Strand Magazine: Haunted Houses
Home. The word conjures up a place of love and security, relaxing in front of the fire after a long commute, the relief of a lazy weekend after an endless working week, a place for family, a place where you can close the front door and forget the stresses of the world.
But sometimes, home can be a place of dread, where bad things can happen behind that closed front door. Home can be a place where a creaking floorboard or a cold draft can send shivers down your spine.
In fiction, that cold draft can mean more than a dodgy window frame. In fiction, it can be the cold breath of a ghost on your neck. In fiction, more than the living can be resident in the home. In fiction, a member of the family can be the monster and the walls can hold memories of terrible things.
But the home doesn’t have to be haunted: it can be the crime scene or the catalyst for a crime. Yes, home can be where the heart is. But home is sometimes where the dismembered heart beats under the floorboards….
So here are ten homes (I’m reluctant to call it a Top Ten because my original list was well over double that number) in crime and horror fiction that stand out as more than just somewhere to live…