Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Haunting of Hill House (Stephen King Horror Library)” as Want to Read:
The Haunting of Hill House (Stephen King Horror Library)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Haunting of Hill House (Stephen King Horror Library)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  75,079 Ratings  ·  6,384 Reviews
ISBN:
0965723046
978-0965723046
Four seekers have come to Hill House, a scary old abandoned mansion: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar who had been looking for an honestly haunted house all his life; Theodora, a lovely and lighthearted girl there mostly on a lark; Luke, the adventurous future heir of Hill House; and Eleanor, a strange and lonely woman well acquainted with polte
...more
Hardcover, 246 pages
Published 2003 by Bookspan (first published 1959)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Haunting of Hill House, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Nancy The horror seemed repressed life, a woman who has really lost her life after childhood. Sexuality is certainly a key part of adult life, but female…moreThe horror seemed repressed life, a woman who has really lost her life after childhood. Sexuality is certainly a key part of adult life, but female sexuality is not equivalent to a lesbian identity. (less)
Laurie The 1963 black and white film version is one of the all-time scariest movies devoid of gore, monsters or an obvious menace. Because, it's the house.…moreThe 1963 black and white film version is one of the all-time scariest movies devoid of gore, monsters or an obvious menace. Because, it's the house. It's a psychological thriller in the truest, classic sense of that phrase. (less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Bill  Kerwin
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The Haunting of Hill House (1959) is justly revered as an exemplar of the horror genre, not only because its plot provides the template for all those haunted house tales to come, but also because its superb prose and subtle psychology transcend genre, transforming what might otherwise have been merely a sensational tale into a artful novel, worthy of a discerning reader.

The novel suffers from its own pervasive influence, for, as soon as it gets underway, it seems—whether or not you've seen eithe
...more
Michael
Apr 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gothic
I'm falling in love with this book all over again as I re-read it. The premise is that of a science experiment--an academic exercise to test the reality of house-haunting. I love the fact that the opening pages essentially replicate the clinical nature of the premise: here's the chief investigator, here are the three other characters, all described at a clinical remove before we get into the "story" itself. A contemporary editor might have said: "Cut this out and get right to the story," but to ...more
Stephen
Shirley Jackson, you saucy little devil, where have you been all my life? I never knew she could spread prose like this. This is an impressive bit of work and definitely belongs among the classics of literate horror novels.

Right from the first pitch, you can see that Ms Jackson…Shirl…is smitten with language and she uses it to great effect to create an emotionally charged, disorientating atmosphere with healthy heapings of melodrama. Very gothic in feel and actually reminded me of Wuthering Hei
...more
Fabian
Oct 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book is not about fear but rather about the love of being afraid-- for the ravenous gauging of limits. Adrenaline is searched for.... neurosis & a collective paranoia ensue. & cause naturally follows effect.

"Books are frequently very good carriers... Materializations are often best produced in rooms where there're books. I cannot think of any time when material was in any way hampered by the presence of books." [186]

There is an aura of authentic literary splicing here: the psycholog
...more
Keith
Jan 14, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Erm. This book was lent to me with the assurance that it was one of the ten-or-so greatest horror novels of all time.

So, just having finished it, I'm already forgetting having read it. The two stars it gets are because, quite literally, "it was ok" -- Jackson has an interesting writing style and an ear for consistent, if not always realistic, quirky dialogue. But the characters spend so much time being weirdly objective about their own fears that when bad stuff happens, I feel sort of...objecti
...more
Jeffrey Keeten
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gothic, horror
”No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alon ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I got this from the library and I can't figure out what to rate it so I had to go with a 3 for right now.

Here's the thing. I loved the movies better than the book. But I did enjoy the crazy, through the rabbit hole ness of the book. It's not scary in the least. Not to me anyway. But it's good weird and just uggg I can't explain it.

Anyway, sorry so short. I don't feel that good. I wanted to do a longer review on this one. 😕

Mel ❤
...more
Shawn
Why rehash what the 5 star reviewers say below? Why even engage the lame arguments by the people who didn't enjoy the book (weak ending? unrealistic dialogue!? not enough happens!?! Christ, people, have an imagination! - although I will say this, they don't seem to be teaching kids what an "unreliable narrator" is in school nowadays, as this book is all about Eleanor's weak and self-centered take on her surroundings and how that slowly gets worked over by Hill House - so an unreliable narration ...more
Lyn
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Weird, weird book.

But well worth the time reading it.

