Sunday, October 30, 2005

It's the most wonderful time of the year....


Any CBC Radio One fans out there? Did you listen to DNTO yesterday?
Nick Purdon interviewed Winnipeg horror author Susie Maloney and at the finale she read what she considers to be the scariest words ever written, the first paragraph of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House. I was utterly gobsmacked because (I bullshit you not) every Hallowe'en I climb up to the top shelf of the bookcase and haul down my battered copy of The Haunting of Hill House and read that exact same passage.
This book, published in 1959, is 60 gajillion times better than any of the myriad of films that were based on it. If you've never read it, it's a keeper.
Here then, in its entirety, is my Hallowe'en reading, one day early, of the initial paragraph of Shirley Jackson's classic novel, The Haunting of Hill House:
No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against the hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.
***********
Very shortly, we are heading out to Fright Fest (the haunted house for which I won tickets a couple of weeks ago). We are going to test the spook factor; they claim three people peed their pants there last year.
Chain saw wielding maniacs versus my bladder
Who will win?
Update: My bladder won! Yay!
It was fun though.

2 comments:

michelle said...

"No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality"

Whoa that's deep. That would make a great .sig line to use amongst philosophical scholars.

"...doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone."

Something about doors being sensibly shut, silence, and walking alone sends shivers up my spine. It reminds me of this house in Missoula MT that a group of us heads thought was haunted. During the day it was just gray and lonely, at night it was filled with dread and revenge.

What's this about chain saws and your bladder? Sounds ghastly!

I hope you had a terrifying night at Fright Fest, it'd be totally cool if you posted about your scary moments, heh...

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Either I am getting too jaded to get properly scared anymore, Michelle, or they don't make maniacs like they used to. The haunted house was fun, but they spoiled it by assuring everyone that the actors would not touch anyone. Well if you know THAT...where's the terror?
I still love Hallowe'en, though. Happy H night to you!