Spotlight on … Shirley Jackson The Haunting of Hill House (1959) * – DC's (2023)

* (restored/Halloween countdown post #11)
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Spotlight on … Shirley Jackson The Haunting of Hill House (1959) * – DC's (1)

‘I have always loved to use fear, to take it and comprehend it and make it work and consolidate a situation where I was afraid and take it whole and work from there…I delight in what I fear.’ — Shirley Jackson

‘North Bennington is a tiny village less than a mile from the otherwise isolated Bennington campus in Vermont. Shirley Jackson was married to Stanley Edgar Hyman, a literary critic who taught at the college. And she spent her life in the town, raising four children, presiding over a chaotic household that was host to Ralph Ellison, Bernard Malamud and Howard Nemerov, and at times going quietly crazy — and writing, always, with the rigor of one who has found her born task. Six novels, two bestselling volumes of deceptively sunny family memoirs and countless stories before her death at 48, in 1965.

‘Jackson was in many senses already two people when she arrived in Vermont. One was a turgid, fearful ugly-duckling, permanently cowed by the severity of her upbringing by a suburban mother obsessed with appearances. This half of Jackson was a character she brought brilliantly to life in her stories and novels from the beginning: the shy girl, whose identity slips all too easily from its foundations. The other half of Jackson was the expulsive iconoclast, brought out of her shell by marriage to Hyman — himself a garrulous egoist very much in the tradition of Jewish ’50’s New York intellectuals — and by the visceral shock of mothering a quartet of noisy, demanding babies. This second Shirley Jackson dedicated herself to rejecting her mother’s sense of propriety, drank and smoked and fed to buttery excess — directly to blame for her and her husband’s early deaths — dabbled in magic and voodoo, and interfered loudly when she thought the provincial Vermont schools were doing an injustice to her talented children. This was the Shirley Jackson that the town feared, resented and, depending on whose version you believe, occasionally persecuted.

‘The hostility of the villagers further shaped her psyche, and her art; the process eventually redoubled so the latter fed the former. After the enormous success of “The Lottery,” a legend arose in town, almost certainly false, that Jackson had been pelted with stones by schoolchildren one day, then gone home and written the story. The real crisis came near the end of her life, resulting in a period of agoraphobia and psychosis; she wrote her way through it in We Have Always Lived in the Castle. In that novel, Jackson brilliantly isolates the two aspects in her psyche into two odd, damaged sisters: one hypersensitive and afraid, unable to leave the house, the other a sort of squalid demon prankster who may or may not have murdered the rest of her family for her fragile sister’s sake.

‘Shirley Jackson wrote about the mundane evils hidden in everyday life and about the warring and subsuming of selves in a family, a community and sometimes even in a single mind. She wrote about prejudice, neurosis and identity. An unfortunate impression persists (one Jackson encouraged, for complicated reasons) that her work is full of ghosts and witches. In truth, few of her greatest stories and just one of her novels, The Haunting of Hill House, contain a suggestion of genuinely supernatural events. Jackson’s forté was psychology and society, people in other words — people disturbed, dispossessed, misunderstanding or thwarting one another compulsively, people colluding absently in monstrous acts. She had a jeweler’s eye for the microscopic degrees by which a personality creeps into madness or a relationship turns from dependence to exploitation. Judy Oppenheimer’s fine 1988 biography of Jackson is called Private Demons, but it could have been called Little Murders.— Jonathan Lethem, Salon

Spotlight on … Shirley Jackson The Haunting of Hill House (1959) * – DC's (2)

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Further

Shirley Jackson: The Full Wiki
A modest Shirley Jackson resource page
‘Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House: An Introduction’
‘Shirley Jackson: House and Guardians’
‘SHIRLEY JACKSON: Delight in What I Fear’
‘The Witchcraft of Shirley Jackson’
‘The Haunting of Hill House’ by Shirley Jackson: The Paperback Covers’
Shirley Jackson @ Goodreads
Buy Shirley Jackson’s books

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The Sketches

‘Shirley Jackson’s great-great-grandfather, Samuel Bugbee, designed beautiful Nob Hill mansions, and her grandfather was a prominent San Francisco architect as well. Jackson was sufficiently imbued with an architect’s brain to draw rough schematics for the houses in her fiction, unbuildable but detailed enough to guide her thinking about which rooms Eleanor would run through to reach the tower in The Haunting of Hill House’s penultimate scene. These drawings, found in Jackson’s papers at The Library of Congress, inspire a particular form of creative thinking and planning. Rather than creating a structure for a world of words, Jackson envisions structures that she will then use words to describe.’ — Susan Scarf Merrell, Writers’ Houses

