The timeless story of the gothic haunted house looms in the literary imagination across generations of storytellers, creating a physical and psychic space where the literal and metaphysical ghosts of a home, and a family roam. It is a story that I am drawn to time and time again. I recently found myself gathering my own canon of haunted house stories from book, films and TV shows for my own creative obsession, revisiting the Woman in Black by Susan Hill, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House (and obsessing over the beautifully haunting adaptation from Mike Flanagan). The modern interpretations of the gothic haunted house are endless, from the story of the Winchester Mystery House (and the 2018 film starring Helen Mirren), American Horror Story: Roanoke, and many others. The haunted house is a space where secrets and trauma lie, where reality and time becomes blurred, and where who one can trust is constantly under question, including whether the people who inhabit the house can trust themselves and their own senses.
And of course, there is the gothic heroine trying to escape the haunted house or be consumed by it. This is where Mexican Gothic, the latest novel from Silvia Moreno-Garcia, shines.