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  1. #1

    Good Haunted House Novels?

    I'm a big fan of the "Haunted House" genre. My favorites include King's "Bag of Bones" and Straub's "Lost Boy, Lost Girl." Does anyone have some good recommendations in this area?

  2. #2
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    Not a novel but a short story:

    The Shunned House by H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #3
    Cranky old broad AuntiePam's Avatar
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    Well, it's not haunted in the traditional sense, but The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson has made it to a lot of best-lists.

    Is The Shining a haunted house story? It's hard to know where haunting stops and possession begins.

    I liked The Good House by Tananarive Due. It's doesn't feature a conventional haunting either though.

    The Woman in Black by Susan Hill has a ghost, but no haunted house. It's old-fashioned, but I thought it was excellent.

    Softspoken, Lucius Shepard's new one, is sort of a haunted house story.

    Does a haunted house require a ghost? What about houses that are built on sacred sites, like the house in the movie Poltergeist?

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    Registered User Zsinj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaredog View Post
    I'm a big fan of the "Haunted House" genre. My favorites include King's "Bag of Bones" and Straub's "Lost Boy, Lost Girl." Does anyone have some good recommendations in this area?
    Correct me if I'm wrong because I've never read it, but I thought Stephen King's "Bag of Bones" was basically a drama with supernatural elements, rather than a straight up horror/haunted hause tale.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Zsinj View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong because I've never read it, but I thought Stephen King's "Bag of Bones" was basically a drama with supernatural elements, rather than a straight up horror/haunted hause tale.
    It's a drama, but the main character lives in a haunted house.

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    Hell House by Richard Matheson.

    You should also try the classic story short fiction of M.R. James, E.F. Benson, and Algernon Blackwood.

  7. #7
    I'd second these, and strongly second the Jackson.

    Quote Originally Posted by AuntiePam View Post
    Well, it's not haunted in the traditional sense, but The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson has made it to a lot of best-lists.

    Is The Shining a haunted house story? It's hard to know where haunting stops and possession begins.
    [...]
    The Woman in Black by Susan Hill has a ghost, but no haunted house. It's old-fashioned, but I thought it was excellent.

    [...]
    Does a haunted house require a ghost? What about houses that are built on sacred sites, like the house in the movie Poltergeist?
    I also second Matheson's Hell House, which I understand is about to be again made into a movie.

    There's also Turn of the Screw by Henry James, which may or may not be a haunted house story, and, since we're mentioning longish stories, short novels, toss in Oliver Onions' "The Beckoning Fair One."

    If you're willing to look into movies, see also The Uninvited, based on a novel I have never gotten my paws on, and starring Ray Milland at his most Cary Grant-like.

    Another book that doesn't technically belong to this group but has something of the same feel to it, is Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca; Manderley may not be haunted by ghosts, but the memory of one of it's former inhabitants certainly haunt the present inhabitants.

    Randy M.

  8. #8
    Thanks for all the suggestions.

    The Haunting (the original version) is one of my favorite horror movies and I've always meant to read the book, but seem to forget about it.

  9. #9
    House of Leaves (Mark Danielewski). Highly original - and very scary.

  10. #10
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    I found House of Leaves hard work - a case of style over substance for me, I'm afraid - but there are some out there who really like it.

    Would Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher count?

    The Turn of the Screw by Henry James?; (Novella rather than novel, perhaps)

    And just to add my recommendation: Hell House by Richard Matheson (on which the film The Haunting [Correction: Legend] of Hill House was based) is great: a lot more adult than I expected;

    (And how about this for a cover!):



    James Herbert's Haunted is OK;


    The Haunting of Hill House gets my vote though, I think.

    Though this is short stories, this might be worth a look:


    Peter Haining's Mammoth Book of Haunted House Stories. Cover:



    There's a lot there to try!

    Mark / Hobbit
    Last edited by Hobbit; February 12th, 2008 at 08:53 AM.
    Mark

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    And just to add my recommendation: Hell House by Richard Matheson (on which the film The Haunting of Hill House was based) is great: a lot more adult than I expected;
    [...]
    The Haunting of Hill House gets my vote though, I think.

    [...]
    Mark / Hobbit
    I figure you know this but had what a friend of mine calls a 'thinko': Hell House the novel was the basis for the film The Legend of Hell House. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson was the basis of the Robert Wise directed film, The Haunting.

    I haven't heard a fully convincing argument for what formed the basis of the Jan de Bont movie also titled The Haunting, although the suggestion it was all based on a badly digested radish is fairly convincing.

    Randy M.

  12. #12
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Thanks Randy: yes, I know that: it's a typo, which I will correct! I have said elsewhere that the original Haunting film is one of my favourites, and one of my recommendations for a Halloween video-fest.

    The remake however needs to be IMO shunned as much as possible. In the style of 'if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything', I'll just go with 'the colour's nice, isn't it?'.

    Mark / Hobbit
    Mark

  13. #13
    Though not technically involving the supernatural (iirc) I still remember with shivers a Jack Cady novel called The Well. Psychotic booby-trapping. Torture apparatus and stuff. Shivers, I tell you.

  14. #14
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Phil Rickman's December was a good haunted house...er haunted recording studio story.

    In December 1980, a rock band whose members are all psychics, records an album amidst the ancient ruins of an abbey in Wales. The result is tragic; but 14 tormented years later, the band members are lured to a reunion by inescapable forces. Together, they try to stem the evil emanating from the abbey.

  15. #15
    Registered User Raule's Avatar
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    I think Poe's House of Usher counts. Hawthorne's House of Seven Gables is a good one, too, if you count those that are more gothic than pure horror.

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