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Sparrow Hill Road (Ghost Stories -1) by Seanan McGuire

Sparrow Hill Road (Ghost Stories #1) by Seanan McGuire

Ghost Stories series, aka Rose Marshall series by Seanan McGuire.

~ NEW series

Genres and Sub-Genres[]

Urban Fantasy

Series Description or Overview[]

This is a book of ghost stories about the afterlife of Rose Marshall, the sixteen-year old prom date who never actually made it to the prom. She's a "hitcher" now, a type of ghost who haunts the roadways looking for a ride. If a living person loans her a coat or a sweater, wearing it makes her solid again—until she takes it off, or dawn, whichever comes first. Sometimes she can identify and ride with people who are heading for an accident. Sometimes she can help them not get killed. Other times she can't stop them from dying, but she can lead their soul through the twilight to where they need to go. The author has created an interesting twilight world, where spirits of the dead occupy various levels and have various roles to play. Rose Marshall, despite having died at 16 in 1952, is a fully developed character who is believable as a person (ghost?), and I was rooting for her all the way. ~ Goodreads reader

Lead's Species[]

  • Ghost

Primary Supe[]

  • Ghosts

What Sets it Apart[]

  • ghost story told from the ghost's perspective.

Narrative Type and Narrators[]

  • First Person narrative told by Rose Marshall

Narrative Type[]

Told in first person by Rose and is alternately presented in present day and flashbacks.

Books in Series[]

Ghost Stories series:

  1. Sparrow Hill Road (2014)

Shorts, Novellas, Anthologies and Guides[]

  • 0.9. Good Girls go to Heaven
  • 2.5. Coins of Chaos

~ Full list of connected short stories: Seanan McGuire: Sparrow Hill Road

Companion Series or Spinoffs[]

Other Series by Author onsite[]

World Building[]


Rose Marshall

Rose Marshall — art by Aly Fell


  • Last Dance Diner: Rose's hub; run by Emma, a bean sidhe—safe haven for Rose and other Hitchers;

Supernatural Elements[]

Ghosts, ghostroads, twilight world, spirits, rulers of the crossroads, route-witches, other supernatural road creatures, bean sidhe, cars imbued with spirits, , , ,


  • Hitcher: type of ghost who haunts the roadways looking for a ride



Welcome to the midnight America, the place where people go when they slip into the cracks between light and darkness, a world of routewitches and oracles, demons and ambulomancers. It's the place where a man named Bobby Cross sold his soul to live forever...and where one pretty little dead girl is racing to save herself and stop the killings that began on Sparrow Hill Road. The rules are different here, and everyone's playing for keeps. Be careful. Be cautious. And listen to the urban legends, because they may be the only things that can save you from the man who waits at the crossroads, hunting souls to keep himself alive.

Welcome to the ghostroads.

Sparrow Hill Road (May 2014, DAW) is the story of Rose Marshall, who was the first victim of the man called Bobby Cross, although she was far from the last—and unlike most of them, she did not go easy into that good night. Sixty years down the line, she's still kicking ass, taking names, and more than a little bit pissed off about the way that she died. You want a good little ghost who'll stay where she's put and only haunt the people who deserve it? Go to a sleepover. You want the real story of the American ghostroads? Come and have a word with Rose. ~ Seanan McGuire: Sparrow Hill Road

✥ Sparrow Hill Road takes place in the same “world” as Seanan McGuire’s Incryptid series and she’s created this wonderful ghost world where each spirit has its place, and some are better left alone, and a world where cars can become imbued with spirits, taking on a life of their own. ~ My Bookish Ways


Everyone knows the urban legend about the girl who asks for a ride home; the one who turns out to have been dead all along. But where did she come from? Who was she? And how did she die? She's been called a lot of things: the Phantom Prom Day, the Girl in the Diner, and the Spirit of Sparrow Hill Road. Around here, we call her Rose.

Rose Marshall was sixteen years old in 1952, pretty as a picture, and in the wrong place at the wrong time. A drive along Sparrow Hill Road turned into a fight for her life—a fight she was destined to lose. Her story could have ended there, but a lucky break and a well-timed ride home set her on a different path. She's been running down the ghostroads ever since, one more casualty who never made it home.

A lot of people have said a lot of things about her; she's been called everything from angel to devil, from ghost story to myth to something more. They whisper her name everywhere from Michigan to Maine, from Wyoming to Washington...but no one knows what really happened that long-ago night at the top of Sparrow Hill. — Not until now. ~ Seanan McGuire: Sparrow Hill Road



Characters What About
Rose Marshall Ghost hitchhicks the roads, helping lost spirits, may become solid when wearing someone's sweater; 
Emma bean sidhe mans Last Dance Diner; without a family to protect; safe haven for Rose and other Hitchers;
Bobby Cross Rose's killer still out there, preying on innocents; Rose intends to stop him;
Gary boy Rose loved and planned to marry

To expand the table, in Edit–Visual mode, right-press on a Row of the table (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add Row or Column. Or, in Source Mode: copy-paste rows.

Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire


Seanan McGuire

Cover Artist[]

Artist: Aly Fell — Cover: Sparrow Hill Road

Publishing Information[]

  • Publisher: DAW
  • Author Page: 
  • Bk-1: Paperback, 312 pages, Pub: May 6th 2014—ISBN: 0756409616

Book Cover Blurbs[]

BOOK ONE—Sparrow Hill Road (2014): Rose Marshall died in 1952 in Buckley Township, Michigan, run off the road by a man named Bobby Cross—a man who had sold his soul to live forever, and intended to use her death to pay the price of his immortality. Trouble was, he didn’t ask Rose what she thought of the idea. It’s been more than sixty years since that night, and she’s still sixteen, and she’s still running. They have names for her all over the country: the Girl in the Diner. The Phantom Prom Date. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown. Mostly she just goes by “Rose,” a hitchhiking ghost girl with her thumb out and her eyes fixed on the horizon, trying to outrace a man who never sleeps, never stops, and never gives up on the idea of claiming what’s his. She’s the angel of the overpass, she’s the darling of the truck stops, and she’s going to figure out a way to win her freedom. After all, it’s not like it can kill her. You can’t kill what’s already dead. ~ Goodreads | Sparrow Hill Road


First Sentences[]

  1. Sparrow Hill Road — There is nothing more human than the ghost story.


Goodreads | Seanan McGuire Quotes (Author of Rosemary and Rue)

Read Alikes (similar elements)[]

See Category links at bottom of page




See Also[]

Category links at bottom of page

External References[]


Incryptid Books:

Characters, world, etc:



Author, Misc:

Community and Fan Sites:

Gallery of Book Covers[]