Initial Thoughts: For the longest time, Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery,” along with her novel We Have Always Lived in the Castle, has been on my to-read list for years. I ended up reading one of her lesser-known novels The Haunting of Hill House first. I have yet to read Jackson’s other works, but after reading The Haunting of Hill House, I can’t wait to tackle her other novels.
The classic supernatural thriller by an author who helped define the genre. 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. ” – Goodreads
When I first began reading Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, I expected it to be something along the lines of a ghost story. I sort of imagined Disney’s The Haunted Mansion, but much darker, like the horror movies I am too chicken to watch. Instead, as I began reading, I ended up having altogether a completely different impression. Continue reading