This thesis is a study of the properties of place in American Gothic fiction. It assumes that the Gothic genre consists of literature that, far from merely seeking to frighten, seeks to reveal hidden and repressed fears of the societies in which it is written. With an emphasis on the American Gothic house — not as any specific architecture, but quite simply as houses represented in Gothic fiction — this study explores how the settings and locations of such fiction can aid in the expression of societal fears such as oppression, injustice, and a general sense of unease lurking beneath the surface of American communities. This is explored through the lens of three works of American Gothic fiction in which houses feature prominently: Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher (1839), Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House (1959), and Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot (1975). In three separate chapters, the fictional locations of these texts are discussed, and the close ties these locations have with their stories’ underlying societal fears are examined in detail. The study finds that, although the three works diverge in the usage and features of their locations, place is of great importance to all these stories, and that their houses are far more than mere settings for their events. The Gothic houses embody the same fears that the literary texts otherwise express, and they serve as constant, monumental reminders of these fears. In the Gothic genre, place can be employed to elevate the expressions of such fears, contributing greatly to the American Gothic’s function of highlighting shortcomings of the society to which it belongs.