The Landlady: A Horror Story

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“The Landlady” by Roal Dahl is a horror fiction story that aims to scare, unsettle, or horrify readers. In my opinion, it is an excellent representation of this genre. The story follows Billy Weaver, a young insurance salesman who visits Bath for business purposes. While searching for accommodation in the evening, Billy comes across a boarding house advertisement offering bed and breakfast. This distracts him from going to the recommended hotel called the Bell and Dragon.

He could not look away and finally goes to ring the bell. Immediately, the door opens and appears an old, gentle-looking landlady. Billy decides to stay for the night because she offers him cheap prices and cosy surroundings. Later on during the climax of the story, he begins to realize that this particular landlady does not appear to be all that she seems to be, she completely changes her attitude towards Billy as the story unfolds. At the end one discovers that this landlady has a dark and insane secret and that innocent Billy will never get away of this boarding house.

I prefer this horror story because it possesses all the necessary elements to captivate me. Firstly, the setting created by Roal Dahl effectively builds suspense and fear throughout the narrative. An example of this is how the weather is used to add an eerie atmosphere from the very beginning of the story. Dahl skillfully infuses fear into the air, creating a palpable sense of unease as one reads. Secondly, the characters in this story are incredibly believable. Both Billy and the landlady are so well-developed and dynamic that readers can easily relate to them and empathize with Billy’s unfortunate circumstances.

Ultimately, a killer ending is the key characteristic of a good horror story. The ending of “The landlady” is particularly enticing, leaving readers wanting more and pondering the potential consequences if Billy had discovered the truth earlier. As a result, I strongly recommend this story, particularly for fans of horror fiction. It showcases how an innocent situation can quickly become shocking, with a surprising twist at the end.

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The Landlady: A Horror Story. (2017, Jan 28). Retrieved from

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