Open House on Haunted Hill by John Wiswell

This is the last short story to review that was nominated for a Hugo Award this year.

Published: June, 2020 at Diabolical Plots (a short story location I haven’t heard of)

Genre: fantasy short story with a hint of horror

Setting: 133 Poisonwood, a house in a generic suburb

Short summary: A haunted house entices a new family to move in during an open house

Final thoughts: I think this was my favorite story on the nomination list. It starts out with the feel of a horror story, since 133 Poisonwood is a haunted house. It’s not haunted by ghosts. Instead, the house is an entity, and it’s lonely. It’s been too long since anyone lived in the house. Both the realtor and the house want the house to sell during the open house. My favorite part was when the house played it’s trump card – a secret room. I’d love a secret crafting room!

I enjoyed the interplay between the house and the father and daughter. The daughter was enchanted by the house from the get-go. The father, a skeptic, too a bit more convincing. Wiswell was able to capture the perfect wistful tone for the house. It so wanted a family. Overall, an enjoyable, light story.

Title comes from: The setting of the story

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