Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A collection of Shirley Jackson quotes on books, children, dreams, hills, house, moon, morning, summer, writing, stories etc

98 Top Shirley Jackson Quotes That You Must Bookmark

Quick Facts

Famous As: Author

Born On: December 14, 1916

Died On: August 8, 1965

Born In: San Francisco, California, U.S.

Died At Age: 48

Shirley Jackson was an American writer famous for her short story “The Lottery” and the novel “The Haunting of the Hill House”; which were acclaimed to be the best ghost stories ever. Instigating fear among the readers became the trademark of Shirley. She went on to win the coveted National Book Award and several Best American Short Stories awards in the process. Her work was not autobiographical in nature by any means as she believed that such type of writing only produced bare chronological facts with no pertinent facts. The Shirley Jackson Award was instituted in her honor to award exceptional achievement in English Literature in the horror and suspense genre. Since 2015, North Bennington celebrates June 27 as “Shirley Jackson Day”. Shirley shared her wisdom and thoughts on several things through her writings. We have collected Shirley’s quotes on books, children, dreams, hills, house, moon, morning, summer, writing, stories etc from her writings. Following are some of her most famous quotes .

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No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality.

Shirley Jackson

A pretty sight, a lady with a book.

Shirley Jackson

On the moon we wore feathers in our hair, and rubies on our hands. On the moon we had gold spoons.

Shirley Jackson

Am I walking toward something I should be running away from?

Shirley Jackson

I delight in what I fear.

Shirley Jackson

I can't help it when people are frightened," says Merricat. "I always want to frighten them more.

Shirley Jackson

I am like a small creature swallowed whole by a monster, she thought, and the monster feels my tiny little movements inside.

Shirley Jackson

Fate intervened. Some of us, that day, she led inexorably through the gates of death. Some of us, innocent and unsuspecting, took, unwillingly, that one last step to oblivion. Some of us took very little sugar.

Shirley Jackson

So long as you write it away regularly nothing can really hurt you.

Shirley Jackson

All cat stories start with this statement: "My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...

Shirley Jackson

I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had.

Shirley Jackson

I was pretending that I did not speak their language; on the moon we spoke a soft, liquid tongue, and sang in the starlight, looking down on the dead dried world.

Shirley Jackson

We eat the year away. We eat the spring and the summer and the fall. We wait for something to grow and then we eat it.

Shirley Jackson

Fear," the doctor said, "is the relinquishment of logic, the willing relinquishing of reasonable patterns. We yield to it or we fight it, but we cannot meet it halfway.

Shirley Jackson

You will be wondering about that sugar bowl, I imagine, is it still in use? You are wondering, has it been cleaned? You may very well ask, was it thoroughly washed?

Shirley Jackson

There had not been this many words sounded in our house for a long time, and it was going to take a while to clean them out.

Shirley Jackson

I'm going to put death in all their food and watch them die.

Shirley Jackson

I shall weave a suit of leaves. At once. With acorns for buttons.

Shirley Jackson

Within, walls 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.

Shirley Jackson

Poor strangers, they have so much to be afraid of.

Shirley Jackson

All I could think of when I got a look at the place from the outside was what fun it would be to stand out there and watch it burn down.

Shirley Jackson

When shall we live if not now?

Shirley Jackson

On the moon we have everything. Lettuce, and pumpkin pie and Amanita phalloides. We have cat-furred plants and horses dancing with their wings. All the locks are solid and tight, and there are no ghosts.

Shirley Jackson

Gossip says she hanged herself from the turret on the tower, but when you have a house like Hill House with a tower and a turret, gossip would hardly allow you to hang yourself anywhere else.

Shirley Jackson

Hill House, she thought, You're as hard to get into as heaven.

Shirley Jackson

No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.

Shirley Jackson

I wonder if I could eat a child if I had the chance.' 'I doubt if I could cook one,' said Constance.

Shirley Jackson

God! Whose hand was I holding?

Shirley Jackson

No, the menace of the supernatural is that it attacks where modern minds are weakest, where we have abandoned our protective armor of superstition and have no substitute defense.