Spotlight on … Shirley Jackson The Haunting of Hill House (1959) * – DC's (3)

Spotlight on … Shirley Jackson The Haunting of Hill House (1959) * – DC's (4)

Spotlight on … Shirley Jackson The Haunting of Hill House (1959) * – DC's (5)

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Remembrance

Spotlight on … Shirley Jackson The Haunting of Hill House (1959) * – DC's (6)

‘Forgotten now as a writer, Stanley Edgar Hyman — a brash, blunt, myopic polymath, blimpish in form and bearded, we thought, at birth — was once a boy-wonder: a New Yorker staffer at 24 and a literary critic whose forte was the exploration of figurative language. Stanley Hyman was also the most popular teacher in a school which prided itself (shades of Miss Jean Brodie) on being in the prime of life: a dramatic experiment in female education in full bloom. Even the 300 acre country campus –- hay fields and spiky marsh grasses, cow and carriage barns, apple orchards, and a brooding greystone mansion — radiated the sense of privilege that came with being the right place at the right time …

‘Stanley’s wife -– and that’s how we thought of her -– was the writer Shirley Jackson. The first thing you heard about Shirley Jackson was that she was a witch. Shirley tacitly encouraged this rumor, although the evidence supporting it would have been admissible only in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. Shirley had written a book about witchcraft; she was known to “read” Tarot cards; she inserted into her exquisitely written fictions quotations from her large collection of grimoires and magic books; and she gave to some of her many cats -– eleven cats! they must be her familiars! — the names of the dukes and demons of Hell.

‘Shirley was a wide pale woman with a face like a baleful moon. Her fine skin glowed with a pallor that looked unhealthy even in a climate cold enough for “winter white” to be a seasonal description of a woman’s complexion. Her hair was sandy, lank, and raked back in a bun from which wisps and hanks always escaped. Her eyes were alive (as Stanley’s were not) and protected by large unfashionable glasses, but they were like windows whose shades had been pulled down. Light shone behind them, but not for us. Shirley gave the impression of never wanting to mix with her husband’s students. She had her reasons.

‘Shirley was even bulkier than Stanley, and so, naturally, the Hyman family car was the smallest possible Volkswagen bug. Shirley was the chauffeur -– Stanley never did anything practical if he could help it -– and on-campus sightings of the two of them struggling to enter and exit their tiny vehicle were highly prized. One night, I watched Shirley and Stanley try to walk through a wide-open auditorium doorway side by side. They wedged together in the doorjamb for an awful moment; then Stanley, decisive as ever, burst free.’ — Joan Schenkar, Wall Street Journal

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SJ at the Movies


The 1963 movie based on ‘THoHH’


The 1999 movie based on ‘THoHH’ – Trailer


Excerpt from a film based on ‘We Have Always Lived in the Castle’


A 1969 short film based on Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Lottery’

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Interview

Spotlight on … Shirley Jackson The Haunting of Hill House (1959) * – DC's (7)

I still remember the day we were assigned to do a research paper on a piece of literature we had read in my English 198 class. The story I chose to write my paper on was “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, it was one of my favorites. Luckily for me Mrs. Jackson lived in my neighborhood and my parents were friends with her and her husband. So I knew it would not be difficult to set up an interview with her for my research paper. One day after getting home from school, I met my mother in the living room so I told her that I was doing a research paper on Mrs. Jackson and asked if she could set up an interview for me. The following day I was thrilled to hear that my mom had successfully arranged for me to have my interview.

On the day of the interview I walked to Mrs. Jackson’s home, it was only about five minutes away from my home. I remember feeling a bit nervous as I pressed the door bell, within a couple of seconds Mrs. Jackson opened the door and welcomed me with a beautiful smile. As we walked towards the parlor she asked how my parents were doing, I told her they were doing fine. After that she asked me if I was thirsty, I kindly said I was not. She paused for a few seconds than told me to begin.

Interviewer: Mrs. Jackson, thank you for agreeing to do this interview. I have a couple of questions to ask.

Mrs. Jackson: You’re welcome, so what would you like to know?
Interviewer: To start off, where were you born? And did you grow up there?

