New Class!
In-Person: Seaport

Building the Haunted House

4 Saturdays from 10:30am-1:30pm , starting October 21st.
In-Person: Seaport
See Map
Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
12 seats max

A ghost is an amorphous thing, but a haunted house is a construction. The heavy urns, the veranda, the patterned carpet, the warm fireplace, the blue room, the library’s iron stairs: all make Eleanor Vance feel “like a small creature swallowed whole by a monster” in Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House.

How do we make wicked houses come alive in prose? How do we guarantee their physical construction to envelop the reader’s mind? In this 4-week class, we will grasp the craft of building a haunted house in prose and leave with a haunted short story draft.

The first few weeks, we will read examples of “classic” haunted house stories, including Shirley Jackson and Edith Wharton, as well as, contemporary adaptions of a haunted house with Jamil Jan Kochai and Carmen Maria Machado. A haunted house would be nothing without its atmosphere, so we’ll also consider Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space and how perspective or mood influences a house. During class time, we will discuss the details of these haunted constructions, study how they manipulate mood, and complete writing prompts to commence building our own haunted house stories. The final class will be dedicated to sharing and workshopping our stories in a supportive (and uncanny, frightful, spooky) environment.

This is a supportive and applicable class for anyone writing the mood of an unhappy or evil domestic space. Prose writers of all genres welcome.

Note: Class will skip on November 11th.

Class Format

This class will take place in-person at our Center for Creative Writing in Boston's Seaport neighborhood. 

Covid-19 Update: 

GrubStreet's space will be mask optional when Boston's Covid-19 Community Level is low or medium. When the Covid-19 Community Level is high, our space will require masks. Please check GrubStreet's Covid-19 page for the latest info on masking and Community Levels before visiting in-person.

Scholarship Information

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

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Zinnia Smith
See Bio

Previous Students Say

  • "Generative"
  • "Frequent Deadlines"
  • "Inspired Me to Write More"


  • Craft Lessons
  • In-Class Writing
  • Instructor Feedback
  • Revision Assignments
  • Reading Homework
  • Writing Homework


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction

Commitment Level



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