Two pivotal twentieth-century ghost stories, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, each have protagonists haunted by culturally constructed notions, dreams of romance, in grand Gothic houses, the unstable fabric of which reflect the instability of self and of such insubstantial dreams. Rebecca rewrites nineteenth-century and popular text and screen romances, exposing their lies of love solving all, marriage as rescue, safety, security, eternity, wrapped in a comfortable home offering inheritance, wealth, glamour, adoration and something glitzy. In Rebecca, for the unnamed second wife haunted by the lingering presence of her glamorous predecessor, the grand home’s romance and security, with the ideal husband, are both promise and the death of that promise in this novel of partying and place, set in the last days of a blind era of indulgence between the wars. In The Haunting of Hill House, Hollywood promise of grand Gothic houses and journeys ending in lovers meeting lure Eleanor, escaping the sideline role as spinster aunt, to an experiment in a weekend party of guests. Instead of escaping dreams, damage, lies and demons, she brings the darkness of self and soul. The house will not let her go once it has her.