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Encyclopedia > Haunted (novel)
Title Haunted

First edition cover
Author Chuck Palahniuk
Cover artist Jacket design by Rodrigo Corral Design
Jacket photograph by Jeff Middleton
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Novel, horror, satire
Publisher Doubleday
Released May 3, 2005
Media type Print (Hardcover & Paperback), audio cassette, audio CD, and audio download
Pages 404 pp (first edition, hardcover)
ISBN ISBN 0-385-50948-0 (first edition, hardcover)

Haunted is a 2005 novel by Chuck Palahniuk. The plot is a frame story for a series of 23 short stories, most preceded by a free verse poem. Each story is preceded and followed by a chapter of the main narrative, is told by a character in main narrative, and ties back into the main story in some way. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Charles Michael Chuck Palahniuk (IPA: )[1] (born February 21, 1962) is an American satirical novelist and freelance journalist born in Pasco, Washington. ... In political geography and international politics a country is a geographical entity, a territory, most commonly associated with the notions of state or nation. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... A novel (from French nouvelle Italian novella, new) is an extended, generally fictional narrative, typically in prose. ... Horror fiction is, broadly, fiction in any medium intended to scare, unsettle, or horrify the reader. ... 1867 edition of the satirical magazine Punch, a British satirical magazine, ground-breaking on popular literature satire. ... A publisher is a person or entity which engages in the act of publishing. ... It has been suggested that The Crime Club be merged into this article or section. ... May 3 is the 123rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (124th in leap years). ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... The barcode of an ISBN . ... // Events February 25 - Canada Reads selects Rockbound by Frank Parker Day as the novel to be read across the nation. ... A novel (from French nouvelle Italian novella, new) is an extended, generally fictional narrative, typically in prose. ... Charles Michael Chuck Palahniuk (IPA: )[1] (born February 21, 1962) is an American satirical novelist and freelance journalist born in Pasco, Washington. ... A frame story (also frame tale, frame narrative, etc. ... This article is in need of attention. ... Free verse is term describing various styles of poetry that are not written using strict meter or rhyme, but that still are recognizable as poetry by virtue of complex patterns of one sort or another that readers will perceive to be part of a coherent whole. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

The synopsis on the dustjacket describes Haunted as a satire of reality television, but according to Palahniuk, the novel is actually about "the battle for credibility" that has resulted from the ease with which one can publish through the use of modern technology.[1] This article does not cite its references or sources. ...

The cover of the 2006 U.S. trade paperback reprint features a glow-in-the-dark image. A trade paperback can refer to any book that is bound with a heavy paper cover that is generally cheaper than the hardcover but more expensive than the regular paperback version. ... Phosphorescence is a radiative transition involving a change in the spin multiplicity of a molecule. ...


The main narrative

The main story centers on a group of 17 individuals (all of which go by nicknames based on the story they tell) who have decided to participate in a secret writer's retreat. After having noticed an invitation to the retreat posted on the bulletin board of a cafe in Oregon, the characters follow instructions on the invitation to meet Mr. Whittier, the retreat's organizer. Whittier tells them to each wait for a bus to pick them up the next morning and bring only what they can fit into one piece of luggage (in particular, only what they feel they need most).

The next day, the 17 characters, Whittier, and his assistant Ms. Clark are all driven to an abandoned theatre. There, Whittier locks all of them inside the theatre, telling them they have three months to each write one story before he will allow them to leave. In the meantime, they will have enough food and water to survive, as well as heat, electricity, bedrooms, bathrooms, and a clothes washing machine provided.

The characters live under harmless conditions at first. However, the characters (not including Whittier or Clark) eventually decide that they could make a better story of their own suffering inside the theatre, and thereby become rich after the public discovers their fate. They then begin to individually sabotage the food and utilities provided to them, each character trying to only destroy one food or utility to slightly increase the drama of their stay. However, as no single character is aware of the others' plans, they end up destroying all their food and utilities, forcing all of them to struggle to survive starvation, cold, and darkness.


The following are the 19 characters in the main narrative, along with the stories they tell:

  • Brandon Whittier (aka Mr. Whittier) - A wheelchair-bound rich man who owns the abandoned theatre and hosts the writer's retreat. Though he appears to be a very old man, he is in fact a 13 year old boy who suffers from progeria.
    • "Dog Years", "Obsolete"
  • Tess Clark (aka Ms. Clark) - A failed amateur porn actress who has become Whittier's assistant to learn what happened to her daughter, Cassandra, at Whittier's last writer's retreat.
    • "Post-Production", "The Nightmare Box", "Poster Child", "Cassandra"
  • Saint Gut-Free - An abnormally skinny man who lost part of his lower intestine in an accident involving masturbation.
  • Mother Nature - A reflexologist and homeopathic therapy expert who was once employed in prostitution based around her skills with reflexology. She has joined the retreat to escape the mafia, who are out to kill her for abandoning her job and being an accessory to the murder of her friends pimp.
    • "Foot Work"
  • Miss America - A model who wants to become famous. She is pregnant when the main story begins.
    • "Green Room"
  • Lady Baglady (real name: Evelyn Keyes) - A rich woman who, along with her husband, used to pretend to be homeless to get over her boredom with being rich. After she and her husband witness a crime leading to the murder of a wealthy Brazilian heiress, her husband is murdered by the captors, and a string of homeless people are murdered in the search for her. She comes to the retreat to escape the people who want to kill her.
    • "Slumming"
  • The Earl of Slander - A reporter who slanders and murders a former child television actor in order to write a Pulitzer Prize-winning article about his supposed suicide.
    • "Swan Song"
  • The Duke of Vandals - An amateur artist who sneaks paintings into museums. He later becomes a respected professional when he murders a famous artist as a favor to the man who funds the other artist. He has come to the retreat to escape the same fate as the other artist.
    • "Ambition"
  • Director Denial - The director of a police station. She brings with her a cat named Cora Reynolds, named after its former owner, a co-worker who killed herself trying to stop other police officers from using anatomically correct dolls for sexual purposes.
    • "Exodus"
  • Reverend Godless - A former soldier who, with a group of other soldiers, raises money by lip-syncing in drag and allowing people to assault him in order to fund a war on religion.
    • "Punch Drunk"
  • The Matchmaker - A man who dresses similar to a cowboy. He convinced his wife to marry him after hiring a male prostitute to ruin her idea of the perfect man.
    • "Ritual"
  • Sister Vigilante - A religious woman who carries a bowling ball (with which she may or may not have killed people).
    • "Civil Twilight"
  • Chef Assassin (real name: Richard Talbott) - A professional chef who murders critics who write negative reviews of his cooking and blackmails knife manufacturers by threatening to tell the world that he uses only their knives to commit his deeds.
    • "Product Placement"
  • Comrade Snarky - A woman who is critical of other women's looks. When she was a child her parents divorced and her mother continually warned her that her father might sexually abuse her. This, however, never occurred but because of it she has been wary and critical of men for her entire life.
    • "Speaking Bitterness"
  • Agent Tattletale (real name: Eugene Denton) - A man who becomes temporarily crippled and tries to cheat the company he worked for out of worker's compensation after he recovers. After killing a man who was collecting evidence on him for the company, he takes that man's job and is almost killed by a woman who he spied on.
    • "Crippled"
  • The Missing Link - A member of the Chewlah, a tribe of people who are, according to local rumor, able to transform into sasquatches.
    • "Dissertation"
  • The Countess Foresight (real name: Claire Upton) - A woman with psychic powers. She was arrested for murdering a man who she believed murdered Marilyn Monroe. She now wears an electronic tracking bracelet as part of the terms of her parole.
    • "Something's Got to Give"
  • The Baroness Frostbite (real name: Miss Leroy) - A former employee of the White River Lodge, a lodge that had several deadly hot springs near it. She lost her lips to frostbite while trying to save someone from an accident at the hot springs.
    • "Hot Potting"
  • Miss Sneezy (real name: Lisa Noonan) - A woman with chronic sinus problems. She claims to carry an incurable disease, and that she escaped from a government isolation facility.
    • "Evil Spirits"

The term Progeria narrowly refers to Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria syndrome, but the term is also used more generally to describe any of the so-called accelerated aging diseases. The word progeria is derived from the Greek for prematurely old. Because the accelerated aging diseases display different aspects of aging, but... Haunted is a 2005 novel by Chuck Palahniuk. ... This is an example of a reflexology chart, correlating areas of the feet with organs in the zones of the body. ... Samuel Hahnemann, the father of homeopathy Homeopathy (also spelled homœopathy or homoeopathy), from the Greek words όμοιος, hómoios (similar) and πάθος, páthos (suffering)[1], is a pseudoscientific alternative medicine that aims to treat like with like. ... The Pulitzer Prize is an American award regarded as the highest national honor in print journalism, literary achievements, and musical composition. ... “Sasquatch” redirects here. ... Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962), was a Golden Globe Award-winning American actress, singer, model and pop icon. ... Green Dragon Spring at Norris Geyser A hot spring is a place where warm or hot groundwater issues from the ground on a regular basis for at least a predictable part of the year, and is significantly above the ambient ground temperature (which is usually around 55~57 F or...


The book is best known for the short story "Guts", which had been published previous to the book in the March 2004 issue of Playboy magazine as well as on Palahniuk's website (Palahniuk offered to let them publish another story along with it, but the publishers found the second work too disturbing). It is a tale of violent accidents involving masturbation. The first issue of Playboy. ...

