❰EPUB❯ ✴ Hell House Author Richard Matheson – Motyourdrive.co.uk

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10 thoughts on “Hell House

  1. says:

    For years I have been a fan of Richard Matheson, without ever becoming a dedicated reader of his fiction I learned early that he was one of the two best writers not counting Rod Serling for Twilight Zone the other being Charles Beaumont and this led me to look out for his short stories and novels and read them when they came my way I particularly admired his chilling stories Nightmare at 20,000 ft Twilight Zone Shatner menaced by gremlin on plane , Prey featuring a doll called He Who Kills , and the novels I am Legend and A Stir of Echoes, the first a tale of apocalyptic terror and the second a contemporary suburban ghost story I also began to realize that Matheson was our finest writer of horror screenplays in the 60 s the best of the Corman Poe series, each of them different in tone an atmospheric Usher, a Jacobean Pit and Pendulum, a sweetly comic Raven and my two favorite Hammer films Die Die My Darling and The Devil Rides Out So I was surprised to find that Hell House began to bore me about half way through, and although the compulsively readable prose kept me going exhausted and dismayed me at its end.Part of this is because of the kind of reader I am, for I love terror but view horror with both interest and suspicion Terror is implicit, a creation of metaphor and atmosphere horror is explicit, a product of detail and effect For me, terror is the meal, and horror is the salt and the spices Use horror, certainly, for it keeps terror from becoming tasteless, but sprinkle it lightly or soon you will have an inedible concoction on your hands Also, I believe that the short story is the most effective vehicle for terror because it compels the writer to concentrate on a single effect and use his horror judiciously The novel, because of its length, tends to do the opposite.Matheson is too good a craftsman to completely ruin his terror with horror, but I think in Hell House he comes close The book begins well enough, with an atmospheric investigation of the old house and an absorbing narrative of its history, including the career of its owner, the evil Emeric Belasco, but then about a third of the way through poltergeist phenomena starts to occur Soon the sexual attacks begin, first as tentative bitings and gropings much of it prurient, inflicted on a medium who is described as a big breasted, beautiful former movie star And then there is of course the cat attack, the cache of pornographic polaroids, various superficial wounds, etc Still than a hundred pages to go, and the reader is shocked and horrified already So what does Matheson do He doubles down.In writing, literal descriptions of horror operate much like the detailed relations of sexual or violent acts both of which come to think of it they often contain A little surprises and shocks us, than a page or two bores us, and three pages or makes us laugh even against our will, for an extensive delineation of horror inevitably becomes an unconscious parody of the effects the writer wishes to achieve The last third of Hell House often merited my involuntary laughter And by the end of the book I was so thoroughly bored that I almost failed to register the fizzle of its ineffective ending Still, there are some excellent thrills here If you unlike me value horror above terror, you may find a lot here to like.


  2. says:

    Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend Hell House is the sexually awkward tale of a haunted house that can t even bother to be haunted until the book is nearly over Dr Barrett has been hired by a wealthy, dying man to investigate one of the most haunted houses known to man Hell House Along with his wife and two professional mediums, Dr Barrett packs up his scientific gear and embarks to the long abandoned house to settle the question once and for all Do ghosts actually exist Perhaps the most physically chilling aspect of the house is that all of its windows have been bricked up, so the interior is cast in eternal gloom It s reputation, however, is the most terrifying aspect of all It s the Mount Everest of haunted houses, you might say There were two attempts to investigate it, one in 1931, the other in 1940 Both were disasters Eight people involved in those attempts were killed, committed suicide, or went insane Only one survived, and I have no idea how sound he is There s nothing fancy about the prose in this book, which is fine It s a quick and easy read, driven forward by the author s keen use of dialogue Even when very little is happening, the natural flow of conversation keeps the story moving at a steady pace The book does, however, have what is perhaps the most poorly constructed sentence yet encountered Tongues of flame leaped upward crackingly. Hell House may have been suitable under the category of mystery rather than horror , because so much of the book has to do with the question of whether or not Dr Barrett can solve the mystery of the house Unfortunately, Dr Barrett s scientific approach to hauntings and his pragmatic thinking is often invoked to downplay the paranormal events at Hell House, which actively dilutes any chilling moments Over two hundred pages in, Horny House Hell House finally shifts from reading like a mystery to proclaiming itself a horror novel Strangely, the author relies heavily on rape to drive his plot And he regularly invokes a fear of sexual orientation suggesting that, to one character in particular, there s nothing horrific than the mere notion of being gay After waiting so long to be spooked or feel a burning need to turn on all the lights, the notion that a character might falter in sexual orientation was hardly a terrifying payoff On that note, the book often reads like a male sexual fantasy There are several crude, salacious, hyper sexualized incidences in this book, and they always involve women It gives the reader a very uncomfortable sense that the author was penning his own sexual fantasies while writing this book Whether or not that s true doesn t change the fact that the depictions of female characters are enough to invoke an excess of eye rolling and bodily cringes Speaking of which, the book includes this bizarre gem Let his God cock sink into my mouth, she said Let me drink his holy, burning jism Awkward sex scenes aside, the book s conclusion leaves something to be desired After such a long wait for noteworthy paranormal events to transpire, the story suddenly moves at a clipped pace with a mediocre reveal provided at its conclusion.


