- Hell House (novel)
infobox Book |
name = Hell House
image_caption = First edition
language = English
release_date = 1971
media_type = Print (Hardback &
pages = 288 pp
isbn = ISBN 0-312-86885-5
followed_by =: "This article is about the 1971 novel. For other uses of the term, see
Hell house (disambiguation)"
"Hell House" is a
novelby American novelist Richard Matheson, published in 1971. The novel was later turned into a film, " The Legend of Hell House," starring Pamela Franklinand Roddy McDowall.
The story concerns four people - Dr. Lionel Barrett, a
physicistwith an interest in parapsychology, his wife Edith, and two mediums (Florence Tanner, a Spiritualistand mental medium, and Benjamin Franklin Fischer, a physical medium) - who are hired by dying millionaire Rolf Randolph Deutsch to investigate the possibility of life after death. To do so, they must enter the infamous Belasco House in Maine, widely regarded as the most haunted housein the world. The house got its name from the horrible acts of blasphemyand perversionthat occurred under the silent influence and supervision of Emeric Belasco, and Fisher is the only survivor of a previous failed investigation attempt thirty years earlier. The novel combines supernatural horror with mystery as the researchers attempt to investigate the haunting of the house while their sanity is subtly undermined by its sinister supernatural influence.
During the investigation, various influences begin to play on each character's personal weakness. Hell House's potency comes from its apparent ability to corrupt those who enter its walls, before bringing about their destruction, both mental and physical.
Matheson's novel shares significant similarities with the novel "
The Haunting of Hill House" by Shirley Jackson, though rendered with much more violence and sexual imagery.
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