Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Five great horror novels that explore the darkest corners of our minds

Lisa Unger is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author. With books published in twenty-nine languages and millions of copies sold worldwide, she is widely regarded as a master of suspense.

Her latest release is Confessions on the 7:45.

At CrimeReads Unger tagged five great horror novels that terrified her. One title on the list:
The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson

The loose inspiration for my recent four-part serial collection of short stories House of Crows, Shirley Jackson’s iconic novel has been scaring readers silly since 1959 and has inspired countless adaptations, most recently the stellar Netflix series. In the novel, four people gather at Hill House to explore rumors of its haunting. Dr Montague, an explorer of the occult, his assistant Theodora, Eleanor, a young woman running from her dark experiences, and Luke, the heir. It begins with one of the best openings ever: No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within. But for all of Hill House’s machinations it only seems to have as much power as you give it. And poor broken Eleanor is incapable of holding anything back. This is quiet, intelligent, twisting horror, more dream than novel, where nothing is ever clear, and its layers reveal only more questions about Eleanor, about Hill House, and about the true nature of being haunted.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Haunting of Hill House also appears on Dell Villa's list of seven of the best haunted houses in literature, Kat Rosenfield's list of seven scary October reads, Michael Marshall Smith's top ten list of horror books, Carlos Ruiz Zaf√≥n's top ten list of 20th-century gothic novels,  and Brad Leithauser's five best list of ghost tales.

--Marshal Zeringue