If you hungrily gobbled up the entirety of The Haunting of Hill House, Netflix's supernatural series created by Mike Flanagan, and you already buried your face in the Shirley Jackson novel that inspired the show, you might be craving even more horror narratives in the "quiet" or Gothic tradition. But where to start? There are probably thousands of titles that fit within this horror subgenre, so it's important to know which ones will immediately appeal to the sensibilities crafted by Jackson and modernized by Flanagan.
We present to you these 15 works of fiction that share both plot and thematic similarities with Hill House. Use this as a quick guide for your to-read pile, or, if you've already consumed these books, let us know which ones are comparable by voting them up. And if you're too spooked out by the books below, you should absolutely check out these shows like The Haunting of Hill House.
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If that big reveal concerning the true identity of a certain Hill House ghost delightfully screwed with your mind, then this novel by Robert Marasco will be right up your alley.
Burnt Offerings begins with the familiar horror premise of a family moving into a big, mysterious house, and slowly unearthing its terrible secrets, but it takes a turn for the truly weird about midway through. You may have also seen the chilling 1976 film adaptation starring Karen Black and Burgess Meredith.
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Horror movie buffs are no doubt familiar with the 1961 picture The Innocents, a film whose quietly menacing depiction of ghosts and sumptuous black-and-white photography clearly informed Robert Wise's adaptation of The Haunting of Hill House two years later. The Innocents was in fact based on this novella by Henry James, upon which Shirley Jackson may have taken inspiration for her own work.
Like Hill House, The Turn of the Screw also features a sprawling, isolated mansion and a tendency to toy with audience expectation, never fully revealing until the end whether there are ghosts roaming the property, or if the phantoms are merely projections of collectively hysterical minds.
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This novel by Sarah Waters features many of the themes and settings present in Hill House - namely, supernatural occurrences that coincide with an increasingly tense family drama playing out in a crumbling old house - but it also offers a unique glimpse into post-WWII England and the dwindling influence of genteel legacy families against the rise of social progress. The ghosts here crop up as a result of old ways clashing with the new, with terrifying results.
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Stephen King's famous novel owes much to Shirley Jackson's Hill House (as do most haunting narratives, for that matter). Among many other elements, The Shining features a psychic character, Danny Torrance, entering a ghost-infested building (here the Overlook Hotel, a fictionalized version of The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO). And just like Theo, Danny experiences supernatural phenomena with way more umph than anyone else in his family - save, perhaps, his father, Jack, upon whose weaknesses the ghosts of the Overlook prey.
If you thought Hugh Crain had it rough in the series, wait until you see what the old hotel has in store for poor Jack.