The Legend of Hell House

Synopsis: A team consisting of a physicist, his wife, a young female psychic and the only survivor of the previous visit are sent to the notorious Hell House to prove/disprove survival after death. Previous visitors have either been killed or gone mad, and it is up to the team to survive a full week in isolation, and solve the mystery of the Hell House.
Genre: Horror
Director(s): John Hough
Production: Fox
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
95 min

Dr. Barrett?

My people tell me you're

one of the best five in your field.

Your fee will be 100,000.

- You're to establish the facts.

- Regarding what?

- Survival after death.

- You want me...

- To tell me if it's factual.

- How can I convince you?

- Find the facts.

- Where do I find them?

I'm a physicist. In 20 years of studying

parapsychology I've yet...

If they exist, you'll find them

in the only place I know...

...where survival hasn't been refuted.

The Belasco house.

Hell House?

Hell House.

I thought the Belascos had it

sealed up after what happened.

That was 20 years ago.

They needed money. I bought it.

Can you be there by Monday?

Can you?


There will be two others.

A medium, Florence Tanner...

Tanner? But she's a mental medium.

I want that line of approach employed

as well as yours.

She's practically a child.

My people tell me

she's the best in her field too.

And the other one?

The only survivor

from the last attempt.

- Fischer?

- Fischer.

Between you three,

I expect an answer within a week.

A week!

Take it or leave it.

A list of all phenomena

recorded at the Belasco house...

...restoration of electricity,

transportation of your equipment.

Is that it?

No, there's a machine

that's only partly constructed.

- How long until it's completed?

- Depends on how many men you use.

- How soon will you need it?

- No later than Wednesday.

Good day.

It would be better

if you didn't come along on this trip.

But I always come with you.

I don't want to be left alone.

Besides, I want to be there

when you prove your new theory.

Isn't it just another haunted house?

It's the Mount Everest

of haunted houses.

There were two attempts to investigate it.

Eight people died.

Fischer was the only one who survived.

When he crawled out,

he was a mental wreck.

These are the keys. Your luggage

and equipment have been installed...

...power's on, your rooms are ready

and the larder's full.

I'll call back for you

at 5:
00 on the 24th.

Look at the windows.

He had them bricked up

so no one could see in.

Or out.

It's hideous.

We're not even inside yet,

Miss Tanner.

I don't have to be.

So much for the restored electricity.

- They work off a generator, don't they?

- Yes.

My God, the smell!

The atmosphere in here...

Of this world, not of the next.

This house... knows we're here.

Miss Tanner.

Sorry, I'll keep my observations

to myself.

Do you know where

the emergency generator is?

I hope I didn't disturb you.

I'm just concerned for you

coming into this pest hole.

Yes, I understand.

I wonder if you do.

Just how wealthy was Mr. Belasco?

I believe he left millions

when he died.


Anything you care to tell?

What's to tell?

The house tried to kill me.

It almost succeeded.

That leads to the cellars, Mr. Fischer?

That's right.

What's through there?

The chapel.


Sorry, I can't right now.

We understand.

Welcome to my house.

I'm delighted you could come.

I'm certain you'll find your stay here

most illuminating.

Think of me as your unseen host

and believe...

Why couldn't Miss Tanner come in?

Her system is attuned

to psychic energy.

Obviously, it's very strong here.

A church in hell. That sort of thing.

Why doesn't it affect him?

Obviously, he knows how to

protect himself better than she does.

Miss Tanner?

Miss Tanner?

I'm sure it's nothing.

Are you?

Miss Tanner?

I'm over here.

You shouldn't have done that.

You caused us undue alarm.

I'm sorry. I heard a voice in here.

Welcome to my house.

I'm delighted you could come.

I'm certain you'll find your stay here

most illuminating.

Think of me as your unseen host...

... and believe that during your stay

I shall be with you in spirit.

May you find the answer you seek.

It is here, I promise you.

And now, auf Wiedersehen.

