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New House, New Problems

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A very common horror setup, this type of story sees a new family move into a new home, whereupon strange happenings will begin to reveal themselves. It typically preys on the real-life anxieties and stress of moving.

A common feature of these stories is that the family got an unusually good deal on the house due to its bad reputation, the Supernatural-Proof Father reasoning that curses aren't real and a good deal is a good deal. Ultimately, of course, the deal will turn out to be Too Good to Be True.

Common things to find include a Haunted House, a Town with a Dark Secret, and maybe a Secret Squatter.


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  • In Crimson Peak, the American heroine has a whirlwind romance with a mysterious English baronet. After their marriage, she moves into his ancestral home in Britain, and quickly realizes that it's full of ghosts and secrets.
  • We in fact see this happen twice in Insidious before we find out that it isn't because of the house...
  • The Conjuring has the family start being haunted by a demonic witch after moving into their new house.
  • Recurring trope in the Amityville series, either by a family moving into a Haunted House, or by receiving a cursed item that brings problems to their new home.
  • Home Sweet Home (2005) is a horror film where a new couple moved into a high-rise apartment in uptown Hong Kong, only to discover an urban legend about a mysterious "monster" lurking in its basements. Said monster then abducts the couple's only son, and all hell breaks loose.
  • The Walsh family in A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge have just moved into the house on 1428 Elm Street when Freddy starts making his comeback.
  • Beetlejuice is essentially this from the perspective of the ghosts, trying to drive out the family who have moved into their Haunted House, and eventually calling in the title character - a "bio-exorcist" - when their own lackluster attempts fail.
  • A non-supernatural example in Panic Room. Meg and Sarah move into a big house in New York, and get trapped in the titular panic room by thieves the first night. The ending shows them looking for another house.
  • In Sinister, a crime writer moves into the house where a grisly murder took place. Then he finds some Super 8 reels in the attic. Nothing good follows.
  • In Full Circle, Julia just wants to escape her overbearing husband and the memories of her daughter's death by moving into a new house alone. Naturally, the house has a deep dark past and is apparently haunted.
  • Amanda moves in a house together with her mother and stepfather in House of Orphans, only to discover later that the house was once an orphanage where children were tortured to death in the Torture Cellar. Already on the first day she gets attacked by a Creepy Child, later joined by a witch.
  • The Stepford Wives has a family moving out of Manhattan into the picturesque Connecticut town of Stepford. This one is less about the house itself and more about the town of Stepford and the weirdness of suburban culture and gender roles.
  • A variation in Troll 2, where the Waits family engage in a home exchange vacation with the Presents family, who live in the remote town of Nilbog.

  • Coraline begins when Coraline and her parents move to a new house, which contains a door into a spooky Mirror Universe...
  • A variation in The Shining, where the Torrance family spending a winter in an otherwise-empty hotel for the dad's new job as a caretaker during the off-season.
  • In H. P. Lovecraft's The Rats in the Walls, the main character - the last scion of an old aristocratic family dating back to the Norman Conquest - inherits a castle in rural England. The more he explores the place, the more of his family's extremely upsetting history he learns.

    Live-Action TV 

    Video Games 
  • In Hello Neighbor, the protagonist moves to a new house and gets suspicious of his neighbor's locked-up Creepy Basement. The plot of the game is them attempting to open the basement door and find out what's down there.
  • The Sardinis in Haunting Starring Polterguy go through no less than four houses. All of them are haunted.

    Web Original 
  • Parodied in Something Awful's Doom House. Or possibly played straight, if it's possible to think of anything used there without being parodied. It's just a one-person "family", though. The house turns out to be haunted by a strange doll and built over a terrorist burial camp.
    "My name is Reginald P. Linux, and ever since my wife died, I've been very depressed. This is why I've been searching for the house of my dreams. But as a philosopher once said, be careful what you dream for, because you just. Might. Get it."