Tag Archives: RIG

Hell House by Richard Matheson

I’m not one for ghost stories. And while the head hopping within a single paragraph or the numerous uses of “mattress edge” became rather annoying, Matheson did one amazing thing. Just as the characters in the novel began to doubt which series of events was the truth, I began to do the same. Yet, despite the fact that I don’t like ghost stories, I found myself wanting to believe that the truth to the Belasco house was in fact a haunting and not just residual energy in the house. I guess it would validate the pain and death in the 1940s group as well as for these characters.

As I did last semester, I’m going to try to post about what I learned from the craft of this novel and not just respond to the story itself. This might just be the one novel where head hopping numerous times in the novel might actually have been intended by the author. We, the audience, in a sense became Belasco himself. Flitting from mind to mind to work on what beliefs they held and manipulating the truth. Thus weaving the tale to the final page.  I’m not normally a ghost story reader but this one worked well for me on a few levels.  This week in our course discussion we’re talking about whether or not you believe in ghosts.  The answers are intriguing to me because they are matching what I’ve noticed with the characters in the novel.  Some believe in ghosts while other believe in residual energy.  So there’s a realistic aspect when creating the characters.  Not everyone will react to such phenomena the same as others.  That resonated with me.  I could get deeper into this story and the struggles of the characters because of that.  So much so that the aspects I didn’t like didn’t seem as important anymore.