Book Fiftyfive: The Haunting of Hill House

The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson

You know, I never really thought haunted houses were that scary, and then I read this INSANELY SCARY BOOK. I suppose I'm like the characters in the story, really, who perhaps believe in the supernatural (wait, I don't really believe in the supernatural... do I?), but can't imagine anything terribly awful happening to them. At the outset. Because what's truly scary about this is the idea of losing one's own mind. Ooh, super creepy. Sure the banging on the doors and the chill by the nursery and the hand-holding in the dark, and even Mrs. Dudley are all pretty frightening, but the inner workings of Eleanor's mind as the house slowly gets inside of her is just perfectly creepy.

My most favorite part of all, though, is when Mrs. Montague and her friend Arthur show up and spread their phony supernatural hilarity through the house. (It's like when, finally, Stephen Fry's character shows up in Gosford Park, and you're thinking, yay, some comedy!) But that hilarity just makes the spookiness all the more spooky. You know, juxtaposition!

In short: good-time Halloween awesomeness.


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