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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 6:42 pm  Post subject: Richard Matheson - Hell House (1971) ebook
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The Devil, Probably
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Hell House is a novel by American novelist Richard Matheson, published in 1971. The novel was later turned into a film, The Legend of Hell House, starring Pamela Franklin and Roddy McDowall.

The story concerns four people - a physicist with an interest in parapsychology, his wife, and two mediums - who are hired by a dying millionaire to investigate the possibility of life after death. To do so, they must enter the infamous Belasco House in Maine, widely regarded as the most haunted house in the world. The house get its name from the horrible acts of blasphemy that occurred under the silent supervision of Emeric Belasco. The novel combines supernatural horror with mystery as the researchers attempt to investigate the haunting of the house while their sanity is subtly undermined by its sinister supernatural influence.

During the investigation, various influences begin to play on each 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. Its corrupting nature derives from the house's past tenants and their acts of depravity, sexual abandon, and eventual barbarism which resulted from their being able to escape the eyes and judgement of society, and which led to their deaths through negligence. The strong sexual tone throughout the novel is explained through this method as a way of constantly feeding the reader's disgust at the house and what it stands for...humanity's capacity for evil.

Author Richard Matheson
Cover artist Lisa Pifher
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Horror novel
Publisher Tor Books
Publication date 1971

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