I was a child of ~9-10 years old when I read this back in the early to mid-nineties. The book revolves around a boy who is taken to a home for children. Strange things begin to happen and the boy realizes that the home has a dark side.

I honestly remember very little (except for the fact that I enjoyed it), but I do remember a demonic twist to the story (not necessarily a religious bent though.) I recall gargoyle like creatures and that the children at the home began to disappear. I believe that they would reappear later, though seemingly they had been brainwashed.

That's really all that I recall, I hope it's enough to spark someone's memory.

  • It sounds like a dozen or so TV-series episodes. Presumably many of these were stories first. And there are even more stories like this not made into TV epsodes.
    – GEdgar
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 21:37

1 Answer 1


This might be a bit of a stretch, but Clive Barker's 'The Thief of Always' may fit the bill.

  • Time: It was published in 1992.
  • 'Taken to a home for Children' -- Rictus come to our hero, Harvey, after he has had a falling out with his parents, and offers to take him to the Holiday House.
  • There is a Gargoyle like creature, with a lot of teeth, named Carna.
  • Children do disappear; strictly speaking, they spend time down by the lake as their time gets close, eventually to disappear into it. Their appearance also starts to change to reflect their upcoming fate. They aren't exactly brainwashed, but seem pretty out of it as the time approaches, and aren't willing to talk about it.
  • Demonic Twist -- For sure: The house appears to be a Holiday House where children can come, and every day goes thru the whole cycle of the year, ending with the Christmas celebrations each night. As it turns out

the house is a vampiric entity that is feeding on the children's lives/time. Each day seems to cover the four seasons because it is; each 'day' in the house is costing the children a year in the real world -- when their time is up, they join the others in the cold, dark pond.

It's an excellent story written in a very strange way; it's a horror story, for adults (although there is nothing in it that a kid wouldn't be able to handle), but written from a child's perspective, and with a child's kind of twists and resolutions. It's the kind of story that lets an adult read it and feel like a child dreaming of such things; it's one of my favorites.
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  • 1
    You got it! I can't believe you figured it out with such a horrible description. Thank you. Commented Dec 21, 2014 at 20:16

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