Wednesday Women of Horror Spotlight-Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson

So, tell me, how have I not read any of Shirley Jackson’s work? I vaguely was familiar with her name, but had no idea of her inspiring work in the horror genre. I had heard of the Netflix series, The Haunting of Hill House of course, but had no idea it was written by a woman of horror.

I haven’t watched the series yet though, because I recently watched this one:

I have to take a break between well done ghost stories if I want to get any sleep at night. Couldn’t look in mirrors for awhile after watching The Haunting of Bly Manor, and also didn’t realize how many mirrors there were in my house until I watched that series…

So why, have I not read Shirley Jackson? When it comes to famous authors, am I like a lot of people and only focused on the male ones? Especially when it comes to horror? And the funny thing is that according to Shirley Jackson’s Wikipedia page, great male writers like Stephen King and Neil Gaiman, count her among their influencers.

So, The Haunting of Hill House, is apparently “considered to be one of the best ghost stories ever written.”-Wikipedia

Ghost stories are my favorite in the horror genre, so of course, I’ve downloaded it on my Kindle and it will be my next read.

It saddens me that because of the time period in which she lived, Shirley Jackson was held back by society. Mainly, societal expectations for women, it seems. Although through her writing, she made much more money than her professor husband, he controlled the finances and she was given an allowance. Also, he apparently strayed quite often with his students. Shirley suffered from a great amount of anxiety and was prescribed barbiturates by her physician. She also battled alcoholism. I’ve read many counts of women in the past who weren’t allowed to reach their full potential and turned to drugs or alcohol. She died at the young age of 48. She contributed so much, but one has to wonder how much more she might have been accomplished if given a loose rein.