31 Days Of Thrilling Horror: The Legend Of Hell House

Novelist Richard Matheson wrote some of the creepiest and coolest Twilight Zone episodes back in the 1960’s. The classic Nightmare at 20,000 Feet (William Shatner freaking out on an airplane), Button, Button (made into the mediocre The Box) and Little Girl Lost (“What is it?” Bill: “The opening.” Ruth Miller: “To what?” Bill: “I think… to another dimension.”)

As a prolific writer, some of his work has also been made into movies. Stephen Spielberg’s first film was a TV adaptation of Duel. Unfortunately his most famous work I Am Legend has been adapted three times and none of them have done his novel justice. However his 1971 book Hell House was made successfully into a 1973 film called The Legend of Hell House. It works because he wrote the screenplay himself.

It was directed by John Hough – who directed the Hammer horror Twins of Evil and the Disney film Escape From Witch Mountain – and starred Roddy McDowall, Clive Revill, Pamela Franklin and Gayle Hunnicutt. The story had a group of investigators spending the night in the cursed haunted Belasco House aka Hell House. McDowall played a psychic who was the only survivor from the last group of investigators who spent a night in the house. Clive Revill is a scientist who believes that the supernatural is just science that hasn’t been explained yet and he has a theory that he wants to prove. Naturally things go horrible wrong for everyone.

Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka has spent most of his life watching movies and reading comic books. He has decided to use this vast knowledge for evil instead of good.