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Archive for September 1st, 2007

Michel Parry – Roots Of Evil

Posted by demonik on September 1, 2007

‘Carlos Cassaba’ (Michel Parry) ed. – Roots Of Evil: Beyond The Secret Life Of Plants (Corgi, 1976).

Introduction by Carlos Cassaba

Clark Ashton Smith – The Seed From The Sepulchre
H. G. Wells – The Flowering Of The Strange Orchid
Nathaniel Hawthorne – Rappaccini’s Daughter
Hester Holland – Dorner Cordaianthus
Manly Wade Wellman – Come Into My Parlour
Mary Elizabeth Counselman – The Tree’s Wife
David H. Keller – The Ivy War
John Collier – Green Thoughts
Fritz Leiber – Dr. Adams’ Garden Of Evil
Frederic Brown – Daisies
Margaret St. Clair – The Gardener
Clifford Simak – Green Thumb

It’s official: Flowers hate us, and you’ll never be able to look at a potted plant the same way again.

Parry’s collection is a lot more enjoyable than you might think, this largely due to the sheer bloodthirstiness of the delinquent Triffids that pop up in just about every other story. My personal pick of the bunch are the Clark Ashton Smith story, which is truly creepy and has a moment of awesome horror when the main protagonist suddenly develops a headache. “Green Thoughts” almost certainly inspired Roger Corman’s “The little Shop Of Horrors” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter” is both horrific and terribly sad, as we learn the lengths a mad scientist will go to to conduct his experiments.

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Ronald Holmes – Macabre Railway Stories

Posted by demonik on September 1, 2007

Ronald Holmes (ed) – Macabre Railway Stories (Star, 1983)

Very familiar in places, but the Joyce Marsh story was new to me – it’s certainly my favourite story of hers – and I don’t think I had the L. T. C. Rolt at the time.

Introduction – William Pattrick

Charles Dickens – The Signalman
L. T. C. Rolt – The Garside Fell Disaster
Amelia B. Edwards – The Engineer
Raymond Harvey – The Tunnel
Roy Vickers – The Eighth Lamp
Charles Collins – The Compensation House
John Edgell – All Change
A. Noyes – Midnight Express
Harry Harrison – The Last Train
Anon – The Tale Of A Gaslight Ghost
Alex Hamilton – The Attic Express
Joyce Marsh – The Woman In The Green Dress
Paul Tabori – The Very Silent Traveller
A. V. Harding – Take The Z Train
Jack Finney – The Third Level
Paul A. Carter – The Man Who Rode The Trains

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Richard Dalby – Chillers for Christmas

Posted by demonik on September 1, 2007

Richard Dalby (ed) – Chillers for Christmas (Michael O’Mara, 1989)


Clifford Harper

Foreword – Richard Dalby

Rudyard Kipling – The Strange Ride Of Morrowbie Jukes
Frank Cowper – Christmas Eve On A Haunted Hulk
Ernest R. Suffling – The Phantom Riders
Amelia B. Edwards – The Guard-Ship At The Aire
Anon [John Berwick Harwood] – Horror: A True Tale
G. A. Henty – A Pipe Of Mystery
George Manville Fenn – On The Down Line
Arthur Conan Doyle – An Exciting Christmas Eve
Guy Boothby – Remorseless Vengeance
Bernard Capes – The Vanishing House
Dick Donovan – The White Raven
Frank Frankfort Moore – The Strange Story Of Northavon Priory
William J. Wintle – The Black Cat
John Collier – Back For Christmas
Sarban – A Christmas Story
L. P. Hartley – The Waits
Shamus Frazer – Florinda
R. Chetwynd-Hayes – The Hanging Tree
Alexander Welch – The Grotto
Eugene Johnson – Just Before Dawn
Peter Tremayne – Buggane
John Glasby – The Uninvited
A. J. Merak – A Present For Christmas
Simon MacCulloch – The Deliverer
Roger Johnson – The Night Before Christmas
David G. Rowlands – On Wings Of Song
Jessica Amanda Salmonson – The Santa

Frank Cowper – Chistmas Eve On A Haunted Hulk: The narrator is forced to spend the night on a ship stranded on a mud bank off the south coast. An excellent ghost story in the tradition of Bulwer-Lytton’s The House And The Brain which is mentioned in the text.

Anon – Horror: A True Tale: Grim goings on in a Tudor mansion. The nineteen-year-old Rosa’s hair turns white and her entire life is ruined when, having been terrified by the grisley tales of an embittered aunt, Lady Speldhurst, she discovers that she is sharing her makeshift bedroom with an escaped lunatic, the chained man responsible for tearing apart several sheep and drinking their blood.

G. A Henty – A Pipe Of Mystery: India, last days of the Empire. In return for saving him from a man-eating tiger, a fakir gives Harley and Simmonds a pipe to smoke which gives them a glimpse into the future. Each has a premonition of a Sepoy mutiny in which many of their companions are massacred. When the uprising really does take place a few years later, both are able to escape due to their visions and Harley is even able to rescue the beautiful woman who will become his wife. “May happily had fainted as I lifted her on to my horse – happily, because the fearful screams we heard from the various bungalows almost drove me mad, and would probably have killed her, for the poor ladies were all her intimate friends.”

David G. Rowlands – On Wings Of Song: Each Christmas, schoolfriends Patterson and Chris present a toy theatre drama. Chris, unfortunately, doesn’t live to regret his decision to tackle Dracula casting a live mosquito as the bat by way of special effects …

Jessica Amanda Salmonson – The Santa: Michelle watches Santa playing outside in the snow on Christmas Eve night. She steps out in the blizzard to join in, but Santa’s disappeared and, looking back at the house she sees the Christmas tree ablaze and the curtains in flames. The house burns down and the firemen stumble upon Michelle buried in the snow. “Her blue legs and her blue arms stuck out from her yellow nightdress. Her eyes were frozen open and her face was pressed close to a ragged clownish doll.” Had the Santa tried to save her or did he torch her home?

Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle – An Exciting Christmas Eve: Far from being ‘exciting’ this is maybe the dullest tale in an otherwise worthy collection, IMO, Neither ghost nor horror, this one concerns an explosives expert who is kidnapped by anarchists.

Sarban – A Christmas Story: Set in Russia, this one centres around a Bison’s graveyard. Like the Conan-Doyle, it’s somewhat out of place in here although there’s a moment of horror when Alexander and his companion realise just what type of meat it is they’ve sustained themselves on these past few days.

George Manville Fenn – On The Down Line: The driver sees a spectral train running alongside, and is later crushed under the wheels of his own engine.

A. J. Merak – A Present For Christmas:”It’s horrible, Charles. Truly horrible. I’ve run here all the way from that accursed spot in the cemetery. The grave … all dug up and opened. But from the inside.”
Redforde near Exeter, West Country, early hours of Christmas morning. Anne Kirby’s sister died at birth. Twenty years later, on the eve of Annes engagement to Jonathan Weatherby, the doppelganger-like ghost rises from the grave to claim her twenty years in Annes body. Charles, the narrator, is the only one to realise that Anne has been possessed and informs the doctor of his suspicions, effectively sealing the old boy’s doom. He sets off to confront the demonic impostor.

Simon MacCulloch – The Deliverer: Yet another psycho Santa, this one the spectre of the insane Rev. Piper. Rather than leave loads of presents by the children’s beds, he carries six unfortunate little ones off in his sack.

L. P. Hartley – The Waits: The Marriner family are all set for Christmas with father feeling particularly smug with himself on account of there being one less expensive present to fork out for this year. That’s when the carol singers show up. Two of them, man and boy. And they’re very demanding – they even refuse Mr. Marriner’s tip as “not enough”. Also, those are not the correct words to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

R. Chetwynd-Hayes – The Hanging Tree: Christmas with the Fortesque family and friends, and the young, romantically inclined Movita is busy spinning fantasies around the family ghost, that of a young man who killed his lover then hung himself from a tree in the garden during the previous century. Her insistence that she’s seen him has the household despairing for her sanity, all save Miss Mansfield who realised Movita is psychic and inadvisedly intervenes on her behalf.

Another Victorian spook show, partly told from the point of view of the vampiric spectre.


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Stephen Jones – The Mammoth Book of Vampires

Posted by demonik on September 1, 2007

Stephen Jones (ed.) – The Mammoth Book of Vampires (Robinson, 1992)

Luis Rey

Introduction: The Children of the Night – Stephen Jones

Clive Barker – Human Remains
Brian Lumley – Necros
Brian M. Stableford – The Man Who Loved the Vampire Lady
F. Marion Crawford – For the Blood Is the Life
Ramsey Campbell – The Brood
Robert Bloch – Hungarian Rhapsody
Edgar Allan Poe – Ligeia
Richard Christian Matheson – Vampire
Hugh B. Cave – Stragella
David J. Schow – A Week in the Unlife
Frances Garfield – The House at Evening
R. Chetwynd-Hayes – The Labyrinth
Karl Edward Wagner – Beyond Any Measure
Basil Copper – Doctor Porthos
Bram Stoker – Dracula’s Guest
Dennis Etchison – It Only Comes Out at Night
Peter Tremayne – Dracula’s Chair
Melanie Tem – The Better Half
M. R. James – An Episode of Cathedral History
Manly Wade Wellman – Chastel
Howard Waldrop – Der Untergang des Abendlandesmenschen
E. F. Benson – The Room in the Tower
Graham Masterton – Laird of Dunain
F. Paul Wilson – Midnight Mass
Nancy Holder – Blood Gothic
Les Daniels – Yellow Fog
Steve Rasnic Tem – Vintage Domestic
Kim Newman – Red Reign
Neil Gaiman – Vampire Sestina [Verse]

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Anon – Chamber Of Horrors

Posted by demonik on September 1, 2007

Chamber Of Horrors (Editor uncredited: Octopus, 1984)

Stuart Bodek

Robert Aickman – Wood
Thomas Burke – The Bird
Rod Serling – A Thing About Machines
William Sansom – A Woman Seldom Found
Bram Stoker – The Squaw
Seabury Quinn – The Cloth Of Madness
H. G. Wells – The Sea Raiders
H. P. Lovecraft – The Dunwich Horror
John Blackburn – Dad
Miss Braddon – The Cold Embrace
Roald Dahl – Royal Jelly
Ambrose Bierce – The Boarded Window
Robert Graves – Earth To Earth
M. R. James – A Warning To The Curious
Stephen King – The Night Of The Tiger
W. W. Jacobs – The Interruption
Robert Silverburg – Back From The Grave
William Hope Hodgson – The Derelict
Guy De Maupassant – Vendetta
Robert Bloch – Edifice Complex
H. R. Wakefield – The Red Lodge
Rudyard Kipling – Mary Postgate
R. Chetwynd-Hayes – The Cradle Demon
Frederick Cowles – The Horror Of Abbot’s Grange
Saki – Sredni Vashtar
Robert Haining – The Wall
J. S. LeFanu – An Account Of Some Strange Disturbances In Aungiers Street
Ramsey Campbell – The Whining
Edgar Allan Poe – Berenice
R. E. Veredne – The Finless Death
E. F. Benson – And The Dead Spake

350 pages plus and another strong selection. There seems to have been some wholesale plundering of Hugh Lamb anthologies going on here – perhaps that has some bearing on the editor remaining anonymous?

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Roald Dahl’s Book Of Ghost Stories

Posted by demonik on September 1, 2007

Roald Dahl’s Book Of Ghost Stories (Penguin, 1985: Originally Jonathan Cape, 1983)

cover illustration by Stuart Robinson

A selection of classic chillers, chosen by the master of the macabre … so tantalizingly terrifying that you might not have the guts to read them at all

Introduction – Roald Dahl

L. P. Hartley – W.S.
Rosemary Timperley – Harry
Cynthia Asquith – The Corner Shop
E. F. Benson – In The Tube
Rosemary Timperley – Christmas Meeting
Jonas Lie – Elias And The Draug
A. M. Burrage – Playmates
Robert Aickman – Ringing The Changes
Mary Treadgold – The Telephone
J. S. Le Fanu – The Ghost Of A Hand
‘Ex- Private X’ (A. M. Burrage) – The Sweeper
Edith Wharton – Afterward
Richard Middleton – On The Brighton Road
F. Marion Crawford – The Upper Berth

Drawn from a shortlist of 24 stories Dahl had compiled for a proposed television series, Ghost Time, in 1958, only for the show to be scrapped because the pilot episode – a dramatisation of E. F. Benson’s The Hanging Of Alfred Wadham – was “a disaster”. Having read “just about every ghost story that had ever been written” in researching the show, Roald was of the opinion that the vast majority are badly written junk so its perhaps worth noting the few he singles out for praise in his introduction: Clemence Dane’s Spinster’s Rest, Mary Oliphant’s The Open Door, Amelia B. Edwards’ The Four-Fifteen Express, Cynthia Asquith’s God Grante That She Lye Stille and unidentified stories by Charles Dickens and John Collier.

For all his visits to the British Museum Library, Dahl, like Robert Aickman, seems to have resurrected most of his material from Lady Cynthia Asquith’s Ghost Book series.

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Ramsey Campbell – Uncanny Banquet

Posted by demonik on September 1, 2007

Ramsey Campbell (ed.) – Uncanny Banquet (Warner, 1993: Little Brown, 1992)

Introduction – Ramsey Campbell

Russell Kirk – Behind The Stumps
Dorothy K. Haynes – A Horizon Of Obelisks
Alison Prince – The Loony
Henry Normanby – The First-Nighter
Fritz Leiber – The Hill And The Hole
Robert Aickman – Ravissante
Donald Wandrei – The Lady In Gray
Walter de la Mare – A Mote
Ramsey Campbell – McGonagall In The Head
Adrian Ross – The Hole Of The Pit

“This is a book for people who love tales of the supernatural rather than of gross gruesomeness, or who would like to find out if they do” writes RC in his – too brief – introduction, so it will be interesting to see how it goes down with someone who is partial to both. It’s certainly an extremely eclectic selection. The Loony is from a ‘childrens’ book (Mary Danby’s Nightmares 2, Armada, 1984), The Hole Of The Pit is a ‘lost’, reputedly Jamesian novel first published in 1914, the Wandrei story is from Weird Tales and Campbell’s own effort is bang up to date.

See the Vault of Evil Uncanny Banquet thread

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Stephen Jones & Ramsey Campbell – The Giant Book Of Best New Horror

Posted by demonik on September 1, 2007

Stephen Jones & Ramsey Campbell (ed’s.) – The Giant Book Of Best New Horror (Magpie, 1993, 1994)

Introduction – Stephen Jones & Ramsey Campbell

Robert R. McCammon – Pin
Brian Lumley – No Sharks In The Med
Chet Williamson – … To Feel Another’s Woe
Stephen Gallagher – The Horn
Peter Straub – A Short Guide To The City
Robert Westall – The Last Days Of Miss Dorinda Molyneaux
Ian Watson – The Eye Of The Ayatollah
Cherry Wilder – Alive In Venice
Thomas Tessier – Blanca
Steve Rasnic Tem – Carnal House
Michael Marshall Smith – The Man Who Drew Cats
Thomas Ligotti – The Last Feast Of Harlequin
Donald R. Burleson – Snow Cancellations
J. W. Jeter – True Love
J. L. Comeau – Firebird
Karl E. Wagner – Cedar Lane
D. F. Lewis – Mort Au Monde
Nicholas Royle – Negatives
Richard Laymon – Bad News
Elizabeth Hand – On The Town Route
Alan Brennert – Ma Qui
David J. Schow – Incident On A Rainy Night In Beverly Hills
Kathe Koja – Impermanent Mercies
ian MacLeod – 1/72nd Scale
Ramsey Campbell – The Same In Any Language
Poppy Z. Brite – His Mouth Will Taste Of Wormwood
Charles L. Grant – Our Life In An Hourglass
Grant Morrison – The Braille Encyclopedia
David Sutton – Those Of Rhenea
Joel Lane – Power Cut
Harlan Ellison – Jane Doe
F. Paul Wilson – Pelts
Jean-Daniel Breque – On The Wing
Douglas Clegg – Where Flies Are Born
Garry Kilworth – Inside The Walled City
Jonathan Carroll – The Dead Love You
S. P. Somtow – Chui Chai
Dennis Etchison – When They Gave Us Memory
Gene Wolfe – Lord Of The Land
Gahan Wilson – Mister Ice Cold
Kim Newman – The Original Dr. Shade

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Richard Dalby – Virago Book of Ghost Stories

