Author of the Week: Mary Downing Hahn

Author of the Week: Mary Downing Hahn

Haeley Gibbs

Mary Downing Hahn is famous for her horror novels and young adult fiction novels. She was born on December 9, 1937, and she is alive at the age of 84.


Mary Downing Hahn was raised in College Park, Maryland, a small town close to Washington, D.C. Her grandmother usually cared for her while her parents constantly worked, but her grandmother was mentally ill and often rude to her and her parents. Due to this, she spent her freetime outside of the house. Although she was a cruel woman, Mary Downing felt extremely guilty when her grandmother died.

When Mary’s mother found out she loved to read and recreate the Pooh books, she made sure Mary had plenty of paper. Later, she went to college in her hometown and studied art and English because of her love for drawing. During her college education, she got engaged to William Hahn, a law student.

Eventually, she became an art teacher for a junior high, but she only taught for a year. Once she had two daughters of her own, she read to them and made up her own stories. Unfortunately, the two parents divorced, and the pain caused Mary to remember her horrific grandmother. Afterwards, she went back to school for her Ph.D. in English.

Fun Facts

  • Her stories were sometimes inspired by her childhood, especially when her favorite uncle died overseas.
  • Mary married Norman Pearce Jacob, a librarian, in 1982.
  • She wrote many horror stories, such as “The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall”, “Deep and Dark and Dangerous, and “All the Lovely Bad Ones”.