Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Haunting of Hill House

The Haunting of Hill House The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson
Evan’s ESS = 8 out of 10
Erin’s ESS = out of 10
Content = PG-ish (Adult Content, Spookiness, Disturbing Paranormal Phenomenon)

Why: Typically, we don’t go anywhere near books with ghosties.  To put things in perspective, Nearly Headless Nick gave us a terrible fright and don’t even get us started on the Bloody Baron...  Needless to say, we’re light weights when it comes to iridescent floaty things that can travel through walls (Seriously, we’re still trying to recover from our 1999 read of Bag of Bones).  Alas, The Haunting of Hill House has been waiting impatiently on our Gothic Reading Challenge list...

The premise for this book is simple:  four people decide to temporarily inhabit an epic creepy house and document all paranormal activity.  Two things.  First, why would anyone want to sign up for that?  Second, why in the HECK would anyone want to sign up for that!  Surprise, surprise, the house guests experience all kinds of unexplainable phenomenon as they learn about the house’s storied history.  The story continues to build to a crescendo until the very end when you’ll find yourself saying, “Oh no she didn’t just do that!”

Despite our aversion to reading ghost stories, this book was a great read.  Every now and then it’s fun to feel the fibers on your spine grow cold.  While the concept of a house with a really, really bad attitude isn’t necessarily original, Shirley Jackson’s writing stands alone.  Every sentence makes you want to hide underneath your covers and close your eyes.  The main character could pick his nose and you’d still scream out in glass-shattering terror.  Overall, the book isn’t “jump out at you” scary, but the underlying tone has a special way of getting under your skin.          

The Haunting of Hill House is a quick read and well worth your time (especially if you’re a fan of the television series: Ghost Hunters).  The character development is truly impressive and if nothing else, you’ll know what to do next time you hear your house laughing at you...  GET OUT!

Editor’s Note:  BTW we are NOT fans of the television series: Ghost Hunters.  Actually, the only way we’d ever go near a haunted house (or library) is if Bill Murray let us borrow his Proton Pack.  Don’t cross the stream!

Editor’s Editor’s Note: Oh no we didn’t just work a Ghostbusters reference into this post...


  1. Oh yes you DID, and I love you for it.

  2. I LOVE Ghost Hunters and Shirley Jackson and all things ghosties. :) Very nice Ghostbusters reference.

  3. I'm not much of a ghostie person myself but I could get my hubby to read this to me and give me his impressions later... Also a light weight over here...

  4. Well, I don't love Ghost Hunters but I do love Ghost Adventures because the hosts are hilarious :) Anyway, I've wanted to read this book forever because the first movie based on this book (The Haunting, 1963, an awesome horror movie for lightweights like us)was a classic growing up, my family watched it every Halloween. I think I'll have to move this book up on my TBR :)