From Angry Bird:
It's too bad when neighbors don't get along. Years ago my wife and I owned a home in Boston's West Roxbury neighborhood, and got along well with the woman who lived next to us. When she died, in her 80s, a woman in her 40s moved in, and we clashed from the start. Long story, short: we sold the house (not because of her) and heard by way of a Christmas card from another neighbor, that the woman who we sold the house to didn't get along with her new neighbor either, and put up a "spite fence" in order to gain some separation. This was the first time I'd heard this term.
Well, in the photo above is a well-known "spite house" in Boston's North End neighborhood. Known as the Skinny House, this quaint abode on Hull Street sits across from Copp's Hill Burying Ground, the city's second cemetery. Built in 1884, the spite house was erected by one brother who had inherited a plot of land, only to come home from the Civil War to find out his brother, and fellow heir, had built a large house on the land. "Miffed, he built the Skinny House, blocking sunlight and his brother’s views of the harbor," according to this Boston magazine story, which is worth reading.