Halloween Reading 2019

Halloween Reading 2019

I am continuing the tradition of reading a scary story to celebrate Halloween. You can see what I read in 2017 and 2018 here. For this year’s choice I wanted to continue exploring the classic horror genre and chose “The Haunting of Hill House”. This book by Shirley Jackson continually surfaced in my research but I would pass on it in favor of better known works. Now that there’s a Netflix series based on it I can impress people with the fact that I’ve read the book. The things nerds get off on right?

The Haunting of Hill House
The Haunting of Hill House

The “Haunting” was written in 1959 and is the inspiration for many of today’s poltergeist type stories that revolve around a haunted house. The book’s genre is classified as Gothic Horror, which until today I had not known much about, but find myself particularly interested in. Similar works include the famous Shelley’s “Frankenstein” and Stokers “Dracula”, books that inhabit space on my “to-read” list also.

This particular book is about four people who gather together to research the goings on of a creepy home tucked away in the countryside. One character, Eleanor, gets more than she bargained for as her psyche eventually becomes overtaken by the spirits of the house. Jackson does a masterful job hashing out the characters and painting the picture of the home’s interior. The descriptions of the ghostly manifestations are just as vivid and impactful.

There are some generally terrifying parts in the book if you let your guard down, which is easy because of the flowing style of the writing. A few instances I felt goosebumps prickle up on my skin. The scene in particular, portrayed in the first episode of the Netflix series, showing the door handle slightly moving side to side is as creepy in the book as it is in the show. Other instances that were more violent in the book even shake you a bit as you can almost hear the banging against the wall and feel the cold spot in the room. I’m actually getting goosebumps writing this paragraph.

Next year I think I’ll continue reading the classics and give “Frankenstein” and “Dracula” a turn. The latter was translated into one of the “Kindle in Motion,” which is a pretty cool way to read a book.

 

 

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