I am genuinely appalled that it has taken me this long to read The Haunting of Hill House; it is one of those staples in the horror and gothic genres, and it is truly a fundamental work. Shame on me. Shame on me.
In order to conduct a study on the nature of terror, Dr. Montague brings three strangers together for a stay at the notorious Hill House. Hill House seems to have been cursed since its construction, as its history is entirely composed of alleged hauntings and an overall creepiness that keeps away the locals. After the first day or two, the participants are in agreement that their fear is largely psychological and chalk it up to stress and the eerie atmosphere of the house. However, as more time passes, Theodora, Eleanor, and Luke become increasingly uncomfortable, and the vexing aspects of the house become more tangible, and more dangerous.
Originally published in 1959, The Haunting of Hill House is a classic; it is truly one of those rare books that everyone seems to love. Shirley Jackson plays beautifully with the components of fear, particularly the psychological ones.