Queer Horror

Haunting, The (1963)

movie      fiction

  • Haunting, The (1963)
  • Author: Shirley Jackson and Nelson Gidding
  • Director: Robert Wise
  • Producer: Robert Wise
  • Year: 1963
  • Country: UK
  • 112 minutes
movie cover Other images

Classic chiller relates the terrifying experiences of a group investigating a possibly haunted house. A professor is researching the existence of ghosts. To prove his thesis, he pulls together a group of people with psychic or paranormal abilities to investigate the mansion Hill House. With him is the mysterious and clairvoyant Theodora and the insecure Eleanor, whose psychic abilities make her feel somehow attuned to whatever spirits inhabit the old mansion. They are joined by are the skeptical young Luke, who stands to inherit the house. As time goes by it becomes obvious that they have gotten more than they bargained for as the ghostly presence in the house manifests itself in horrific ways.

Qvamp says:

A haunted house story that is worth it! Based on the book The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, this classic black and white film is well worth seeing. For its time, it was as overtly lesbian as a movie could be. Eleanor is possibly possessed, and later destroyed, by the house, after meeting her house-mate, the sexually-adventurous Theodora. These women are part of a paranormal investigation team brought out to uncover the mystery of the house.

The ghosts of this story are never outed as real or not, but the orientation of the characters is. The director openly discussed the fact that he wanted to make the obvious lesbianism in the novel more apparent in the movie, but decided it would better reflect the book to have it be very subtle, but obvious to those that were ready to accept it.

Rating --
Queer Vampire Rating --
Amount of Gay Content lightly homoerotic


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User Ratings

By: Mary ( dolphinexpress200@yahoo.com )
Overall Rating: A     Queer horror Rating: A    

The 1963 version of Shirley Jackson's THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE, was an excellent movie. The fact that it's black and white adds an element of spookiness to the movie. The acting was wonderful and the special effects were awesome.


By: Todd Surfs ( toddsurfslbca@yahoo.com )
Overall Rating: A+     Queer horror Rating: A    

Far superior to the absolutely dreadful remake. Odd camera angles and sets (NO straight lines or 90-degree angles. Everything is unseen, yet present.

Haunting voice-overs by Eleanor (Julie Harris), who seems fascinated by Claire Blooms elegant lesbian character, Theo.


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