Hell House

Hell House

Feb 05, 2022

This week I read a book called Hell House by Richard Matheson that was written back in 1971. This is a tale about a haunted house. I found this book to be an interesting take on the haunted house sub-genre.

Richard Matheson is not a new author to me. I have read other stories by Matheson including his story I Am Legend. I like his style although it is a bit outdated in his descriptions and references. I still enjoy his storytelling.

I found the pacing in this haunted house story to be much different than other similar stories that I have recently read. In comparison to Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, this story has a much faster pace. This element alone makes the story more intense for me. I find that slow-burn horror leaves me sleepy at times. This was not a slow-burn.

This story had a main human character as the antagonist rather than having the house be the sole antagonist. This was a departure from The Haunting of Hill House in which the house was the main antagonist.

I know there is the argument that Matheson had some sexist and racist elements in his writing. I see these elements present when I am reading. It is unfortunate that these elements are there and cause a distraction while reading the story. I do not know the core values and /or politics of Matheson nor do I care. I see his witting as being a product of the 60s and 70s and therefore flawed in this way as many others.

Overall I did enjoy this story and found the pulse-pounding pace to be exhilarating. I was drawn into the story and found the ride to be exciting.