Let's see if I can be twice lucky today. I was given a children's or YA horror novel sometime in the '90s, which I actually never read as I found the premise too frightening at the time! Future Dan and his love for Lovecraftian horror scoffs at his past self. Here's what I remember:

I believe the book cover featured a looming cathedral, with a robed and hooded figure stood outside; from the robes, one could see a tentacle where the figure's arm should be.

The plot summary included a brother and sister; I think one of them fell under the sway of the evil force or cult in this cathedral, and their sibling had to save them.

That's all I've got. Let's see if anything hits!


While it does not match in every respect, I suspect you are remembering The Revenge of the Wizard's Ghost, the fourth Johnny Dixon novel by John Bellairs. Here are the front and back covers (illustrations by Edward Gorey):

Book Covers

The tentacled figure features prominently on a stained glass window from a chapel. It also appears in black and white on the frontspiece.


The main characters are Johnny and his two friends, the middle-aged Professor Childermass and Fergie. Johnny gets possessed by the ghost of the foe from the previous book, The Spell of the Sorceror's Skull, who was part of a family of evil magicians. This leaves Johnny an invalid for much of the book, until the curse is lifted by the efforts of the others, who need to recover two magical treasures from beneath the chapel on the villainous family's estate.

  • Bellairs was my thought too, but I wasn't certain on how to search for it. In retrospect, searching the covers ought to have been more obvious... :) – FuzzyBoots Nov 27 '17 at 12:51
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    @FuzzyBoots I didn't need actually need to search. Having read the book, the description of the tentacled figure was enough to clue me in. – Buzz Nov 27 '17 at 14:20
  • Oh man, I think you're right! The border and typeface on this version of the cover jog my memory. I'll do some more poking around and see if anything else comes up. – Dan J Nov 28 '17 at 0:53

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