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Home | News | Doc Rotten’s Halls of Horror: Haunted Houses

Doc Rotten’s Halls of Horror: Haunted Houses

During the Seventies and early Eighties, around the same time every evil child or expectant mother was becoming possessed by the Devil and slashers of every type were coming out of the woodwork to slaughter teens and campers on every given holiday, real estate was having a rough time dealing with ghosts and evil entities. While many of these features are memorable, most end up as footnotes in horror history. Classics like The Amityville Horror (1979), The Shining (1980) and Poltergeist (1982) are highlights of their time, but most today still remember Exorcist (1973), Halloween (1978) or Friday the 13th (1980) instead. Buying a house can be a frightening proposition all by itself, image how terrifying it is when there’s a spirit involved. Here are few of the haunted houses that were on the market between 1977 and 1986.

There have always been haunted house movies sprinkled among the classic monsters throughout the ages. During the golden age of Universal Monsters, movies like The Cat and the Canary (1927) and James (Frankenstein) Whale’s Old Dark House (1932). In the Forties, Ray Milland faces The Univited (1944) and Bob Hope stars in The Ghost Breakers (1940). William Castle produces some of the most enjoyable haunted house flicks in the late Fifties and early Sixties with The House on Haunted Hill (1959) and 13 Ghosts (1960). Jack Clayton directs The Innocents (1961) and Robert Wise directs The Haunting (1963), two of the more frightening haunted house horrors to date. Then, starting in the mid-to-late Seventies, ghosts began to increase their haunts, sometimes the being evil houses themselves, sometimes housing malicious spirits and sometimes guarding a pathway to hell itself.

In 1973, director John Hough and writer Richard Matheson invite Pamela Franklin, Roddy McDowall, Clive Revill and Gayle Hunnicutt to spend the weekend in Hell House to investigate life after death in the feature Legend of Hell House. The house, really a mansion, is huge and reminiscent of many of the classics predating it. They must discover if the house is truly evil or haunted by the spirit of Michael Gough. Items fly across the room, noises terrorize the investigators during the night and spirits possess the weakest of the group as the face their fears and run for the lives.

A few years later, Karen Black and Oliver Reed move into the Allardyce Mansion as summer caretakers along with their son, Lee Montgomery, and Black’s mother, Bette Davis, in the Dan Curtis directed feature Burnt Offerings (1976). The family faces horrific visions (a hearse driven by a menacing driver), attacking vegetation, possession and the attacks from the house itself as it revives its appearance with each death. Some of the more frightening set pieces involve the ghostly chauffeur breaking into the grandmother’s room with a coffin ready for her and when the father (Reed) lies frozen in fear while his son is drowning in a pool with it water in turmoil from some unseen force.

These features are followed quickly by The Sentinel (1977), The Evil (1978) and The Legacy (1978). Christina Raines and Chris Sarandon move into a haunted Brooklyn brownstone, in The Sentinel, a a:6:{s:5:”width”;s:3:”450″;s:6:”height”;s:3:”397″;s:14:”hwstring_small”;s:23:”height=’96’ width=’108′”;s:4:”file”;s:34:”2011/09/hills-have-eyes-1977-5.jpg”;s:5:”sizes”;a:5:{s:9:”thumbnail”;a:3:{s:4:”file”;s:34:”hills-have-eyes-1977-5-200×200.jpg”;s:5:”width”;s:3:”200″;s:6:”height”;s:3:”200″;}s:6:”medium”;a:3:{s:4:”file”;s:34:”hills-have-eyes-1977-5-400×352.jpg”;s:5:”width”;s:3:”400″;s:6:”height”;s:3:”352″;}s:34:”cat_post_thumb_sizecategoryposts-7″;a:3:{s:4:”file”;s:32:”hills-have-eyes-1977-5-50×50.jpg”;s:5:”width”;s:2:”50″;s:6:”height”;s:2:”50″;}s:35:”cat_post_thumb_sizecategoryposts-12″;a:3:{s:4:”file”;s:32:”hills-have-eyes-1977-5-96×96.jpg”;s:5:”width”;s:2:”96″;s:6:”height”;s:2:”96″;}s:14:”post-thumbnail”;a:3:{s:4:”file”;s:34:”hills-have-eyes-1977-5-450×252.jpg”;s:5:”width”;s:3:”450″;s:6:”height”;s:3:”252″;}}s:10:”image_meta”;a:10:{s:8:”aperture”;s:1:”0″;s:6:”credit”;s:0:””;s:6:”camera”;s:0:””;s:7:”caption”;s:0:””;s:17:”created_timestamp”;s:1:”0″;s:9:”copyright”;s:0:””;s:12:”focal_length”;s:1:”0″;s:3:”iso”;s:1:”0″;s:13:”shutter_speed”;s:1:”0″;s:5:”title”;s:0:””;}}g

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