A neighborhood of horror novels

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We spend most of our lives in the neighborhoods where we choose to live. For some, that means a highly residential suburban neighborhood filled with cookie-cutter homes, wide driveways, and green lawns as far as the eye can see. For some, a neighborhood is more urban with coffee shops and grocery stores within walking distance of the apartment complex where they live. For others, it’s a combination of homes, businesses, and playgrounds filled with laughing children.

When I think of a neighborhood, I also think of homeowners associations with their regulatory rules about the color of a backyard fence or the height of a basketball hoop parked in the front driveway and their fines appearing in the mailbox on next day. Fenced or unfenced, residential or urban, I think many of us seek the feeling of security where we choose, if possible, to live.

But Scare Street is the opposite. It’s full of monsters, creatures and horrors, oh my! Scare Street is where all of our favorite villains love to live. Where even the playground is a dangerous destination. Take a walk around the neighborhood, I dare you.

Cover of the book The Association by Bentley Little

The Bentley Little Association

New to the neighborhood? Don’t worry, The association it’s there to greet you… and also to introduce you to the many rules that keep this neighborhood perfect. Barry and Maureen learn these firsthand after moving into their new neighborhood with a long list of rules including no socializing with neighbors and oh yeah, never, ever leaving. As their fines pile up into the thousands, threatening to kick them out of their hard-won home, Barry decides to fight back against the Association.

cover of The Good House by Tananarive Due, featuring a scary house with a scary tree behind it

The good house of Tananarive Two

Never mind the HOA, you’ve found the perfect home and move-in day has arrived! Built in 1907 by the Goode family, the history of this home is nothing to fault. The only house to survive a mudslide that wiped out the city and with a story of tragedy seemingly following, Angela Toussaint returns to her home to find answers for the death of her son. What he finds of her is a twisted tale of her family history and something evil inside her house, waiting to possess her as well.

Cover of The Room Upstairs by Iain Rob Wright

The Upstairs Room by Iain Rob Wright

There’s nothing alarming about a mysterious door appearing on the landing of your perfect home. Nothing at all. Just ask 11-year-old Martin. After returning home with the treasures from the secondhand shop, a door appears on the landing outside his bedroom with someone or something moving inside. The disease runs through his family and the door seems to call them all into its dark depths. They must unite to fight whatever lives on the other side before his family loses sight of what’s important.

Cover of the book The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons

Anne Rivers Siddons’ house next door

Now that you’ve moved in, you can meet your next door neighbors! Colquitt and Walter Kennedy thought just that, a suburban couple who spent their days barbecuing on the weekends, working 9 to 5 during the week, and spending their evenings on the porch of their beautiful home. When construction begins on the next lot, everything seems normal. Just another gorgeous house in a long line of them. But inside the beautiful walls there is something hidden that seems to lead the people who live there to despair. They are driven to commit horrific acts to themselves and others within those perfect, perfect walls.

Book cover for good neighbors

Good Neighbors by Sarah Langan

The key to a good neighborhood? Good neighbors. After Arlo and his wife Gertie move the family to an idyllic neighborhood, their neighbors say goodbye warmly. Rhea, the protagonist of the community, becomes a kind of best friend of Gertie. But then a sinkhole opens up in the park and Rhea’s daughter falls into it, ending up with accusations against the newly moved Wilde family. With the community up in arms, this book demonstrates just how powerful your neighbors truly are.

book cover of carolina sanin's children

The Children by Carolina Sanín (Translated by Nick Castro)

You can’t have a neighborhood without kids running around! After finding a 6-year-old abandoned on the sidewalk, Laura can’t help but want to take care of him. As she tries to find out where he is from, he begins to act strangely, shoplifting from the supermarket and talking about imaginary trips he has taken. Mental health and lifelong loneliness create this sudden companionship between the two, which Laura doesn’t want to let go.

Cover of Pet by Akwaeke Emezi Indigenous Horror

Akwaeke Emezi’s pet

What’s a neighborhood without a few pets running around? Even if that animal is a creature with horns and claws that crawled out of one of her mother’s paintings, right? Jam has been taught all his life that there are no more monsters, but Pet seems to fit the definition. After Pet sets his sights on something in Jam’s best friend’s house, she must rescue her best friend and deal with a shifting worldview at the same time.

Cover of Such Pretty Flowers by KL Cerra

Such pretty flowers by KL Cerra

Don’t stop and smell the roses in this neighborhood, especially the ones Holly finds around her brother’s girlfriend, Maura. After it’s too late to save her brother from suicide, Holly has questions only Maura can answer. But following her forces Holly into a world of carnivorous plants and strange black roses. Now Holly must find out the truth before she meets the same fate, regardless of her attraction to suspicious Maura and her dangerous plants.

Cover of Playground by Aron Beauregard

Playground by Aron Beauregard

You’d think a trip to the playground would be a fun and safe weekend activity. Here’s what the three families do Playground he thought when they were invited to Geraldine Borden’s luxurious estate for a day. All they had to do was let their kids try out her new play gear. But the equipment here isn’t all that safe, and the kids must band together to make it out of Geraldine’s messed-up playground alive. This is a splatterpunk graphic novel, so be careful before you pick it up.

The cover of The good son by you-jeong jeong

You-Jeong Jeong’s good son

Every neighborhood has a golden boy destined for greatness, except, of course, this one. After Yu-jin wakes up to the smell of blood and a concerned phone call from his brother, he finds his mother’s body at the bottom of the stairs. His memory is weak and he is disoriented, although this could be attributed to his chronic seizures. As he digs deeper into what happened, reading his mother’s diary and sifting through his stuff, her perception of what happened changes.

Hope you enjoyed your stroll through Scare Street. If you’re in the mood for more suburban horror, check out these 8 Suburban Horror Novels or these 20 Cross-Genre Horror Novels!

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