Though many may not recognize her name as quickly as they would other notable authors of the horror genre, a là Stephen King, it should be known that Shirley Jackson had such a strong influence on the likes of countless horror/suspense authors. Neil Gaiman, Richard Matheson, and Stephen King have all been strongly influenced by the far more than spooky works of Jackson. In her lifetime, (1916-1965) Jackson wrote a mass amount of novels and short stories that kept audiences biting their nails until the very last page. Among them were The Lottery, The Haunting of Hill House, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Life Among the Savages, along with a multitude of others. In celebration of the Halloween season coming up, here are 10 eerie quotes from works of the author that will certainly put you in the spirit of tricks and treats.
1. “No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality.”
2. “My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all, I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise. I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cup mushroom. Everyone else in our family is dead.”
3. “Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones.”
4. “I shall eat the room in one mouthful, chewing ruthlessly on the boards and the small sweet bones.”
5. “Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it has stood for eighty years and might stand 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.”
6. “On the moon we wore feathers in our hair, and rubies on our hands. On the moon we had gold spoons.”
7. “Outside were the eucalyptus trees, like lace against the sky. If it were only possible to lie against them, light and bodiless, sink into their softness, deeper and deeper, lost in them, buried, never come back again….”
8. “Most people have never seen a ghost, and never want or expect to, but almost everyone will admit that sometimes they have a sneaking feeling that they just possibly could meet a ghost if they weren’t careful―if they were to turn a corner too suddenly, perhaps, or open their eyes too soon when they wake up at night, or go into a dark room without hesitating first.”
9. “‘It isn’t fair, it isn’t right,’” Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, and then they were upon her.”
10. “‘I can’t help it when people are frightened,’” says Merricat. “‘I always want to frighten them more.’”
Which spooky quotes give you the creeps?
Originally Published On #AmReading.com