Jackson was a masterful storyteller, using a minimalistic approach and a terse, almost journalistic narrative, she creates a mood and sense of expectancy and mystery that grips the reader slowly and completely and lasts until the very end.

And unlike other ghost stories that struggle with an ending, Jackson's haunted house tale brilliantly ends with the same mystery and psychological tension as the narrative held throughout, she leaves the re
...more
Joe
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Sgt Pepper and the Citizen Kane of ghost stories.
Hannah Greendale
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.



The Haunting of Hill House is a slightly spooky read that follows four strangers into the depths of a haunted house with a mind of its own.

"No one knows, even, why some houses are called haunted."
"What else
could you call Hill House?" Luke demanded.
"Well - disturbed, perhaps. Leprous. Sick. Any of the popular euphemisms for insanity; a deranged house is a pretty conceit."


What makes The Haunting of Hill H
...more
Jason
Sep 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My mom has always said that an involuntary shudder—a shiver going up your spine, if you will—indicates someone having just walked over your grave. That cold spot you pass through when walking from the living room into the foyer? That’s not a draft of unheated air coming from upstairs (cold air sinks, you’ll recall)—no, that’s a ghost. And the message written in blood on your bathroom mirror this morning? Well, er, let’s just ignore that for the time being. But really, what is our obsession with ...more
Bionic Jean
"Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone."

This comes from the opening to The Haunting of Hill House, a 1959 novel by Shirley Jackson, an American writer who died far too young at the age of
...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Sep 30, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People Who Don't Wear Pants
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

WARNING: THIS REVIEW WILL USE ALLLLLLL OF YOUR DATA. GET THEE TO A REAL ‘PUTER OR AN UNLIMITED CELL PHONE PLAN BEFORE READING.

My first official buddy read with the Non-Crunchy Cool Classic Pantsless ones . . .

Chicago commercial photographers

Turns out they picked kind of a crunchy one. I should have known those bastages were just trying to trick me! The Haunting of Hill House wasn’t awful, but it was most definitely a slow roller and more of an eerie tale rather tha
...more
Dannii Elle
It still astounds me how a decades old horror story can continue to captivate and terrify a modern-day audience, more attuned to altogether grislier, bloodier, and gorier tales.

The Haunting of Hill House is about exactly as the title described. And yet knowing all that is to come enhances instead of detracts from the building dread that begins right as the novel opens. The reader is introduced to a motley crew of intrepid explorers, advancing on the hidden Hill House as part of a spiritual exper
...more
Dan Schwent
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
October Buddy Read with the Pantsless Ones

When an occult scholar recruits people to help him research the paranormal events at Hill House, will the house let any of them leave unscathed?

I've heard this touted as a classic haunted house story for decades and finally decided to take the plunge when the Pantless Ones picked it for an October read. I was not overly impressed.

I don't know if this was the case of wrong book/wrong time but I was not engaged by this book. All of the characters seemed li
...more
Char
Dec 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A super scary book with sentences that you want to stop and marvel over.
This is an excellent haunted house story with a psychological aspect.
HIGHLY recommended!

Quote: “I am like a small creature swallowed whole by a monster, she thought, and the monster feels my tiny little movements inside.”

And what I think is the best opening paragraph in all of literature:

"No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by
...more
Aoibhínn
The plot, of The Haunting of Hill House, is about three people named, Eleanor, Theodora and Luke, who are invited to stay in a supposedly haunted house for the summer to aid a scientist, Dr. Montague, in his pursuit of paranormal investigation. The book started out as a tale about a creepy old haunted house and then turned into a story about a young mentally unstable woman losing her mind.

I was disappointed by this book to be honest. I felt the novel did not live up to its potential and it certa
...more
Evgeny
Oct 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This is a buddy read in a super-secret group which I will not name for the fear of a fatal accident I will have if I do name it. However I will name the people involved: Licha, Anne, Steve, Jeff, Miriam, Stepheny, Delee, Dan, Dan 2, Alissa, Tadiana, Ginger, Kristin, Christopher, and Kelly. Speaking about Kelly, I have no chances whatsoever to write a better review than hers, but the guy can still hope, can't he? Please let me know if I forgot somebody.

