Between testing out beds, getting lost in the store's complicated, map-worthy layout, and eating Swedish meatballs for lunch, a typical trip to IKEA feels more like an adventure (or a nightmare to some) than an errand. But what if you saw something non-human dart between the bathroom displays during your IKEA excursion? Inspired by the Swedish mega retailer's famous attributes, author Grady Hendrix chose a unique setting for his latest book, Horrorstör : a haunted IKEA showroom.
According to Boing Boing, Horrorstör paints the picture of a “classic old-fashioned haunted house story” — but instead of taking place in an actual house, it’s set in “Orsk,” a fictional modern furniture store inspired by the Swedish mega retailer. The best part? The book was actually designed to look like an IKEA-style catalog — complete with product illustrations and a map of the showroom. Even the cover, which was designed by Christine Ferrara, who's known for her "miniature" designs and blog Call of the Small, resembles that of a typical IKEA catalog — except that it’s a model 1/12th the size of the actual furniture (and, you know, haunted).
Take a look (you might need to do a double take before scrolling farther):
So why, of all places, did Hendrix go with IKEA? In an interview with Quirks Books, Hendrix explains why a furniture showroom works perfectly within the horror genre:
"The fact that stores like Orsk are full of endless aisles of bathroom displays, fully equipped kitchens, and fake bedrooms makes them feel like the mutant offspring of a house and a labyrinth. Add to that the idea that these stores don’t want shoppers to think of them as stores but as “third spaces” (not work, not home, but someplace else), where you can spend hours relaxing, sitting on the furniture, eating in the cafe, and just generally hanging out. Roll that all together and you’ve got the perfect setting for a haunted house."
Considering only a month ago someone found the bones of 80 humans stuffed into IKEA shopping bags behind a church in Sweden, I couldn't think of a more creepy place to set a horror novel. That, and the idea of getting lost in a room full of ghosts with only some red arrows on the floor to guide you, sounds equal parts terrifying and hilarious.
Set to be released on September 23, Horrorstor is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com.