“Deathbell” is a horror novel by Guy N. Smith, published in 1980. It’s one of Smith’s many works in the horror genre, known for its blend of suspense, supernatural elements, and gruesome imagery.

Plot Summary

“Deathbell,” originally penned by Guy N. Smith in 1980, emerges as a hallmark in the author’s prolific career, standing as one of four chilling tales unleashed upon horror aficionados that year.

Nestled within the quaint confines of Turbury village, the arrival of the enigmatic Hamiltons swiftly becomes the talk of the town. Martyn Hamilton, accompanied by his wife, their Chinese servant-girl, and a formidable canine companion, sets their sights on Caelogy Hall, a once-deserted estate shrouded in mystery.

As whispers of curiosity swirl amongst the villagers, the Hamiltons embark on a series of renovations, notably centering around a colossal oriental bell destined for the hall’s ancient belfry. The installation of this imposing artifact captivates the community’s attention, its significance shrouded in intrigue.

However, beneath the surface lies a sinister truth concealed within the bell’s ancient depths. Its haunting tolls echo across Turbury, plunging its denizens into a maelstrom of madness and bloodshed. From the onset, an unsettling aura pervades the narrative, hinting at occult forces at play and casting a pall of unease over the village.

Smith masterfully crafts his characters, imbuing the Hamiltons with a palpable sense of foreboding, their veiled secrets adding layers of suspense to the unfolding tale. As the deathbell’s tolls escalate, so too does the tension, culminating in visceral scenes of violence and chaos.

Yet, amidst the carnage, Smith delivers a narrative twist that defies expectations, weaving a satisfying conclusion that ties the threads of the story with imaginative flair. “Deathbell” spans 200 pages of relentless suspense, paving the way for its 1987 sequel, “Demons,” which further explores the horrors lurking within Turbury’s shadowed corridors.

In “Deathbell,” Smith demonstrates his mastery of the genre, delivering a chilling tale that lingers long after the final page is turned, cementing its status as a classic of pulp horror fiction.

Themes and Style

  • Supernatural Horror: “Deathbell” explores themes of the supernatural, with the deadly powers of the titular plant driving the plot and terrorizing the characters.
  • Mystery and Suspense: The novel is characterized by its suspenseful plot and mystery, as Dr. Adamson delves deeper into the dark secrets surrounding the deathbell and the Guardians.
  • Botanical Horror: Smith incorporates elements of botanical horror, with the deathbell serving as a central and malevolent presence throughout the story.


“Deathbell” received mixed reviews from readers and critics. While some praised the novel for its atmospheric setting, gripping plot, and memorable characters, others found fault with its pacing and execution. However, it remains a notable entry in Smith’s bibliography and has garnered a dedicated following among fans of supernatural horror.

Author Background

Guy N. Smith (1939-2020) was a British author known primarily for his horror fiction. With over 100 novels to his name, Smith’s works often feature elements of the supernatural, the macabre, and the grotesque. He gained widespread recognition for his “Crabs” series, which became a cult classic among horror enthusiasts.


“Deathbell” stands as another example of Guy N. Smith’s ability to craft compelling and chilling horror narratives. While it may not be as well-known as some of his other works, it offers readers a thrilling journey into the realm of supernatural terror, showcasing Smith’s talent for creating atmospheric and suspenseful storytelling.