Women in Horror Month: The Haunting of Hill House

Title: The Haunting of Hill House
Author: Shirley Jackson
Publisher: Penguin

“The literary effect we call horror turns on the dissolution of boundaries, between the living and the dead, of course, but also, at the crudest level, between the outside of the body and everything that ought to stay inside.”

-Laura Miller (from the introduction to The Haunting of Hill House)

To be perfectly honest, Laura Miller’s introduction will say everything about this book I wish to say and in a more elegant way. Though, unless you don’t mind spoilers, I wouldn’t read it until you read The Haunting of Hill House.

So where should I start? Madness? Ghosts?

Continue reading “Women in Horror Month: The Haunting of Hill House”

Women In Horror Recognition Month Poll Winners

Just thought I would let you all in on who going to be spotlighted in a few weeks for Women In Horror month.

Coming in a dubious first place, Morbid Curiosity by Deborah LeBlanc:

It seemed like the answer to Haley’s prayers. The most popular girl in her high school promised Haley that her life would change forever if only she performed certain dark rituals. And if Haley can convince her twin sister to participate, their power will double. Together they will be able to summon mystical entities that will do their bidding, some more powerful than they ever dreamed possible.

But these are uncontrollable forces, forces that can kill—forces that demand to be . . . fed.

From Deborah LeBlanc’s Website

Next up is Spellbent by Lucy Snyder:

Jessie Shimmer’s roguish lover, Cooper, has been teaching her ubiquemancy, the art of finding the magic in everyday things. But things go terribly wrong when the couple try to call a rainstorm in downtown Columbus. A hellish portal opens, and Cooper is ripped from the world. Worse yet, a vicious demon invades the city. Jessie barely manages to slay it, but she’s gravely wounded and the capital’s center is destroyed. As if losing an eye and a hand isn’t bad enough, the city’s ruling mage, Benedict Jordan, brands her an outlaw. With only her ferret familiar to help her, Jessie must find the dimension Cooper’s trapped in and bring him back alive before sinister machinations make both of them vanish for good.

From Lucy Snyder’s Website

In a close third, the classic, The Haunting of  Hill House by Shirley Jackson:

First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. 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, his 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.

From the Penguin Website

Rounding out the month will be Mama’s Boy and Other Dark Tales by Fran Friel:

The Bram Stoker Award-nominated novella “Mama’s Boy” is the cornerstone of this 14-story collection from author Fran Friel and Apex Publications. A man whose mother’s demented love for him has turned him from an innocent boy to a serial killer to a near-comatose mental patient opens his world to a psychologist determined to reach him as a way of dealing with her own mother’s battle with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. But is she helping, or is there more damage to be done?

In “Mashed,” a son’s simple request for potatoes with his birthday dinner opens up a world of past fears and childhood torments for his mother, while the flash fiction story “Close Shave” presents a horrifically funny solution to an everyday women’s issue.

From mother and son to broader family ties, Friel explores the bonds of human connection into every dark turn. The humorous yet wickedly creepy “Under the Dryer” begins as a tale told by the family dog and ends in a bloodbath; “Special Prayers,” perhaps the most disturbing offering in the collection, exposes a family secret of abuse and power; and the tragically soft and beautiful “Orange and Golden” explores the purest form of the human-animal bond as the sun sets on a natural disaster.

From the Apex Publications Website

Literary Horror on Goodreads.com

Over at Goodreads.com, a social networking site for readers, there is a group that is going strong called Literary Horror started by author Robert Dunbar (The Pines, The Shore, and Martyrs & Monsters) and founder of Uninvited Books.

The group’s main focus is discussing the literary merit of Horror novels and to help promote a more literary approach to the writing of Horror fiction. One thread of interest is the Manifesto thread. As it started outs as a recommendation list for writers to read if they want to be more literary with work, it slowly becomes a discussion of the literary merit of horror, what are some of the causes, etc.

There is also a whole section for discussions about horror from everyone but white men of the western hemisphere. One post I found informative was on Arabian and Egyptian Horror. I do hope that at some point some of these stories are translated into english. I’ve always been interest in Horror outside of the US & UK.

That is just a glimpse of what the group offers. If you aren’t member of Goodreads, you can still read through the posts and keep track of the discussions. But it’s worth signing up to take part in it.