It’s almost Halloween, so it’s the perfect time to revisit our favorite creepy classics. I Am Legend was written in 1954 and set in (what was then) the futuristic Los Angeles of the 1970’s. It has twice been adapted to film, first in 1964 starring Vincent Price as The Last Man on Earth, and again in 1971 as The Omega Man starring Charlton Heston. It will soon be released for a third time with Will Smith taking the starring roll of Robert Neville, the only man left living in a world full of vampires. Much of the book revolves around his struggle to secure his home against the nightly visits of the vampires. Every day he makes repairs to his plywood covered windows and doors, strings fresh garlands of garlic around the house, and spends the afternoon making wooden stakes. Every night the vampires arrive, throwing rocks and calling for Neville to come outside and join them. Every day, when the vampires are sleeping, Neville moves around, driving stakes into the hearts of his former friends and neighbors, becoming legend in the minds of the vampires.
The book is rather short, almost a short story really, but the atmosphere of loneliness, isolation and despair is almost palpable, and the terror that arrives every night when the sun sets is gripping. Get a copy of I Am Legend and a copy of The Haunting of Hill House and you are set for Halloween.