Haunted Homes is a short but groundbreaking study of homes in horror film and television. While haunted houses can be fun and thrilling, Hollywood horror tends to focus on haunted homes, places where the suburban American dream of safety and comfort has turned into a nightmare. From classic movies like The Old Dark House to contemporary works like Hereditary and the Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House, Dahlia Schweitzer explores why haunted homes have become a prime stage for dramatizing anxieties about family, gender, race, and economic collapse. She traces how the haunted home film was intertwined with the expansion of American suburbia, but also explores works like The Witch and The Babadook, which transport the genre to different times and places. This lively and readable study reveals how and why an increasing number of films imagine that home is where the horror is.
Watch a video of the author discussing the topic Haunted Homes (https://youtu.be/_irTEfvtZfQ).
About the Author
DAHLIA SCHWEITZER is an associate professor of film and media at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Her many books include L.A. Private Eyes and Going Viral: Zombies, Viruses, and the End of the World (both Rutgers University Press).
"Dahlia Schweitzer’s book Haunted Homes is a fascinating exploration of our culture's nearly insatiable desire for films that explore this genre. It is as hard to put down as it is to avert your eyes from the screen, even as you know you’re going to cower in fear."
— Michael Grais
"Haunted Homes is a book for anyone who has ever awoken in the depths of the night, convinced that they heard someone–or something–lurking beyond their bedroom door. Through engaging analyses of American Horror Story (2011–) and Get Out (2017), amongst many others, Schweitzer proves that home ownership really is ‘a literal nightmare’." — Alison Peirse
"In this highly entertaining book Dahlia Schweitzer takes readers on a tour of the American middle-class suburbs where true evil lurks, from The Cat and the Canary (1927) to The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix, 2018). The American dream to own one’s home has a flipside, namely to be stuck in a place that can be economically draining and literally the entrance to hell. Haunted Homes is one of those rare finds where state-of-the-art research and excellent prose go hand in hand and make you finish this book faster than a thriller.”
— Rikke Schubart
"Dahlia Schweitzer's brilliantly-crafted book provides a perfect autopsy of the haunted house genre. Haunted Homes is not just a useful dissection of a popular subgenre of horror, it provides the perfect re-watch list for fans seeking to confront their inner fears."