The Haunted House in the Hills

Simple Nellie met a phantom, living in Hill House. Says Simple Nellie to the phantom, never may I rouse.

*Warning* There be spoilers ahead. (But since the book has been out since 1959, that’s your own fault )

It might have been the fact I was gravely ill while attempting to read this book, or simply the fact that all I wanted to do was give these characters a swift smack upside the head,  but I wasn’t the biggest fan. I am so in love with the idea behind this story and I binged the show in 2 days when it came out on Netflix. Something about the way Shirley Jackson wrote this book has me pulling at my hair. It seemed like each character was living in their own fantasy world and I was left thinking some of them may have been mildly mentally disabled.

Maybe people were just less cynical back then?

So the story goes. Dr. Montague, a professor of the occult, invites a group of people to experience the strange and unusual that is Hill House. Among the group is Luke, nephew of the current owner who is around to keep an eye on things. Theodora, a clairvoyant with an 86% success rate with the Zener test and our sweet, simple Eleanor who has been sensitive to paranormal activity since childhood.

Setting the characters aside (daft fools), let me tell you about the wonders of Hill House. It has been compared to the Windchester Manor in California. Built to confuse and deceive the occupants unlucky enough to find themselves enclosed within the haunted walls. Roof lines at odd angles, crooked door frames and stairs with a slight lean. Very unusual architecture meant to throw your equilibrium out of whack. On top of all that, rumours of a Nun bricked up in the walls,  strange cold doorways and a vicious pounding on the doors at night will leave you peering over your shoulder into the darkness. The history of this house is fascinating and I need more!

This house was built like a giant torch. Luring unsuspecting moths with promise of warmth, only to snatch them up and never let then go.

★★★☆☆

I would have rated this book a 2 but the last few pages and my love for the idea behind the story raises it to 3.

Did you like the book or the TV show better? Let me know @getstuffdreviews