The Legend Of Hell House

20th Century Fox Released 1973




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Movie Summary

John Hough

The Legend of Hell House is a 1973 adaptation of the novel by Richard Matheson. A decidedly sceptical investigator into parapsychology (Clive Revill) is paid to investigate "the Mount Everest of haunted houses" and to determine if there is a survival of the personality after death; he is joined by his wife and two mediums, one of whom has (narrowly) survived an earlier investigation into the house. The doctor plans to dissipate Hell House's negative power using Electro-Magnetic Radiation, despite warnings that there's more to it than that. His scientific certainties are rudely shaken over the course of five days.


Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Although Michael Gough's voice is heard in the role of Emeric Belasco near the beginning of the film, he is not seen until the very end, and then as a corpse. His contribution to the film was uncredited.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Ann Barrett: Isn't it just another so-called haunted house?
      Dr. Lionel Barrett: It's the Mount Everest of haunted houses!

    • Dr. Lionel Barrett: This is impossible. I don't accept this. I DO NOT ACCEPT THIS!

    • Ben Fischer: [describing Belasco]: "His was a frightening visage. He had the face of a demon that has taken on a human aspect."
      Florence Tanner: Are you quoting?
      Ben Fischer: Yes, I am. That is his second wife. She committed suicide in this room in 1927.

    • Ann Barrett: [after Fischer has described the perversions and murders that occurred in the house]: How did it all end?
      Ben Fischer: If it had ended, we would not be here.

    • Ben Fischer: The house tried to kill me. It almost succeeded.

  • NOTES (1)

    • The sinister Emeric Belasco, whose house is supposed to be haunted, is fairly clearly inspired by the real-life occultist Aleister Crowley, a controversial figure in the 1920s who was much noted in the tabloid newspapers of the day. He was alleged to have held sex orgies in the ruins of an abbey, to have driven former mistresses and others to suicide, and to have conjured Beelzebub through Satanic incantations. He was a bad poet and novelist, a snob and anti-Semite and a drug-addict and alcoholic throughout his adult life, despite which he lived into his seventies, dying in 1947.


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