Winter Reading: The Spite House by Johnny Compton

Winter has started here in my neck of the woods!! So I am kicking off my winter reading early this year with a future release to read on a cold winter night in February.

Expected Publication date February 7, 2023.

What makes The Spite House a great winter read?

It is a great one to treat your shelf and yourself with for a spooky, chilling read on a cold night with a blanket and cup of cozy to warm you up.

What is going on between the covers

Eric Ross is on the run from a mysterious past with his two daughters. He takes on a well-paying job as a caretaker of Masson House, but there is a hook: the house is haunted. His job is really to find proof of paranormal activity and the secrets it holds that haunt the owner. It could also hold secrets to his past.


The Masson house is notorious for being one of the most haunted places in Texas. The house is built out of spite with its four-story bizarre design adjacent to an orphanage.

Brenda’s two cents

I loved how Johnny Compton used the haunted house trope as a spite house, giving the trope a fresh spin. The house is brought to life vividly, creating a sense of dread, danger, and foreboding that provokes fear.

There is a dark, tragic history that opens the door to see the effect social evils have on people, adding layers to the story. However, the characters tell us the history instead of in flashbacks that show us what happens. The history and motivations create a chilling, compelling ghost revenge story, but the suspense and tension are lost in the telling.

Every horror or supernatural thriller needs some drama to drive the story forward; however, the story here gets bogged down with too much going on, slowing down the pace. I loved the ghostly presents and their motivations, and I enjoyed the twists that surprised me, but the end got too busy, overcomplicating the story. I wondered if some of my questions were answered or if I had just missed something.

Overall I loved the elements of anger ghosts, social evils, and a creepy spiteful house filled with secrets.

Do I recommend it? Yes!