The story concerns four people - Dr. Lionel Barrett, a physicist with an interest in parapsychology, his wife Edith, and two mediums (Florence Tanner, a Spiritualist and mental medium, and Benjamin Franklin Fischer, a physical medium) - who are hired by dying millionaire William Reinhardt Deutsch to investigate the possibility of life after death. To do so, they must enter the infamous Belasco House in Maine, regarded as the most haunted house in the world. The house got its name from the horrible acts of blasphemy and perversion that occurred under the silent influence and supervision of Emeric Belasco, and Fischer is the only survivor of a previous failed investigation attempt thirty years earlier. The novel combines supernatural horror with mystery as the researchers attempt to investigate the haunting of the house while their sanity is undermined subtly by its sinister supernatural influence.
During the investigation, various influences begin to affect character's personal weakness. Hell House's potency comes from its apparent ability to corrupt those who enter its walls, before bringing about their destruction, both mental and physical.
- Main article: The Legend of Hell House
The story was adapted into a comic book mini-series, Richard Matheson's Hell House, written by Ian Edginton, with art by Simon Fraser. It was published in 2004 by IDW Publishing and collected as a trade paperback in 2008 (ISBN 1600102638).
There was also an unathorized version of the story in Marvel Comics' Werewolf by Night, written by Doug Moench in which Emaric Belasco was renamed Belaric Marcosa.Template:Citation needed