"The Haunting of Hill House"

“The Haunting of Hill House: Shadows in the Dark”


The Haunting of Hill House” was written by Shirley Jackson and the plot follows a ghost hunter and his assistants who aim to prove the existence of the supernatural.

Although this novel has a fictional and fantasy feel, because it focuses on goblins and scientifically unexplainable phenomena, it also shows the vulnerability of each character.

Jackson exposes human psychological trauma and the question of sanity in the face of real life difficulties.

Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House” contrasts the supernatural with the psychological struggles of each character in the story.

The presentation of “The House on Haunted Hill” begins with the author asserting that reality and dreams are both inevitable for humans.

“Some people claim that even nightingales and katydids have the ability to dream” (1), Jackson writes.

Each character in this novel confronts reality and the supernatural, leaving the reader wondering what events happened and what was the result of someone’s imagination.

The main character, Doctor Montague, is the character who gathers the other members of the supernatural hunter group by sending letters.

His job is to denounce the supernatural; therefore, he believed in the existence of unexplained phenomena.

His recruitment of people through the mail to participate in experiments on strange phenomena may be the first clue to explaining the psychological archetypes of these individuals.

It’s safe to say that not everyone is okay with spending time in a haunted mansion.

This story’s main character, Eleanor Vance, struggles with mental health issues, leading readers to question what is real and what is the result of her imagination.

Eleanor’s expectations shaped her experience at the mansion, and since her arrival, she felt the mansion was evil and brought about a sense of hopelessness (Jackson 10).

Later in the story, Eleonor reveals that she is struggling with her adult life because she spent most of her youth taking care of her mother (Jackson 10).

Therefore, we can assume that she missed the opportunity to develop and live to the fullest.

Additionally, as a child, Eleanor had a traumatic experience that she believed was an encounter with a poltergeist (Jackson 15).

These details about Eleanor suggest that she may be interested in Hill House and its mysteries because she needs proof that her childhood memories are real.

Furthermore, his lack of social connection and lack of preparation for adult life explains his interest in the supernatural.

Throughout this story, Jackson drops clues that suggest that encounters with poltergeists and supernatural events may be the result of one’s imagination.

One of the characters doubts Eleanor’s account of her childhood encounter with a goblin, which is the first clue for the reader (Jackson 10).

As Jackson asks questions about this story, the reader can begin to distinguish between what the characters describe as real events and the product of their imagination.

For example, Eleanor said that she saw the words “come home” on the wall, while the others did not see it (Jackson 10).

The human mind and subconscious are powerful forces, and in The Haunted Mansion, readers have the opportunity to think about what is real and what is not.

Jackson writes that “no living organism can continue to exist healthily for long under absolutely realistic conditions” (Jackson 1).

Therefore, people’s mental health can be hindered by their experiences and beliefs.

Other characters help reveal Eleonor’s experiences and story, and support the idea that expectations of supernatural experiences can influence individuals’ attitudes.

Schuyler is a means of explaining her interest in the paranormal and her expectations of encountering the supernatural in the mansion.

As a medium, she is attracted to the life.

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