The Alexander House



As David Caine stopped his Toyota Camry outside the Alexander House, he had been mildly prepared for the supernatural occurrences that were maybe or maybe not about to transpire. However, he would soon find out that a couple of bumps in the night would be the least worrisome problems.

In Jonathan Janz’s The Siren and the Specter, the protagonist goes on a wild ride that involves troublesome neighbors, long-lost friendships and a whole lot of paranormal activity. It starts at the Alexander House – built in the 1700s and home to notorious ghost stories. David’s friend, Chris Gardiner, and his new wife, Katherine Mayr, recently purchased the house and are looking for David to spend a month inside to gather any compelling evidence he may witness about the house’s past.

This isn’t David’s first journey into the unknown, as he’s penned similar works, but each of his former novels has come out with a pessimistic ending. He brings that outlook into the Alexander House, which is sure to put him in a predicament.

This story is unpredictable in the greatest form of the word. By simply reading the back cover, the reader can assume it’s a typical haunted house story. What lies within the pages goes beyond seeing apparitions and talking to the dead. Instead, there are jump scares as real as a horror film and plot twists that no one could have possibly seen coming. The plot twists happen more often than not, but aren’t overused or overdramatic. They not only keep the storyline entertaining, but they better explain a smaller part of the story that may have gone over the reader’s head.

There are a number of characters introduced throughout the book, but not to the point where they’re hard to keep track of. Each character is memorable in an individual way, and the part they play within the story is kept clear and concise.

Another fascinating piece is the story within the story. Through David’s research on the Alexander House, he read a book titled The Last Haunting: The Curious Disappearance of John Weir. The author of the fictional book, Dr. Isaiah Hartenstein, wrote his own content in addition to the content John Weir wrote in a personal journal while occupying the house. Excerpts from The Last Haunting are placed into the book, which adds an extra piece of awe that the story already produces.

The Siren and the Specter is a modern horror piece of art that can compete with the classics. Its twists and turns satisfy the reader while keeping them on the edge with spooks and scares. The only real complaint is that the story indeed ended. Or did it?