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An Experiment in Terror Novella (#2.5).

This short story/novella sees amateur Youtube ghost-hunters, Perry Palomino and Dex Foray, investigating the real-life hauntings of Portland's infamous Benson Hotel. It occurs between books #2 (Red Fox) and #3 (Dead Sky Morning) and is the perfect primer for anyone interested in the EIT series.

44 pages, ebook

First published February 7, 2011

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About the author

Karina Halle

117 books16.5k followers
Karina Halle is a screenwriter, a former music & travel journalist, and the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, & USA Today bestselling author of River of Shadows, The Royals Next Door, and Black Sunshine, as well as 70 other wild and romantic reads, ranging from light & sexy rom coms to horror/paranormal romance and dark fantasy. Needless to say, whatever genre you're into, she's probably written a romance for it.

When she's not traveling, she and her husband split their time between a possibly haunted 120 year-old house in Victoria, BC, their sailboat the Norfinn, and their condo in Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.authorkarinahalle.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 340 reviews
Profile Image for Georgia ♥ .
420 reviews1,119 followers
May 25, 2013
4 it-was-too-short-to-earn-5-but-still-amazing Stars


The Experiment in Terror finally earned some recognition. Advertisers are seeking Dex and Perry out and they have gained a fan base. Despite the misfortunes of the past, they learned and the grew into their partnership. Into something solid, extraordinairy and unique..

"But I can't help they way I feel. Stupid. And in love with my partner."

This short and delicious novella, in only 44 pages, manages to excite us, make us laugh, entice us to keep reading and of course scare the shit out of us. I mean, who isn't afraid of...


Our favourite documentary makers/ghost hunters/paranormal reluctant enthusiasts are invited to the Benson, the most haunted hotel in Portland.


And they are too meet his most notorious resident...
Will they manage to free a tormented soul or they will fail and end up risking their lives again and again?

"For every ten ghosts that try to kill me, if I end up saving one of them, it might be worth it after all."

It was very nice seeing these characters grow and their mutual feelings deepen. Although it's a novella and outside the main arc, The Benson adds spice in Dex and Perry's story, makes their lives more realistic to us.

And who I'm kidding; I'm always up for more Dex...

*Running off to start the next!*

This review can be found on my blog: infinity-of-time.blogspot.com also known as...

Profile Image for Jen.
1,655 reviews1,008 followers
July 22, 2013
Well, that was a very quick read; but totally worth it! I have said it before, and I'll say it again...I LOVE this series and Karina Halle is brilliant! I got the chills and chuckles all in the same story! Absolutely awesome, and entertaining from beginning to the end!
I was all set to start on book #3, when I realized that there was a novella, and that it was considered book #2.5. I was going to just skip over it; but I am so glad that I didn't. I would have truly missed out on an extremely entertaining story. Besides, I can never get enough of Dex and Perry and the way that they interact with one another!

This time they meet in Perry's home town of Portland where there is a hotel that has been experiencing hauntings. The manager tells the amateur ghost hunting team that there is the most unrest in Room 818. Will Dex and Perry be able to get to the bottom of the mysterious huntings? Or will this become a waste of their time? What do you think? According to Dex, Perry is a magnet for things of supernatural variety. There is never a dull moment, and this may be a short story; but what does develop before Perry's eyes is not only terrifying and creepy but highly amusing.

This story is a must read for fans of Dex and Perry. You won't want to miss finding out about the hauntings of Room #818! Moving right along to the next book for me!
August 4, 2013
Dex and Perry checking into some hauntings at a hotel in Portland called The Benson. It was a perfect short story and exactly what I needed after the abrupt ending of Red Fox.

The whole spooky story with Parker and then May was bittersweet and coming up with the checkbook....really? A bit unbelievable but I still really enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Crystal Starr Light.
1,357 reviews831 followers
January 5, 2023
Bullet Review:

See? This is what I mean - I had so many problems with “Darkhouse” and “Red Fox”, but this novella was really great. Sure, there are still bits I can quibble about, but like I said in my review of “Red Fox”, when the story is somewhat interesting, you find the nitpicks not so bad.

Full Review:

After the events of "Red Fox", Dex has found a more local haunting to explore, so Perry and Dex head out to the Benson Hotel in Portland.

I was very pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed myself with this novella. My previous reviews of "Darkhouse" and "Red Fox" focused mostly on two major issues - Perry herself and the lack of a paranormal element. In this novella, both those problems are gone.

Perry spends a lot less time haranguing herself for being so-called fat (despite being a mere 15 pounds overweight), a lot less time being judgmental (though mostly because she only really interacts with two other people in this book) and focuses a lot less on Dex's @$$ and more on the actual reason they are at the hotel. Now I do think it's rather odd how little Perry prepares for her episodes - I mean, this show sounds ridiculously haphazard and thrown together, no collaboration or research beforehand. (Okay, Dex does the research - which begs the question, why doesn't he do this project solo? Or enlist Perry's help to write what she should say? Is this Dex being a horrible coworker and hoarding everything in the project or Perry being a terrible coworker and not stepping up to do her part?) I can see how, even with YouTube and Internet culture being in its Wild West days, it would fade into obscurity.

But that's a minor quibble, honestly, because the story takes off. Unlike in the real Benson Hotel, this hotel is haunted with Parker, a wealthy man who lost everything and supposedly took his own life in the process. As Perry and Dex explore the hotel, I found myself intrigued and drawn into the horror - this was by far the creepiest any of these books have been up to this point. And although I was somewhat worn out with Perry's brushes with death from "Red Fox" (how that woman doesn't have severe trauma from that is beyond me), I was curious how the story would end.

That said, I still feel this urge to get a few quibbles off my chest, so please bear with me at these items:

1) Perry may not insult herself nearly as much as previously, but she still considers herself a fat whale. She protests Dex lifting her to a vent (conveniently human sized) because I guess she would break him with her 15 pound overweight body. I get 100% that people at all sizes can feel self-conscious about their weight - I have been that way when I was 20 pounds overweight and all the way up to 100+ pounds overweight. But at one point, I, a woman who has been overweight/obese most of my adult life, wants her to STFU.

2) Perry still spares enough time to fat shame Pam, the "portly" night manager. She even expresses surprise at how nimble and quick Pam moves. Because we all know that fat people just sit like a blob on a bean bag chair.

3) We also get Pam and Perry bonding over insulting Dex's girlfriend, who is called "exotic" (cringe). "Nothing like a hot woman to make two chubby girls feel like they’re having a bonding moment." - yuck

4) While Perry doesn't spend as much time fixating on her "love" with Dex, it's still there. Again, weird to "fall in love" with a guy you barely know, who also treats you like crap.

5) May, the maid, was described as an African-American. Unfortunately, Oregon is incredibly racist and they outlawed blacks moving into the state. Also, interracial relationships were a big no-no back in the 1930's. So while it's not 100% impossible that a black woman would have worked as a maid, it did make me pause and take me out of the story. (Interestingly enough, May is the only female character Perry does not insult for her weight, for her perceived sluttiness or otherwise pass a judgment upon.)

6) There is a small portion at the beginning that suggests that now that Dex is back on his meds, he's "not as alive" anymore, that he has lost something he regained back in "Red Fox". This is a very dangerous thing to say - meds can be life or death for people, and the suggestion that you can just pop off your depression or anti-anxiety or bipolar meds and become "alive" again, is dangerous.

7) The amount of pop culture references is much lower than in previous books; we wait until about the halfway mark and then they fly quite frequently and not 100% awkwardly.

8) Every time Perry referred to Dex as her "partner", I subconsciously thought "romantic partner", mostly because how frequently people these days call their significant others "partners" vs the gendered "boyfriend/girlfriend".

9) The writing was much better here; however, I did happen to spot a "feat" instead of "feet".

10) Perry takes a LONG time to figure out she's talking to a ghost. I had it pegged within the first couple of lines of dialog, and to be clear, I am not the sharpest tool in the shed.

Ha, I somehow came up with 10! A perfect list! But please take note, some of the items I complain about above are just me, or not that significant in the grand scheme of the novella, but if I didn't compile my thoughts, it would bug me.

