The Spite House by Johnny Compton
June 14, 2023 11:34 AM - Subscribe

A terrifying Gothic thriller about grief and death and the depths of a father’s love, Johnny Compton’s The Spite House is a stunning debut by a horror master in the making—The Babadook meets A Head Full of Ghosts in Texas Hill Country.

Eric Ross is on the run from a mysterious past with his two daughters in tow. Having left his wife, his house, his whole life behind in Maryland, he’s desperate for money—it’s not easy to find steady, safe work when you can’t provide references, you can’t stay in one place for long, and you’re paranoid that your past is creeping back up on you.

When he comes across the strange ad for the Masson House in Degener, Texas, Eric thinks they may have finally caught a lucky break. The Masson property, notorious for being one of the most haunted places in Texas, needs a caretaker of sorts. The owner is looking for proof of paranormal activity. All they need to do is stay in the house and keep a detailed record of everything that happens there. Provided the house’s horrors don’t drive them all mad, like the caretakers before them.

The job calls to Eric, not just because there’s a huge payout if they can make it through, but because he wants to explore the secrets of the spite house. If it is indeed haunted, maybe it’ll help him understand the uncanny power that clings to his family, driving them from town to town, making them afraid to stop running.

[description from publisher's website]
posted by quatsch (4 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I love a good haunted house, and loved how the one in this book is characterized! It's a quick read with engaging characters and a cool setup, and I'm really excited to read more from Johnny Compton.
posted by quatsch at 11:38 AM on June 14, 2023

I haven't read this, but when I picked it up and read the copy, I was deeply disappointed that it isn't about an actual spite house.
posted by tangosnail at 8:03 AM on June 15, 2023

It absolutely is about an actual spite house! Well, not a specific one that exists in reality, but it's made very clear in the book that the house in question was built purely to spite the surrounding community and lessen their property values/experience of living downhill from the house.
posted by quatsch at 9:39 AM on June 15, 2023 [1 favorite]

Oh, I'm so happy to hear that. Nothing in the description suggested it was and I was so annoyed. Maybe I'll read it now - thank you!
posted by tangosnail at 9:51 AM on June 15, 2023

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