The fall chill in the air is getting us pumped for Halloween. We’re preparing by watching spooky movies like Pan’s Labyrinth and counting down until The Haunting of Bly Manor premieres on Netflix on October 9. If you’re like us, you’re going to want to pick up a copy of T. Kingfisher’s The Hollow Places. When a young woman discovers a strange portal in her uncle’s house, she ventures inside, finding alternate realities and sinister creatures that seem to hear her thoughts. And if that description isn’t enough to give you major chills, check out author T. Kingfisher’s recommendations for even more haunted house stories that’ll get you in the Halloween mood in no time.
I’m going to make a confession right here at the beginning—I didn’t actually like any of the characters in Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. This may not make me the best person to, say, write an essay about characterization in the works of Shirley Jackson, but it does mean that I spent the whole book rooting for Hill House to devour them all. (What, are you telling me that Hill House wasn’t the hero? No! I won’t believe it. That house had style.)
As a horror author, let me tell you, I dearly love a creepy house.
Your house is your home. It’s where you go to escape salespeople and stormy weather and bears. It’s a refuge from the outside world. When someone invades your home, it’s terrifying. There’s a reason that “the call is coming from inside the house” has become a cliché of slasher horror. But when the house itself is out to get you? That’s when things get really bad.
If you, like me, enjoy a read where the architecture is evil and the halls are alive with the sound of malice, then here are a bunch of my personal favorites, for when merely mortal antagonists aren’t enough.…