Monday, August 14, 2023

Five top thriller and horror books with “House” in the title

Sara Flannery Murphy is the author of the novels The Possessions and Girl One. She grew up in Arkansas, studied library science in British Columbia, and received her MFA in creative writing at Washington University in St. Louis. She lives in Utah with her husband and their two sons.

Her newest novel is The Wonder State.

[My Book, The Movie: The Possessions; The Page 69 Test: The Possessions; Writers Read: Sara Flannery Murphy (March 2017); Q&A with Sara Flannery Murphy]

At Shepherd Murphy tagged five of the best thriller and horror books with “House” in the title, including:
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

In the real estate market of haunted houses, Hill House remains a hot property decades after the book’s publication in 1959.

Shirley Jackson is queen of slow-burn Gothic suspense, and her premise is incredible: a group of strangers arrive at an eerie mansion as part of a scientific project to find evidence of the paranormal.

Jackson doesn’t use flashy jump scares, but rather spins a subtle dread that makes even quiet scenes feel unbearably tense.

Haunting of Hill House remains my top recommendation for scary novels. It’s rare for a book to have me leaving the lights on at night, but after one key scene, I had trouble sleeping for weeks. I don’t hide the fact that I’m a Jackson superfan, and this is one of her best works.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Haunting of Hill House also appears on Lisa Unger's list of five great horror novels that explore the darkest corners of our minds, 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 Zafón's top ten list of 20th-century gothic novels,  and Brad Leithauser's five best list of ghost tales.

--Marshal Zeringue