An authorized prequel to the classic ghost story Hell House
In 1927 the infamous millionaire occultist Emeric Belasco disappeared without a trace, leaving behind dozens of dead bodies in the rambling, isolated mansion known as Hell House. In 1931 a team of parapsychologists entered Hell House in order to solve the riddle of Belasco's fate, only to meet with horror, insanity and death.
Now, 9 years later, in 1940, another team of psychic and scientific experts, including the 15 year-old "Ghost Boy" Benjamin Franklin Fischer - the most gifted physical medium in modern history - return to investigate the most haunted house in the world, only to find Hell House eagerly awaiting its newest guests.
Warning: Contains Graphic Sexual Content
©2009 Nancy A. Collins (P)2012 Nancy A. Collins
I was skeptical when I first saw how short this prequel was compared to Matthesons' original Hell House. (but to be fair there stay was shorter). Then I worried about reading the prequel, because sometimes it's scarier to not know. But the allure was too Great!
As a stand alone, this is a good short story, but compared to its pregenator it falls flat. None of the characters are as deep or complex. In fact the physical appearance of the house gets more detail than the characters and their lives. This is especially true for Bilasco, the demonic ghost. The subtlety and intelligence of the house is lacking. The other major aspect that was missing was what I would call, "background detail." We get a minimal description of the doctors scientific theory of ghosts but that's it! No idea why these particular people were chosen for the expedition. Little idea of their motives for going. Little understanding of their methods and experiments. . They do not even do a full tour of the house in three days. (Never going to the basement garage). And little understanding of what they intend to do with the psychic energy of Hell House.
Finally, and I may be knitt picking, but I don't think return to Hell House matches with Hell House itself. For example Ben Fisher indicates his original group had trouble with both the keys and the generator, which they don't in this story. I don't even think the layout of the house is the same.
Short and sweet reviews, Allentown pa
collins cont. to keep the story graphic, disgusting and scary
just right, wherever they find these professional narrators they are great
good prequel, short,
fit the mood to listen to something gross and scary
Very curious to check this one out being a huge fan of the original. Hell House '73 is very a disturbing and frightening horror classic, albeit a minor one. Return isn't bad but it isn't really good either. There are a handful of scenes in this strangely short prequel that do invoke some of the power of the original as far as its depiction of the house's repellent debauchery and inexplicable evil. It doesn't really add up to much though. The last half an hour is really a rush job, like the author (who seems capable enough I think) was running out of paper to type on. The source material demands something much better, a well thought out novel, not an occasionally creepy novella. There is definitely a story here, but this just doesn't cut it.
This was a great prequel. As a fan of the the book and movie Hell House, this was a real treat. The narrator of this audio book sounds a lot like Rodney McDowell , the star of the movie.
"Not quite as good as the original tale..."
... But not bad either!
It tells the story of Ben and his first vist to Hell House aged 15 (the original story by Richard Matheson called "Hell House" - also available fron audible and very good!).
Nice to listen to because its just a short story and the narrator was quite good. Filled in a couple of gaps from the original book too, which I quite liked.
I listened to the original and then this and the two went together very well!
ALTHOUGH - it also works as a stand alone story!
"Didn't expect much but was very pleasantly surprised."
I think you need to read Hell House first for this to make sense and have a context. That said, it was quite well written, enjoyable and contributed to my rereading of the original. A little rushed at the end but worth the small price. Nice little book for fans of Hell House.
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