It can be very difficult to find children’s fiction that provides exciting adventure without sacrificing sterling quality, and a Christian message without moralizing. The Haunted Room by A.L.O.E. (A Lady of England) is one of these rare gems. Suitable for a wide range of readers, or perhaps even as a family read-aloud, this tale is not just another ghost story.
The Trevor family inherits an old house with a room that has been closed up for fifty years, and strange stories about it are told among the servants. However, dismissing all foolish notions of ghosts and supernatural occurrences, Captain Arrows tells his two nephews and his niece of a real haunted room — the haunted room of their hearts, where their pets sins are carefully hidden away. Although the children at first deny the presence of their character flaws, an accidental discovery of the secrets of the haunted room entangle them in perilous circumstances, bringing each of them face-to-face with their cherished sin.
As Scripture says, the heart is deceitful above all things. Our most deeply rooted sins are often the ones we are the most blind to, but as The Haunted Room shows, by God’s grace they can be overcome. Human weakness can be swallowed up in Christ’s strength to produce a beautiful victory.
The Haunted Room will provide pages of thrilling suspense, but in the words of the author:
Its object has been to lead the reader to search the haunted chamber of his own heart, to discover there the lurking ministers of evil who may, unknown even to himself, have made it their secret abode. Let us resolutely and prayerfully resolve, at whatever cost of humiliation and shame, to know ourselves, to recognize and face the sin that so easily besets us. Let the brickwork of ignorance be thrown down, and let not spiritual sunshine be shut out from the self-deceived heart. Pride, Self-love, cowardly Mistrust of God’s wisdom and goodness, are natural to our fallen nature; but the entrance of His Word into the heart is as that of the glorious beams of the day, — joy, brightness, and holiness follow the admission into its deepest recesses of the pure, life-giving light of Heaven!