Dawn Kurtagich


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Based on the legend of Faustus and set in the Welsh mountains, the story explores the events that took place in an ancient mill house where a centuries-old evil connects three girls across the centuries.

There be witches here...

Teeth in the Mist


A digital short story from The Dead House author Dawn Kurtagich 

There is a box. A box that should never have been discovered. And a warning beneath the lid.
This was for Kaitlyn. It was a mistake. Forget this box and leave the Isle. Don't look any further.

I'm begging you. N.C.D. 2005

After the inferno that swept through Elmbride High, claiming the lives of three teenagers and causing one student, Carly Johnson, to disappear, Naida Chounan-Dupre was locked away for the good of society.

But that wasn't the end of the story.

Because you can't play with the devil and not pay the price.

The chilling, psychological horror of The Dead House returns with never-before-seen footage of the Naida tapes.

★ Starred review from SLJ   |   ★ Starred review from VOYA
“Dark, twisted, and terrifying, And the Trees Crept In will keep your stomach in knots from page one. A must-read for horror fans everywhere!”

— Susan Dennard, New York Times Bestselling Author




Stay away from the woods...

A spine-chilling psychological thriller from stunning YA talent and author of THE DEAD HOUSE, Dawn Kurtagich.

When Silla and her little sister, Nori, escape London and their abusive father, Aunt Cath's country house feels like a safe haven. Leaving the smog and fear behind, the girls have the love and freedom they never had in their violent home. But slowly, ever so slowly, things begin to unravel.

Aunt Cath locks herself in the attic and spends day and night pacing; every day the surrounding forest inches slowly towards the house; a mysterious boy appears from the enclosing wood offering friendship, and Nori claims that a man watches them from the dark forest. A man with no eyes who creeps ever closer . . .

You can read an excerpt here.


What They're Saying:


"Will haunt readers with its raw emotions, palpable pain, and consistent character voices... Frightening and compelling, this gothic will easily sweep fans up into its creeping sense of hysteria."

--- Kirkus Reviews


“AND THE TREES CREPT IN is a hauntingly immersive tale of insanity, terror, and what happens when you’re not even safe in your own home.”



“Horror fans will be caught by the gripping cover image, and there’s plenty to scare them here, even during the second reading that the surprise ending might encourage them to undertake.” 

~~ The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books:


"Dark, twisted, and terrifying, And the Trees Crept In will keep your stomach in knots from page one. A must-read for horror fans everywhere!”

~~ Susan DennardNew York Times Bestselling author of Truthwitch and Windwitch


“AND THE TREES CREPT IN should come with a warning label: Best read in the light of day, with lots of smiling people around, and candy canes and unicorns and cute babies. A beautifully written, gorgeous nightmare of a novel.”

~~ David Arnold, Bestselling author of Mosquitolandand Kids of Appetite


“An enthralling, unsettling fairy tale that will have you turning pages long into the night.”

 ~~ Michelle Zink, author of This Wicked Game and Lies I Told


“A fight for survival, an encroaching forest, a cursed manor, and dark secrets… Kurtagich’s terrifying take wrapped my heart up and squeezed until I was as cold as the dead things haunting its pages.

~~ Alexandra Sirowyauthor of The Creeping and The Telling


“A tree. It’s a tree. I convince myself of this, almost fully. Until the thing steps forward, his head turning a fraction in my direction…”

— And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

“What an evil and original story . . . It’s a mystery within a mystery—and the shocks keep coming! Scary stuff!”

R. L. Stine, Bestselling Author of Goosebumps & Fear Street




Three students: dead. 
Carly Johnson: vanished without a trace. 

Two decades have passed since an inferno swept through Elmbridge High, claiming the lives of three teenagers and causing one student, Carly Johnson, to disappear. The main suspect: Kaitlyn, "the girl of nowhere." 

Kaitlyn's diary, discovered in the ruins of Elmbridge High, reveals the thoughts of a disturbed mind. Its charred pages tell a sinister version of events that took place that tragic night, and the girl of nowhere is caught in the center of it all. But many claim Kaitlyn doesn't exist, and in a way, she doesn't - because she is the alter ego of Carly Johnson. 

Carly gets the day. Kaitlyn has the night. It's during the night that a mystery surrounding the Dead House unravels and a dark, twisted magic ruins the lives of each student that dares touch it. 

Dawn Kurtagich masterfully weaves together a thrilling and terrifying story using psychiatric reports, witness testimonials, video footage, and the discovered diary - and as the mystery grows, the horrifying truth about what happened that night unfolds.

Read an Excerpt on Dawn's Wattpad here.

What They're Saying



"...a haunting new thriller..." --- EW.com


Kaitlyn/Carly Johnson is troubled. Suffering from dissociative identity disorder, Carly is awake during the day and Kaitlyn owns the night. The personalities leave each other notes to help smooth the transition; they lead separate lives. When the parents die suspiciously, Kaitlyn/Carly is moved to a psychiatric hospital and then a school for troubled teens. When a doctor integrates the personalities, Kaitlyn emerges; she believes that other forces are possessing her and trapping Carly. Then other teens go missing or are killed. This book will pique readers’ interest on multiple levels. Told through diaries, police interviews, psychiatrist’s notes, emails, video transcripts, and newspaper articles, this unique format puts the reader in the position of investigator. Finally, there is the horror component which will keep many readers anxiously waiting to see what comes next. 