When we read a series or a book, we go into it wanting to enjoy it. We don't want to hate it, we don't want to write scathing reviews that drag us and everyone else down. We continue to read a book or series because we can see a thread of a good thing and we hope desperately that things can turn around and we can enjoy it.

I was very lucky to have this happen to me. I was honestly pretty cautious going into "The Benson" after "Red Fox" and not really that optimistic. But I was so pleased at what I read. I don't mind Perry developing feelings for Dex, but I wanted this series to pivot its gaze on the paranormal.

I still have a shortlist of things I hope improve in the future - obviously, Perry needs to get some self-esteem and stop these hasty fatphobic/body negative judgments and girl hatred, I would appreciate people taking mental illnesses more seriously - but this has been a wee bit hopeful for the future books.

Profile Image for Kristalia .
394 reviews615 followers
October 5, 2015
Final rating: 3/5 stars

#Let's go and poke it with a stick.
- quote by Doctor Who 11th -

Buddy read with Vilda!!!

I love EIT, i really do - but this was just too short for me. It could have been awesome if it had been a little longer or if it was just normal book size... Overall, it's still interesting, spooky and cool and Perry and Dex return to kick supernatural asses!

The humor is back - Perry makes sure of it in every page of it and Dex is still awesome. What i love in this series is that characters are believable...and it's not like Perry is "i'm indestructible" heroine, rather she is scared, terrified and all of that. And who wouldn't be?

P.s. i really hope Dex and Perry end together in third book - because i want to kill his girlfriend like now......

#my shipper heart!!!


● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●


Darkhouse (Experiment in Terror, #1)
Red Fox (Experiment in Terror, #2)
The Benson (Experiment in Terror, #2.5)
Dead Sky Morning (Experiment in Terror, #3)
Lying Season (Experiment in Terror, #4)
On Demon Wings (Experiment in Terror, #5)
Old Blood (Experiment in Terror, #5.5)
The Dex-Files (Experiment in Terror, #5.7)
Into the Hollow (Experiment in Terror, #6)
And With Madness Comes the Light (Experiment in Terror, #6.5)
Come Alive (Experiment in Terror, #7)
Ashes to Ashes (Experiment in Terror, #8)
Dust to Dust (Experiment in Terror, #9)
Ashes to Ashes (Experiment in Terror, #8)
Dust to Dust (Experiment in Terror, #9)

This review can be found on my blog: infinity-of-time.blogspot.com also known as...
Profile Image for Karina Halle.
Author 117 books16.5k followers
December 8, 2011
It's short, sweet and simple. You don't get the in-depth character arcs and the often volatile tension between Perry and Dex that consumes the other full-length novels in the series, instead The Benson provides a tiny glimpse of what a particularly "non-lethal" episode of Experiment in Terror looks like. In other words, this is just another show for our vexing, ghost hunting duo.

But just because it shows a lighter side of the team, it doesn't mean it lacks the thrills and chills to keep you on your toes and hopefully entice you to keep reading. I was scared while writing it. I hope you'll feel the same when you read it.
Profile Image for * Meli Mel *.
856 reviews655 followers
July 15, 2013

***3.5 Scary Stars***

Perry and Dex decide to investigate The Benson Hotel, located in Portland, Oregon. There have been many reports of paranormal activity. People have said to have seen full body apparitions, as well as to have heard odd sounds. But the one ghost that the night manager tells them about is, the suicidal Mr. Parker. He seems to be the ghost that is the most willing to make contact. But he can also be the most scary. He always seems to pacing and wanting to tell you something.

This was a great short read. Their internet show Experiment In Terror is doing great after their Red Fox show aired. It gives you a glimpse as to how Perry and Dex interact. It was definitely spooky but it also had a few funny moments (again it's their banter). I really enjoyed it. I can't wait to read the next.

Profile Image for Duchess Nicole.
1,258 reviews1,547 followers
March 1, 2013
Short and sweet...a little blip into an assignment that goes right for a change. Perry is still Perry, Dex is still confusingly awesome!!!

