I've been a Richard Matheson fan for a few years now and he rarely disappoints. Hell House is no different. A dying millionaire offers a physicist and two psychics a hundred thousand dollars apiece to spend a week in a haunted house to prove or disprove the existence of an afterlife. Sounds simple enough, right?
Tensions run high between the investigators. Barrett thinks Florence's beliefs are crap and his scientific explanation is the only one. Fischer doesn't seem to be doing much which also irks Barrett. Barret's wife Edith has odd feelings for Florence. What's caused by the spirits inhabiting the house and what isn't?
The first third of the book is mostly exposition. Things don't really start picking up until halfway though but when they do, Hell House is really hard to put down. Matheson knows all about suspense and tension. Just watch that episode of the Twilight Zone he wrote with the gremlin on the wing of the plane. The attacks on the investigators by the spirit of inhabiting the Belasco house were fairly brutal.
The ending was a tad on the anti-climactic side once all was said and done. Be that as it may, I should have read this book much earlier. Highly recommended for fans of the haunted house sub-genre of horror.