Influences and Imagination


The voice was light, perhaps only a child’s voice, singing sweetly and thinly, on the barest breath. . .None of them heard it, she thought with joy; nobody heard it but me.

-From Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House

Two women are drawn to each other with suspicious speed at the start of The Haunting of Hill House. Theodora is an attractive, charming woman who tells Eleanor, the less social of the two, how much Theo adores her. Eleanor is beside herself with happiness in this oddest of places—a deranged old mansion.

Eleanor’s life before Hill House was hardly glamorous: she was a caretaker to her mother and, she says, was consumed by the role. Eleanor must steal her sister’s car order to even journey to the mansion where she will assist in a scientific investigation of paranormal activity. She drives away, deeply savoring the freedom of directing the vehicle down…

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