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.