Hell House (1971) by Richard Matheson

All Hallow’s Read – Day 12

I finished reading this over the weekend. It didn’t really scare me but I enjoyed the story, despite its limitations. The characters aren’t particularly rounded but they each have their own voice. The house itself could have been more of a character, but perhaps the author left it in the background in order to focus on the four main characters and their reactions to the haunting.

The book is certainly a product of its time, (1970~71), with its titillating sexual scenes and treatment of the female characters. Some will find it too exploitive and it could easily offend. But I wanted to read a haunted house story that got me turning the pages, and that is what I got.

Suddenly the rope lurched upward, slamming the edge of his right wrist against the jagged brick edge. Fischer jerked his hands back. He was examining his wrist when a rumbling noise began inside the wall. He looked up, startled.
A section of wall was hitching slowly to the right. Fischer braced himself for what they’d see – or wouldn’t see. He was conscious of Florence standing beside him tensely as the wall section creaked and shuddered to the side.
Edith made a gagging noise and turned away.

There are some well-written, thrilling scenes in here and it is rarely dull. This book has made me want to read more of Richard Matheson’s work.

5 thoughts on “Hell House (1971) by Richard Matheson

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