John Bellairs was born on January 17, 1938, in the small town of Marshall, Michigan, where his father owned a saloon. The business was less than stable, and John's mom often worried about money. Even when very young, John was conscious of his parents' financial concerns, and this would later emerge in his stories; he created a number of adolescent characters who get into trouble trying to make their families financially secure.

Despite money troubles, John did enjoy his childhood - his hometown was full of huge spooky old houses and wooded areas, and he loved it. He would later turn Marshall into New Zebedee, a town which would figure in several of his books.   "I write about things I wish had happened to me when I was a kid."

John studied at the University of Notre Dame, then earned his Master's in 1960 at the University of Chicago. He served on the English and humanities faculty of lots of colleges - the College of St. Teresa (Minnesota), Shimer College (Ilinois), Emmanuel College (Massachusetts), Merrimack College (Massachusetts).

Bellairs' first book was a fantasy novel for adults,inspired by Tolkien, titled The Face in the Frost. At the time, it didn't get much public notice. He didn't begin to recieve critical accliam until the publication of his first young-adult mystery novel, The House with the Clock in Its Walls.

John died in 1991, leaving several partially-written books (I'm not sure how complete or incomplete they were). Brad Strickland, a "longtime Bellairs fan" - I don't know exactly how he figures in - completed these four novels, and they were published posthumously by Dial Books.

John enjoyed archeology, history, Dickens, wine-tasting, cheese, Latin, and trivia of all kinds.


The Beast Under the Wizard's Bridge

The Bell, the Book, and the Spellbinder

The Chessmen of Doom

The Curse of the Blue Figurine

The Dark Secret of Weatherend

The Doom of the Haunted Opera*

The Drum, the Doll and the Zombie*

The Eyes of the Killer Robot

The Face in the Frost

The Figure in the Shadows

The Ghost in the Mirror*

The House With a Clock in Its Walls

The Lamp from the Warlock's Tomb

The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring

The Mansion in the Mist

The Mummy, the Will, and the Crypt

The Revenge of the Wizard's Ghost

The Secret of the Underground Room

The Specter from the Magician's Museum

The Spell of the Sorcerer's Skull

The Treasure of Alpheus Winterborn

The Trolley to Yesterday

The Vengeance of the Witch-Finder*

The Wrath of the Grinning Ghost

*completed by Brad Strickland and published after John Bellairs' death

thanks to:

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.