Mrs. Jackson: I was born in San Francisco. No, I actually grew up in California.

Interviewer: were you interested in writing as a child? Or was it something you developed later in life?

Mrs. Jackson: I became interested in writing at an early age. I actually won my first poetry prize when I was twelve. Later on in high school I kept a diary to record my writing progress.

Interviewer: That’s very interesting. Have you ever used a place you have lived in as a setting for any of your works?

Mrs. Jackson: Yes, in my first novel the setting was based on Burlingame, a suburb I lived in, in San Francisco.

After my first set of questions Mrs. Jackson asked if we could take a break, she than walked into the kitchen. While I was by myself in the parlor, I noticed some family pictures on the wall and next to them were some of the awards she had won for her works. When she returned from the kitchen, she brought some sandwiches and drinks. I took a sip of orange juice then continued with the interview.

Interviewer: In “The Lottery” what point were you trying to make by having the villagers stone one of their members.

Mrs. Jackson: I wanted to dramatize graphically the pointless violence in people’s lives, to reveal the general inhumanity of man.

Interviewer: I see. As I read the story in school, I realized that the lottery was a means of finding a sacrifice for the season’s harvest. Is that the only thing the lottery is supposed to represent?

Mrs. Jackson: That’s the main thing it represents. However, it also illustrates how societies tend to hold onto traditions, even meaningless ones, revealing our need for ritual and belonging.

Interviewer: Finally Mrs. Jackson, what message are you trying to get across to the public with this story?

Mrs. Jackson: I want people to learn that, “custom and law, when sanctioned by a selfish, unthinking populace, can bring an otherwise democratic and seemingly just society to the brink of paganism”.

Interviewer: That’s very interesting. Well Mrs. Jackson, I think I have enough information. Thank you for allowing me to interview you.

When we finished the interview Mrs. Jackson walked me to the door, I thanked her again for her time, than I started to head back home. When I got home and began to write my paper, I was just amazed at how fortunate I was, to have the author of one of the stories I read in school as a neighbor. The next week of school I got my graded paper and I was not surprised by my grade. I smiled as I read all the positive remarks my teacher had written down about my paper.

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Book

Spotlight on … Shirley Jackson The Haunting of Hill House (1959) * – DC's (8) Shirley Jackson The Haunting of Hill House

Penguin

‘Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has unnerved readers since its original publication in 1959. A tale of subtle, psychological terror, it has earned its place as one of the significant haunted house stories of the ages.

Eleanor Vance has always been a loner–shy, vulnerable, and bitterly resentful of the 11 years she lost while nursing her dying mother. “She had spent so long alone, with no one to love, that it was difficult for her to talk, even casually, to another person without self-consciousness and an awkward inability to find words.” Eleanor has always sensed that one day something big would happen, and one day it does. She receives an unusual invitation from Dr. John Montague, a man fascinated by “supernatural manifestations.” He organizes a ghost watch, inviting people who have been touched by otherworldly events. A paranormal incident from Eleanor’s childhood qualifies her to be a part of Montague’s bizarre study–along with headstrong Theodora, his assistant, and Luke, a well-to-do aristocrat. They meet at Hill House — a notorious estate in New England.

‘Hill House is a foreboding structure of towers, buttresses, Gothic spires, gargoyles, strange angles, and rooms within rooms — a place “without kindness, never meant to be lived in ….” Although Eleanor’s initial reaction is to flee, the house has a mesmerizing effect, and she begins to feel a strange kind of bliss that entices her to stay. Eleanor is a magnet for the supernatural — she hears deathly wails, feels terrible chills, and sees ghostly apparitions. Once again she feels isolated and alone — neither Theo nor Luke attract so much eerie company. But the physical horror of Hill House is always subtle; more disturbing is the emotional torment Eleanor endures. Intense, literary, and harrowing, The Haunting of Hill House belongs in the same dark league as Henry James’s classic ghost story, The Turn of the Screw.’ — Naomi Gesinger

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Excerpts

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; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.

Dr. John Montague was a doctor of philosophy; he had taken his degree in anthropology, feeling obscurely that in this field he might come closest to his true vocation, the analysis of supernatural manifestations. He was scrupulous about the use of his title because, his investigations being so utterly unscientific, he hoped to borrow an air of respectability, even scholarly authority, from his education. It had cost him a good deal, in money and pride, since he was not a begging man, to rent Hill House for three months, but he expected absolutely to be compensated for his pains by the sensation following upon the publication of his definitive work on the causes and effects of psychic disturbances in a house commonly known as “haunted.” He had been looking for an honestly haunted house all his life. When he heard of Hill House he had been at first doubtful, then hopeful, then indefatigable; he was not the man to let go of Hill House once he had found it.

*

Eleanor Vance was thirty-two years old when she came to Hill House. The only person in the world she genuinely hated, now that her mother was dead, was her sister. She disliked her brother-in-law and her five year old niece, and she had no friends.

*

It started again, as though it had been listening, waiting to hear their voices and what they said, to identify them, to know how well prepared they were against it, waiting to hear if they were afraid. So suddenly that Eleanor leaped back against the bed and Theodora gasped and cried out, the iron crash came against their door, and both of them lifted their eyes in horror, because the hammering was against the upper edge of the door, higher than either of the them could reach, higher than Luke or the doctor could reach, and the sickening, degrading cold came in waves from whatever was outside the door.

Eleanor stood perfectly still and looked at the door. She did not quite know what to do, although she believed that she was thinking coherently and was not unusually frightened, not more frightened, certainly, than she had believed in her worst dreams she could be. The cold troubled her even more than the sounds; even Theodora’s warm robe was useless against the icy little curls of fingers on her back. The intelligent thing to do, perhaps, was to walk over and open the door; that, perhaps, would belong with the doctor’s views of pure scientific inquiry. Eleanor knew that, even if her feet would take her as far as the door, her hand would not lift to the doorknob; impartially, remotely, she told herself that no one’s hand would touch that knob; it’s not the work hands were made for, she told herself. She had been rocking a little, each crash against the door pushing her a little backward, and now she was still because the noise was fading. “I’m going to complain to the janitor about the radiators,” Theodora said from behind her. “Is it stopping?”

“No,” Eleanor said, sick. “No.”

It had found them. Since Eleanor would not open the door, it was going to make its way in. Eleanor said aloud, “Now I know why people scream, because I think I’m going to,” and Theodora said, “I will if you will.”and laughed so that Eleanor turned quickly back to the bed and they held each other, listening in silence. Little pattings came from around the doorframe, small seeking sounds, feeling the edges of the door, trying to sneak a way in. The doorknob was fondled, and Eleanor, whispering, said, “Is it locked?” and Theodora nodded and then, wide-eyed, turned to stare at the connecting bathroom door. “Mine’s locked too,” Eleanor said against her ear, and Theodora closed her eyes in relief. The little sticky sounds moved on around the doorframe and then, as though a fury caught whatever was outside, the crashing came again, and Eleanor and Theodora saw the wood of the door tremble and shake, and the door move against its hinges.

“You can’t get in,” Eleanor said wildly, and again there was silence, as though the house listened with attention to her words, understanding, cynically agreeing, content to wait. A thin little giggle came, in a breath of air through the room, a little mad rising laugh, the smallest whisper of a laugh, and Eleanor heard it all up and down her back, a little gloating laugh moving past them around the house, and then she heard the doctor and Luke calling from the stairs and, mercifully, it was over.

