With Crooked Hills, I wanted to write a real horror story for kids. This is a book with real frights, real consequences, and real fun. It draws inspiration from the folk tales and ghost stories that creeped me out as a kid… as well as some real lie experience. It’s a book that I think young readers and their parents will enjoy reading.

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Young Charlie Ward and his friends uncover age-old mysteries in the Ozarks town of Crooked Hills—the most haunted town in America!


For Charlie Ward and his brother, Alex, an unexpected trip to visit their Aunt Mary in the haunted town of Crooked Hills turns into a life-changing adventure, forcing them to confront local bullies, hell hounds, dead witches, and girls with slingshots!

A throwback to classic adventures like that of the Hardy Boys, mixed with the creepiness of “Goosebumps” and “Cirque Du Freak”, Cullen Bunn’s “Crooked Hills” blends mystery and adventure to weave a fun and unforgettable story of will, friendship and family bonds.


Juvenile Fiction
Ghost Stories
Nine and up
5.25″ X 8″
“Get in on the ground floor of what may be the next great kids horror series.”
“What makes this for me is Charlie’s narrative voice. He is precocious but still believable as a smart, curious kid who is still susceptible to a good fart joke or a well-placed can of tarantulas.”
—Kate Sherrod, Kate of Mind
“Cullen Bunn has come blasting out of the woods to deliver one of the most intense, adventurous, non-stop thrill rides you’re likely to experience in modern horror fiction for kids.”
“One of the most fun, delightful reads (even for adults!), I will say that if you read only one YA book this year, Crooked Hills should be it without a question. It will remind you why you got into horror in the first place, and introduce you to a great story with a fantastic cast of characters that you won’t soon forget.”
“. . . parents and children alike will be able to enjoy it for what it is . . . a chilling, thrilling ride . . .”
—J.G. Flaherty, Horror World
“Bunn recognizes everyone must deal with issues such as death and fear, or even grapple with bullies or feelings of isolation. He handles these matters with care, through the eyes of an empathetic and relatable hero who has a good sense of humour.”
— Jessa Sobczuk, Rue Morgue Magazine
“If you want your child to start loving horror as much as you do, this is the book to give them.”
— Sheri White, Horror Fiction Review
“Right from the beginning, “Crooked Hills” brought a smile to my face. … Just a few pages in, and I wished I was curled up in a window seat, storm brewing for added effect, all alone in a creepy old house. … Highly recommended.”
—Brandi Blankenship, MonsterLibrarian.com
“This book is bound to make your kids keep reading. Almost every chapter ends with a spooky cliffhanger that kept me turning pages late into the night.” Rating: 5-Stars
—Meghan Graves, Denver Book Examiner
Crooked Hills combines all the best aspects of classic children’s mystery books with paranormal chills and adventure.  Think “The Hardy Boys meet Supernatural“.  The characters are well-drawn and sympathetic and the action is fast-paced and fun.
Charlie’s voice is spot on, mixing a sense of fear and trepidation with youthful excitement and an old-fashioned “gee whiz” factor.  Even more impressive is Bunn’s ability to depict genuinely scary antagonists while still keeping the book readable by a young audience.  This book really is the total package.”
“Let’s get one thing perfectly clear from the get-go: This is not a “kiddie” book. Author Cullen Bunn doesn’t talk down to the readers, doesn’t dumb thing down for lower grade levels. To the contrary, he tells a tight story with good detail, excellent plot, and does it without pandering. Sure, the characters are easily relatable to the nine-to-fourteen market, but that’s because that’s who they are. Far from mollycoddling, Bunn puts the readers in the dark and leaves them there without so much as a match for light, then he pounds on the door to give them a thrill. And it works well enough that even the parents of the children who read this book (and the ones that come after it) will enjoy them.”


  1. Dan Skinner January 13, 2013 11:28 am

    My Daughter and I are on our 2nd (my3rd) reading. Still just as fun as the first time.

  2. Shawne Albero November 12, 2015 5:23 am

    Really liked “Crooked Hills”! We hope you write another.

  3. Kyle Grant January 13, 2016 4:25 pm

    I really liked this book. And I do hope another one is going to come out.

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