Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The House Next Door

Perhaps you have never run across this little gem of a horror story. I ran across it when I was a member of one of those numerous book clubs floating around out there- Book of the Month or some such, and was immediately grabbed by it.

Written in 1978 by Anne Rivers Siddons, "The House Next Door" was her one trip into the horror genre. It's the story of Colquitt and Walter Kennedy, who live in the 'burbs of Atlanta, Georgia. They live normal, peaceful lives until someone begins to build a house on the pretty, wooded lot next door to them, but that's just due to the typical bangings and crashings of construction work, right? Perhaps it's something less obvious...

Colquitt's forced acceptance of the march of progress in her little neighborhood is disturbed by the persistent feeling that something is wrong with the house. She feels almost as the house stares back at her through her windows, and then of course, there are the animals that go missing and are later found horrifyingly mauled, adding to her growing sense that the house itself may have a hidden agenda. Walter, ever the practical male, scoffs at her feelings at first, then becomes convinced that the house is, indeed, evil, turning each family who moves into it into its playthings and destroying their lives, one by one.

While in places the book may seem a little dated to modern readers, this is a solid horror story with the added twist of the haunted house being brand new and quite modern. I don't know that this story is very well-known, but what I do know is that Stephen King was so impressed by it that he included it in his special releases of his "Horror Library" series, and that was good enough for me. This book was one of those I just couldn't put down, and I really wonder why it seems it was never made into a movie. I'd certainly pay to see it!


  1. sounds like a good one!

  2. Thanks for the head's up. I'm not familiar with the novel, but it sounds like it's worth checking out. :)


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