htm
(Direct link to the book): http://books.google.com/books/reader?id=zv4BAAAAQAAJ&num=19&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&pg=GBS.PP1