Welp, Your House Wants to Kill You..: The Family Plot by Cherie Priest
Characteristics of this trope: Wallpaper that seems to move; mysterious sounds coming from behind locked doors; something awful once happened here; you really don’t want to shelter in these places.
About: Music City Salvage is a family operation, owned and operated by Chuck Dutton: master stripper of doomed historic properties, and expert seller of all things old and crusty. But business is lean and times are tight, so he’s thrilled when the aged and esteemed Augusta Withrow appears in his office, bearing an offer he really ought to refuse. She has a massive family estate to unload - lock, stock, and barrel. For a check and a handshake, it’s all his.
It’s a big check. It’s a firm handshake. And it’s enough of a gold mine that he assigns his daughter Dahlia to personally oversee the project.
Dahlia preps a couple of trucks, takes a small crew, and they caravan down to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the ancient Withrow house is waiting - and so is a barn, a carriage house, and a small, overgrown cemetery that Augusta Withrow left out of the paperwork.
Augusta Withrow left out a lot of things.
The property is in unusually great shape for a condemned building. It’s empty, but it isn't abandoned. Something in the Withrow mansion is angry and lost. This is its last chance to raise hell before the house is gone forever, and there's still plenty of room in the strange little family plot.
New from Cherie Priest, a modern master of supernatural fiction, The Family Plot is a haunted house story for the ages - atmospheric, scary, and strange, with a modern gothic sensibility that every bit as fresh as it is frightening.
The Gothic: Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Characteristics of this trope: lots of overlap with the haunted house trope; the weather is always terrible; scandalous ancestral secrets abound; “Am I having nightmares or are vaguely supernatural things happening to me at night?”
About: An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . . .
From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes a novel set in glamorous 1950s Mexico.
After receiving a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find - her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.
Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.
Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.
And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.
Creature Features: The Devourers by Indra Das
Characteristics of this trope: vampires, zombies, and swamp things, oh my!; biological horrors; sometimes the things that lurk in the shadows have fangs and claws.
About: On a cool evening in Kolkata, India, beneath a full moon, as the whirling rhythms of traveling musicians fill the night, college professor Alok encounters a mysterious stranger with a bizarre confession and an extraordinary story. Tantalized by the man’s unfinished tale, Alok will do anything to hear its completion. So Alok agrees, at the stranger’s behest, to transcribe a collection of battered notebooks, weathered parchments, and once-living skins.
From these documents spills the chronicle of a race of people at once more than human yet kin to beasts, ruled by instincts and desires blood-deep and ages-old. The tale features a rough wanderer in seventeenth-century Mughal India who finds himself irrevocably drawn to a defiant woman—and destined to be torn asunder by two clashing worlds. With every passing chapter of beauty and brutality, Alok’s interest in the stranger grows and evolves into something darker and more urgent.
Humans Are the Biggest Monsters of All: Misery by Stephen King
Characteristics of this trope: serial killers; cannibals; evil parents, evil spouses, or evil children; evil laboratories led by evil folks doing evil things; people are The Worst, amirite?!
About: Paul Sheldon is a bestselling novelist who has finally met his number one fan. Her name is Annie Wilkes, and she is more than a rabid reader—she is Paul’s nurse, tending his shattered body after an automobile accident. But she is also furious that the author has killed off her favorite character in his latest book. Annie becomes his captor, keeping him prisoner in her isolated house.
Annie wants Paul to write a book that brings Misery back to life—just for her. She has a lot of ways to spur him on. One is a needle. Another is an axe. And if they don’t work, she can get really nasty.
An Ancient Evil Is Stalking You: The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
Characteristics of this trope: Oh no, you awakened something you shouldn’t have; Oh no, now you keep seeing that thing out of the corner of your eye; Oh no, it’s getting closer! RUN!!!
About: A tale of revenge, cultural identity, and the cost of breaking from tradition in this latest novel from the Jordan Peele of horror literature, Stephen Graham Jones.
Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.
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favorite horror trope?? // what scares you the most?? 😱