  3. says:

    One day, a young woman, who had crisply turned 18 and was fresh out of school, explored the horror genre while walking around an abandoned building She was on a trip with her family to visit a lovely area with beautiful trees, fresh grass and rain And yet, despite the large area, we were the only family there It was so.empty so silent And so when I wasn t reading I explored the derelict houses, the rusty play area and the lovely forest.And one day I settled down on bench outside and opened Hell House on my Kindle.I had never been so afraid in my life I was enraptured I couldn t put the book down despite my terror No book had elicited nightmares from me since I was afraid to sleep alone and so I decided to share a room with my sister It all felt so real The book played over and over in my mind and wouldn t let its hold on me go for months Sometimes it still sneaks up on me and gently touches my mind to remind me that this book this book Is the scariest shit I ve ever read Courtesy of Jen s mini reviews


  4. says:

    I ve been a Richard Matheson fan for a few years now and he rarely disappoints Hell House is no different A dying millionaire offers a physicist and two psychics a hundred thousand dollars apiece to spend a week in a haunted house to prove or disprove the existence of an afterlife Sounds simple enough, right Tensions run high between the investigators Barrett thinks Florence s beliefs are crap and his scientific explanation is the only one Fischer doesn t seem to be doing much which also irks Barrett Barret s wife Edith has odd feelings for Florence What s caused by the spirits inhabiting the house and what isn t The first third of the book is mostly exposition Things don t really start picking up until halfway though but when they do, Hell House is really hard to put down Matheson knows all about suspense and tension Just watch that episode of the Twilight Zone he wrote with the gremlin on the wing of the plane The attacks on the investigators by the spirit of inhabiting the Belasco house were fairly brutal.The ending was a tad on the anti climactic side once all was said and done Be that as it may, I should have read this book much earlier Highly recommended for fans of the haunted house sub genre of horror.


  5. says:

    Isn t it just another so called haunted house I m afraid it isn t It s the Mount Everest of haunted houses This.is.one.creepy.book.The excesses depicted in the history of the Belasco House and here you can list any blasphemy and perversion you can think of make for morbidly fascinating reading in itself and sets the stage for this 1970s horror novel I was actually surprised at how grim this book gets It s much explicit than contemporaries like Rosemary s Baby, which was published only a few years earlier I m guessing it probably caused a bit of a stir back in the day a latter day Satan observing his rabble Always dressed in black A giant, terrifying figure, looking at the hell incarnate he d created This novel seems to enjoy a bit of a cult status I m saying cult as opposed to classic, since it doesn t receive the same amount of love than, say, The Haunting of Hill House Here s the thing though Hell House doesn t muck around It s dirty and shameless and unapologetic and deals with some themes that people will still find offensive today If it s horror you re after, you ve come to the right place How did it end If it had ended, would we be here I enjoyed the detail Matheson brings to the table, especially pertaining to spiritism spiritualism, parapsychology and the occult I actually had to go read up about Spirit Guides and mediumship notably the difference between a mental medium and a physical medium to better understand the sittings s ances described It s old school stuff, and pretty much a product of its time, but fascinating all the same They d found him lying on the front porch of the house that morning in September 1940, naked, curled up like a fetus, shivering and staring into space.While I don t necessarily approve of some of the nastier elements of books like these, I can certainly understand why they re present These are the things that impinge on the reader s comfort zone, and isn t that why we read horror stories in the first place As he crossed the entry hall, he had the feeling that the house was swallowing him alive.Hell House does a terrific job of building tension The first half is fairly slow and sets the mood lights the candles and all that The second half, of course, is when all hell breaks loose I couldn t resist.It is easily one of the scariest haunted house stories I have read Even so I probably wouldn t recommend it to casual horror readers It will mess with you It knows we re here


  6. says:

    I ve tried to read Hell House numerous times The writing seemed a little too simplistic, I guess would be the word, for my tastes It s also, at times, annoyingly repetitive, and had my buddy Thomas Str mquist sorry I still haven t figured out how to link to other people on this site hadn t accepted my buddy read proposal, I probably wouldn t have ever finished it I couldn t understand, for the life of me, why everyone suggested I read it It s a horror classic and It s soooooooo scary don t usually push me into reading a book because what I find scary normally isn t what other people find scary But this book hit me at just the right time, while I was in the mood for a creepy read And that s pretty much why I liked it as much as I did Horror is so subjective It depends on a reader s mood, as well If you don t want to be scared, you re likely going to shrug this one off and DNF before you get to the truly unsettling parts Because this isn t your average possession story or haunted house book This motherfucker has teeth.I cannot imagine how much controversy this book created when it was first released You have scenes of lesbian lust, group orgies, one ghost running around wielding his overgrown penis, and a sexual assault scene unlike anything else I ve ever read It fucked me up so badly that I had to stop reading for a minute And I am notoriously hard to disturb But that s what horror is It s meant to leave you shaken To that end, Hell House delivers.Where this book succeeds is the unending sense of dread, the near constant escalation of violent acts, and the invisible character development I honestly have no idea how Matheson made each of these characters feel like separate individuals Other than Barrett s polio, none of them really stand out, but I saw each of them clearly from very early on, and never once was confused as to whose head I was in That s damn impressive, especially given such simple writing.In summation If you re looking for a scary read and can forgive the repetition of words like started , which was used at least twice per page, or so it seemed, you should dig this one It takes a while to get going, but once it does, it doesn t let up Final Judgment Filled with dread.


  7. says:

    Bought during Audible s 2.99 sale 10 13 17 It s now, sorry about that.A rich guy offers to pay a group of people to stay a few nights in a haunted house to prove there is life after death All previous attempts to do such a stupid thing at this particular house have ended very badly for the suckers brave or stupid or hard up enough to have a sleep over It s no different this time around.I read this book closely on the heels of finishing up Shirley Jackson s The Haunting of Hill House which was probably a big mistake on my part as the premise of these two books is nearly identical and Jackson s story didn t thrill me the way it did most people Same goes for Hell House though I did like it a wee bit than Jackson s story but probably only because it was lurid and crazy pants and I like that kind of thing but it does suffer from the same over the top characterization This story is much sexually horrifying Some of the things that happen within these pages are upsetting Trust me on this The house was basically turned into a pit of debauchery and hellish events when its original owner cuts loose with a group of hangers on who dip into orgies, drugs, murder, cannibalism as you will, I guess and every other nasty thing your brain can imagine The house is tainted and incredibly haunted by a horny ghost who eventually infects the woman folk and does shocking pervy things.I listened to this story on audio and the narrator, Ray Porter, does an excellent job He is deadly serious which suits the story and he manages to deliver the lady voices in a way that doesn t make them sound completely ridiculous even when they re forced to behave in overly hysterical ways He does a good job with the men and the evil inhabiting the house as well.I m going to give this the same rating as the Jackson book 3 Stars.


  8. says:

    I can t believe it s taken me this long to read such a horror classic by one of the masters who has influenced so many others, including Stephen King First off, what I loved 1 What s not to love Matheson manages to accomplish a haunted house story that is not only supremely eerie and filled with a creepy atmosphere that s sublime, but a full on assault of the senses as well This book does not pussy foot around it is in your face practically from page one all the way through to the end 2 Belasco House even the Overlook Hotel has nothing on the absolutely sordid, depraved history of Hell House One of the most riveting scenes in the novel is when Fischer is describing the house s past in gritty and illuminating detail It created images in my mind I won t ever be able to erase Ever.3 Tension and suspense are rife in this novel and so expertly handled Matheson really is a master of his craft view spoiler I m reminded of one scene in particular when Dr Barrett becomes trapped in the steam room And how Florence Tanner meets her end in the chapel hide spoiler


  9. says:

    Book ten of the commute This book is yet another product of its times , and once again the times in question are the seventies see also Still Life With Woodpecker This book, if some of the blurbs on the back cover are to be believed, is a classic of American horror, and I m a big fan of horror especially Stephen King, who is in fact the praising voice of one of the back cover blurbs so I decided to check it out Like a lot of good horror, the book combines fantastic fears, like ghosts and haunting phenomena, with social and psychological fears, like sexuality, substance abuse, and religion all with a very 70 s vibe The ending of the book is kind of a downer, as well, which is fairly typical of western lit in the 70 s The story has a nice creepiness throughout and makes some interesting observations about the nature of the universe and the successes and limits of parapsychology, but in the end I just thought the book was kind of OK, nothing great Maybe if I had been reading it for the first time thirty years ago, or if I hadn t already been exposed to so many horror movies and scary novels in my life, it might have impressed me .


  10. says:

    Whoa, creepy, scary book This must be required reading for Wes Craven and Clive Barker and other horror movie directors Published 6 years before The Shining, I also wonder how much this influenced Stephen King Alas, I did not care for the ending.Well written, imaginative, and innovative, Matheson again displays his power as a storyteller in this genre.


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