Shrine (novel)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Shrine (novel).jpg
AuthorJames Herbert
CountryUnited Kingdom
GenreHorror novel
PublisherNew English Library
Publication date
Media typepaperback and hardback
Pages433 pp (paperback)
ISBN0-450-05659-7 (paperback)
Preceded byThe Jonah 
Followed byDomain 

Shrine (1983) is a horror novel by English writer James Herbert, exploring themes of religious ecstasy, mass hysteria, demonic possession, faith healing and Catholicism. The story is about Alice Pagett, a deaf-mute child who's cured one night when she runs to an oak tree behind St. Joseph's, her local church. She's found by reporter Gerry Fenn and, when news of her cure spreads, their village becomes ablaze with publicity. After Alice performs several "miracle" cures in front of the tree, and claims to have seen the Virgin Mary there, it starts to be treated as a Lourdes-like shrine by Catholic pilgrims. St. Joseph's priest, Father Hagan, however, senses spiritual danger.


  • Alice Pagett, "miracle" healing child
  • Molly Pagett, Alice's mother, a devout Catholic
  • Len Pagett, Alice's father, an atheist
  • Gerry Fenn, an ambitious journalist
  • Father Hagan, troubled priest of St. Joseph's
  • Monsignor Delgard, paranormal investigator for the Catholic church
  • Bishop Caines, Hagan's superior
  • Sue Gates, Gerry's lover and fellow journalist
  • Nancy Shelbeck, American journalist


Each chapter begins with a quote from a famous literary work, often a fairy tale or poem dealing with folklore, like the Grimms' canon, Peter Pan, and Hans Christian Andersen. The third-person narrative switches between several points of view, including village businessmen, Catholic officials, and other minor, as well as important, characters.

Film adaptation[edit]

On 3 December 2018, Deadline reported that Screen Gems and Sam Raimi will produce the adaptation of the novel with Evan Spiliotopoulos writing the script and making his directorial debut.[1]


  1. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (3 December 2018). "Evan Spiliotopoulos and Sam Raimi Team On James Herbert Novel 'Shrine' at Screen Gems". Deadline. Retrieved 5 May 2019.