By Johnny Compton
The Spite House
Author’s website: JohnnyCompton.com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Omar
Even though humans tend to be good, to do good things, sometimes they also want to be mean. They are angry, and they are spiteful. But when all that energy is fed to an object or place, it can take over and grow.
The Spite House starts with Eric Ross looking for a job request where it’s asking for a group of people to live for a period of time on the Masson house a.k.a. the Spite house for $100,000. Given that Eric and his daughters are traveling through Texas, they need the income, and he applies for it.
The next day he and his daughters Dessa, 18 years old, and Stacy, 7 years old, make their way to the Masson House to interview the current owner, Eunice Houghton, who is a tech billionaire and owner of most of the town.
As soon as they set foot in the Masson house, all three of the Ross family feel something off. But the Ross are running away from something else, and they need the money. Eric will do all he can to make a future for his daughters, even if he must fight the entities that live in the Spite House.
The Spite House was a very interesting story, which I really liked. It was refreshing to read a horror/thriller ghost story with a side of mystery to understand the reason why things are happening in the world and to the Ross Family. All of the characters have a secret agenda, for most of them is to stay alive.
The Ross family is peculiar, Eric, Dessa, and Stacy. Each of them hides something from the other but does try to help and keep the rest of their family safe. Eric and Dessa are keeping a greater secret from Stacy, the reason why they are moving so much. Stacy being a young girl, has been having dreams where she can communicate with other people far away and see people that have died. Eric, while trying to provide for his daughters, makes the decision to live in the Masson House, but he has already seen something similar to what is happening in the house.
The Spite House has many characters, some of them alive and others dead. One character that I didn’t trust since first meeting her was Eunice Houghton, the current owner of the house. As we read the book, we learn about her reasons to have people living in the house and the lengths she will go to get the answers she wants. With Eunice’s work other women, Dana and Lafonda, who are starting to wonder if the intentions of an 80-year-old woman are the best and if something evil is really happening in the house. Meeting the Ross family is the last straw, and they will try to save them if they can.
The spite house itself has many things going on. The description of it being a four-story tall house but with a small width makes it hard to imagine someone living there, and even more for a family of three. One part I couldn’t imagine was the bulbuls outside the corridor that it mentions. Just given the summary of the book, the reader knows this is a ghost story and the spite house has a ghost. Specifically, the ghost of the owner who built the house, Pete Masson who himself lived and died twice, and his niece and nephew that disappeared in the house.
One of the things that I liked most of this story was the description of the cold temperature people feel near spirits.
“Well, the second thing to happen, immediately following her heart attack, was that the temperature dropped. This was not a cold spot. It was not a chill. This was like the sun had retreated…”
“How deep is the cold they carry with them? I’ll tell you. Imagine your bones turning to ice so fast you don’t have time to scream. Imagine a cold so deep it makes the day grayer without a cloud in the sky. Hard to imagine, isn’t it…”
“No, actually. It was cold as hell. Cold as I’ve ever been, and I’ve lived up north, as I told you. I’ve been through some ugly winters, but that room in West Texas, of all places, in the summer, was the coldest place I’ve ever been in. It was like being on the dark side of the moon or something…”
The Spite House was a wild ride and if you like ghost/horror stories, then I recommend it to you.
Sometimes the only thing we can do is be spiteful.