Shirley Jackson

Oh Constance, we are so happy.

Shirley Jackson

Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones.

Shirley Jackson

In the country of the story the writer is king.

Shirley Jackson

Why do people want to talk to each other? I mean, what are the things people always want to find out about other people?

Shirley Jackson

Let him be wise, or let me be blind; don't let me, she hoped concretely, don't let me know too surely what he thinks of me.

Shirley Jackson

We moved together very slowly toward the house, trying to understand its ugliness and ruin and shame.

Shirley Jackson

Materializations are often best produced in rooms where there are books. I cannot think of any time when materialization was in any way hampered by the presence of books.

Shirley Jackson

I would have to find something else to bury here and I wished it could be Charles.

Shirley Jackson

Don't do it, Eleanor told the little girl; insist on your cup of stars; once they have trapped you into being like everyone else you will never see your cup of stars again

Shirley Jackson

I have always loved to use fear, to take it and comprehend it and make it work and consolidate a situation where I was afraid and take it whole and work from there.

Shirley Jackson

Today my winged horse is coming and I am carrying you off to the moon and on the moon we will eat rose petals.

Shirley Jackson

It watches," he added suddenly. "The house. It watches every move you make.

Shirley Jackson

Wear your boots if you wander today

Shirley Jackson

Merricat, said Connie, would you like to go to sleep? Down in the boneyard ten feet deep!

Shirley Jackson

He is altogether selfish, she thought in some surprise, the only man I have ever sat and talked to alone, and I am impatient; he is simply not very interesting.

Shirley Jackson

Can't you make them stop?' I asked her that day, wondering if there was anything in this woman I could speak to, if she had ever run joyfully over grass, or had watched flowers, or known delight or love.

Shirley Jackson

When Jim Donell thought of something to say he said it as often and in as many ways as possible, perhaps because he had very few ideas and had to wring each one dry.

Shirley Jackson

You never know what you are going to want until you see it clearly.

Shirley Jackson

I looked at the clock with the faint unconscious hope common to all mothers that time will somehow have passed magically away and the next time you look it will be bedtime.

Shirley Jackson

...you’d think my own face would know me...

Shirley Jackson

Everything that makes the world like it is now will be gone. We'll have new rules and new ways of living. Maybe there'll be a law not to live in houses, so then no one can hide from anyone else, you see.

Shirley Jackson

No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, but some, to dream.

Shirley Jackson

Merricat, said Connie, would you like a cup of tea? Oh no, said Merricat, you’ll poison me. Merricat, said Connie, would you like to go to sleep? Down in the boneyard ten feet deep!

Shirley Jackson

Elizabeth, Beth, Betsy, and Bess, they all went together to find a bird's nest...

Shirley Jackson

Upstairs Margaret said abruptly, 'I suppose it starts to happen first in the suburbs,' and when Brad said, 'What starts to happen?' she said hysterically, 'People starting to come apart.

Shirley Jackson

It is only with the eyes open that a corporeal form returns, and assembles itself firmly around the hard core of sight.

Shirley Jackson

What are you reading, my dear? A pretty sight, a lady with a book.

Shirley Jackson

Sister's gone to school," I said to Sally. "Ah," said Sally. "And will she come home again?

Shirley Jackson

When we had neatened the upstairs rooms we came downstairs together, carrying our dustcloths and the broom and dustpan and mop like a pair of witches walking home.

Shirley Jackson

My dear, how can I make you perceive that there is no danger where there is nothing but love and understanding?

Shirley Jackson

Fear and guilt are sisters;

Shirley Jackson

We started out making men in about the state of mind which I suppose created them in the first place -- we had run out of kinds of women, and had to think of something else.

Shirley Jackson

People,” the doctor said sadly, “are always so anxious to get things out into the open where they can put a name to them, even a meaningless name, so long as it has something of a scientific ring.

Shirley Jackson

Everything is worse...if you think something is looking at you.

Shirley Jackson

I suppose the mothers of most twelve-year-old boys live with the uneasy conviction that their sons are embarked upon a secret life of crime.

