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come back to haunt (one)

1. To pursue someone or something in a ghostly or otherwise supernatural form. If you don't do exactly what I want at my funeral, I'll come back to haunt you all!
2. For a past situation, decision, etc. to cause problems for one in the present or future. His poor treatment of his employees might come back to haunt him some day. Her remarks during the campaign have come back to haunt her during the debate.
3. To return to one's consciousness, as of a thought or memory. I've barely slept because that nightmare has come back to haunt me every night this week. The fear that I'll get fired comes back to haunt me all the time.
See also: back, come, haunt

haunted house

1. A house that is said to be visited by and/or home to ghosts or spirits. We're going to have a séance at the haunted house down the street, to see if we can talk to the spirits.
2. A house decorated to be spooky that serves as an attraction, usually around Halloween. I think the kids are too young to go to a haunted house, honey—I don't want them to have nightmares. Every year at Halloween, my family turns the garage into a haunted house by playing spooky music and hanging cobwebs everywhere.
See also: haunt, house

return to haunt (one)

1. To pursue one in a ghostly or otherwise supernatural form. If you don't do exactly what I want at my funeral, I'll return to haunt you all! The ghost of the business partner he betrayed had returned to haunt him in the night.
2. For a past situation, decision, etc. to cause problems for one in the present or future. With the organized strike shutting down his production line entirely, the CEO's poor treatment of his employees has returned to haunt him. Her remarks during the campaign returned to haunt her in the first debate with he opponent.
3. To come back continually to one's consciousness, as of a thought or memory. The same nightmare returns to haunt me every time I fall asleep. The awful terms on which I ended my friendship with Helen keep returning to haunt me.
See also: haunt, return
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

come back to haunt one

 and return to haunt one
Fig. [for a bad memory] to recur; for the consequences of a bad decision to affect one negatively later. I never dreamed that a little thing like a traffic ticket could come back to haunt me years later.
See also: back, come, haunt, one

return to haunt

one Go to come back to haunt one.
See also: haunt, return
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Set to debut later this month, Making Money with a Halloween Attraction offers a detailed business model to help want to be "haunters" make their dreams of owning and operating an October seasonal Haunted House event come true, while avoiding the pit falls and nightmares of those who have attempted it before them.
Property specialists Sellhousefast.uk analysed the database to uncover England's most haunted regions.
London is also home to one of the UK's most haunted theatres, The Theatre Royal on Drury Lane.
It also highlights reputedly haunted lighthouses, graveyards, castles, cathedrals and battlefields.
The haunted corn maze featured "2 1/2 miles of pitch-black straw with creepy sounds and masked men with chain saws lurking about," according to a 2008 Register-Guard article.
The Second Marquess of Bute is said to haunt | Cardiff Castle, pictured here c.1903
TAMWORTH Castle dates back 800 years so it's no surprise to find it steeped in tales of ghostly goings on to such a degree that it's said to be the most haunted castle in England.
A family friend said: "When they looked at it later on a computer it was plain to see the haunted face of a woman wearing a dark coat behind them.
In this unique and engaging book, Blanco asserts that a close examination of particular haunted landscapes--in other words, "ghost watching,"--facilitates our understanding of the substantial social and geographic transformations American nations were experiencing between the years 1850 and 1970.
The group has already investigated Maryborough's Customs House and Criterion Hotel in the past and Davies hopes one day to survey another supposed haunt: Queensland's Government House.
A desire to listen to the spectres that haunt recent Canadian literature underlies Marlene Goldman's latest monograph, Dispossession: Haunting in Canadian Fiction.
Survivors have come to be figured by us in the form of 'ghosts' who haunt our cultural imaginary.
Creepy Cardiff, a tour of the capital's "dark side" including the spot (in Cardiff Market, site of the former County Jail) where working class hero Dic Penderyn was hanged and is said to haunt.