House Summary
Frank E. Peretti

Everything you need to understand or teach House by Frank E. Peretti.

  • House Summary & Study Guide

House Summary

The novel House by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker is a modern horror novel that retells the Christian story of salvation. While the story can be interpreted on different levels, it is the ultimate story of good versus evil. In the novel, four people are pitted against a serial killer demon in a game that requires someone die before the game can be won. There is a twist in the killer's plan when a young, innocent girl steps forward to give her life so that the others could live.

Jack and Stephanie are on their way to a marriage counseling session when they are forced to take a detour on a back road, where their tires are slashed by a spike strip. They walk to a hotel advertised as the Wayside Inn, where they meet another couple who has had the same luck as they. After the lights go out in the house, the two couples met the owners of the otherwise lovely southern home who are rude, unpolished and lacking in intelligence. As they sit down to eat dinner, the food rots in front of their eyes. When Stephanie tries to run from the house, she is confronted by a man with a shotgun who chases her back in and locks the two couples, along with the "owners" of the hotel, in the house. He throws an old soup cap down the chimney that outlines the rules of the game that he has decided to play with them. He pits them against one another by seeking one dead body in exchange for the freedom of the others.

Throughout the remainder of the evening, the two couples try to make sense of their situation and find a way out without killing one another. Randy, the male counterpart of the second couple, gives in to the Tin Man's desires and kills Leslie, his girlfriend. A strangely innocent girl, who represents Jesus Christ, however, allows herself to be killed by the Tin Man in Jack and Stephanie's stead. Through their journey in the house, Jack and Stephanie are reunited with each other. They have each come to realize their own guilt and their own responsibilities in the break up of their marriage after the tragic death of their daughter.

The novel addresses themes such as good versus evil, and the condition of the human soul without its acceptance of the grace of Christ. The book contains various references to the Christian plan of salvation set against the backdrop of science fiction complete with demons with supernatural powers and a haunted house that transforms itself into a representation of the evil of each person's heart.

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Study Pack

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House Study Guide

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