Shirley Jackson

People who are all alone have every right to be friends with one another. ("The Honeymoon Of Mrs. Smith" - Version 1)

Shirley Jackson

Now, I have nothing against the public school system as it is presently organized, once you allow the humor of its basic assumption about how it is possible to teach things to children....

Shirley Jackson

I decided that I would choose three powerful words, words of strong protection, and so long as these great words were never spoken aloud no change would come.

Shirley Jackson

I disliked having a fork pointed at me and I disliked the sound of the voice never stopping; I wished he would put food on the fork and put it into his mouth and strangle himself.

Shirley Jackson

The great art of life is sensation, to feel that we exist, even in pain,” said Lord Byron,

Shirley Jackson

Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more.

Shirley Jackson

Duty and conscience were, for Theodora, attributes which belonged properly to Girl Scouts.

Shirley Jackson

Say Morg--you mind if I use the rest of your bath salts? There's only a little left.

Shirley Jackson

I clear breakfast at ten o'clock. I set on lunch at one. Dinner I set on at six. It's ten o'clock.

Shirley Jackson

When they were silent for a moment the quiet weight of the house pressed down from all around them.

Shirley Jackson

...remember the metallic sound and taste of all of it. And the outrage.

Shirley Jackson

It was as though the people needed the ugliness of the village, and fed on it. The houses and the stores seemed to have been set up in contemptuous haste to provide shelter for the drab and the unpleasant.

Shirley Jackson

I loathe writing autobiographical material because if it's dull no-one should have to read it anyway, and if it's interesting I should be using it for a story.

Shirley Jackson

It is not possible, I frequently think, to walk down the street as fast as you can and kick yourself at the same time.

Shirley Jackson

I assume then, that you have no real faith in the fondness any of the rest of us may feel for you?' 'None,' said Mrs. Halloran.

Shirley Jackson

He was scrupulous about the use of his title because, his investigations being so utterly unscientific, he hoped to borrow an air of respectability, even scholarly authority, from his education.

Shirley Jackson

Journeys end in lovers meeting

Shirley Jackson

I would not forget my magic words; they were MELODY GLOUCESTER PEGASUS, but I refused to let them into my mind.

Shirley Jackson

I am going to put death in all their food and watch them die.

Shirley Jackson

In delay there lies no plenty.

Shirley Jackson

The least Charles could have done,' Constance said, considering seriously, 'was shoot himself through the head in the driveway.

Shirley Jackson

To learn what we fear is to learn who we are. Horror defies our boundaries and illuminates our souls.

Shirley Jackson

Fear is the relinquishment of logic, the willing relinquishing of reasonable patterns. We yield to it or we fight it, but we cannot meet it halfway,

Shirley Jackson

Bow all your heads to our adored Mary Katherine.

Shirley Jackson

I shall commence, I think, with a slight exaggeration and go on from there into an outright lie.

Shirley Jackson

Well, she asked, how do you gentlemen like living in a haunted house? It's perfectly fine, Luke said, perfectly fine. It gives me an excuse to have a drink in the middle of the night.

Shirley Jackson

The house was vile. She shivered and thought, the words coming freely into her mind, Hill House is vile, it is diseased; get away from here at once.

Shirley Jackson

I hated them anyway, and wondered why it had been worth while creating them in the first place.

Shirley Jackson

I live a mad, abandoned life, draped in a shawl and going from garret to garret.

Shirley Jackson

We are all measured, good or evil, by the wrong we do to others;

Shirley Jackson

In the darkness their feet felt that they were going downhill, and each privately and perversely accused the other of taking, deliberately, a path they had followed together once before in happiness.

Shirley Jackson

She brought herself away from the disagreeably clinging thought by her usual method - imagining the sweet sharp sensation of being burned alive.

Shirley Jackson

Good morning, Jonas. You are a furred lead, I think.

Shirley Jackson

We started out making men in about the state of mind which I suppose created them in the first place—we had run out of kinds of women, and had to think of something else.

Shirley Jackson