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Hell Houseby Richard Matheson
I've been a fan of the movie adaptation to Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House (The Haunting, 1963) for years. Richard Matheson's Hell House is an updated telling of that story, which also made it to film as The Legend of Hell House (1973). When I finally got around to reading both novels, I was surprised to find that Matheson's Hell House proved to be a much more erotic, disturbing, and creepier effort in the haunted house genre. With Jackson's foundation, Matheson improves the pacing and fleshes out the back story with a more frightening and twisted past that lives on in the mansion. This is a great example of the the-book-was-better-than-the-movie scenario.
Synopses & Reviews
Rolf Rudolph Deutsch is going die. But when Deutsch, a wealthy magazine and newpaper publisher, starts thinking seriously about his impending death, he offers to pay a physicist and two mediums, one physical and one mental, $100,000 each to establish the facts of life after death.
Dr. Lionel Barrett, the physicist, accompanied by the mediums, travel to the Belasco House in Maine, which has been abandoned and sealed since 1949 after a decade of drug addiction, alcoholism, and debauchery. For one night, Barrett and his colleagues investigate the Belasco House and learn exactly why the townfolks refer to it as the Hell House.
All attempts to probe the mysteries of Belasco House have ended in murder, suicide, or insanity--but now a new investigation has been launched, bringing four strangers in search of the ultimate secrets of life and death.
About the Author
Richard Matheson is The New York Times bestselling author of I Am Legend, Hell House, Somewhere in Time, The Incredible Shrinking Man, A Stir of Echoes, The Beardless Warriors, The Path, Seven Steps to Midnight, Now You See It . . . , and What Dreams May Come. A Grand Master of Horror and past winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement, he has also won the Edgar, the Hugo, the Spur, and the Writer's Guild awards.
He lives in Calabasas, California.
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