The Image, the Page, the Pen, the Terror

R.I.P. Richard Matheson, conjurer of a vast number of dark stories essential to the mythic strata of contemporary culture.

Four memories: As a kid I had stone-cold fright watching Twilight Zone's "Little Girl Lost," the one where the daughter rolls under the bed into limbo. As a teen I obsessed over the movie Duel, where a monstrous, never-seen truck driver chases Dennis Weaver for no reason whatsoever. As a young man I started crediting authors as much as directors after reading the short story Duel: The whole movie is outlined in a few brilliant pages. Just recently I blew through Hell House in a day or so and marveled that a "haunted house" novel could still scare me today.

There are of course, many more Matheson stories of great importance, and most of them I haven't experienced yet. It's a nice feeling, knowing that some his most famous tales are still lurking behind closed doors, waiting to pounce.