Haunted houses are a staple of Halloween. Almost every ghost story could be considered a haunted house story, and I love them all! I could have included about a million more books and movies on this list, but I managed to narrow it down to a handful that are truly all about the house.
The Good House by Tananarive Due is a house with a history, and that history is voodoo (or, as you’ll learn, voudoun). Across several generations, a curse follows, even when the occupants try to leave the house.
The House by Christina Lauren features a house that is sentient, and it cares for the boy who lives there, raising him to be just as strange as a boy raised by a sentient house would be. When Gavin meets a girl, however, the house turns possessive.
I first heard about The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddon from an essay by Stephen King. It’s both a classic haunted house story, but so much more subtle. Set in the late 70s, the story can sometimes feel a bit dated (which is why I used this cover image, where the house looks like a Polaroid camera), but part of the odd modernism – the house is a new build – makes this even creepier.
The Conjuring (2013) is based on a true haunting investigated by the Warrens. The movie version features some genuine scares that has led to a sequel and the spin-off series, Annabelle.
The Haunting in Connecticut (2009) is also based on a true story, and was also investigated by the Warrens. The house in question was formerly a funeral parlor, so this one is ultra creepy.
Winchester (2018), yet another real house, is based on the home of Sarah Winchester, which was built without much of a plan – which means that there are features like stairs that lead to nowhere and windows inside the house. What makes it even creepier is that Sarah Winchester’s belief in ghosts is the reason for the bizarre architecture.
There are so many haunted house stories out there, I definitely left out a few of my favorites. What’s your favorite haunted house story?