This morning, Suntup Editions has announced a fine press limited edition of the 1971 novel Hell House by Richard Matheson, featuring new exclusive material including an introduction by R.C. Matheson, a foreword by Mike Flanagan and afterword by Nancy A. Collins.
In his foreword, Flanagan reveals that had there been a third season of his ‘Haunting’ series for Netflix, it would have been an adaptation of Hell House!
Flanagan explains, “When I adapted Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House as a Netflix series, there was much talk about how to continue the Haunting anthology. We followed Hill House with The Haunting of Bly Manor, based on numerous ghost stories by Henry James. Had there been a third season, I wanted that season to be The Haunting of Hell House. It was actually the first title we explored when Hill House was over, but the rights were spoken for and there did not seem to be a path forward.”
Flanagan’s foreword for the new release from Suntup Editions continues, “I don’t know that there has ever been a haunted house story as downright cinematic as Hell House. It is written by a man who thought visually, who had a flair for cinematic set pieces, audience expectations, and visceral thrills that eluded many of his literary predecessors. That is one of the reasons I Am Legend [also by Richard Matheson] resonates so deeply, and Stephen King is correct when he says: ‘Without his I Am Legend, there would have been no Night of the Living Dead.’ Without Hell House, I’d argue that there would be no Poltergeist, no The Conjuring, no Insidious.”
Each copy of this special limited edition release is printed letterpress and is hand signed by Mike Flanagan, R.C. Matheson and Nancy A. Collins, and is now available for pre-order.
The edition is illustrated by William Basso, whose iconic imagery has been featured in such well-known films as Batman Returns, Jurassic Park and Edward Scissorhands. Sadly, Basso passed away shortly after completing the illustrations for this edition. Hell House is among the artist’s final works.
Richard Matheson’s most frightening and shocking book, Hell House is the author’s brutal and twisted take on the haunted house genre that became a classic in its own right.
For over twenty years, Belasco House has stood empty. Regarded as the Mount Everest of haunted houses, its shadowed walls have witnessed scenes of unimaginable horror and depravity. All previous attempts to probe its mysteries have ended in murder, suicide or insanity. But now, a new investigation has been launched, bringing four strangers to Belasco House in search of the ultimate secrets of life and death. A wealthy publisher, brooding over his impending death, has paid a physicist and two mediums to establish the facts of life after death once and for all. For one night, they will investigate the Belasco House and learn exactly why the townsfolk refer to it as the Hell House.
Few novels have impacted modern day authors of the horror genre more than Hell House did upon its publication in 1971. The novel quickly became the gold standard to which a new uprising of horror authors aspired in the 1970s and 1980s. Not your mother’s haunted house tale, Hell House signaled a new generation of horror in which sex, violence and depravity were no longer off limits. Stephen King called it, “the scariest haunted house novel ever written,” while Peter Straub hailed it as “one of the absolute best contemporary horror novels,” and Rod Serling named it “unquestionably the best” of Matheson’s work.
The author adapted his novel into a screenplay for the 1973 film, The Legend of Hell House, starring Roddy McDowall and Pamela Franklin.
With Matheson’s exploration of the darkest corners of the human psyche and his ability to evoke a sense of impending doom, Hell House is still standing tall as one of the most terrifying and influential horror classics of its kind.
ABOUT THE ARTIST EDITION
The Artist edition is limited to 750 copies, and is the only edition to include a dust jacket illustrated by William Basso. It is a smyth-sewn full cloth binding with foil blocking on the cover. Endsheets are embossed Rainbow paper and the edition is housed in a paper lined slipcase covered in Allure cloth with ends in a complimentary color.
The edition is printed letterpress on Mohawk Via Vellum paper and is signed by R.C. Matheson, Mike Flanagan and Nancy A. Collins.