The setup is a swanky, old hotel that is frequently haunted by the ghost of a man who died there in the early twentieth century. It doesn't take long for Perry to feel the cold chill of supernatural. Once again, Dex pushes her into doing something that made me want to cover my eyes and hide. I'm WAY too chicken to get myself into these situations!! But I guess Perry gets results, and this goes to show once again how Dex is definitely NOT the overprotective, keep the little lady home and barefoot and pregnant type.

Lots of fun, very short...read only if you're a fan of the series.
Profile Image for Fatima.
667 reviews339 followers
March 20, 2012
So okay , I know I should have read it when I had finished reading 'The Red Fox' book 2 in the Experiment in Terror series , but I guess I was excited to find out stuffs that I just jumped onto book 3 'Dead Sky Morning' - Pardon me !!
The Benson is such a short and sweet read that i finished it within no time . A little more into the spooky stuff and a little into Perry and Dex's unusual relationship . This was just amazing .
A thing that i really forgot to mention in my other reviews is that , the reason that I love this series a lot and think that its a lot better from other horror series is the fact that the characters in it are just so realistic . I mean i've read horror books where the main lead characters end up acting like duds and keep telling you that they are'nt scared of anything , only to turn up as chickenshit in the end . But Perry and Dex or 'Derry/Pex' as I like to call them are'nt like that . Dex being the male lead is'nt afraid or embarassed to admit that he gets second thoughts before entering a completely spooked out or haunted area . I really liked it and admired it . And Perry , well i'm a fellow Scorpio as well so I can relate to her easily . Its kind of easy to figure out certain things that run in her mind . They are most definitely one of my favourite book couples !!!
If you hav'nt checked out this series yet , I highly suggest you do !! Its awesomeness !
Profile Image for Meags.
2,178 reviews415 followers
August 28, 2016
3 Stars

Short and satisfyingly spooky.

The more I read about Perry, the more I like her. She's relatable - obviously not the whole "ghost bait" thing (that's some creepy shit and she can keep that talent to herself!) - but her honesty, her insecurities and her snarky humour are all things I completely identify with.

I even find myself liking Dex, against my better judgement, because let's be honest, he's an arrogant and moody bastard most of the time. Not to mention the fact he keeps dragging Perry into these questionable situations, reassures her she's completely safe and that he'll never let anything happen to her, and then time and time again lets crazy shit happen to her!! That bastard!

Alas, I'm thoroughly hooked.
Profile Image for Catarina.
896 reviews1,976 followers
June 15, 2013
So, in this short story Perry and Dex search evidences of haunting on the Benson Hotel in Portland. Things are weird for Perry since she figured out that she is, in fact, in love with Dex, but he's with his perfect girlfriend Jen (I hate her!).
This was a great story, (not exactly scary, just slightly creepy) and it was a shame it had been so short.
I can't get enough of this two!! (Really, I can't.)
To the next one, now! ;)

Profile Image for AJ.
2,935 reviews960 followers
February 5, 2013
This is a short, but important addition to the overarching storyline of the Experiment in Terror series. It picks up a few weeks after Dex and Perry's adventure in Red Fox as they investigate the haunting of a local hotel, The Benson.

The story has a bit of spook and there is the usual chemistry-filled interactions between Dex and Perry, but that’s in the background as they actually get an incident which is going to give their show some more credibility.

There’s also a focus on Perry growing in confidence and coming to terms with what she’s doing, and the kind of impact that she can have.

"I want to be the person that he thinks I am, that fearless, brave girl - woman, even - who laughs in the face of danger. Something more than ordinary."

So is the show really going to take off? And could we see a slightly changed, more confident Perry in future books? And when the hell is something going to happen between these two???? Hmmmm... I'm so freaking excited to see where it all goes from here.

I really enjoyed it - 4 stars.
Profile Image for Kim Bailey.
Author 9 books607 followers
May 3, 2015
I LOVE this series & everything Dex & Perry.

Because of moments like this:
“You never know. There’s supposed to be a shitload of ghosts in this hotel, maybe you can help one of them.” I raise my brows at him. “A shitload?” I repeat. “Where do you get your information, Mr. Foray?” “Wikipedia. That thing is never wrong,” he says without irony.

