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Eleanor Vance has always been a loner--shy, vulnerable, and bitterly resentful of the 11 years she lost while nursing her dying mother. "She had spent so long alone, with no one to love, that it was difficult for her to talk, even casually, to another person without self-consciousness and an awkward inability to find words." Eleanor has always sensed that one day something big would happen, and one day it does. She receives an unusual invitation from Dr. John Montague, a man fascinated by "supernatural manifestations." He organizes a ghost watch, inviting people who have been touched by otherworldly events. A paranormal incident from Eleanor's childhood qualifies her to be a part of Montague's bizarre study--along with headstrong Theodora, his assistant, and Luke, a well-to-do aristocrat. They meet at Hill House--a notorious estate in New England.
Hill House is a foreboding structure of towers, buttresses, Gothic spires, gargoyles, strange angles, and rooms within rooms--a place "without kindness, never meant to be lived in...."
Although Eleanor's initial reaction is to flee, the house has a mesmerizing effect, and she begins to feel a strange kind of bliss that entices her to stay. Eleanor is a magnet for the supernatural--she hears deathly wails, feels terrible chills, and sees ghostly apparitions. Once again she feels isolated and alone--neither Theo nor Luke attract so much eerie company. But the physical horror of Hill House is always subtle; more disturbing is the emotional torment Eleanor endures. Intense, literary, and harrowing, The Haunting of Hill House belongs in the same dark league as Henry James's classic ghost story, The Turn of the Screw. --Naomi Gesinger
Though it starts off a bit slow, this book is really gripping right from the get-go. Loved it.Published 5 months ago by Shirley
I picked up this book after numerous people suggested it was a great terrifying read. What a complete farce! While Ms. Read morePublished on May 17 2010 by A Customer
This book isn't a horror book at all. Not only is it not scary, it isn't too interesting either. I would have stoped reading it but I was certain there would be something to... Read morePublished on March 4 2009 by Rob
though the book does leave you a little dissapointed from the lack of frightening scenarios it does make you think. Read morePublished on July 7 2004 by Preston
I had heard for so long how intellectually scary this book was so I was really looking forward to reading it. Read morePublished on June 14 2004 by J. A. Northrop
It starts out slow, but it builds & builds, & by the time the house gets ahold of dear Eleanor, it's too late to go back! I was chilled upon finishing the novel. Read morePublished on April 12 2004 by lady detective
I found it necessary to read this book all in one night. I then found it necessary to sit up for an hour afterwards watching cheerful video, and then went to bed with my walkman... Read morePublished on April 3 2004