Book or Movie Review

NEHS’ Favorite Horror Story Adaptations

As we approach Halloween and Spooky Season, NEHS wanted to share its favorite spine-tingling horror story text-to-film adaptations. We hope you enjoy them—share your reviews with us by tagging @englishmatters on Instagram.


This Victorian horror classic was given a 2021 update by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, famous as the writers of Sherlock. The BBC mini-series retains many of the key elements of Bram Stoker‘s original text but turns, for example, Professor Van Helsing into a nun (Sister Agatha Van Helsing). The three-part series also changes the historical setting of the original text, allowing the story to include Dracula’s battles with Van Helsing’s descendants. While the mini-series is not a completely faithful re-telling of the Bram Stoker original, it is “a delicious blend of horror and humor that more-or-less balances modern sensibilities and the character’s beloved legacy” (Rotton Tomatoes).

Available now on Netflix.

The Haunting of Hill House

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson has been brought up to date by Netflix and award-winning director Mike Flanagan. While the original story features a family moving to the haunted Hill House for the first time, the Netflix series brings the children back together as adults to deal with their psychological trauma and the ghosts that still haunt the house. In its 2018 critique of the series, The Guardian noted that “In the world of Hill House, devotion to family is a tender kind of madness that exists just on the other side of mourning, a ghostly insistence that the love that binds us is also the thing that keeps us chained.”

Available on Netflix.

The Fall of the House of Usher

Mike Flanagan takes on Edgar Allan Poe‘s “The Fall of the House of Usher” in a new eight-part series on Netflix. In this adaptation, siblings Roderick and Madeline are the heads of a pharmaceutical empire with ties to the criminal underworld. They watch as Roderick’s six children all die in mysterious circumstances. Auguste Dupin (who you may remember as the detective in “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” also by Poe) makes an appearance as the lawyer called in by Roderick and who learns the Ushers’ darkest secrets. Rolling Stone magazine called the series a “literary orgy of death”—what more could you want for Halloween?

Available on Netflix.

Chris Lockwood
NEHS Director



National English Honor Society

The National English Honor Society (NEHS), founded and sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta, is the only international organization exclusively for secondary students and faculty who, in the field of English, merit special note for past and current accomplishments. Individual secondary schools are invited to petition for a local chapter, through which individuals may be inducted into Society membership. Immediate benefits of affiliation include academic recognition, scholarship and award eligibility, and opportunities for networking with others who share enthusiasm for, and accomplishment in, the language arts.

America’s first honor society was founded in 1776, but high school students didn’t have access to such organizations for another 150 years. Since then, high school honor societies have been developed in leadership, drama, journalism, French, Spanish, mathematics, the sciences, and in various other fields, but not in English. In 2005, National English Honor Society launched and has been growing steadily since, becoming one of the largest academic societies for secondary schools.

As Joyce Carol Oates writes, “This is the time for which we have been waiting.” Or perhaps it was Shakespeare: “Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer . . .” we celebrate English studies through NEHS.

National English Honor Society accepts submissions to our blog, NEHS Museletter, from all membership categories (students, Advisors, and alumni). If you are interested in submitting a blog, please read the Suggested Guidelines on our website. Email any questions and all submissions to: