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Best Opening Paragraph In Horror

Since October is tomorrow and we all know what the means…Halloween!!! I figured I’d start things off with what I feel is the best opening paragraph in horror fiction. Feel free to comment on whether you agree or disagree and send along your favorites. It’s Halloween time people, time to have a little fun.

The Haunting Of Hill House – Shirley Jackson – Simply the best opening paragraph in literary history.

“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 its 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.”

About Peter Schwotzer

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  1. George Andrade

    I agree Peter … but let me see your Shirley Jackson and add a Ray Bradbury:

    “The seller of lightning rods arrived just ahead of the storm. He came along the street of Green Town, Illinois, in the late cloudy October day, sneaking glances over his shoulder. Somewhere not so far back, vast lightnings stomped the earth. Somewhere, a storm like a great beast with terrible teeth could not be denied.”

    Something Wicked This Way Comes


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