- "It stood on a hill overlooking the village, some of its windows boarded, tiles missing from its roof, and ivy spreading unchecked over its face. Once a fine-looking manor, and easily the largest and grandest building for miles around, the Riddle House was now damp, derelict, and unoccupied."
The Riddle House is a large, handsome manor house located on a large hill overlooking the village of Little Hangleton in England. Its windows were boarded over, there were shingles missing from the roof and ivy climbing all across it. Although it had once been a grand and handsome mansion, with the deaths of Thomas and Mary Riddle and their son Thomas Riddle II in 1944, the manor fell into disuse and became damp and derelict.
The Riddle House was perhaps most famous for the Riddle Deaths, a series of brutal murders that occurred late at night in August of 1944. The following morning, the maid found Thomas and Mary Riddle and their son Thomas Riddle II, lying in the drawing room with their eyes wide open and looks of great terror on their faces. She ran into the village, notified the police and waited along with the rest of the villagers with shocked curiosity and ill-disguised excitement.
That night, the village’s pub, the Hanged Man, did a roaring trade; the entire village had made their way down to discuss the murders. The Riddles’ cook arrived and announced that the gardener, Private Franklin Bryce, had been arrested. However, he was later released due to a lack of evidence, and continued to tend to the house for the next two families that stayed there, and later a wealthy man who kept it for tax reasons.
The windows had been smashed due to stones thrown by the village boys, and likewise the lawns, usually smooth, had tire tracks mown across them by the bicycles the boys rode. Once or twice, the boys broke into the house on a dare, much to the groundskeeper’s irritation. Bryce believed they did so because they, like their parents and grandparents, believed that he was a murderer and that he had killed the house’s former inhabitants.