Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Haunting of Hill House - an excerpt

I've finished my first Spring Into Horror read-a-thon book!  Yay!  There's an excerpt below - this was a creepy book about a horrible house.  I'll do a review this weekend.

"It knows we're here," Eleanor whispered, and Luke, looking back at her over his shoulder, gestured furiously for her to be quiet.

It is so cold, Eleanor thought childishly; I will never be able to sleep again with all this noise coming from inside my head; how can these others hear the noise when it is coming from inside my head? I am disappearing inch by inch into this house, I am going apart a little bit at a time because all this noise is breaking me; why are the others frightened?

She was aware, dully, that the pounding had begun again, the metallic overwhelming sound of it washed over her like waves; she put her cold hands to her mouth to feel if her face was still there; I have had enough, she thought, I am too cold.

"Purest love," Theodora said madly, "purest love." And she began to giggle again...

Now we are going to have a new noise, Eleanor thought, listening to the inside of her head; it is changing.  The pounding had stopped, as though it had proved ineffectual, and there was now a swift movement up and down the hall, as of an animal pacing back and forth with unbelievable impatience, watching first one door and then another, alert for a movement inside, and there was again the little babbling murmur which Eleanor remembered; Am I doing it? she wondered quickly, is that me? And heard the tiny laughter beyond the door, mocking her.

"Fee-fi-fo-fum," Theodora said under her breath and the laughter swelled and became a shouting; it's inside my head, Eleanor thought, putting her hands over her face, it's inside my head and it's getting out, getting out, getting out -

Now the house shivered and shook, the curtains dashing against the windows, the furniture swaying, and the noise in the hall became so great that it pushed against the walls; they could hear breaking glass as the pictures in the hall came down, and perhaps the smashing of windows. ...Holding to the bed, buffeted and shaken, Eleanor put her head down and closed her eyes and bit her lips against the cold and felt the sickening drop as the room fell away beneath her and then right itself and then turned, slowly, swinging....Somewhere there was a great, shaking crash as some huge thing came headlong..."  The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson


  1. Yay, you finished! I hope you enjoyed it. I'll come by and check out your review. I don't know if it would be too horror for you, but another good one about a horrible house is Hell House by Richard Matheson (author of I Am Legend). It's probably my favorite horror novel, or at least, in my top 5 of favorites in horror. There was a movie based on it in the 60s (perhaps early 70s) called The Legend of Hell House. It starred Roddy McDowell, among others. The movie was good, but the book was better, of course. The book actually scared the you-know-what out of me. LOL!

    So what's next for you? I hope you're enjoying the read-a-thon!

  2. Hi, Michelle. I have to confess that I had that book on my TBR shelf for years but I couldn't seem to get past the opening paragraphs - the writing seemed turgid but having pushed through the first few pages, the writing really picked up. I'll check out Hell House - hadn't heard of it, nor the movie.
    I'm on to White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi which is again about a possibly haunted house and the descent into madness that it induces. I'll write a review of that, too.

    Thanks for popping by. I'm enjoying my first read-a-thon!