And all the scary crap that has my stomach turning inside out!
Profile Image for Amy | Foxy Blogs.
1,475 reviews975 followers
July 26, 2013
A novella about The Benson hotel in Portland has these two making another webisode. A bit of Portland and the hotel's history adds to this intriguing tale of ghost roaming the premises.


Perry and Dex meet up for a one night of adventure in The Benson. Perry is the designated ghost bait in this partnership. And Dex is the absent cameraman when danger engulfs Perry. "Wow, I leave you for one minute and suddenly you're CSI: Portland."

Pam is the eager night shift hotel manager and their guide for the evening.
"As soon as you told me who you were, I looked up your ghost show and immediately fell in love with you guys."

Darkhouse (Experiment in Terror, #1) by Karina Halle Red Fox (Experiment in Terror, #2) by Karina Halle Dead Sky Morning (Experiment in Terror, #3) by Karina Halle Lying Season (Experiment in Terror, #4) by Karina Halle On Demon Wings (Experiment in Terror, #5) by Karina Halle Into the Hollow (Experiment in Terror, #6) by Karina Halle And With Madness Comes the Light (Experiment in Terror, #6.5) by Karina Halle Come Alive (Experiment in Terror, #7) by Karina Halle Ashes to Ashes (Experiment in Terror, #8) by Karina Halle Dust to Dust (Experiment in Terror, #9) by Karina Halle
No cliffhangers but each story follows the previous one.

The Benson (Experiment in Terror, #2.5) by Karina Halle Old Blood (Experiment in Terror, #5.5) by Karina Halle The Dex-Files (Experiment in Terror, #5.7) by Karina Halle

120th book of 2013
Profile Image for Rose.
182 reviews78 followers
January 4, 2014
This review is spoiler-free for the previous books, Darkhouse and Red Fox, as well as for The Benson.
But I also know that even though someone is dead, it doesn't mean they're beyond help. And for every ten ghosts that try and kill me, if I end up saving one of them, it might be worth it after all.

Though you may want to remind me of that, next time I'm locked in a coffin or something.
(That's Perry Logic for you. The "life" of someone who's already dead being more important than hers. Even if that's just plain stoopid, I love her nevertheless.)

I have to say that The Benson suprised me. I didn't expect much from it, I mean, it's just a novella after all. But there was so much Dex and Perry, I COULDN'T HANDLE IT. I loved it, that's all I have to say about it and damn it, IT DESERVES ITS PLACE ON MY "THIS-IS-HOW-YOU-DO-NOVELLAS"-SHELF. Yes, it does.

Overall, I'd recommend this to all Experiment in Terror fans. It plays a few weeks after the events in Red Fox and is just a really fun (if you like Dex and Perry) and fast read.

(Salope, tu es merveilleuse.)
Profile Image for Theresa .
1,426 reviews75 followers
March 12, 2018
4.5 spooky stars...this is such a fun series and this novella was a great addition...the story finds Perry and Dex in the Benson Hotel which is, of course, said to be haunted...they stumble and bumble through the clues and embark on a haunting journey to discover the facts about the true nature of one man's untimely death...in true Perry and Dex fashion this adventure is laced with sarcasm and wit as well as some precarious situations that (mostly Perry) they have to endure which are both terrifying and hysterical at the same time...in addition, we get to continue to watch the growing chemistry between our beloved characters as they dance around their true feelings both believing they are not what the other wants or needs...this is a short read filled with all the elements that I have come to love about this series:)
Profile Image for ☆ Sammy ☆彡.
268 reviews202 followers
May 21, 2013
The Benson is a 5 star addition to the Experiment in Terror series. This novella was a pretty quick read about Dex and Perry exploring The Benson, a haunted hotel in Portland, OR. Though this book was relatively short, it still contained a lot of banter between Dex and Perry as well as it involved a pivotal case in their ghost hunting career (IMO).

Memorable quotes:

"I deal with you every weekend, don't I? Anything after that is a piece of cake." Perry to Dex.


