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The Haunting of Hill House (1959)

by Shirley Jackson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,087347988 (3.93)2 / 723
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.
  1. 210
    The Turn of the Screw by Henry James (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: Both have an unreliable narrator, which results in an ambiguous story.
  2. 120
    The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (alalba)
  3. 70
    White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi (upstairsgirl, sturlington)
    upstairsgirl: Similar in premise, less subtle but more disturbing in execution.
    sturlington: Hill House clearly inspired White Is for Witching.
  4. 81
    The Woman in Black by Susan Hill (Copperskye, 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. 40
    The Red Tree by Caitlín R. Kiernan (blacksylph)
  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. 31
    Hell House by Richard Matheson (sturlington)
    sturlington: Inspired by The Haunting of Hill House.
  8. 20
    The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons (andomck)
  9. 20
    The Unseen by Alexandra Sokoloff (amyblue)
  10. 10
    Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix (andomck)
  11. 43
    House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski (blacksylph)
    blacksylph: The only haunted house story I've ever read that was scarier than this book.
  12. 10
    Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill (sturlington)
    sturlington: Both are very scary ghost stories.
  13. 10
    Wild Fell (A Ghost Story) by Michael Rowe (ShelfMonkey)
  14. 11
    The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker (andomck)
    andomck: Both are haunted house stories at their core
  15. 22
    Wish Her Safe at Home by Stephen Benatar (agmlll)
  16. 45
    Danse Macabre by Stephen King (kraaivrouw)
    kraaivrouw: Look here for Stephen King's take on The Haunting of Hill House.
  17. 01
    The Supernaturals by David L. Golemon (Scottneumann)
  18. 78
    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.
  19. 68
    Salem's Lot by Stephen King (clif_hiker)
1950s (36)
Kayla (3)

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» See also 723 mentions

English (337)  Italian (3)  Spanish (2)  Japanese (1)  Portuguese (1)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  All languages (347)
Showing 1-5 of 337 (next | show all)
After seeing the Netflix series and absolutely loving it I had to give a try to the novel it was based on. I only did this because I knew the book was different than the series.

The story is mostly about Eleanor signing herself up for an experiment. She has to stay at a vacant house for a couple of nights which has been described as haunted. After the death of her mother she finds herself at a point in her life where she has to take measures into her own hands. In this haunted house she’s accompanied by Luke, Theodora and the Professor, who leads the experiment. Slowly the guests experience weird things and it looks like the house might even take control of the four residents.

I quite enjoyed myself while listening to this on audiobook. I liked that the book was really exciting to read. Even after watching the Netflix show I was still anxious to see where the story would take me. The whole setting of a remote haunted house was very well done and I did believe there was something strange going on. The characters were also great. The two who stood out the most for me were Eleanor and Theo(dora). These two women were layered and three dimensional. They had real problems and behaved like the person they were. This is a rare thing in horror/thriller, usually characters are set up like one thing but completely change when it’s required of the story. The male characters were fine. Nothing spectacular or wrong about them. The set up for the whole story was well done and the tension grew with every chapter. The only part I did not really care for was when the wife of the professor came into play and basically took over the entire story. That’s the reason why this isn’t a 5 star read for me.

So if you’re in the mood for a good and terrifying story please pick this one up.
( )
  luclicious | Sep 20, 2021 |
This novel shows its age a bit, but overall, it's absolutely brilliant. Reading this, you can see some Matheson, some Bloch and you can easily see how much impact she had on Stephen King's early works, such as Carrie's rain of stones, the Marston House from Salem's Lot and, of course the Overlook in The Shining. Jackson's dialogue is sublime and the horror is wonderfully understated and all the more terrifying for it. But Jackson excels at the characters, including Hill House as its own character. Witness the second sentence of the book: "Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within." Chilling. ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
This is a creepy, slow-burn of a scary book. It’s classic for a good reason. Very different from the Netflix series, other than some similar character names. At heart, it’s less of a ghost story and more of a story of how someplace—and someone—can be haunted by other means. In essence, this book describes what it’s like for someone to be seduced by a place and ideas, and to slowly go insane. ( )
  bentleymitchell | Aug 27, 2021 |
I don’t have much to say about this classic. Modern horror ruined this book for me. I did not find it to be scary or of the horror genre at all. ( )
  samantha.brown | Aug 21, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 337 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jackson, Shirleyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Buckley, PaulCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dowers, ShonnaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dunne, BernadetteNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edelfeldt, IngerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
King, StephenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, LauraIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palmer, ÓscarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pareschi, MonicaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
PhotonicaCover photosecondary 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. (chapter 1)
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. (chapter 1)
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 and I can see where the mind might fight wildly to preserve its own familiar stable patterns against all evidence that it was leaning sideways. (Dr. Montague, chapter 4)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

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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
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Average: (3.93)
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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