Author(s): Richard MathesonDownload
Can any soul survive?Regarded as the Mount Everest of haunted houses, Belasco House has witnessed scenes of almost unimaginable horror and depravity. Two previous expeditions to investigate its secrets met with disaster, the participants destroyed by murder, suicide or insanity. Now a new investigation has been mounted – four strangers, each with his or her own reason for daring the unknown torments and temptations of the mansion…
Some Reviews: 2108 in Goodreads.com
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
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.
Reading it again three years later I’ve added two stars. I was thrown the first time by a ludicrous reveal at the very, very end. But knowing it was coming allowed me to enjoy the fun of this book, one of the two best haunted house books ever written, along with Shirley Jackson’s “Haunting of Hill House.” The book is fantastic until that silly head-scratcher at the end (it’s in the movie too) which on second reading doesn’t at all negate the positives. The film version doesn’t begin to capture the frights in this book. I would love it if someone made a remake that’s faithful to “Hell House” in all its scary, twisted, violent, demented, erotic, terrifying greatness.
I have been wanting to read this book for a long time and I am happy that I finally got around to reading it!
Would you enter Hell House for a sum of $100,000? Dr. Barrett a physicist along with two mediums are offered the chance to enter the house in the sum of $100,000 each to see what they can find in terms of a possible haunting.
Dr. Barrett not only takes the mediums with him, but he ends up taking his wife along as she didn’t want to be left alone as he was going to be gone a few days.
He’ll House has been closed down since 1949 as seedy and despicable things went on within its walls. The team is there to try and find answers to what happened to the house.
Is Hell House haunted? Definitely! The doctor and mediums soon find out what the word “haunted” really means as all kinds of manifestations take place in the house.
This was a scary romp into the mind of author, Richard Matheson as I found myself jumping at sounds in my own house as I was reading this book. Welcome to Hell House and be prepared to be scared! Four stars for this one.
Once again, Richard Matheson shows why he’s the man. I read this book after reading The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, and of the two, there is no doubt which I prefer. The Haunting of Hill House wasn’t so much scary or creepy was it was atmospheric and interpretable. You can see anything you like in it. But Hell House takes that inspiration and runs with it, not only giving us those things, but more – creepiness, doubt, faith, hope, dread, manipulation, science and religion, and more importantly, a resolution, as well as characters that may not be likable, but are real and interesting and lifelike.
I really enjoy the way that Matheson writes. It’s straightforward, but intelligent, and strikes just the right tone so that the reader feels as though they are a part of the story rather than an outsider looking in. The scientific theory aspects of the book could have been alienating, but weren’t, because Matheson is able to make them accessible to everyone.
I really enjoyed the direction that he took with Hell House, taking inspiration from de Sade to represent the terrors and sins of the house before it became Hell House, when it was just the Belasco House. I enjoyed that aspect, because it was unique as far as haunted house stories I’ve read, but also because it made things far more interesting than your average “angry ghost” story.
I really enjoyed the characters, even though I didn’t like some of them, but they were realistic and interesting and I could understand them, even if I didn’t agree with them.
Overall, I liked this quite a bit, and I’d recommend it for anyone looking for something hellish to read for Halloween.
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