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The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley…

The Haunting of Hill House (original 1959; edition 2006)

by Shirley Jackson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,9292041,310 (3.97)1 / 539
Title:The Haunting of Hill House
Authors:Shirley Jackson
Info:Penguin, 2006
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:books I don't own, books I've read, horror, classic, American, Hot Review

Work details

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (1959)

  1. 160
    The Turn of the Screw by Henry James (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: Both have an unreliable narrator, which results in an ambiguous story.
  2. 90
    The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (alalba)
  3. 60
    White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi (upstairsgirl)
    upstairsgirl: Similar in premise, less subtle but more disturbing in execution.
  4. 61
    The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill (coppers, Jannes)
    Jannes: Not sure if it is a coincidence, but the two perhaps best ghost stories ever written are both by women, in a genre otherwise mostly dominated by men. Both are superb explorations of death, loss, fear, and all those other elementsthat make up the good supernatural tales.… (more)
  5. 41
    House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski (blacksylph)
    blacksylph: The only haunted house story I've ever read that was scarier than this book.
  6. 41
    Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories by Roald Dahl (SomeGuyInVirginia)
    SomeGuyInVirginia: Dahl's is the best collection of ghost stories available, and Jackson's is the best haunted house story of all time. I think they make a nice pair (as the bishop said to the chorus girl.)
  7. 30
    The Red Tree by Caitlín R. Kiernan (blacksylph)
  8. 76
    Salem's Lot by Stephen King (clif_hiker)
  9. 00
    The Supernaturals by David L. Golemon (Scottneumann)
  10. 11
    The Unseen by Alexandra Sokoloff (amyblue)
  11. 11
    Wish Her Safe at Home by Stephen Benatar (agmlll)
  12. 67
    Carrie by Stephen King (artturnerjr, akblanchard)
    artturnerjr: Clearly influenced by The Haunting of Hill House, as is much of King's work.
    akblanchard: Carrie White has much in common with Jackson's shy, bullied heroine Eleanor Vance.
  13. 45
    Danse Macabre by Stephen King (kraaivrouw)
    kraaivrouw: Look here for Stephen King's take on The Haunting of Hill House.
  14. 02
    Hell House by Richard Matheson (sturlington)
    sturlington: Inspired by The Haunting of Hill House.
1950s (114)

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English (199)  Japanese (1)  French (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (202)
Showing 1-5 of 199 (next | show all)
The haunting parts were very intense. ( )
  amcheri | Jul 12, 2016 |
The Haunting of Hill House mixes the uneasy dread of The House of the Seven Gables with the gruesome horror of The Shining. There's even some of the ambiguity of The Turn of the Screw about it - is this the story of a classic haunted house or of a slow descent into madness? Either way it's not a book to read at night - or the perfect one to read if you want to stay awake. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality.”

Alright, then. First things first. The back blurb is a bit misleading. Theodora is NOT the assistant of Dr. Montague, but one of the 'clients'. Eleanor is not homeless in the real sense of the word, either. She doesn't have a home of her own, but she does have a place to stay. Little pet peeves aside, on with the review.

The plot was more original back in its time, although it wasn't brand new then either. But that doesn't always matter. Jackson weaves an intriguing tale that goes slowly but smoothly through the motions. The book isn't filled with creepy scenarios, but when they do happen, they're big. Mainly The Haunting of Hill House is a character driven story, focusing on the internal issues of each character, mainly Eleanors.

Adequate backstory is given on all. Eleanor Vance is a realistically written woman with real doubts, insecurities, and serious life issues. Theodora is more spoiled, childish, and almost manic in her changing of emotion. The Dr. is interesting, especially with his stories, and Luke is amusing. I kept chuckling at the housekeeper. Since most of the book relies on characterization and not really action, it's important to note that it's easy to latch on to the key players. Slow and steady; it doesn't pick up through out the entire book, but it works on a deeper level, psychologically affecting the reader.

Jackson loves the ; mark, using it religiously. She writes with a stiffer, formal hand, using some creative phrases here and there.

The story is a classic. It will always be remembered, as it should be. The ending was a surprise, brilliant. A lot better than the modern movie version for sure. Nothings confusing, it's all there to be explored at leisure. This book should have a picture in the dictionary by 'mysteries that are cozy, relaxing reads.' That said, it's kind of lackluster getting to the ending, and I struggled to stay impressed with the story. The sedate pace didn't help it. ( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
The Haunting of Hill House
1 Star

Extremely disappointed after all the hype.

