Horror stories are intended to scare, unsettle or horrify the reader. This year I have read a story written by Roal Dahl called “The Landlady”. In my opinion, this story is a great example of a horror fiction. “The Landlady” is a short story about a young insurance salesman called Billy Weaver, who travels to Bath on a business trip. He arrives to Bath in the evening and looks for accommodation. While walking to the Bell and Dragon, a hotel recommended by the porter of the train station, Billy was distracted by a small notice of a boarding house that said: BED and BREAKFAST.
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.
This horror story is the one I like the best because it has all the characteristics a horror fiction should have to appeal me. The first characteristic you will find in this story is the setting. Roal Dahl creates the suspense one need in the atmosphere. For example the weather plays an important role at the beginning of the story. Dahl cleverly adds fear to the air and one can feel it during the reading. The second characteristic is the Characters. For me the characters have to be believable. In this story Billy and the landlady are so vivid and lively that one can identify with them and in a way suffer Billy’s misfortune.
Finally, the third characteristic and for me the most important one is that a good horror story always has a killer ending. “The landlady” contains an ending which leaves you wanting more, and even questioning how things might have been different if Billy finds out the truth early. Therefore, I would highly recommend this story especially to the horror fiction’s lovers. In this story you will find out how an innocent situation turns into something completely shocking and with a twist at the end.