Thursday, 1 May 2014

Hour of the Doomed Dog by Sam Hay - Blog Tour!


Hour of the Doomed Dog is the eighth and last in the hugely popular spooky but sweet series by Sam Hay, Undead Pets. From budgies to guinea pigs, Joe has helped lots of pets pass to the other side...

This book tells the story of Frankfurter, a sausage dog who needs Joe's help before he can pass over. Moments before his encounter with a revolving door, Frankie overheard two men plotting to burgle the hotel that is run by his owner. Frankie needs Joe's help to stop the robbery and bring the criminals to justice.

About the Author

Sam Hay is the author of the Undead Pets series, published by Stripes. The latest book in the series - Hour of the Doomed Dog is out now.

Sam grew up in Scotland and worked as a journalist before becoming a children’s author. She has written more than 20 books and lives in Wales with her family in a not-very-spooky-looking house. 

Guest Post


There aren’t any creepy old houses or ivy-clad graveyards in the Undead Pets series. There are no jangling skeletons or ghastly ghouls. And the zombie critters who come back to haunt ten year-old Joe Edmunds are more silly than scary. But sometimes, as Joe discovers, it’s the stuff you don’t think will be frightening that turns out to be the creepiest of all!

I live in a 1970’s house. There are no flagstone floors or low-beamed ceilings. No dark cellars or secret tunnels. It looks absolutely nothing like a haunted house. And yet, we’ve got a ghost. One that snores!

Okay I know snoring is not as good as chain-rattling. But it’s still a bit spooky.

We know it’s not us doing the snoring. Or the kids. Or the pets. And it can’t be our neighbours as we haven’t got any. Our loft is titchy - there’s no space for a snoring squatter. And it’s not mating hedgehogs. We had them last year and it’s a completely different noise.

I lie there in the dark sometimes, wondering whether it’s the ghost of some old man-of-the-road, who used to winter on the land where they built our house. Maybe he’s grumpy that his sleeping-spot’s been gazumped - and he’s come back to haunt us.

You see, sometimes it’s the small stuff; the things you can’t see, only hear, or perhaps just sense, that can make you the most sweaty...

Stuff like:

Your own back garden, at night!

I’ve always found it odd that the back gardens look different in the dark. Shadows. Strange shapes. The ghastly creak of a swing moving in the wind.... Utterly terrifying!


Maybe I watched too many teenage slasher movies in the 80s, but campsites have always given me the willies. Try taking a torch and venturing off into the woods at dusk. Rustling leaves. Creature noises. The sound of breaking twigs. It’s like someone’s stalking you!


If you survive the forest go somewhere busy. Places with lots of people can be super scary too. If you lose sight of your friends in a packed theme park or at a festival it’s un-nerving. Strangers look...well, strange. If you panic you’ll probably lose your bearings... Did I turn left at the port-a-loos or right at the falafel stand? Until eventually you start wondering whether you’ll ever find your way home again? I reckon there’s an army of people who’ve spent years trying to find the exit at Alton Towers.

Your siblings’ bedroom!

When I was a kid there was nothing creepier than nosing around in my big brother’s bedroom, uninvited. NOTHING! At any moment I expected to feel a hand on my shoulder. A scream of ‘What are you doing in here!’ followed by a dead-leg, a wrist burn and a skull crunch. Imagining this still makes me shudder. I’m 41.


I think museums should come with a health warning.


All museums scare me. I feel I’m being watched. And not by the gift-shop CCTV. The two scariest museums I’ve been to are The House of Detention - a 300 year old prison in Clerkenwell, which is closed now. Thank goodness. It was WAY too scary to stay open. And Usk Rural Life Museum, in Wales, which is quite an unlikely haunt-fest as it’s mostly full of old milk churns and farm tools. But when I stepped inside, there was a sudden blast of cold air, and a deadly hush, like I’d just interrupted a ghostly meeting. All eyes were on

me! Actually there really were some eyes on me because the museum had quite a few dressed-up dummies. Which brings me on to the ultimate scariest thing in the world....


I can’t stand them. If we go to a museum I have to send my kids in first to check out how scary the mannequins look. I think it’s the eyes; that glassy dead-eyed stare. It’s bad enough when the dummies are just dressed up and not doing anything. But if they move... Noooo! Moving Waxworks SHOULD NOT be allowed.

And it’s not just me. Lots of people don’t like waxworks. There’s even a name for this fear. Automatonophobia. Apparently it’s the lack of facial expressions that gives us the sweats. And chances are, if you don’t like waxworks, you won’t like dolls or masks much either.

Adults often tell children they’ll grow out of their fears. But I didn’t. The older I get the more stuff scares me. I reckon your imagination grows up, with you. I’m secretly quite glad because it makes the world a more exciting place. If there was a rational explanation for everything - how dull! That’s why I’m happy to lie in bed at night and listen to our ghostly man-of-the-road snoring. I think I’ll maybe even miss him this summer, if he takes off to go a-wandering again.


Some common fears, as well as some unusual ones!

The Dark








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