Title: The Haunting of Hill house
Author: Shirley Jackson
Publisher: Viking 1959
Genre: Classics - Horror
Rating: 5/5 stars
Reading Challenges: Mount TBR; Classics -- 20th Century
First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a "haunting"; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.
How have I never actually read this one? I read and loved Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" and We Have Always Lived in the Castle. This one is such a masterpiece of terror and suspense. By the end of the book the reader starts to doubt even their own experience in reading this volume. Did the supernatural elements actually occur or was it all in our imaginations? Did Eleanor actually feel called to the house or was she just wishing for a place to belong? I put the book down at the end and promptly started doubting my own thoughts of what happened. Such is the brilliance of Shirley Jackson. Fascinating book. A great choice for spooky October. Now to watch the two movie adaptations...
Next up on the TBR pile: