Archives On The Air 198: Robert Bloch's Psycho—Robert Bloch Papers

Jun 16, 2020

Author Robert Bloch was a fan of Weird Tales magazine while a youngster. An early writer for the magazine was H.P. Lovecraft, who later went on to greater success. A fan letter Bloch wrote to Lovecraft resulted in encouragement for the teenager to submit his own science fiction stories to the magazine. Bloch's 60-year writing career began.

In 1959 he wrote the psychological thriller Psycho. The novel about a murderer obsessed with his controlling mother was adapted into film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1960.

Psycho is strikingly similar to the story of infamous murderer Ed Gein. However, Bloch had already begun the book as details of Gein's murders emerged. Strangely, while writing Psycho, Bloch lived only 35 miles away from Gein in Wisconsin.

Robert Bloch's papers are available for research at UW's American Heritage Center.