The Story So Far

Lewis Barnavelt seriesWhen Lewis Barnavelt and his uncle Jonathan vacation in Europe, they are looking forward to meeting their English cousin Pelham. At Barnavelt Manor Lewis befriends the housekeeper's son Bertie and together they explore the mansion and grounds. But in the garden maze Lewis accidently unleashes demonic forces that summon the ghost of the wicked Malachiah Pruitt. Three hundred years earlier Pruitt had accused one of Lewis's ancestors of witchery and tried to have him burned at the stake. Now Pruitt's ghost has returned. Can Lewis fight the maniacal wizard or will all the Barnavelts perish?

The Vengeance of the Witch-Finder (1993), by John Bellairs and completed by Brad Strickland, is the fifth book in the Lewis Barnavelt series.



"The characters may be two-dimensional, but the well-devised plot and the spooky atmosphere will please the series' many fans as well as new readers who like their mystery stories scary." - Booklist



It was like running through molasses, or like trying to run with concrete blocks strapped to both feet. And he heard a horrible sound of thick breathing, as if some monstrous giant lay hidden just out of his sight. The humid air smelled moldy and rank, the smell of decaying plants and slimy earthworms and damp dirt. Somehow, one of the awful bushes suddenly sprang up right in front of him. He tried to stop, but the waving grass felt like the ocean pounding against his legs. It swept him forward, inch by inch. And as it pushed him closer, he saw something dreadful. At the base of the bush sat a human skeleton. The red shoots of the bush grew through its ribs, caressing them, clamping them, and holding the skeleton in position. The skull lolled down on the ribs. As the grass shoved Lewis forward, the skull slowly rose. The bush was growing as Lewis watched, like plants he had seen in a stop-motion movie film. The fleshless skull tipped back and back until he could see the face.

Green-glass spectacles covered the eye sockets.

"Bertie!" screamed Lewis. Only his voice came out as a whisper that ripped his throat.

The skull's jaw dropped open. It appeared to laugh silently at him. And then the glasses moved. Red twigs grew out of the eye sockets, waving and squirming like handfuls of worms. The horrible, writhing shoots pushed the glasses off. The spectacles dropped to the ground.

And now Lewis was so close that the branches began to wrap around his arms, drawing him closer to the hungry bush. The leaves had saw-toothed edges, and Lewis felt a million of them begin to cut into his face and hands and arms --

Read More Lewis Barnavelt!

The Ghost in the MirrorThe Doom of the Haunted Opera