A Haunting on the Hill: A Novel
From award-winning author Elizabeth Hand comes the first-ever novel authorized to return to the world of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House—a "scary and beautifully written" (Neil Gaiman) new story of isolation and longing perfect for our present time.
**Named a Best Book of the Year by The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and Harper's Bazaar**
Open the door . . . .
Holly Sherwin has been a struggling playwright for years, but now, after receiving a grant to develop her play Witching Night, she may finally be close to her big break. All she needs is time and space to bring her vision to life. When she stumbles across Hill House on a weekend getaway upstate, she is immediately taken in by the mansion, nearly hidden outside a remote village. It’s enormous, old, and ever-so eerie—the perfect place to develop and rehearse her play.
Despite her own hesitations, Holly’s girlfriend, Nisa, agrees to join Holly in renting the house for a month, and soon a troupe of actors, each with ghosts of their own, arrive. Yet as they settle in, the house’s peculiarities are made known: strange creatures stalk the grounds, disturbing sounds echo throughout the halls, and time itself seems to shift. All too soon, Holly and her friends find themselves at odds not just with one another, but with the house itself. It seems something has been waiting in Hill House all these years, and it no longer intends to walk alone . . .
"A fitting—and frightening—homage." —New York Times Book Review
"It’s thrilling to find this is a true hybrid of these two ingenious women’s work—a novel with all the chills of Jackson that also highlights the contemporary flavor and evocative writing of Hand." —Washington Post
"Only the brilliant Elizabeth Hand could so expertly honor Jackson's rage, wit, and vision." —Paul Tremblay
"Eerily beautiful, strangely seductive, and genuinely upsetting." —Alix E. Harrow
Praise for A Haunting on the Hill: A Novel
“Scary and beautifully written, imbued with the same sense of dread and inevitability as Jackson’s original, A Haunting on the Hill is quite extraordinary. It's not pastiche, not ventriloquism. It puts me strongly in mind of a singer you love covering a song by another artist. It's that song but now it's being done by someone else. Remarkable.”
“Hand is responding to the source material on a deeper level, echoing Jackson’s structure, characterization and storytelling beats rather than relying on superficial similarities…. above all, it’s scary. Hand’s facility with language and atmosphere and use of short, propulsive chapters work their own dark magic on the reader. It’s a compelling and frightening novel, but did it need to take place in Jackson’s universe? Probably not — and that’s why it works…In a landscape of soulless franchises geared toward quick, shallow hits of fan service, she has the maturity and talent to deliver the follow-up that Jackson’s novel deserves (even if it didn’t necessarily need one)… Like Jackson, Hand offers no explanation for Hill House’s malevolence, preserving the original novel’s power and mystery.”—New York Times Book Review
“To join Elizabeth Hand on her journey to Hill House is to be reminded of the slippery dominance of genius, the way it both establishes and breaks its own rules . . . Hand has a gift for the sensuous, evocative detail, and her descriptions are often simultaneously seductive and spooky.”—The New Yorker
“The unsettling atmosphere in this novel builds from the start and never disappoints. Hand deftly layers the history of the house with the past of each character and the things that haunt them. . . . A Haunting on the Hill is a love letter to Hill House and a very impressive tribute to Shirley Jackson. It is also a tremendous addition to Hand's already outstanding, multi-genre oeuvre.”—Gabino Iglesias, NPR
“Hill House is back and haunting as ever in this vividly imagined return to Shirley Jackson’s iconic setting. Elizabeth Hand weaves eerie beauty into the genuine terror lurking in her pages, crafting some of the most striking scares I’ve read in years. This book gave me the best kind of nightmares."—Ana Reyes, New York Times bestselling author of The House in the Pines
“It’s thrilling to find that A Haunting on the Hill is a true hybrid of these two ingenious women’s work — a novel with all the chills of Jackson that also highlights the contemporary flavor and evocative writing of Hand. . . . Strange and wonderful, a frightening foray into the supernatural that will inspire you to go back and reread the original."—The Washington Post
“Honoring Jackson’s story while owning this revival, Hand deploys masterful storytelling to merge the house’s familiar covetousness with witches' tales, feminist themes of repression and unfulfilled promise, and character evolution that subtly matches the house’s growing malevolence. Pitch perfect.”—Booklist (starred review)
“A brilliant queer reimagining…Hand’s work both modernizes and deepens Jackson’s setting."—BookPage
“Pours on the page-turning thrills with elegant glee, delivering everything from slight chills to all-out madness, but this is not simply a haunted attraction full of jump scares and predictable weirdness. No, Hand has also preserved and adopted another key element of Jackson’s fiction: The unanswerable questions always lurking in the margins. With seemingly every page she introduces yet another moment of weird fiction brilliance that might be explained later, or might simply lurk in your consciousness forever, waiting like a trap about to spring. It’s, like the narrative itself, a remarkable balance to strike. And in that balance between reverence and invention, legacy and originality, Hand has done something powerful. A Haunting on the Hill is an instant haunted house classic, a stirring tribute to a horror legend, and a book that, like Hill House itself, will swallow you up with its dark spell. Don’t miss it.”
"The lines of paranoia, art, and reality are terrifyingly blurred for our group of hungry and damaged actors cloistered within the moldering walls of Hill House. Only the brilliant Elizabeth Hand could so expertly honor Jackson's rage, wit, and vision with a twenty-first century twist. The old place is as creepy, disorienting, and menacing as ever."—Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Cabin at the End of the World
“Elizabeth Hand's A Haunting on the Hill keeps the scares coming in a creepy, deserted mansion . . . A Haunting on the Hill also is adept at connecting the creepy noises and disappearing objects of Hill House to the psychology of the four characters, each of whom is hiding something….it's a measure of Hand's precision and skill that we have so much fun watching them put together the pieces that doom them.”—Minneapolis Star-Tribune
"If there's a spirit medium gifted enough to evoke the ghost of Shirley Jackson, it's surely Elizabeth Hand, whose startling, original body of work I've long admired. A Haunting on the Hill is not a simple act of ventriloquism, but a true marriage of minds, and I believe Ms. Jackson would have been proud to be the inspiration for this smart and chilling return to the Hill House estate."
—Dan Chaon, author of Sleepwalk
“Jackson’s creation is in capable hands with Hand.”—The Week
"Eerily beautiful, strangely seductive, and genuinely upsetting: welcome back to Hill House. I recommend reading only in strong daylight, and never alone."
—Alix E. Harrow, author of The Ten Thousand Doors of January
"If there's a writer you can trust with this formidable task, it's the wildly talented Elizabeth Hand. A Haunting on the Hill is an admirable successor to The Haunting of Hill House, alike in spirit but never trying to simply repeat what Shirley Jackson did in her classic novel. Creepy, tragic, and, yes, haunting. I tore through this novel, getting lost in the pages, drawn back into the mysteries of Hill House and enjoying every moment I was there."—Victor LaValle, author of The Changeling
“A Haunting on the Hill is absolutely captivating—a book that you'll want to climb inside and love forever, until the moment you realize it's too late to escape.”—Sarah Gailey, author of Just Like Home
“A timeless, gothic ode that serves up the stuff of nightmares.”—Kirkus Reviews