Halloween is always a little better with a good ghost story. So I will be posting about my favorite books of the horror genre. starting with the Queen of the Haunted House stories, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House.
Many believe, myself among them, that Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House is the scariest of horror stories, certainly haunted house tales. Her opening paragraph is well known in literary circles and it most certainly grabs you and pulls you in. It has you considering reality and sanity as applied to a house, Hill House. It is done in such a fashion that makes it incredibly creepy, and you want to read more, Here is the first paragraph of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, it is a taste of the whole flavor of this wonderful book.
“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone”. (pg 1)
Jackson begins her tale with this paragraph, and ends the book with the last half of this paragraph as a reminder of the strangeness of reality and sanity. In between is more of the same, understated, not gory, yet amazingly creepy and disturbing in a wonderful way that lovers of the genre can fully appreciate.
If you have read The Haunting of Hill House, What did you think?
What other stories do you like at this time of year?