More like 3.5 stars.
I read a first edition of this book that I borrowed from the public library, and the book itself was somewhat creepy lol. Very old, tattered and dirty :) The story itself is also very dated, and it becomes obvious very quickly that you are reading a book that was written back in 1959. There is a constant exchange of witty banter between the characters which was pretty typical of books and movies of that time period.
The story is of Dr. Montague who is attempting to find scientific evidence of supernatural occurrences in Hill House. He invites three people to assist him in making notes about their experiences in the home. Theodora and Eleanor who have both experienced some type of paranormal activity in their lives, and Luke who is future heir to the old home.
The first half of the story was a little tough to get through for me, as it was pretty much foreshadowing events to come and giving background information on the house and the characters. It did however, really begin to pick up in the second half of the book. It builds quite a bit of suspense as the characters begin to hear noises and have interactions with the house. The book never really explains a lot of what happens in the house though, so you are left trying to piece together the clues on your own. It is definitely more of a psychological thriller than a horror novel in that aspect. The author tries to invoke fear through hinting about what is going on versus actually revealing it. The reader is left in the end trying to figure out what really happened.
Which is exactly what happened to me because after finishing the book I had no idea what had actually happened. So I surfed the web and found some interesting theories about the events that took place and that really added to the book for me. It almost (but not quite) made me want to go back and re-read the book so I could see if I could piece together all the clues.
So basically if you like to see the mystery completely solved and all the loose ends neatly tied together at the end of the book, then this book is probably not for you. However if you are a fan of movies like "Shutter Island" where the end is just a suggestion of many different possibilities and you are left to come to a conclusion yourself, then you will probably enjoy this one. Just be warned, this book is probably best for a book club pick (or to read along with a friend) because you will definitely find yourself wanting to discuss your theories with someone when you are finished.