The writing is overly descriptive and boring. The characters are obnoxious and unlikeable.

I never fully understood exactly why or by whom the house is supposedly haunted. I suppose the message could be that there is nothing to fear but fear itself because the characters seem to be scaring themselves silly over nothing. ( )
  Lauren2013 | Jun 1, 2016 |
I heard this through audiobook, as I listen to borrowed audio at work.
I enjoyed the gothic feels to this book. The main character is not a stable person so the tale can be a bit discombobulating. This wasnt exactly a horror novel at all, I wasnt scared, I was more so interested in the outlook of the house through the doctors eyes. I think there was a bit too much bantering back and forth between the characters and not too much action at aLl which bored me a bit. Although I enjoyed it and can see why this would be a classic. Shirley is a great author, and I plan to finish reading the rest of her works. We have always lived in the castle would be my FIRST recommendation to someone wanting to enjoy a classic gothic Shirley Jackson novel. ( )
  XoVictoryXo | May 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 199 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shirley Jacksonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dunne, BernadetteNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edelfeldt, IngerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
King, StephenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, LauraIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warner, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Leonard Brown
First words
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.
Journeys end in lovers meeting.
She could not remember ever being truly happy in her adult life; her years with her mother had been built up devotedly around small guilts and small reproaches, constant weariness, and unending despair. Without ever wanting to become reserved and shy, she had spent so long alone, with no one to love, that it was difficult for her to talk, even casually, to another person without self-consciousness and an awkward inability to find words.
The house was vile. She shivered and thought, the words coming freely into her mind, Hill House is vile, it is diseased; get away from here at once.
When they were silent for a moment the quiet weight of the house pressed down from all around them.
We have grown to trust blindly in our senses of balance and reason...
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Hill House is an eighty year-old mansion built by a man named Hugh Crain. The story concerns four main characters: Dr. John Montague, an investigator of the supernatural; two young women, Eleanor and Theodora; and a young man, Luke, the heir to Hill House, who is host to the others. Doctor Montague hopes to find scientific evidence of the existence of the supernatural. He rents Hill House for a summer and invites several people to stay there as his guests. Of these invitees, whom he has chosen because at one time or another they have all experienced paranormal events, only Eleanor and Theodora accept.

AR 6.3, 11 pts
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0143039989, Paperback)

Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House has unnerved readers since its original publication in 1959. A tale of subtle, psychological terror, it has earned its place as one of the significant haunted house stories of the ages.

Eleanor Vance has always been a loner--shy, vulnerable, and bitterly resentful of the 11 years she lost while nursing her dying mother. "She had spent so long alone, with no one to love, that it was difficult for her to talk, even casually, to another person without self-consciousness and an awkward inability to find words." Eleanor has always sensed that one day something big would happen, and one day it does. She receives an unusual invitation from Dr. John Montague, a man fascinated by "supernatural manifestations." He organizes a ghost watch, inviting people who have been touched by otherworldly events. A paranormal incident from Eleanor's childhood qualifies her to be a part of Montague's bizarre study--along with headstrong Theodora, his assistant, and Luke, a well-to-do aristocrat. They meet at Hill House--a notorious estate in New England.

Hill House is a foreboding structure of towers, buttresses, Gothic spires, gargoyles, strange angles, and rooms within rooms--a place "without kindness, never meant to be lived in...."

Although Eleanor's initial reaction is to flee, the house has a mesmerizing effect, and she begins to feel a strange kind of bliss that entices her to stay. Eleanor is a magnet for the supernatural--she hears deathly wails, feels terrible chills, and sees ghostly apparitions. Once again she feels isolated and alone--neither Theo nor Luke attract so much eerie company. But the physical horror of Hill House is always subtle; more disturbing is the emotional torment Eleanor endures. Intense, literary, and harrowing, The Haunting of Hill House belongs in the same dark league as Henry James's classic ghost story, The Turn of the Screw. --Naomi Gesinger

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:04 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

The four visitors at Hill House-- some there for knowledge, others for adventure-- are unaware that the old mansion will soon choose one of them to make its own.

(summary from another edition)

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