E is for…

EEttington Park

My husband introduced me to the best haunted house story ever: Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. They made a movie of it in 1964 starring Julie Harris, Russ Tamblyn, and Claire Bloom. While most of it was shot on a sound stage, the exteriors of Hill House were shot at Ettington Park, a manor house in the area of Stratford-On -Avon in Warwickshire.

The front edifice of Ettington Park

Me at the front edifice of Ettington Park.

We were so excited to see the place because The Haunting is one of our favorite movies… we watch it every year at Halloween. So when we saw the edifice in person it gave us a delightful chill. It is now run as a boutique hotel mainly catering to weddings, so we decided to peek in the lobby. We spoke briefly to the receptionist, who called over the caretaker, a man named Peter. He was very affable and was delighted to take us on a 45 minute tour of the house and grounds, telling us of the history. It was really remarkable and unexpected, and we had a blast.

The library and the secret door.

The library and the secret door.

Hill House, not same, stood by itself against the hill, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, wall 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.

“Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against the hill, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, wall 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.” -The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson

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