Jola Fallach
Susan Hill is a master of creating the atmosphere of suspense and of depicting the landscape as a monstrous space. She uses the gothic sublime craftily, as well as the other Gothic features to build and develop the overwhelming feelings of fear and isolation. The reader follows the first-person narration, sharing characters' fear at the various levels, including fear of: the physical danger, the supernatural forces, the psychological entrapment or losing mind.
Arthur Kipps reveals that [he] 'had a story, a true story, a story of haunting and evil, fear and confusion, horror and tragedy.' (p. 19). Susan Hill uses the literary techniques of repetition (a word 'story'), the rule of three and short phrases with commas to accentuate Arthur's tortured mind while he recalls the past events.

Susan Hill uses very strong negative words: 'haunting', 'evil', 'fear', 'confusion', 'horror', 'tragedy', which lead the reader's mind into the gothic atmosphere. It sounds extremely alarming, and the story, thereafter, is highly engaging, absorbing and terrifying.  In one sentence, Susan Hill foreshadows the future events, builds a tension and our relationship with the narrator.
In the chapter, 'A London particular' the author evokes the Gothic decor and establishes the settings of her novel, sending Arthur Kipps from London to the north England. Arthur travels on November's dark and gloomy day through 'a yellow fog, a filthy, evil-smelling fog [...] a fog that choked and blinded, smeared and stained', and this fog not only additionally blurs the vision, it is also a personification of something lurking in the shadows of the already gray day: its sinister meaning creates the feelings of uncertainty and anticipation of real danger. Susan Hill uses the fog to foreshadow what may happen to Arthur. The author uses alliteration and sibilant of 'f' and 's' sounds respectively, to accentuate the road through Hell that she prepares for Arthur and the reader.
Through the book, Hill gives this weather different names: a fog, mist, fret, sea-mist, peasouper - in all instances it physically isolates our characters, but also, as the pathetic fallacy, it indicates Arthur's state of mind.

Hill uses a fog-smog, the characteristics of London in Victorian and Edwardian era, as a clue to the time frame of the events, moreover, it hints a Victorian ghost story, going further into the past, into the Dickens' time. Therefore, the reader expects that the social context will play a major role in the book, too.
Susan Hill prompts Arthur and the reader about the settings of the drama in the conversation between Arthur and Mr Bentley, when the proper names are given: ‘Mrs Alice Drablow, of Eel Marsh House', a remote and obsolete place, which can only be reached by crossing the Nine Lives Causeway at low tide, surrounded by the marshes, the estuary and the sea. There is nothing more isolated that the knoll of land surrounded by the water, where the sky and water have the same gray colour and the fret adds to the lack of visibility. There is no one to help; there are only strange sounds playing tricks with the mind. A human being powerless in the face of nature, praying to stay safe and sane.
Arthur travels to Crythin Gifford, the nearest village through the Gapemouth tunnel to attend a funeral of a 'rum’un’, which mean someone weird or odd in Northen English.
The tone, meanings and literary connotations in these proper names take the reader to a place far away from any other dwellings, in the middle of the unknown but anticipated with the alarmed senses of the horror.
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