Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Legend of Hell House

I am spending way too much time reading stuff that is not in my schoolbooks. Thankfully, my grades are fine, so I don't yet warrant a parental lecture from my sweet husband, but because of the Season, I am distracted. I'll give you a little background that will make sense in a moment.

At the end of a long day of building, I like to boil my sore bones in the hottest bathtub I can manage. I don't seem to be able to light candles and sit for an hour. So I read. I don't like to read hardbacks in the tub, since they're a little heavy to support for a long time. Schoolbooks are out, since it's likely I'll drop them in the tub. So I read paperbacks.

Recently, I dug out Richard Matheson's story, Hell House. Old school horror fans will remember he also wrote I Am Legend, which was to be made into the movie "The Omega Man," before the more recent update starring Will Smith.

I hadn't read Hell House in ages. In fact, it's been so long, it's almost a new book. While I don't exactly know the chronology, it almost seems this story is the one that set the standard for the more modern haunted mansion stories. Stephen King's Rose Red, The Haunting of Hill House and its spawn, The Haunting, are all similar in premise, and they do capture the essence of the story: the group of psychics gathered by a scientist determined to prove there's no such thing as ghosts, or they are determined to cleanse the house by the means of science alone. Terror begins in a slow trickle, in instances small enough to be ignored, or swatted away like a fly. It builds, takes over each member of the team one by one, slowly driving the most logical insane.

I would have read it all in one sitting, but my bathwater got cold.


  1. This was such a good movie! Never read the book though. Came across your blog via... The Davis House (if I'm remembering that correctly).

  2. Ah, the Davis House....what a great blog :D

    Love both the book and the movie...husband not so much on the movie, whines everytime I try to make him watch it again.....can I come over and watch it with you? :)


  3. That is a cool movie...

    I always get so motivated to do other things when I have school work to do. I have gotten so many Halloween projects done since my school started back up in August.


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