Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Haunting of Hill House

This book is considered one of the best literary ghost stories written in the 20th century. According to wikipedia, Stephen King's The Shining was inspired by it. The Haunting of Hill House was originally published in 1959 by Shirley Jackson. This book also inspired two Movies The Haunting a 1963 version and a 1999 version, which departs from Jackson's story.

Dr. John Montague is a Doctor of philosophy. He also has a degree in anthropology. But he feels his true vocation is to analyze supernatural manifestations. He begins to look for a "true" haunted house. He then hears about Hill House and decides this is the house for him. He wants to bring a group of people together to live in Hill House and help investigate and document any supernatural manifestations. He writes to a group of people and only two show up. He also has to take into his party a representative of the family who owns the house.

The party encounters inexplicable noises and doors that close by themselves. One of the guests walks into her room and found blood splattered all over the walls and her clothes. Another guest thinks she is holding her roommates hand in terror and wakes up from sleep realizing she was holding another hand.

The House chooses one of the guest and slowly begins to posses the guest. She believe that she is becoming part of the House and the House wants her to stay.

Over all I did not find the book very scary. It was more of a psychological ghost story. It focused more on what the people were thinking and doing then what was scaring them. It was more of the reactions to the events and the what the house did to one person in particular. It took a while for me to complete this book. I was able to walk away and come back. I did not find it as scary or intense as I think a scary ghost story should be.

I have not read The Shining so I cannot compare it to The House of Hill Street. I have read scarier books; for example Dean Knootz's books and Amityville Horror.

Happy Reading

1 comment:

April said...

Great review! I have read books that are suppose to be really scary, but I found not nearly so. I thought I was an odd ball, but it's good to know there are others out there like me, lol. The Shining was good - but even that didn't scare me. For me, it takes quite a bit actually scare me when I am reading. I am reading Haunting Lily by Sidney Fox right now and it is said to be incredibly scary. I am not very far into it yet, but so far it's a good read.