Publication Date: 1959
Goodreads Rating: 3.8
Amazon Link: Buy on Amazon
My Rating: ★★
It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, the lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.
Like most people, I adored Haunting of Hill House on Netflix and, although I knew it was very different from the book, I still took it upon myself to read it. I loved The Woman in Black, one of the scariest books I’ve read by far, so I was eager to get The Haunting of Hill House read so I could experience what is considered one of the best haunted house stories out there.
I was incredibly disappointed with this book and ended up rating it two stars. It was an okay-ish book but left me feeling as though I had been robbed of all the scary bits the series so brilliantly gave me. There were a few moments that had me on the edge of my seat, but the characters seemed to constantly tackle their fears with terrible humor which made me desperate to finish it just so I could put it down.
Eleanor is our main character, invited to spend the summer in Hill House by Doctor Montague, who is investigating haunted houses and invites her, Theodora and Luke, the heir to the house, to aid him in his research. As dated as the book is, I enjoyed watched them get to know each other, joking around and befriending each other easily. It was a very promising set up but the focus was on the characters themselves a little too much and less about the house, which I hoped would be the main focus of the story.
Overall, I deemed this book to be rather forgettable. I wouldn’t see myself picking it up to reread anytime soon, and I highly doubt I’d recommend people read it. I was promised an element of horror which I didn’t receive, instead I seemed to read 246 pages of Eleanor worrying that the group didn’t like her, the group themselves joking around, and constantly being reminded that the house was too big for them to wander off themselves. There was about two pages worth of them talking to a ghost and feeling a presence in the room, but I wouldn’t consider it scary as, by the time I got invested in it, the ghost had disappeared, much like my hopes for the story.
Have you read this book? If so, what did you think?