Legend of Hell House
1973 Pamela Franklin
Teaser Storyline for The Legend of Hellhouse
In London, Dr. Chris Barrett (CLIVE REVILL), a physicist, is offered a fee of one hundred thousand pounds by a dying multi-millionaire, Rudolph Deutsch (ROLAND CULVER), to investigate the Belasco Mansion, a house with a terrifying history of psychic phenomena.
Deutsch wants the truth about survival after death. He believes the Belasco Mansion may provide the answer, which he is prepared to buy either way - so long as it is factual.
Barrett's partners will be Florence Tanner (PAMELA FRANKLIN), a young mental medium, and Ben Fischer (RODDY McDOWALL), a physical medium who was the only survivor of an investigation into the house twenty years previously.
Barrett's attractive wife, Ann (GAYLE HUNNICUTT), will also accompany them. Deutsch wants their report within a week.
Barrett, who does not believe in survival, dismisses as ridiculous the suggestion that "occurrences" in the house signify the "presence of the dead." But he does accept there is "something" there, some "force" which, as a scientist, he is
prepared to investigate scientifically. He is aware that previous attempts to investigate the house resulted in death or insanity for the investigators.
At the Belasco Mansion, a windowless, looming spectre of a house, Florence senses there are many spirits trapped within the house, and, at a preliminary seance, she says the problem is caused by "multiple surviving personalities."
Fischer reveals that the house was built in 1919 by a wealthy man, Emeric Belasco, who, in later years, practiced all kinds of evil. After the last party he gave, twenty-seven of Belasco's relatives and guests were found dead or mutilated in the house. But Belasco himself was never found
Barrett, surrounded by the latest scientific equipment, prepares for a psychic session with Florence. Her spirit guide is a young French girl, who, speaking through her, says the house is evil. She also speaks with the voice of a young man who screams at them to leave the house before he kills them all. It seems he is helpless to prevent himself
Later, Florence claims the young man is Belasco's son, Daniel, and that he had visited her in her room the night before. He is very frightened, she says. If he could be persuaded to "move on," much of the haunting force inside "Hell House" would be eliminated. Barrett's refusal to take her story seriously arouses Florence's hostility to him.
Next day, Barrett takes delivery of a "Reversor," a machine which can electromagnetically release a massive counter-charge to any physical forces in the house.
When Florence goes into another trance, Barrett, as a precaution against possible fraud or fakery, places her in a three-sided, roofed cabinet covered with mosquito netting. Florence herself wears the minimum of dress, a pair of black tights, a flimsy black smock, and gloves on her hands.
During her trance, Barrett notices viscous matter oozing from her fingertips, which gradually forms into ectoplasm. The substance now exudes from her mouth and nostrils and begins to assume a shape. Suddenly, it shoots towards Ann. As she lets out a scream, the figure vanishes with a noise like the snapping of a giant rubber band.
Barrett, examining a sample of the ectoplasm, finds it is formed from the medium's own body .
When Florence claims she has again been visited by Daniel Belasco, Barrett dismisses her story contemptuously, pointing out that Daniel never existed, because Belasco never had a son. His stubborn attitude increases Florence's hostility.
Suddenly, all hell breaks loose as the house is rocked by a massive, sustained burst of poltergeist activity, all of it directed against Barrett. A lamp is hurled across the room. Barrett's coffee cup explodes in his face. Glasses and plates break apart. Tables and chairs are flung across the hall by gigantic unseen forces. Barrett himself receives a nasty leg injury.
The commotion stops abruptly at a word from Florence. Fischer observes that it is Barrett at whom the psychic attack has been directed, which means he is "vulnerable" to "Hell House" . .
As Barrett brings his "Reversor" into operation, the power it discharges has the house literally shuddering. For a time it looks like the "Reversor" has triumphed, that the house has been de-energized, exorcised. But the terror has only begun...