Published: November 28, 2006 (First published Oct. 16, 1959)
Publisher: Penguin Classics
“People… are always so anxious to get things out into the open where they can put a name to them, even a meaningless name, so long as it has something of a scientific ring.”
First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, the lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.
The Haunting of Hill House was said to be a classic in horror stories. I was excited to read this book when I heard that there is a TV Series based on this book. However, it does not live up to my expectation and I am kinda disappointed.
We follow the story of 4 individuals who came together to live in this house. The reason as to why they are all there is because of Dr. Montague, who was doing his research on haunting and the like. The story is quite engaging. The atmosphere of the house as they explore it is quite chilling. I think my favorite part is when they explore the house.
But as the story progresses, their main agenda became a blur and they look like a bunch of people who were just exploring a haunted house. I also did not fully understand as to what role Theodora and Eleanor plays in all this given that the doctor invited them to come. Moreover, I never see the doctor do his research or any sort as to how he could provide evidence for what he was looking for. Plus, the haunting and the relation to one of the characters in the story are not fully explained. We didn’t even get to know what was going on in the house.
This book leaves me with more questions than answers. And even the ending of the book feels abrupt and a lot of loose threads are yet to be wrapped up but the author decided to give an open ending instead. I am still curious to watch the TV series though.
Not a fan of this book. But you should give it a try if you like, we might have a different taste.
That is all for this review! Until next time.
One thought on “The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson”