The House on the Borderland is a 1908 novel by William Hope Hodgson. Presented as a diary found in the ruins of a house somewhere in the creepy back woods part of Ireland the story details the spooky and unsettling experiences of the house's last owner. In it the unnamed protagonist relates the tale of his life, how he bought the large house for a pittance because of the evil rumor surrounding the place, how he, his sister, and his dog lived there as recluses for years without incident, and how he began to have strange dreams of flying through space and visiting eldritch locations. From there the story takes several twists and turns with the weirdness and danger ramping up and down like a roller coaster. His house is besieged by monsters, he discovers a bottomless pit, and has several more supernatural dreams.

Throughout the ordeal, the protagonist maintains an impressive level of calm in the face of the truly uncanny events surrounding him, not with an air of bravado or even stoicism but simple cantankerous tenacity. It's his house and he's not going to let the supernatural craziness force him to vacate even when he's clearly in over his head. This would have an air of dignity to it if he weren't also risking the life of his sister and pet. As it stands, it's one man taking on the Great Old Ones and getting brushed aside like an insect.

If it's not already obvious this story is a work of cosmic horror. What haunts the House doesn't fit easily into any existing category and won't be stopped by the trifling contrivances of men. Those familiar with Lovecraft's works will recognize a similarity in tone which is unsurprising since this is one of the Mythos's greatest influences. This is a good read for anybody with a love of weird tales and older influential fiction but it's plot is slow and meandering at times and the characters aren't particularly fleshed out. It can be found on Project Gutenberg and an audio book version can be heard from Librivox.


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