The House Next Door (novel)

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The House Next Door is a 1978 horror novel written by Anne Rivers Siddons. It was first published by Simon & Schuster and became a New York Times bestseller.[1]

The novel is told from the point of view of Colquitt "Col" Kennedy, a well-to-do middle-aged woman who lives with her husband Walter in a quiet, affluent Atlanta neighborhood. Colquitt and Walter are dismayed but resigned when a beautiful contemporary house is placed on the lot next to their home, threatening their privacy. But soon Colquitt suspects a terrible force resides in the house next door. In just under two years, three families purchase the home only to have their lives destroyed by scandal, madness, and murder. Even those who only visit the house--including Colquitt and Walter--find themselves the victims of shocking tragedy.

Colquitt and Walter decide to go public with their story in order to warn others about the house's dangerous power, even at the expense of their own reputation and careers. But the house is now powerful enough to protect itself. By telling the world, the Kennedys have summoned its dangerous wrath.


In his book Danse Macabre noted horror author Stephen King writes at length on the novel, citing it as a contemporary ghost story with Southern Gothic roots and praising it as one of the best genre novels of the 20th century. King's extensive synopsis is supplemented by a detailed statement written by Rivers herself that reveals some of the novel's themes.

In 2006, The House Next Door was adapted into a made-for-TV movie starring Lara Flynn Boyle and Mark Paul Gosselaar.[2] The adaptation was seen as "uninspired" by critics. It currently holds a 27% "rotten" rating on[3]


  1. ^ Richmond, Ray, October 30, 2006, The House Next Door, The Hollywood Reporter.
  2. ^ Cutler, Jacqueline, October 30, 2006, Buyers Dying to Get Into Lifetime's 'House Next Door', The Baltimore Sun.
  3. ^ [1]