If you like watching horror, somebody has probably recommended that you watch Netflix’s latest original series The Haunting of Hill House. The show is guaranteed to scare and has received outstanding reception with a 9/10 rating on IMDb and a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. But did you know that the Netflix series is based on a book by the same name?
The novel “The Haunting of Hill House” was written by Shirley Jackson in 1953 and had as much of a reputation for scaring as its Netflix adaption. “The books that have profoundly scared me when I read them — made me want to sleep with the light on, made the neck hairs prickle and the goose bumps march, are few,” author Neil Gaiman writes in one review, “But Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ beats them all.”
As with most adaptions, the novel greatly differs from the show. Rather than following the family who lived in Hill House, the central figure is Dr. John Montague, a man studying the house’s tragic history. However, this does not make the novel any less psychologically terrifying. The novel opens:
“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.”
Both the book and the show seek to portray Hill House as a living, evil entity, making the tale all the more thrilling. This Halloween, give Jackson’s novel a try!
Not a fan of Hill House? No problem! Here are some other horror books with famous movie adaptions that are definitely worth a read:
-“Psycho” (1959) by Robert Bloch
-“The Exorcist” (1971) by William Peter Blatty
-“The Shining” (1977) by Stephen King
-“The Amityville Horror” (1977) by Jay Anson
-“The Woman in Black” (1983) by Susan Hill
-“The Hellbound Heart” (1986; inspired Hellraiser) by Clive Barker
-“The Silence of the Lambs” (1988) by Thomas Harris
-“Ring” (1991; inspired The Ring) by Koji Suzuki