First, let me say this: this book, like its author, is highly misunderstood and underappreciated. Many critics and scholars acclaim this book as the greatest horror novel of all time (I disagree; I think The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson is the greatest); because of this, readers pick of this book expecting shrieking ghouls and bloody gore with green slime running down the walls. None of that is in this book, so the hopes of readers with these expectations are dashed and they call this book stupid and boring (yes, I'm looking at those of you who gave this book 1 star reviews); this is just simply not true and exposes their ignorance. This novel is a masterclass in psychological horror as Eleanor descends into madness and Hill House's malevolent awareness absorbs her. There is no greater terror than our own minds, and that is why psychological horror is so much more intense. This book is in many ways similar to Henry James's Turning of the Screw, which is also psychological horror with an unreliable narrator and ambiguity that leaves readers asking if there were really any ghosts after all.