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The Haunting of Orchard Hill

🌿 A Hopeful Horror Novel 🌿

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Tell the bees I’m gone…

In the dead of night, Nina escapes her abusive husband with her baby son. She only gets as far as Orchard Hill when a swarm of bees forces her off the road and totals her car. 

A mysterious old woman offers to give them room and board in exchange for help around her farmhouse. But Nina begins to suspect there’s a dark past hidden in the creepy, desolated orchard.

Has Nina traded one nightmare only to enter another?

Ancient apple trees… eerie singing… tainted honey… her baby missing…

Nothing is as it seems at sunny Orchard Hill. As Nina uncovers its terrifying secrets, she’ll be pushed to her limits and come face to face with how far a mother will go to protect her son. 

Strap in for a spooky, honey-dipped ride!

The Buzz on the Book 🐝

“The Haunting of Orchard Hill is like a visit to granny’s house with a heaping side of honey and horror.”

Kacey Rayburn, author of Sing Our Bones Eternal

“The horror/gothic elements are bathed, softly, in sunlight. House and orchard are homely settings, slightly unsettled, within which to explore motherhood and romance, with a dark, gothic twist. The atmosphere (and, in ways the plot, too) is akin to ‘Practical Magic’.” 🐝

Generally Gothic

The Haunting of Orchard Hill is an eerie and suspenseful tale of supernatural terror. A hauntingly beautiful and chilling Gothic novel that will definitely stay with you for quite a while.”

Pan, Undead Dad Reads

“I loved Smith’s skilled blending of older gothic tropes and folklore with contemporary settings and characters. The ending of The Haunting of Orchard Hill was unexpected and satisfying, and I recommend this enjoyable, fast-paced novel!”

H.V. Patterson, Author

“The prose was poetic with gorgeous imagery that lifted the words right out of the book and pulled me inside to experience a special kind of horror, camaraderie, and love through Nina’s eyes. I have read many supernatural stories, but this one is unique in how it incorporates honeybee lore!”

Renee Cronley, Poet

“Oh, what small mercy can this be?
Have you found it in your heart to forgive me?
Gone, you are not, and so the bees I have not told
Though my house, my body, my soul have grown old
Ripe with life and love, apples are birthed from the trees
Mother and son have come; I’ll be brought to my knees
For what’s true is strange and thy honey, sweet
And I fear we’ll part before we can ever again meet”

Greta Richardson, The Haunting of Orchard Hill

The Haunting of Orchard Hill Playlist

Listen as you read… In The Haunting of Orchard Hill playlist, Nina’s musical voice, acoustic guitar fingerpicking, a playing style symbolic of how a mother’s hands are never still. With fingerpicking guitar, each finger has a meticulous and multi-tasking role in keeping the melody together, like how a woman plays multiple roles simultaneously to keep everyone around her together.

Throughout the playlist, we hear the guitar style change with her journey. At the beginning, the cadence is desperate, exhausted. At the climax of the story, she unifies her will in powerful strums that lead the charging drumbeat. By the end, it’s lighthearted and even playful, touched by subtle, supernatural synth and whispers of Greta’s presence represented by sustained violin accompaniment.

While Nina is represented by guitar, Greta is symbolized by its forerunner and elder; the violin. This instrument is capable of soaring highs and mournful lows. The violin and the guitar, like Greta and Nina, are very different in many ways but still complement each other beautifully when brought together.

Press play and immerse yourself in The Haunting of Orchard Hill.