Hellish houses moan, mad drivers duel for the road, a looming disease turns humanity into the undead, and a man shrinks from his world, as we honor the great Richard Matheson.
Richard Matheson was a screenwriter, novelist and most certainly a master of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. He worked often with Rod Serling on episodes of “The Twilight Zone” and “Night Gallery”. His most famous stories, “I Am Legend”, “What Dreams May Come”, “(Bid Time Return) also known as “Somewhere In Time” and “The Incredible Shrinking Man” were made into movies. Many several times over.
Matheson’s most terrifying novel, “Hell House”, has been quoted by Marvin Kaye as “the unarguably most frightening haunted house novel in English literature”. Having read “Hell House” we agree. Never has a haunted house novel so terrified this writer. We certainly had sleepless nights after it.
Matheson received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 1984 and the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Horror Writers Association in 1991. The Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted him in 2010. At the annual World Fantasy Conventions he won two judged, annual literary awards for particular works: World Fantasy Awards for Bid Time Return as the best novel of 1975 and Richard Matheson: Collected Stories as the best collection of 1989.
Matheson died just days before he was due to receive the Visionary award at the 39th Saturn Awards ceremony. As a tribute, the ceremony was dedicated to him and the award was presented posthumously. Academy President Robert Holguin said “Richard’s accomplishments will live on forever in the imaginations of everyone who read or saw his inspired and inimitable work.”
“Graveyard Shift” was written by Richard Matheson and first published in 1947. The short story focuses on a less than loving mother, Widow Blackwell, and her son Little Jim Blackwell. This is a masterpiece of unnerving horror in just four short pages. Some writers can’t get this kind of reaction from a reader in five hundred pages or more.
What has caused Little Jim to be in such terror? Can he face his fears and move on with his life?