Nightmare House by Douglas Clegg

Nightmare House by Douglas Clegg

Oct 20, 2023


"Nightmare House" by Douglas Clegg is a suspenseful and eerie horror novel that explores the dark corners of family history and the malevolent forces that can lurk within. Published in 2009, the book takes readers on a chilling journey into a secluded and decaying mansion, where past and present collide in a harrowing tale of secrets and supernatural occurrences. In this review, we will delve into the strengths of "Nightmare House," including its atmospheric setting, well-drawn characters, and the author's skill in crafting a suspenseful and haunting narrative.

Atmospheric Setting:

The novel's setting is central to the atmosphere of "Nightmare House." The story is primarily situated in the decaying mansion known as Harrow, a remote and unsettling place that exudes an aura of malevolence. Clegg masterfully creates a sense of isolation and unease, with the mansion serving as a character in its own right.

Harrow is described in vivid and haunting detail, from its labyrinthine halls to its shadowy corners. The dilapidated state of the house mirrors the decline of the family that once inhabited it. The sense of decay and decay's embrace of the supernatural adds to the tension and creates a palpable atmosphere of foreboding.
The mansion's history is shrouded in mystery, and its eerie presence permeates the narrative. The setting effectively contributes to the story's horror elements, as the characters are forced to confront the malevolent force that resides within the house's dark secrets.

Compelling Characters:

The characters in "Nightmare House" are well-drawn and add depth to the narrative. The story primarily revolves around the Mason family, whose members are drawn back to Harrow by a cryptic summons. The Masons' complex relationships, personal struggles, and shared history provide a rich backdrop for the unfolding supernatural events.

Xander Mason, the novel's protagonist, is a compelling character whose troubled past is central to the plot. His connection to Harrow and the traumatic events that occurred within its walls drive his determination to uncover the truth. Xander's journey from skepticism to acceptance of the supernatural elements is a testament to Clegg's skill in character development.

The supporting cast includes Xander's estranged siblings, each of whom brings their own emotional baggage and secrets to the story. The interactions and conflicts among the Mason siblings add to the familial dynamics and the sense of unresolved tension that haunts the family.

Suspense and Supernatural Intrigue:

"Nightmare House" successfully blends suspense and supernatural intrigue. The novel introduces a series of chilling events that challenge the characters' beliefs and convictions. As they delve deeper into the mysteries of Harrow, they confront a malevolent force that defies rational explanation.

Douglas Clegg skillfully crafts a narrative that is both suspenseful and haunting. The suspense is gradually built, with each chapter revealing new layers of the mystery and escalating the tension. The author employs eerie and unsettling imagery that evokes a sense of dread, creating a sense of unease that permeates the story.

The supernatural elements are introduced gradually, leaving readers to question the nature of the malevolent force lurking within Harrow. The ambiguity surrounding the haunting adds to the suspense, as the characters must navigate a world where reality blurs with the supernatural, and the line between the living and the dead becomes increasingly blurred.

Exploration of Family Secrets:

At its core, "Nightmare House" is a narrative that delves into the impact of family secrets. The Mason family's history is marred by dark events and hidden truths that have festered for generations. The novel explores the consequences of repressed memories and buried traumas, as well as the weight of familial obligations.

The characters are forced to confront the painful memories and unresolved conflicts of their past, as well as the malevolent force that thrives on these unresolved issues. The narrative underscores the idea that secrets, when left unexamined, can have a corrosive and destructive effect on individuals and families.


"Nightmare House" by Douglas Clegg is a chilling and suspenseful horror novel that captivates with its atmospheric setting, well-drawn characters, and supernatural intrigue. The decaying mansion of Harrow serves as a haunting backdrop to a narrative that explores family secrets and the malevolent forces that can lurk within.

For readers who appreciate a blend of psychological horror and supernatural mystery, "Nightmare House" offers a satisfying and atmospheric read. Douglas Clegg's skill in crafting a narrative that is both suspenseful and haunting is evident throughout the book. The exploration of family secrets and the consequences of repressed memories add depth to the story, making it a thought-provoking and eerie journey into the darkness of the human psyche.