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Literature / The House Next Door

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The House Next Door is a novel by Anne Rivers Siddons. The novel concerns Colquitt and Walter Kennedy, who live placidly in a quiet, upscale suburb until a house is built on a lot next door. The house exudes a strange power that violently alters the lives of everyone and everything around it, including three owners, the Kennedys themselves, and the very architect who built it.

The novel is noteworthy for being a story of a contemporary haunted house and has been referred to as "The Making of a Haunted House." It was made into a TV movie in 2006.


This book contains examples of:

  • Aliens Made Them Do It: Two couples' lives are ruined by the house forcing one of them into sex with someone else. It almost happens to Colquitt and Kim too but she pulls away in time.
  • Big Fancy House: The house is consistently described as stunning.
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  • Demonic Possession
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Kim comes home. Poor Kim.
  • Domestic Abuser: Norman Greene
  • Downer Ending: Colquitt and Walter Kennedy become outcasts, lose their jobs, and end up killing Kim and burning down the house. The Kennedys lose everything (including by implication their lives), and they DON'T EVEN LIVE THERE.
  • Genius Loci
  • Haunted House
  • Mind Screw: There are no ghosts, no creaking stairs, no strange chills in the house. You will just have odd thoughts....
  • Pyrrhic Victory
  • The Beautiful Elite: Whole paragraphs are devoted to how good looking Colquitt is. She happens to be the first-person narrator.
  • The '70s
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