The nature of the horror

In her interview with Stephen King, published in Danse Macabre, Anne Rivers Siddons says about horror and her book,

“The haunted house has always spoken specially and directly to me as the emblem of a particular horror. Maybe it’s because, to a woman, her house is so much more than that: it is kingdom, responsibility, comfort, total world to her… to most of us, anyway, whether or not we are aware of it… the desecration of it, the corruption, as it were, by something alien takes on a peculiar and bone-deep horror and disgust.”


“Primitive man might howl before his returning dead and point; his neighbor would see, and howl along with him… The resident of Fox Run Chase who meets a ghoulie out by the hot tub is going to be frozen dead in his or her Nikes on the tennis courts the next day if he or she persists in gabbling about it. And there he is, alone with the horror and ostracized on all sides. It’s a double turn of the screw.”

Do you think the “horror” part of The House Next Door is more about the bad things that happen in the house next door or more about how Colquitt and Walter find themselves socially isolated and adrift after they start talking about things their neighbors would rather not speak of?


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