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*

p.s. Hey. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi, David. Your link didn’t work, but, based on the prompt, I’m strongly guessing it had something to do with Sondheim? ** Dominik, Hi!!! My favorites? Oh, wow, uh … I like Sean Landers’ trees, the Martian language thing is interesting, the Jesse Howard things, and I love Frances Stark always, so maybe them? LA plans: lots of interviewing prospective crew and collaborators, finding the house location (top priority), auditioning actors, figuring out the exact amount of money we need, deciding precisely when we’ll shoot the film, and tons and tons of haunted house attractions!!!! I kind of worship Mexican food, or my tongue does, and Zac just found this new Mexican food place in the 11th arr, and we ate there last night, and it’s the best Mexican food in Paris by a million miles, so now I have a place to sate my cravings in-between US trips! I would say love has excellent taste in both tattoos and their placement. Love making Destroyer wander around in the audience of his gig that I’m attending tonight so I can thank him in person for letting Zac and me use his song for free in ‘Permanent Green Light’, G. ** _Black_Acrylic, It’s true, right? I didn’t know there was a film about Wain. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch? Urgh. ** Sypha, I thought Louis Wain might lure you into the blog’s VIP room. Awesome! Everyone, the mighty writer James Champagne, best known around here by his local moniker Sypha, wrote a piece about one of yesterday’s ‘Words’ stars Louis Wain for the late, great Yuck ‘n’ Yum zine years ago that I can guarantee is a killer read, so do think about being killed in the good way by it by clickingthis. Me neither about that martian language person. So interesting, no? Use it! I think she’s very dead and won’t mind. ** Steve Erickson, Oh, poor, poor you for having had your mind picture said speculative film, although, okay, it does have camp classic pre-written all over it. There really is a lot of posthumous Mark Fisher popping up, isn’t there? Nice in the obvious way, but yeah. ‘Jack Bauer’s Tulpa’! What a title. A lot to live up there, bud. ** Robert, Thanks a bunch. I’m assuming the is-it-or-is-it-not-sentimental effect is intentional, or I was hoping so. Yeah, man, I get in those states. I think it’s like the necessary rough patches that make writers tough enough to forge ahead with their difficult life decision or something? I read Emily Dickinson in high school, like I guess all teens do, and I was like, blah, old stuff, I don’t care, but then I tried reading her years later, and it was, like, holy shit, she’s completely radical and amazing. Yeah, she was quite something style-wise, externally and inside. How’s Friday? ** Okay. I decided to bring some rare class to the Halloween countdown and restore this old, formerly dead post about Shirley Jackson’s great and spooky novel. See you tomorrow.

FAQs

What was the main idea of The Haunting of Hill House book? ›

Although this novel is about the potential haunting of a house, the text suggests that there is more to fear than just ghosts. Shirley Jackson awakens the idea of how terrifying loneliness truly is by causing her characters, specifically Eleanor, to fear it more than the supernatural.

Is The Haunting of Hill House appropriate for 14 year olds? ›

Despite the overwhelmingly positive reviews, parents should be warned it's probably not the best entertainment for young children. According to the U.S.-based non-profit organization Common Sense, “The Haunting on Hill House” is suitable for teenagers over 16 years of age and contains “mature” themes.

What does the Cup of stars symbolize in Haunting of Hill House? ›

The cup of stars is the girl's test, and it represents for Eleanor her ability to be her own person, to want the things she wants, and, perhaps most importantly, to do these things against her mother's wishes.

What is Shirley Jackson's writing style in Haunting of Hill House? ›

But Jackson's writing style is also conversational. She uses everyday words to get across her point, so the reader doesn't become intimidated by her diction. She uses fragments—like those at the end of the example—to give the novel a more realistic vibe (we don't always think or speak in full sentences, do we?).

What is the point of The Haunting of Hill House? ›

The Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House tells what is, in many ways, an old-fashioned ghost story. Moving between the past and the present, the series traces the effects of trauma on a family that once chose to spend a summer living in a house that is up to no good.

Who is the real villain in The Haunting of Hill House? ›

Hugh Crain is the main antagonist of the The Haunting of Hill House novel, its film adaptation, and the subsequent remake.

Is king of the hill ok for a 13 year old? ›

For high school like ages 14 and up.

Why Is Haunting of Hill House so scary? ›

Hill House doesn't allow the horror to be right in our face. It follows us, much like the ghost haunting the characters, until the fear of the unknown becomes too much to bear. Stillness, solitude, and inescapable dread are the unholy trinity that makes The Haunting of Hill House so scary.

Is Ma appropriate for 13 year olds? ›

M (for Mature): content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content, and/or strong language.

What is the scariest scene in The Haunting of Hill House? ›

13/13 The Bent-Neck Lady Reveal

The Bent-Neck Lady in The Haunting of Hill House is one of the freakiest images ever put onto screen in both TV and film, not only because of how the ghost looks, but also because of the context behind it. It represents suicide - tragedy in the most extreme form.

What mental illness does the mom in Hill House have? ›

For the majority of the show, Steven is convinced that his mother had schizophrenia, and Olivia herself hinted that her issues were pre-existing.

Who is the most important character in The Haunting of Hill House book? ›

Protagonist: Eleanor

Eleanor is the protagonist because her conflict with the antagonist is the main driving force of the novel's plot. This conflict drives the tension and character development, and when it reaches its conclusion, the story basically ends.

What does the Red Room symbolize Hill House? ›

Basically, the Red Room is where the house feeds on the emotions and fears of its potential victims. As Liv tells Nell on the night of their Red Room tea party, “We are the key.”