Let me put you in the right mood for the re
...more
Raeleen Lemay
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was certainly eerie, creepy, and haunting. It was elegantly written, and the characters and plot immediately sucked me in. I highly recommend this for anybody looking for a slightly spooky, easy-to-read classic. I can't wait to read more Shirley Jackson!
Delee

October 5th/2015

[image error] photo 502268c2-5a37-4b1d-b9af-9a3d29946b27_zps00ifq02t.jpg

What is that you say? ANOTHER buddy-read with The Non-Crunchy Cool Classic Pantsless Buddy Read Group????

[image error] photo 01b6eac4-b260-477d-ad6f-ec9e9bf8eead_zpssikq2f0k.jpg

How frightening!!! Hold me closer Tony Danza!

María
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"[...] lo que fuera que caminase allí dentro, caminaba solo".
Mohammed Arabey
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
بهذه الرواية "الكلاسيكية" ستواجه ما هو أكثر رعبا من البيوت المسكونة
رعب الوحدة...والمحاولات اليائسة "للانخراط" الاجتماعي التي تصاب بالفشل

A novel about a Horror more terrifying than Haunted Houses..
The Horror of Loneliness, and the Desperate attempts to socially fit in.

لم اجد ترجمة لكلمة "فيت أين" سوي الانخراط..ربما التأقلم أو التكيف.. ولكن هذا فعلا ماشعرت به خلال قراءتي للرواية واكثر ما ارعبني بالحكاية .. اكثر ما سبب لي الأنقباض بتلك الرواية الامريكية الشهيرة التي تعود ل1959 والتي تعد من الكلاسيك
...more
Councillor
Tales about haunted houses are by now as common as major character deaths in Game of Thrones (sorry, couldn't resist that comment), but it seems like Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House belongs to those classic stories which caused the hype first of all. Shirley Jackson may be best known for her dystopian short story The Lottery which initially introduced me to her writing, but in the end, Hill House is what made her a commonly mentioned presence in the genre of classic horror stories. ...more
Beverly
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is much evidence of what a great wordsmith Shirley Jackson was in this book, for example; in her description of the dour gardener and housekeeper, Mr and Mrs. Dudley: "Her apron was clean, her hair was neat, and yet she gave an indefinable air of dirtiness, quite in keeping with her husband, and the suspicious sullenness of her face was a match for the malicious petulance of his." I love the dual adjectives to describe them.
Comedy and horror are two of the most difficult things to write an
...more
Luvtoread
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great classic horror story! It just may be one of the best, because of the year she wrote this book
truly makes it unique and a precursor of all or most of the haunted house stories to be written thereafter.
The movie The Haunting old b&w based on this story is excellent and truly scary and creepy especially for that era
and so eerie and suspenseful and no blood and gore just an old fashioned scare the wits out of you haunted house story!
Sam
Jan 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
What are we talking about when we talk about genre fiction? Some people say it's a matter of tropes: a murder weapon, an android army, a haunted house. But a trope is just the shadow of a construction that used to be meaningful, and among the glut of police procedurals and space odysseys, good writers have always been mining the violence, loneliness, and paranoia that hides in the depths of our common forms. For Patricia Highsmith, a murder weapon wasn't just window dressing - it was an expressi ...more
Brad
Feb 11, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, classic
Rarely have my feelings about a book been so jumbled.

I hated all The Haunting of Hill House's characters so much that I couldn't stand reading the book, yet Shirley Jackson's need to make us hate all the characters in the book, and her success impressed the hell out of me.

But then I wondered if the reason I hated the characters was not genuinely because of the book, but because of the crappy film version from 1999. Jan de Bont's remake, The Haunting, was abysmal, and the performances of its four
...more
Morgannah
Sep 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who doesn't love a classic supernatural horror story, especially one which has been acclaimed by Stephen King as the blueprint for the modern “spooky story”?
 photo candles.gif
The tale begins with the rational-minded Dr Montague, who is sufficiently taken with the legend surrounding Hill House, to invite a few other people to stay with him in the house to “test his theory” that the unexplained goings-on can all be explained with science and reason.
There is Eleanor, a quiet, shy, reserved woman who becomes increas
...more
Anne
Nov 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was once so in love with Shirley Jackson that I declared I'd marry the man who could identify the source of this passage:

"Don't do it, Eleanor told the little girl; insist on your cup
of stars; once they have trapped you into being like everyone
else you will never see your cup of stars again"

