Looking for a horror book fit for the whole family? Then The Plague Pit by Alan Frewin Jones is for you. Part of the late 90’s Dark Path series by Macmillan Children’s Books, The Plague Pit promises good old-fashion monster-under-the-bed fear.
Tom, his brother Jack, and friends Frankie and Reagan wake up some bad mojo while visiting an excavation site in their small town of Lynchford England. Young archaeology enthusiasts, they aren’t really supposed to be down there, but what could it hurt, right? After a brick wall gives way knocking Tim over and spilling mud, sewage, and human remains into the underground excavation site, Tom wakes in the hospital. He’s swallowed some nasty water and they aren’t sure what illness he’s got, but it’s got the doctors stumped. Combined with Frankie hearing phantom bell tolls, Reagan smelling vinegar everywhere, and Jack’s sixth sense spinning out of control, the kids decide Tom is infected with more than just a muddy water cold. When Tom starts channeling plague victims long in the grave, the friends go on a mission to learn more about the excavation site and try to save their friend before he falls victim to a ghost curse.
Even though this book is obviously written for kids, I found it entertaining. Their investigation into the plague and different sorts of symptoms was interesting. I also really enjoyed the segments where the modern-day kids (Circa 1998 anyway) are terrorized by visions only they can see and hear. Especially when they all have a shared vision of an army of rats attacking them. Scary stuff! And yet, there isn’t much in here to really gross out your kids. I has the fear factor of a Goosebumps book and is entertaining, even for adults.