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Hell House is a horror thriller novel written in 1971 by Richard Matheson. It was adapted to film as The Legend of Hell House in 1973.


Hell House provides examples of:

  • Den of Iniquity: Belasco spent his wealth and time hosting elaborate orgies at Hell House for the entertainment of his circle of wealthy, depraved friends. Many unspeakable acts occurred behind its bricked-up windows.
  • Did I Mention It's Christmas?: Takes place between December 18 and December 24, but the only mention of the holiday comes in the very last sentence of the story, when one of the characters wishes another a merry Christmas. (The film adaptation The Legend of Hell House keeps the same datespan, but omits any reference to Christmas at all.)
  • Haunted House
  • Haunted House Historian: Ben Fischer is sole survivor of a previous investigative team, provides the backstory of the Belasco House, called the "Mount Everest of haunted houses." He relates the evil debauchery that started it all, as well as the dire fates of his colleagues on the earlier mission. Fischer advised the others on the team to do nothing to provoke the forces in the house and wait for the week to pass so they can live and collect their fees. As the casualties mount, Fischer is persuaded/forced by circumstances to take action.
  • Room 101: The whole mansion qualifies, but over it all seems to be the ballroom, to the point Ben Fischer makes it a point to try avoiding it.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Emeric Belasco, the sociopath responsible for the massacre at Hell House and its subsequent haunting for decades, sealed his legacy by forcing himself to die of thirst in a lead-lined hidden chamber, having correctly predicted that this would prevent his spirit from being dispelled by EMP.
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