"And for every ten ghosts that try to kill me, if I end up saving one of them, it might be worth it after all."
Profile Image for Karen.
810 reviews1,026 followers
May 14, 2013
The Benson
 photo Benson-hotel-269And8more_tonemapped.jpg

This is just a short novella in the Experiment in Terror Series. Dex and Perry find themselves exploring the said to be haunted Benson Hotel in Portland, Oregon, for their EIT web show. This story is short but well-done, and very very creepy. Perry finds herself locked in a basement laundry in the dark with a couple of ghosts. Frightening images bombard her, but she braves through and manages to do a bit of ghost-busting at the same time.

This story is meant to be read between Red Fox and Dead Sky Morning. A very well written short story in the ever-growing EIT series!!! Enjoy!!!
Profile Image for Jenne .
699 reviews86 followers
March 11, 2015
Reread Review ~ read March 10/2015
Still 4.25
Needed a quick book for the night and thought I'd hang with Dex and Perry again :)
Such a unique pair these 2 are! I'd forgotten what a shameless flirt Dex is. Since I devoured this entire series last October I've wanted to reread it. It's not often I'm in love enough to reread especially wanting to do a redo on the entire series. But that's just how phenomenal these are. Again hands down the best books I've read and Karina Halle is brilliant :)

Original review ~ read October 10/2014
I rarely read novellas but I'll make the exception for this series! This one was pretty creepy. With the size it's definitely more about the show vs the dynamics of Perry and Dex. Still a great story, not necessary to the overall story arc though. I just can't get enough of these two and I'll take them any way I can get them!
Profile Image for Bonnie.
1,376 reviews930 followers
November 15, 2015
'And for every ten ghosts that try and kill me, if I end up saving one of them, it might be worth it after all.

Though you may want to remind me of that, next time I'm locked in a coffin or something.'

I love Perry.
Profile Image for Korrie’s Korner.
1,122 reviews13.6k followers
August 19, 2020
This short short novella packed a punch! Creepy asf, but also gave a little more of how Dex & Perry are falling for each other. I can’t wait to dive into book 3!!
Profile Image for Annie Brewer.
Author 15 books764 followers
March 12, 2013
Loved this novella. It was haunting but pretty great! I just loved being in the presence of Dex and Perry again. These two are seriously the ultimate best duo ever!!!! They take the top. Oh yeah, Dex and Perry are at the top. They are fearless, brave, funny, kind, witty, sexy and everything in between!!!!!
This was a short book that takes place in the Benson hotel in Oregon. Dex and Perry are at it again with their ghost hunting adventure. I swear, I wouldn't be as brave as Perry. She's crazy but I love her because her personality is fantastic. I love her inner thoughts and her feelings. I just wish she's express them to her partner. But I know that happens later.

Dex. Well Dex is Dex. I'm in love. He's perfectly flawed but perfect. I can't wait to get more information about him. He's mysterious, sexy, sad, lost, beautiful, misunderstood, hot hot hot and perfect. I can't get enough if him. I'm onto the next one.

I will get my other reviews up soon.
Profile Image for Holly.
510 reviews515 followers
January 14, 2013
Another fan-freaking-tastic Perry & Dex adventure!

This time out, the duo are investigating a haunted hotel, and even though this is only a short novella, Karina Halle manages to convey some truly creepy moments. It goes without saying, but I really would have loved to have seen a full blown book centered around The Benson, since I have a feeling Halle would have been able to come up with many more damn frightening scenarios for our favorite pair of ghost hunters at that location.

I feel like I am starting to sound like a broken record, but honestly...Karina Halle is just blowing my mind. She is such a talented storyteller, and I haven't been this excited about a series of books in a long time.

Read more reviews at my blog:
Profile Image for Jamie *Gypsy Smut-a-teer*.
484 reviews250 followers
November 25, 2013
So, I'm not really going to drag this out and write a long review. The book was 44 pages that flew by way too fast and made me long for more and that's the only reason I'm only giving it 4 stars. However, it's Dex and Perry and I love them and always want so much more of them so of course it was good, just not long enough. LOL!! I will say, my friends and I went and stayed in a haunted hotel two summers ago and had the time of our lives so I kept going back to that in my head. We didn't have any encounters like Perry did but I got some freaky deaky pictures that I just can't explain. I can't express how ready I am to read the next book in this series. I'm easily obsessed and just can't read the books fast enough. :)
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