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Who wrote "Dance Macabre"
I read a gothic novel about 20 years ago but I cannot remember who wrote it. The title was something like The Dance Macabre. It was about a woman hired to be a governess or something in a household where the baby was a demon child. If anyone has ever read this book, I'd like to know who wrote it and if she wrote any more gothics.
If you are talking about the book, that I think you are it is actually "Danse Macabre" by Stephen King. You should check this out to see if this is the book you were referring to.
The book that you are describing sounds a lot like The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. It's about a governess who is supposed to be in charge of 2 children. She ends up believing that the children are conspiring with 2 ghosts. It's a pretty decent book, in my opinion.
It has been over 20 years, but I distinctly remember the title as being "Dance Macabre" although it probably was spelled "Danse Macabre". I thought it was written by a woman. However, I will check out the Stephen King book and see. The story was about a boy (a toddler) who was actually the devil incarnate and he ruled the household. The governess was not aware of this until near the end. She was responsible for his older sister.
I don't know about the book, but I'm completely in love with the piece by Camille Saint Saens.
Epigraph Wrote:I don't know about the book, but I'm completely in love with the piece by Camille Saint Saens.

Thanks for the link. This is beautiful stuff!
Seriously, I think I'm becoming obsessed with finding this book. I was 13 at the time, so it's been over 25 years since I read it. However, I remember being affected by it because it was not long after "Omen". The villain was a baby that was possessed by the devil and his parents were enslaved. However, by day, he appeared quite normal. The heroine was a nanny or governess. It took place in an old mansion or castle or something.

When I read this book, Stephen King had not come out with Danse Macabre. Also, I know this book was a work of fiction. King's is nonfiction, something of a memoir. If anyone knows of this book or if the plot sounds familiar but under a different title, please let me know.
Try to narrow the dates down even more if you can because you still have a wide range to cover. You said you read it 20-25 years ago which would be about 1984-1989, but you also said you read it shortly after The Omen was released and that was 1976. Omen II came out in 1978 and Omen III came out in 1981. You also said it was before Stephen King's Danse Macabre was published but that was published in 1981. So, no offense, but your memory isn't too exact. If you can narrow it down even more it would help. Also, was it a new book at the time or was it already old? I found a couple old novels by that title.

There is a book by that title by Kathleen Kellow (aka Jean Plaidy). It's an older book and I don't know anything about it but looking at her other books I'd suggest you look into it. There is also a book of that title by Frederic Mullally that I'm not familiar with. It looks too old too but more importantly, it doesn't look like a lurid horror book anyway.

Are you sure it was a real novel and not a novelization of a movie? You might check a list of movies from that era too and see if there was a movie based on the book or visa versa.
Well, I read the book around 1982-1983. It was an old paperback with a Gothic cover, which did not look like a movie novelization, although I cannot tell you what it looks like now. Because it was old, I'm sure it was published before Stephen King, and I was under the impression King's book came a few years after. Also, I read the book after seeing the Omen movies, so the effect of demon possession was still strong. I didn't say I read it soon after the movie was released, just after watching it.

I'm reading Kathleen Kellow's now and it is not it. I found a synopsis of Mullaly's book and it is not it either.

What I'm thinking is that it may have had another name and Danse Macabre may have been a subtitle or something.
Hmmm. I'm not sure how to look for a book with just the info you gave. I'm sure you've already tried all the obvious things that I would think of first. I agree with Jewel above that the plot does sound sort of like The Turn of the Screw by Henry James but that plot has been ripped off more times than I can count. I'm doing a lot of gothic research right now for something of my own but I'm not sure I'm covering the right era to help you. However, if I get any ideas I'll post them.

Do you remember any other details like the city it took place in, the time frame, or character names?

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