From my bookshelves: The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson (ebook)
In his book on horror fiction, Danse Macabre, Stephen King describes Hill House, written in 1959, as one of the best horror novels of the 20th century. His praise was glowing and I vowed to read it someday; and now, thanks to the miracle of e-books, I have and it is all that King said it was.
He particularly pointed out the first paragraph as a stellar example of an opening:
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. 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. 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.