How scary is The Haunting of Hill House book? ›

For all the comedy though, there is no denying that Hill House is one of the most profoundly and deeply scary books I've read for quite some time.

What is the tone of The Haunting of Hill House? ›

The novel begins with somewhat of a light tone, talking about the house and the darkness within it, but as the story progresses, this lightness is swallowed by darkness, and the tension rises with every turn of the page. A lot of the horror of this novel is not in what happens, but in how it is written.

Who is the guy Shirley sees in Hill House? ›

Ryan Quale is a character in The Haunting of Hill House. He is shown throughout the series as a vision that Shirley has of a man raising his glass at her. It is explained in the last episode that Shirley had an affair with him years before while away on a business trip.

Is Haunting of Hill House true story? ›

The Haunting of Hill House is a 1959 gothic horror novel by American author Shirley Jackson. A finalist for the National Book Award and considered one of the best literary ghost stories published during the 20th century, it has been made into two feature films and a play, and is the basis of a Netflix series.

What happens at the end of Haunting of Hill House book? ›

Everyone but the recently deceased Eleanor leaves Hill House and goes his or her own way. Theodora's roommate welcomes her back with open arms, Luke lives it up abroad in Paris (always Paris), and Dr. Montague abandons his research after his article is not so kindly rejected by the scholarly world.

Why is Nell the bent neck lady? ›

Hill House reveals that the Bent Neck Lady is Nell herself, decades in the future, hanging from a rope that the house convinced her to tie with her neck broken.

What happens to the mom in Hill House? ›

Olivia dies after throwing herself off the top of the staircase. With the hopes of trapping her family there with her to keep them safe, Hugh is somehow able to get all of his children out safely.

Who is the other body in The Haunting of Hill House? ›

By the end of the season, we're lead to believe that Abigail was the "other body" mentioned by police when interviewing Hugh all those years ago. However, the Dudley's hid the body and never told anyone about it. We see them take her body away before any police arrive.

Does Bobby Hill ever hit puberty? ›

While he is the same age as Connie and Joseph, Bobby is a classic example of a late bloomer. He hasn't yet experienced puberty and is jealous that Joseph is tall and sometimes mistaken for an adult.

What age is technically over the hill? ›

Some people consider 40 to be the birthday when you're suddenly "over the hill"—figuring the lifespan of the average human is about 80 and it's the mid-life mark. Others say it's the big 5-0, when you reach the half-century milestone.

What is the black mold in Haunting of Hill House? ›

The mold of Hill House is an earthly spreading of organic matter, and the materialism that creeps in with the mold is evidenced in one possible reading of Flanagan's Haunting: what happens in Hill House is due to the toxic effects of black mold.

How do you survive a horror house? ›

I turned to them for some tips on how to survive Halloween Horror Nights — and other haunted houses.
  1. Walk confidently through haunted houses and other scare zones.
  2. Take a daytime tour of the haunted houses.
  3. Wear earplugs.
  4. Try a dose of liquid courage.
  5. Do something else to get a break from being scared.
11 Oct 2021

Is the house in The Haunting a real place? ›

The house used in the film is located in Grantham, England, and is owned by the University of Evansville (Indiana). It is used by students that study abroad.

Is 18+ the same as rated R? ›

Restricted (R 18+)

This includes content that may be offensive to sections of the adult community. A person may be asked for proof of their age before purchasing, hiring or viewing R 18+ films and computer games at a retail store or cinema.

Is Ma worse than R? ›

Although the TV-MA rating is technically made for 17-year-olds (18 in some cases), programs with this rating can sometimes be more graphic and severe than what R-rated movies would typically allow, thanks to the existence of premium cable networks and certain online streaming services.

Can a 4 year old watch a PG movie? ›

A PG film should not unsettle a child aged around eight or older. Unaccompanied children of any age may watch, but parents are advised to consider whether the content may upset younger, or more sensitive, children. Anyone under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

What did Luke see in the basement? ›

Luke sees a ghost in the basement.

Why does the sister wear gloves in Haunting of Hill House? ›

The only Crain family member with the power to feel other people's (particularly dead people's) emotions with the touch of her hand, Theo wears gloves throughout the entire series in order to protect herself from the unwanted chill. That is, until the end, when she finally takes them off, presumably for good.

