Halloween Reads : The Haunted House

  1. Haunted Houses

October and scary books go together like Halloween candy and my face and since horror has been my favorite genre of anything for as long as I can remember I thought I’d recommend some of my all time favourite scary stories in a ten day countdown of terror!

House_of_leavesHouse of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
A highly unique take on the classic horror genre, the setting of House of Leaves is far more ‘alive’ than any others mentioned and it’s story told by more unreliable narrators than you can shake as stick at. It’s a story complied and told in the footnotes of a mad man, written within in a manuscript made by a blind man, about a documentary that may or may not exist that was created by a journalist about a house that may or may not exist, that is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside and how his pursuit of unraveling the mystery of the house sends him in a literal spiral of madness. It’s a complicated and confusing book, and because of this a lot of people don’t like it. But those who get it, love it, and I’m one of those people. It’s a brilliant and terrifying piece of story-telling and it’s stuck with me ever since. I’m still not convinced I really get it, and the more I contemplate it the less I understand it, but that’s why I love it.

IMG_9066The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
For me, Shirley Jackson is the all time queen of horror fiction and the Haunting of Hill House is the brightest jewel in her crown. A true classic story that questions the very nature of what it means to be haunted.

Hell House by Richard Matheson
Essentially the same set up as Hill House, a hand-picked group of paranormal specialists are employed by some faceless, wealthy guy to investigate the legendary house, solve the mysteries of what lies within and who in attempting to do so, one by one succumb to the madness that the house is notorious for inflicting upon anybody who spends time within its walls. But where Hill House focuses on the psychological aspects of what makes a haunting, Matheson plays up the vulgar and graphic side of horror and details more closely the cause of the house’s corruption and the origins of the tortured souls within it. So if you like your horrors horrific, pick this one up.


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