Thank goodness this didn't happen (this was before search engines, by the way), but I'll hold to the opinion that Shirley Jackson is one of the most intriguing writers of the 20th century. Even if the man
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Collected Ghost Stories
  • Ghost Story
  • Sweetheart, Sweetheart
  • Cold Hand in Mine: Strange Stories
  • The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton
  • Gothic Tales
  • The Oxford Book of Victorian Ghost Stories
  • The House Next Door
  • Hell House
  • Nazareth Hill
  • Naomi's Room
  • Audrey's Door
  • The House on the Borderland
  • American Supernatural Tales
  • Don't Look Now
  • Teatro Grottesco
  • Conjure Wife
  • Books of Blood: Volume Two (Books of Blood #2)
3,125 followers
Shirley Jackson was an influential American author. A popular writer in her time, her work has received increasing attention from literary critics in recent years. She has influenced such writers as Stephen King, Nigel Kneale, and Richard Matheson.

She is best known for her dystopian short story, "The Lottery" (1948), which suggests there is a deeply unsettling underside to bucolic, smalltown Ameri
...more
More about Shirley Jackson

Fiction Deals

  • Mercy Among the Children
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Darkness There: Selected Tales by Edgar Allan Poe [Kindle in Motion]
    $1.99 $0.99
  • An Empty Cup
    $3.99 $1.99
  • I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Abby's Journey
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Underground River
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Word Game
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Fraulein M.
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Sister of Mine
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Bury What We Cannot Take
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Chomp
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Searching for Grace Kelly
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Bricking It
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Fifth of March: A Story of the Boston Massacre (Great Episodes)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Starfish
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Thunder and Rain
    $9.99 $2.99
  • All Grown Up
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Light of Hidden Flowers
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Olive's Ocean
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Ecstasy
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Elephant Keeper's Daughter
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Virtues of Oxygen
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Home to Harmony (Harmony #1)
    $11.14 $1.99
  • Dog Crazy
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Towers of Tuscany
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Noticer: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Who We Were Before
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Reluctant Midwife (Hope River, #2)
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Sin No More (Reverend Curtis Black)
    $10.39 $1.99
  • The List
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Lost & Found
    $5.74 $1.99
  • A Watershed Year
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Savage
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Designer
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Novice: A Story of True Love
    $10.74 $1.99
  • Go Away Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Leaving of Things
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Train I Ride
    $6.99 $1.99
  • We'll Always Have Paris: Stories
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Hidden Flower
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Greyhound
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
    $9.99 $1.99
  • This Burns My Heart
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Journeys of Socrates
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Annie on My Mind
    $9.99 $1.20
  • An Absent Mind
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Book of Ruth
    $18.99 $1.99
  • Smoke
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Sisterhood of Blackberry Corner
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Covenant
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Digging In
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
    $11.99 $12.99
  • The Traveling Vampire Show
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Long Way Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Going Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Girl in the Glass
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Super Sad True Love Story
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Prayers and Lies
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Go the F**k to Sleep
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Fat Chance
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Just a Couple of Days
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Boleyn Inheritance (The Tudor Court, #3)
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Daughter of Union County
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Fighting Ground
    $6.49 $1.99
  • The Sugar Men
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Last Storyteller: A Novel Of Ireland
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Vengeance Road
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Every Note Played
    $11.99 $3.99
  • Asymmetry
    $13.99 $3.99
  • The Rules of Magic
    $11.99 $4.99
  • Mrs. Fletcher
    $12.99 $3.99
  • The Optimist's Guide to Letting Go
    $11.99 $3.99
  • Ungifted
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Julie of the Wolves
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Mrs. Saint and the Defectives
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Stiltsville: A Novel
    $10.99 $1.99
  • To the Bright Edge of the World
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Patriots
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Flicker of Old Dreams
    $9.99 $1.99
  • All the Good Parts
    $3.99 $1.99
  • At Risk
    $17.99 $1.99
  • A Scattered Life
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Every Ugly Word
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London's Flower Sellers
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Desert God (Ancient Egypt, #5)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack, #1)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds (Malayan #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • An Amish Buggy Ride
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Old Yeller
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Secret Healer (The Secret Healer #1)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • Elizabeth Street
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Gates of Rome (Emperor, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Unkillable Kitty O'Kane
    $4.99 $1.99
  • It Is Well
    $4.99 $1.99
  • A Sinful Calling (Reverend Curtis Black #13)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • On a Cold Dark Sea
    $4.99 $1.99
  • My Lady Viper (Tales from the Tudor Court #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Kings of Broken Things
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Edward Adrift
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Restaurant Critic's Wife
    $3.99 $1.99
“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality.” 686 likes
“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.” 406 likes
More quotes…