Sunday, 13 October 2013
A Haunted Bookshelf.
So begins chapter one of The Haunting Of Hill house by Shirley Jackson. After reading this how could anyone possibly not wish to read further. A classic novel tracing the supernatural experiences of a team of ghost hunters in a house that was just plain born bad.It is quite a subtle novel given its subject matter; one that has been turned into a movie adaption twice. Once quite honorably, the other less so. I remember seeing the first as an impressionable child and then watching it again as an impressionable adult. Both times it quite gave me the willies. Whatever it is that stalks the halls of Hill House is a thing without empathy or mercy but possessed of a cool calculation that devours the unwary. It is a remorselessly evil entity that obeys no known laws that make sense of the flukey randomness of existence.It is very old and very wiley and very much should not be.
There are some wonderful books out there that explore that dark territory, monstrously cruel things rooted in bricks and mortar; it is a rich vein of horror which is enjoying something of a revival in literature, television and cinema.What about Hell House by Richard Matheson orThe Turn Of The Screw by Henry James. Books reprinted many times by many generations of readers. Both contemporary at time of publication, each successfully moving from decade to decade gaining appreciation as the years pass. And for the sheer joy of a tale about the power of tales what about The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow by Washinton Irving. Ichabod Crane is a timeless literary creation, one who captures the spirit of this time of year as no other.
Just setting the mood for the beginning of a journey into the heart of the October Country.
The only maps being the ones we write ourselves.