Auf Wiedersehen.

Till we meet again.

The record wasn't meant for us.

What made it go on by itself?

Belasco said he could will people... a particular object...

...then move among them unobserved.

I doubt that.

Do you?

Our attention was on that

a few moments ago.

How do you know

he didn't walk right by us?

This house hasn't lived up

to its reputation so far.

It hasn't taken our measure yet.

The house is not the haunting force.

Evidently, the problem is created

by multiple surviving personalities.

I take it you still don't believe

in survival, Dr. Barrett.

If you mean surviving personalities,

you are correct.

We will see.

Indeed we shall, Miss Tanner.

- When was the house built?

- I don't know.

Mr. Fischer?

I feel that you know a lot

about Belasco.

Would you share it with us?

First name:

Born March 23rd, 1879.

The illegitimate son

of an American munitions maker.

What did he look like?

His was a frightening visage.

Like the face of a demon...

...that had taken on

some human aspect.

- Are you quoting?

- Yes, I am.

That was his second wife.

She committed suicide

in this room in 1927.

How tall was he?

He was 6'5.

They called him the Roaring Giant.

What did he do

to make this house so evil?

Drug addiction...

...alcoholism, sadism,

bestiality, mutilation...

...murder, vampirism,

necrophilia, cannibalism.

Not to mention a gamut

of sexual goodies. Shall I go on?

How did it end?

If it had ended, we would not be here.

It's about to end, Mr. Fischer.

What happened to Mr. Belasco?

No one knows.

When relatives of the guests

broke into the house in 1929...

...they found all 27 dead,

from one cause or another.

Belasco was not among them.

I'd like to try a sitting tonight.

I have no objection.

Would you care to sit

in the morning, Mr. Fischer?

I'm not ready yet.

Spirit of love and tenderness...

...we gather to communicate with those

who walk this house in torment.

Help us bridge the chasm of death

so faithfully...

...that pain is transformed into joy...

...sorrow into peace.

All this we ask in the name

of our infinite Father.


This is an evil house.

A place of sickness.




Terminations and extremities.

I don't know.

If thine eye offend thee...


There is a young man...

...very young...

...says he must speak.

Must speak.

I don't know you people.

Why are you here?

It does no good.

Nothing changes.


Get out or I'll hurt you.

I can't help myself.

Goddamn you, you filthy sons

of b*tches! Goddamn you!

I don't want to hurt you...

...but I must. I must!

Get out of this house

before I kill you all!

You started manifesting

physical phenomena.

But I'm not a physical medium.

You were just now.

The embryo of one, at any rate.

I don't understand.

All this time a mental medium,

and now this.

The Lord certainly moves

in mysterious ways.

So does this house.

Back to normal?

Those pounding noises are unnerving

the first time you hear them.

Why was Miss Tanner so disturbed

by that sitting?

Because she caused

physical phenomena.

But if Miss Tanner

is a mental medium...

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Richard Matheson

Richard Burton Matheson (February 20, 1926 – June 23, 2013) was an American author and screenwriter, primarily in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres. He is best known as the author of I Am Legend, a 1954 science fiction horror vampire novel that has been adapted for the screen four times, as well as the movie Somewhere In Time for which Matheson wrote the screenplay, based on his novel Bid Time Return. Matheson also wrote 16 television episodes of The Twilight Zone, including "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" and "Steel". He adapted his 1971 short story "Duel" as a screenplay directed by a young Steven Spielberg, for the television film of the same name that year. Seven more of his novels or short stories have been adapted as major motion pictures — The Shrinking Man, Hell House, What Dreams May Come, Bid Time Return (filmed as Somewhere in Time), A Stir of Echoes, Steel (filmed as Real Steel), and Button, Button. Lesser movies based on his work include two from his early noir novels — Cold Sweat, based on his novel Riding the Nightmare, and Les seins de glace (Icy Breasts), based on his novel Someone is Bleeding. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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