top of page
The Crawl Space by Arthur Mills


When the principal punishes three middle school boys for bullying a fellow student, they find themselves trapped in the haunted school over the weekend. What happens next is up to the reader in the teen/young adult interactive novel The Crawl Space.


The Crawl Space features 24 choices and 11 alternate endings

Bullying is receiving much attention in the media, but it never had the repercussions that middle school bullies Bruce, Mark, and Charles will face. Trapped in a haunted school as their punishment, these bullies find their fates in the hands of their readers in Arthur Mills’ teen/young adult interactive novel The Crawl Space.

Bruce, Mark, and Charles have long been the school bullies, tormenting younger and weaker kids. But they go too far the day they try to make their fellow student, Johnny, enter the dreaded crawl space under the school cafeteria's stage. Everyone knows the crawl space is haunted by a boy who entered it and never returned, and Johnny is terrified. But fortunately, the school principal catches the boys before it's too late. As punishment, she offers them the choice of notes to their parents or spending the weekend cleaning out the crawl space. More scared of their parents than the rumor of a ghost, they choose the latter.

Once they are alone in the school, the boys discover that not only is the crawl space haunted, but so is the rest of the school. When the ghost gives the boys a riddle to solve, they must make many difficult choices to ensure their survival. However, the reader gets to make these choices, ranging from which hallway to go down to which key to open a mysterious chest. Whether the boys survive their punishment is as much the reader's responsibility as it is that of the boys themselves.

Why did Mills write The Crawl Space?

Mills decided to write The Crawl Space because, in his youth, he didn't like adults making decisions for him. He tried to escape into the world of books, only to find authors were as controlling as the adults in his life. Authors force their readers to read linearly with no interaction with the story. Now that he is an author, he has vowed to let readers have control of the story. In The Crawl Space, readers have up to twenty-four choices and eleven possible endings. In addition, over eighty-five exciting illustrations accompany the story, representing every supernatural, terrifying, and bizarre experience the main characters endure before their weekend in a haunted middle school ends - dead or alive.

What are the professionals saying?

Destined to please adults and kids alike, The Crawl Space is a hit among all generations. Tyler R. Tichelaar, the author of the award-winning Narrow Lives, states, "The Crawl Space is as much fun as the Choose Your Own Adventure books from when I was a kid. Beyond being a great adventure story, The Crawl Space teaches readers lessons about bullying and friendship and the difficult choices we all have to make in life."

How can The Crawl Space Contribute to your Personal and Intellectual Growth?

Placing oneself in the shoes of bullies in an interactive story allows children and young adults to experience the consequences of negative actions firsthand. By navigating the repercussions and emotions tied to bullying behavior, readers gain empathy and insight into the pain caused. This experiential learning, coupled with witnessing the outcomes of their choices, can deter them from engaging in bullying. They internalize the moral lessons and recognize the importance of kindness and understanding in real-world interactions.


Bruce, Mark, and Charles find their individual characteristics to be a double-edged sword as they navigate the mysterious crawl space and the haunted school. While their unique traits sometimes prove beneficial, they can also lead them into unforeseen danger. Ultimately, it falls upon the reader to act as the ultimate arbiter of their destiny, holding the power to determine whether they emerge victorious from the nightmarish corridors of the haunted school or succumb to their ominous and mysterious fate.

Bruce (The Crawl Space by Arthur Mills)

Bruce is confident, assertive, and has a sense of humor. He plays a leadership role in the group, balancing rationality and courage when facing challenges. He's a vocal and assertive figure who can easily capture the attention of his peers.

Mr. Bones (The Crawl Space by Arthur Mills)

Mr. Bones is a complex character in the story, embodying fear, mystery, and consequences. He serves as a catalyst for character development and contributes to the story's suspenseful and supernatural atmosphere.

Mark (The Crawl Space by Arthur Mills)

Mark is an observant and curious individual, yet very timid. Mark exhibits a degree of innocence and naivety but has a strong bond with his friends. Mark's character is characterized by his compassion, loyalty, and innocence.

The Crawl Space (The Crawl Space by Arthur Mills)

The crawl space is a multifaceted symbol that represents fear, transformation, adventure, redemption, and the unseen aspects of the characters' lives. It serves as a central element that drives the plot, challenges the characters, and ultimately leads to their personal growth and the resolution of the story's central conflicts.

Charles (The Crawl Space by Arthur Mills)

Charles is the smartest of the bullies. He's a problem-solver and analytical thinker. Charles frequently employs sarcasm and humor as a defense mechanism, especially when confronted with fear or uncertainty.

The Crawl Space


"I loved this book! The author has created an action-packed story filled with some really despicable, but endearing, characters. Creative and delightful to the core, this book depicts the story of three bullies and the tale of them getting what's due. I love that theme and I think it makes for great escape reading for any adult or child who has ever known a bully." - Amazon reviewer


  • Amazon
  • Kindle Icon
bottom of page