#SeeHer Story airs on PEOPLE.com and @PeopleTV social handles

By Georgia Slater
October 31, 2019 05:00 AM

No one embodies the spirit of Halloween more than the late Shirley Jackson, one of the most successful American horror writers.

That’s why #SeeHer Story, the digital video series from Katie Couric Media and PEOPLE, picked Jackson’s story of female empowerment to celebrate in this week’s episode. The goal of #SeeHer Story is to recognize various female trailblazers ranging from the past 100 years to today and celebrate how they’ve helped to shape history and culture. As this year marks the centennial anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote, the series hopes to commemorate such an important time for women in history.

The series — which is made up of short vignettes created and narrated by Couric — premiered on Oct. 18 and will air weekly on PEOPLE.com and @PeopleTV social handles.

Viking/Penguin Books

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Jackson found her love for writing after she grew up in a highly critical household in San Francisco during the early 1900s.

According to The New Yorker, her mother “told Jackson that she was the product of a failed abortion and harangued her constantly about her bad hair, her weight, and her ‘willful’ refusal to cultivate feminine charm.”

However, her mother’s cruel words didn’t stop Jackson from paving her own path, finding her way to Syracuse University, where she studied English and journalism.

Jackson also turned to witchcraft during her college years, which her biographer claimed was a “way of embracing and channeling female power at a time when women in America often had little control over their lives.”

Years later, Jackson’s passion for writing and the haunted mind helped her create one of her most successful works — a New Yorker story titled The Lottery, published in 1948.

Penguin Random House; Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The story, which provides a deeper message about human sacrifice, ended up receiving more mail than any piece in the magazine’s history.

Little did Jackson know that decades later, even after her passing in 1965, The Lottery would be become required reading in many high schools.

That was only the beginning of Jackson’s success as an acclaimed author. She continued to write more than 200 short stories and six novels, one of which, The Haunting of Hill Housereceived high praise from Stephen King and was recently turned into a hit Netflix series.

“She was kind of a feminist leader before anyone liked to talk about that and she never would have liked that terminology,” Jackson’s son, Barry Hyman, says in the video.

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#SeeHer Story will also be a regular feature in PEOPLE’s print edition, the weekday morning newsletter Wake-Up Call with Katie Couric, on PeopleTV’s entertainment show PEOPLE Now as well as on PEOPLE Now Weekend.

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