The home life of Shirley Jackson, queen of horror

‘One of the nicest things about being a writer,’ Shirley Jackson once noted in a lecture titled ‘How I Write’, ‘is that nothing ever gets wasted. It’s a little like the frugal housewife who carefully tucks away all the odds and ends of string beans and cold bacon and serves them up magnificently in a fancy casserole dish.’ In Raising Demons, newly reissued as a Penguin Classic, Jackson, perhaps best known for her definitively macabre — and, on its publication in the New Yorker, riotously controversial — 1948 short story ‘The Lottery’ and for her 1959 novel The Haunting of Hill House, most recently wrenched (‘adapted’ would scarcely be the