What happens to the kittens in Haunting of Hill House? ›

The first is a flashback when Shirley, the second oldest of the Crain children, is mourning the loss of her pet kitten and becomes horrified when a bug crawls out of its mouth. That's scarring enough for any preteen, but then cut to a few days later when all of her other pet kittens die.

Who is the guy in the basement in Hill House? ›

When we first catch a glimpse of William Hill, he is an unusually tall man creepily floating just inches away from the ground. During his life, William drove himself insane from the guilt of his infidelity and used bricks to close himself into a basement wall, where Crain father, Hugh, finds his body 50 years later.

Why are Hughs eyes so blue in Hill House? ›

Henry Thomas (young Hugh Crain) wore blue contact lenses through the entire season. The elder Hugh Crain (played by Timothy Hutton) has gray eyes.

Who lived in Hill House after Hugh Crain's death? ›

Hugh Crain was the original owner of Hill House and widower of three wives (all died prematurely). His daughters inherited the mansion after he perished gallivanting across Europe—and then they, too, suffered for years because of it.

Why does Eleanor not like Theodora? ›

Secretly, Eleanor hates seeing Theodora wear her clothes. Dr. Montague reassures everyone by saying that ghosts can't hurt them—the only thing that can cause physical harm is fear.

Why does Eleanor stay at Hill House? ›

During her trip to Hill House, she imagines all the different lives she might live in all the different houses. And once she arrives at Hill House, she sets out to be the woman she's always wanted to be—and to free herself from the confines of, well, herself.

What is wrong with Eleanor in The Haunting of Hill House? ›

In the series, Eleanor is killed by her mother in order to keep her with her in Hill House, and her death is looked at as a suicide. Both characters are 32 at the time of their deaths. In the novel, Eleanor has been forced to care for her aging mother for over a decade, the only member of her family to do so.

Why was Hugh never in the red room? ›

While we never saw Hugh inside the Red Room — since he couldn't get the darn door open — Flanagan thinks that place has “had everyone in its clutches.” “Those [rooms] are the ones we saw on screen,” he said.

Did they ever leave the Red Room? ›

Hugh sacrifices himself to save his family from the horrible Red Room, and the show ends with Steve (Michiel Huisman), Shirley (Elizabeth Reaser), Theo (Kate Siegel), and Luke (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) escaping Hill House and going back to their lives.

What does the Red Room symbolize? ›

The red-room can be viewed as a symbol of what Jane must overcome in her struggles to find freedom, happiness, and a sense of belonging. In the red-room, Jane's position of exile and imprisonment first becomes clear.

Is Haunting of Hill House ok for 12 year olds? ›

Despite the overwhelmingly positive reviews, parents should be warned it's probably not the best entertainment for young children. According to the U.S.-based non-profit organization Common Sense, “The Haunting on Hill House” is suitable for teenagers over 16 years of age and contains “mature” themes.

Is The Haunting of Hill House disturbing? ›

Parents need to know that The Haunting of Hill House is a tense, eerie ghost story crossed with an affecting (and very mature) family drama.

Is The Haunting of Hill House scarier than Midnight Mass? ›

Overall, Midnight Mass is scary, but not as scary as Flanagan's previous two shows Bly Manor and Hill House. The show is a lot more psychological in nature, but that isn't to say it's without jump scares or bloody body horror.

What is the main message of The Haunting of Hill House? ›

Although this novel is about the potential haunting of a house, the text suggests that there is more to fear than just ghosts. Shirley Jackson awakens the idea of how terrifying loneliness truly is by causing her characters, specifically Eleanor, to fear it more than the supernatural.

What is the message of The Haunting of Hill House? ›

As she examines the effects of both physical and emotional isolation throughout the novel, Shirley Jackson ultimately suggests that true loneliness is the most terrifying force on earth—and more deserving of fear than even the strangest, most bone-chilling experiences with the supernatural.

What makes The Haunting of Hill House book scary? ›

“To me, the best haunted house narratives are never just about the dead – they're about the living and the psychological. In Hill House, the real horror comes from the tragedy that Eleanor thinks she is escaping her stultifying family situation, but can't escape her own mind.”

What does the Red Room symbolize in Haunting of Hill House? ›

Basically, the Red Room is where the house feeds on the emotions and fears of its potential victims. As Liv tells Nell on the night of their Red Room tea party, “We are the key.”

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