Written by Richard Matheson
Performed by Ray Porter
Produced by Blackstone Audio
approx. 9 hours
Here it is folks the ultimate haunted house book, "Hell House" by Richard Matheson. The man that brought vampires (or zombies,depending on how you look at it) to life in the book "I Am Legend," created a very chilling story about the ultimate haunted house. This is the book that inspired the 1973 film "The Legend of Hell House" which starred Roddy McDowell, yes the "Planet of the Apes" guy. Anyway before we go much further let me warn you this one is not for those that have a low tolerance for bad language. The evil of this house is created through one man's excursions and the people that lived and died in the house did some very evil things, and in the playing out of some of the actions and possessions some very colorful vernacular is used. So be prepared.
The reader of this audio book, Ray Porter, does a phenomenal job of separating characters vocally and delivers the horror with the right level of chill too keep your hair standing on end. Without using digital effects Ray's voice portrays those of the haunting spirits as though the disembodied voice is right there with you, okay, i know that technically it is, with an audio book, but he does things with his voice that may creep you out.
The story follows four people; Dr. Lionel Barrett, a physicist out to prove that hauntings are merely electro-magnetic parts of nature, his wife Edith, Florence Tanner, a medium who will help clear the house of its spirits and Benjamin Franklin Fischer, a medium and the only survivor from previous excursions to Hell House.
A very rich man on the edge of life wants to find if there is, or not, life after death. The perfect place to prove this is the notorious Belasco House, Hell House. Two different groups of people have visited Hell House to explore the haunting and only one has survived. The house's original owner, Emeric Belasco, was know to throw parties in which all party goes reveled in evil. All manner of sin is said to have occurred and many people died in the house during these parties. Belasco's body was never found and his evil is said to destroy all who enter the house.
The hired experts have to spend a week in the house to clear out or to prove the evil of Hell House.
Immediately they are treated to the evil that is Hell House. From rocking chairs that rock on their own to violent attacks the party learns they are not welcome. Dr. Barrett has a machine that will clear out the haunting by using the electro-magnetic energy, but before he can get his machine running he must first survive the attacks and possessions.
This is one of those books that I so badly want to talk about the horrifying adventures, but the element of surprise is what makes this book such a great ghost story. So when listening remember even with the lights on or with someone keeping you company, it is not safe.