Monday, September 24, 2012

Entering the "Hell House"

Finished reading Richard Matheson's horror novel "Hell House". It is highly rated by many people including the famous writer Stephen King. It is scary to some extent but I wasn't much impressed with it. This may be because I'm somehow immune from horror by watching too many scary movies. Horror movies still jolt my senses but reading scary books fail to do the same. Anyway, I'm interested in horror because they tell a thing or two about human psychology. In fact, in the novel one Deutsche pays four people to spend a week in a haunted house to prove whether there is post-death life or not. A parapsychologist, his normal wife, and two mediums enter the infamous Belasco house in Maine where the eerie happenings prove fatal for some of them. All the latent fears and desires of these four people are brought to the fore by the powerful ghost, Emeric Belasco. This reminds one of Freud's famous essays, "The Uncanny" where he links the uncanny with the repressed desire or "id" which when imposed on an uncanny object like ghost becomes a threatening force to the individual. I have noticed even while watching scary movies that the ghosts fiddle with people's unconscious so badly that the latter commit acts that hurt them ultimately. This book deals with likewise issues but I reiterate that it didn't scare me that much. May be the movie based on it will do that.   

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