The Haunting of Hill House is only the second story I’ve ever read by Shirley Jackson. Like the majority of people, I read The Lottery in school, and probably wouldn’t have gone much further than that had it not been recommended to me. Obviously, I need to break out of that habit.
Invited to Hill House to help discover the mysteries behind hauntings, Eleanor becomes friendly with her companions: Dr. Montague, the originator of the experiment looking to publish evidence of a true haunting; Luke, the future inheritor of the estate; and Theodora, an outgoing woman and Dr. Montague’s assistant. Only a few days after their stay, there is no doubt that something odd is going on in Hill House – and it’s calling for Eleanor. But will the house get to them before they can get out?
I wasn’t expecting The Haunting of Hill House to be as scary as it was. The book started off as a beautifully descriptive tale of a lonely woman breaking free from her solitary and ordinary life and quickly escalated to a story that had my heart racing and made me afraid to be alone in my house at night. If there’s one thing that I’m afraid of, it’s ghosts (despite the ongoing debate of whether they’re real or not). It’s a short tale with interesting characters that will make you question seemingly innocent incidents happening around you.
Shirley Jackson is definitely one of the better horror story writers I have come across and would recommend anyone interested in horror – or just good literature, in general – dive into this story.