"The Shunned House"
by H.P. Lovecraft
Our narrator investigates the strange history of a local house. What is the origin of its troubled past? Will it remain shunned forever?
My Reaction (with SPOILERS):
This was a shared "stopgap" read with Donald.
The build-up to the narrator's first-hand account of his time in the house. The creepiness of the house's history. The faux-historical atmosphere of "this really happened". The totally bizarre and unexpected nature of the discovery under the cellar.
The pseudo-science. The fact that I still am not completely sure what in the heck was under the house.
I mean, really. What was that?! It had a physical body, apparently... but it was huge. I was expecting it to be some version of a vampire-- and maybe that's what it was meant to be-- but it's a very odd vampire. More of a cross between/among vampire, demon, and subterranean giant than a New World Dracula. The vampire/demon mix is creepy as all get-out, but the ground-dwelling giant aspect was so weird that it weakened the denouement (for me, at least).
Not Lovecraft's best, by all accounts, but interesting enough-- especially considering that it's just a long short story. I might be more critical if I'd invested more time in reading it.