--- Library School Connection


A horror tale made creepier by the integration of diary entries, grainy pictures, interview transcripts, newspaper clippings, doodles, stills from video recordings, and other media, Carly/Kaitlyn’s story is told as “found footage” pieced together by followers of “the Johnson incident,” which remains an unsolved mystery. Kurtagich maintains the creepy and dark tone through to the end, where readers are not given a neat a tidy ending—ghosts still haunt, pieces of the story remain missing, and life goes on despite the terrible tragedy at the prestigious Elmbridge High School.

--- Voya (October 2015 Print Issue)


Kurtagich’s debut is a taut, psychological suspense novel centered around disturbed teenagers Carly and Kaitlyn Johnson and the horrifying series of events that culminated in a deadly fire at a residential high school. The time line is recreated through a series of police files, diary entries, transcribed video footage, and newspaper stories, revealing that Carly/Kaitlyn share the same body, with Carly occupying the daytime hours and Kaitlyn the night. The two communicate via a series of notes, and, although Carly’s therapist believes she suffers from dissociative identity disorder, it’s not clear which girl is the primary persona and which is the alter ego. When the Carly personality disappears from Kaitlyn’s consciousness, she embarks on a grisly quest to find her in the “dead house” that is her mind. Not for the faint of heart, this is a gory and grimly compelling story, made more so by the novel’s visual elements. Readers will be left wondering if the supernatural elements are real or all part of a troubled girl’s damaged mind.

--- Booklist


"This creepy boarding school novel meshes real world issues with a paranormal mystery in a fun but scary debut... Fans of horror novels will appreciate the creepy photographs scattered throughout, and the multiple perspectives are smoothly integrates... A worthy addition to high school horror collections." 

--- School Library Journal


"I do love an unreliable narrator (or two) and this endlessly twisty psychological horror manipulated from the off. A Buzz Book of the Bologna Children's Book Fair in 2014, this is Orion imprint Indigo's biggest debut title of the year."

--- The Bookseller


". . . insightful characterization and a detailed exploration of the importance of the emergent identity to the teenage self."

--- Publisher's Weekly


"What an evil and original story. You can't stop reading Kaitlyn's diary. But is she real? It's a mystery inside a mystery--and the shocks keep coming. Scary stuff!"

--- R.L. Stine, bestselling author of the Goosebumps and Fear Street series


"All I could think when I finished THE DEAD HOUSE was that the author, Dawn Kurtagich, has an amazing mind. Creepy, but amazing. I loved it."

--- Christopher Pike, bestselling author of THIRST


"Full of twists, buried secrets, and enough disturbing corpses to please the most discerning horror lover, THE DEAD HOUSE is a thoroughly engrossing read. Diary entries, psychiatrist records, and transcripts from the investigation keep the pages turning late into the night. This is a harrowing tale, cleverly told." 

--- Kendare Blake, author of ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD


"Kurtagich weaves a terrifying and mind-bending tale reminiscent of H.P. Lovecraft. This is one of the best horror debuts I've read in a long time!" 

--- J.R. Johansson, author of CUT ME FREE and The Night Walkers Series


“The Dead House is a seamless blend of the supernatural and the psychological. Creepy, compelling, and compulsively readable.” 

--- Victoria Schwab, author of THE ARCHIVED and VICIOUS


'Spine-chilling,gruesome and mysterious;an exciting debut... difficult to put down,and even harder to forget' 

--- @TheBookbag




FromPublisher's Weekly:


LBYR in Global Deal for YA Debut

Alvina Ling, the executive editorial director at Little Brown Books for Young Readers, bought U.S. rights to Dawn Kurtagich’s debut YA novel, The Dead House, as part of a two-book deal. The psychological thriller was also acquired, simultaneously, in the U.K. by Jenny Glencross at Indigo (Orion’s YA imprint). Greenhouse Literary’s Sarah Davies orchestrated the U.S. sale, while Polly Nolan handled the U.K. one. Dead House, which is set for fall 2015, is about the discovery of a diary in the ruins of a high school that burned down a quarter-century earlier. The diary was written by the twin sister of a student who disappeared in the fire. LBYR said the novel is a “dark and compelling tale of lies, mystery, and deceit that will keep readers guessing until the very end.” The second book in the deal is currently untitled and unscheduled. Kurtagich, who lives in Wales but grew up in Africa, writes for YA blogs and is a member of the YA League.


FromThe Bookseller:


Orion’s YA imprint Indigo has acquired a debut YA psychological thriller from Wales-based writer Dawn Kurtagich in a six-figure pre-empt, simultaneously with Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in the US.
Indigo commissioning editor Jenny Glencross acquired the UK and translation rights for The Dead House in a two-book deal from Polly Nolan at the Greenhouse Literary Agency.

Simultaneously, Alvina Ling, executive editorial at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers acquired the US rights from Sarah Davies at Greenhouse Literary.
The Dead House is a psychological thriller based around the diary of a girl whom no-one is sure ever existed.
Glencross said the book blew her away with its “unsettling narrative” and “confident, fresh voice”. She said: “It’s utterly compelling and unforgettable, and hard to believe it’s a debut. Dawn is an exciting new YA voice and a rising star.”
Ling said: "The Dead House had me riveted from the first page, and kept me guessing until the very end. This is a book that will stay with you for a long time, a book that readers are going to be urging their friends to read, just so that they can talk about it together.”


Publisher's Marketplace:


Dawn Kurtagich's THE DEAD HOUSE, about the discovery of a diary in the ruins of a high school that burned down a quarter-century earlier, to Alvina Ling at Little, Brown Children's, and Jenny Glencross in the UK in a major deal, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, for publication in Fall 2015, by Sarah Davies in the US and Polly Nolan in the UK, both at Greenhouse Literary Agency.

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