Hell House (novel)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Hell House is a novel by American novelist Richard Matheson, published in 1971.



The story concerns four people - Dr. Lionel Barrett, a physicist with an interest in parapsychology, his wife Edith, and two mediums (Florence Tanner, a Spiritualist and 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, regarded as the most haunted house in the world. The house got its name from the horrible acts of blasphemy and perversion that 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 undermined subtly by its sinister supernatural influence.

During the investigation, various influences begin to affect 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 has significant similarities with the earlier novel The Haunting of Hill House (1959) by Shirley Jackson, though rendered with much more violence and sexual imagery.



The novel was later made as a film, The Legend of Hell House, starring Pamela Franklin and Roddy McDowall.


The story was adapted into a comic book mini-series, Richard Matheson's Hell House, written by Ian Edginton, with art by Simon Fraser. It was published in 2004 by IDW Publishing and collected as a trade paperback in 2008 (ISBN 1600102638).

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Hell House (novel)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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