While on his 2003 tour to promote his novel Diary, Palahniuk read "Guts" to his audiences. It was reported that over 35 people fainted while listening to the readings. On his tour to promote Stranger Than Fiction: True Stories in the summer of 2004, he read the story to audiences again, bringing the total amount of fainters up to 53, and later up to 60, while on tour to promote the softcover edition of Diary. The last fainting occurred on September 25, 2004, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Palahniuk is apparently not bothered by these incidents, which have not stopped fans from reading "Guts" or his other works. Cover of Chuck Palahniuks Diary Diary (2003, 260 pages) is a novel that was written by Chuck Palahniuk. ... Stranger Than Fiction: True Stories (published in the United Kingdom under the title Nonfiction) is a non-fiction book by Chuck Palahniuk, published in 2004. ... September 25 is the 268th day of the year (269th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... shelby was here 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... For the railroad company, see Ann Arbor Railroad. ... Official language(s) None (English, de-facto) Capital Lansing Largest city Detroit Area  Ranked 11th  - Total 97,990 sq mi (253,793 km²)  - Width 239 miles (385 km)  - Length 491 miles (790 km)  - % water 41. ...

In a September 2004 reading of "Guts" at Cooper Union in New York City, no listener admitted to fainting. When Palahniuk showed surprise, many members of the audience replied, "This is New York!" in a nod to the alleged inability to shock the city's denizens. Nickname: Location in the state of New York Coordinates: Country United States State New York Boroughs The Bronx Brooklyn Manhattan Queens Staten Island Settled 1625 Government  - Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) Area  - City  468. ...

Many are skeptical about the fainting claims, attributing them to fans passing out for a humourous effect as well as wanting to contribute to the count and nauseous audience members claiming to fully pass out.

"Guts" begins with the narrator telling the reader to hold their breath for the duration of the story, which may have something to do with the faintings.

The narrator then describes three unnerving incidents involving adolescent boys masturbating. First, he describes a boy inserting a carrot into his rectum to stimulate his prostate while masturbating, and then hiding the carrot in a pile of laundry. His mother later takes the laundry away and presumably discovers the lubricated carrot, but never mentions it to him. Next, the narrator describes a young boy inserting a thin stick of candle wax into his urethra to stimulate it while masturbating. The wax slips back into the boy's bladder, requiring surgery to remove it. Finally, the narrator describes an incident in which he sat on the water intake at the bottom of a swimming pool while masturbating. The suction caused his rectum and lower intestines to prolapse and become tangled in the filter, forcing the narrator to gnaw through his own innards in order to free himself and avoid drowning. The narrator's sister later becomes impregnated by semen deposited by the narrator in the pool, which results in her having an abortion. Prolapse literally means To fall out of place. ...

In all three cases, although the parents of the boys involved knew about the incident, they never discussed it afterwards, causing all three to figuratively "hold their breath" while they waited for the reaction that never came.

Purportedly all three of these incidents are based on true stories. According to Palahniuk, the first two tales came from his friends' experiences and the third he heard while shadowing sexual addiction support groups. In one of these groups, he met an extremely thin man. When Palahniuk asked him how he stayed so thin, he told him "I had a massive bowel resectioning." When Palahniuk asked what he meant, he told him the story which was the basis for the third episode in 'Guts'. Sexual addiction (sexual compulsion)—a postulated form of psychological addiction—is a hotly debated topic with numerous critics and evidence on both sides of the debate. ...

Spoilers end here.


  • ISBN 0-385-50948-0 (hardcover, 2005)
  • ISBN 1-4000-3282-2 (paperback, 2006)


June 20 is the 171st day of the year (172nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 194 days remaining. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
  • Official book website
  • Information about Haunted at ChuckPalahniuk.net
  • Audio recording of Chuck Palahniuk reading "Guts"
  • Guts

  Results from FactBites:
Haunted (novel) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1651 words)
Haunted (2005, 404 pages) is a novel written by Chuck Palahniuk that was released on May 3, 2005.
The plot is a frame story for a series of 23 short stories (most of which are preceded by a free verse poem) with a chapter in the main narrative before and after each one.
According to Palahniuk, though, the novel is actually about "the battle for credibility" that has resulted from the ease at which one can publish through the use of modern technology.
Chuck Palahniuk Haunted Reviewed by Rick Kleffel (978 words)
His latest novel, 'Haunted', is an obvious fix-up of short stories strung together by a creepy battle to control the story.
As a novel, 'Haunted' may be a bit less than the sum of its parts.
'Haunted' is a series of short stories told by the participants of a writing retreat that starts out strange and rapidly turns into a horror movie.
  More results at FactBites »



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