My favorite opening paragraph by Shirley Jackson isn’t from The Haunting of Hill House, but rather We Have Always Lived in the Castle:
My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise. I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cap mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead.
Creepy, eh? This book is not as well known as The Haunting of Hill House, though I think it’s probably a little better. I read the first paragraph a few years ago and was hooked.