I think I have found a new favourite horror author.
My copy of The Haunting of Hill House has been sitting on my shelf for so long that I forgot I even owned it until I unearthed it during my semi-annual library maintenance. Yes, I am aware of how sad that is. However, I have been on a bit of a horror kick as of late, so I figured it was a sign from the book gods that it was finally time to read it.
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson is a classic horror novel about a group of strangers. They are staying at an allegedly haunted house to try and record evidence of paranormal goings-on. They may have bitten off more than they can chew. The house and whatever entity calls it home seems to be targeting Eleanor, our lead. There seems to be something connecting her to the cursed property.
I can’t really talk about the characters, as that would give away a lot of the great twists and reveals.
The true horror comes from the foreboding dread that creeps up on the reader. Even during the few lighter moments you can’t help but brace yourself for the next twisted event. It’s a subtle kind of terror, one that plays with your mind as you read it. The novel delves into the psychology of Eleanor and the rest of her group. We see her unravel as the story gets worse. As things get tense with the group as they try to keep it together, Eleanor is spiralling.
Before you ask, I haven’t seen the Netflix adaptation. I have heard that it is a very different take on the source material. I will probably give it a shot.
I loved The Haunting of Hill House. It is so disturbing in the best way! It makes you feel like you are trapped along with the small group in the isolated hellhole that is Hill House. Some of the horrifying moments are going to stick with me for quite some time. Oh god, that handholding scene really stuck with me, and I felt so creeped out that I almost chucked the novel across my room shouting “NOPE!”. If you know, you know.
I’m going to try and get my hands on more of Jackson’s work. If they are half as good and disturbing as this novel, I’m in for a frighteningly good time.