Posted by demonik on September 1, 2007

Richard Dalby (ed.) – The Virago Book of Ghost Stories (Virago, 1987)

Richard Dalby – Preface
Jennifer Uglow – Introduction

Edith Wharton -The Eyes
E. Nesbit – The Violet Car
Henrietta D. Everett – The Crimson Blind
May Sinclair – The Token
Ellen Glasgow – The Shadowy Third
Marjory E. Lambe – The Return
Margery H. Lawrence – The Haunted Saucepan
Mary Webb – Mr. Tallent’s Ghost
Enid Bagnold – The Amorous Ghost
Marjorie Bowen – The Accident
Marjorie Bowen – A Persistent Woman
Phyllis Bottome – The Waiting-Room
Catherine Wells – The Ghost
Eleanor Scott – ‘Will Ye No’ Come Back Again?’
E. M. Delafield – Sophy Mason Comes Back
Hester Gorst – The Doll’s House
Edith Olivier – The Night Nurse’s Story
Winifred Holtby – The Voice of God
Cynthia Asquith – The Follower
F. M. Mayor – Miss De Mannering Of Asham
Stella Gibbons – Roaring Tower
D. K. Broster – Juggernaut
Elizabeth Bowen – The Happy Autumn Fields
Pamela Hansford Johnson – The Empty Schoolroom
Elizabeth Jane Howard – Three Miles Up
Rose Macaulay – Whitewash
Elizabeth Taylor – Poor Girl
Elizabeth Jenkins – On No Account, My Love
Rosemary Timperley – The Mistress in Black
Norah Lofts – A Curious Experience
Fay Weldon – Breakages
Elizabeth Walter – Dual Control
Sara Maitland – Lady With Unicorn
Lisa St. Aubin De Teran – Diamond Jim
Angela Carter – Ashputtle

Notes on the Authors

A real change of pace – I’ve been on a diet of Not At Night‘s and Charles Birkin for a fortnight – but this is a truly special collection. No surprise to see Lady Cynthia Asquith’s groundbreaking Ghost Book‘s so well represented, but I certainly wasn’t expecting three (admittedly, non-sadistic: Asquith’s own The Follower would have suited the series admirably) from Birkin’s Creeps to make the cut. I was a little disappointed to see that Marjory Bowen was represented by two 150 word vignettes … until I read them: The Accident, in particular, is terrific, an E.C. strip in microcosm.
It’s very difficult to pick a ‘best’ from such a strong, varied selection, but if pushed, I’d probably opt for Elizabeth Jane Howard’s Three Miles Up which has one of the most jaw-dropping finales in this -or any other – form of literature.
Mind you, I could’ve done without Whitewash and A Curious Experience, and I’m still trying to figure out how Lady With Unicorn sneaked in …

Some tasters/ spoilers:

Cynthia Asquith – The Follower:Mrs. Meade is plagued by a Hyde-like figure who she first encounters leering and gesticulating at her outside Baker Street Station. Soon he has taken to following her, and with each meeting her terror mounts. He is seen gloating over the body of a little girl who’s been run down, then, as a taxi-driver, he nearly brings about the death of his passenger – Mrs. Meade – by driving the cab into railings. She recovers, but is sent to a nursing home to recover. She’s not the only patient …

Hester Gorst – The Dolls House: The narrator buys a Georgian Dolls house at an auction immediatly and begins to suffer from nightmares in which he becomes “A rake … coming home very late and very drunk”, ascending the staircase of the original for his recent purchase. It becomes apparent that his dream-self is one some terrible errand, and he convinces himself that this is the murder of a woman. Best friend Jack offers to spend the night with him to see what he gets up to when he’s asleep …

Elizabeth Walter – Dual Control: Told entirely in dialiogue – and a very hostile exchange it is too – between Eric, a ruthless businessman on the make, and his alcoholic wife, Freda, as they drive to and from the Bradey’s party, having knocked down a girl on the way. The girl, Giselle, arrived at the same party, seemingly none the worse for wear, but as they drive home they encounter her again at the scene of the accident, blood pouring from a terrible wound ….

Edith Bagnold – The Amorous Ghost: While his wife is away, two of the maids hand in their notice after discovering a woman’s underclothes in the master’s room. That night, he watches transfixed as a figure half-materialises in a chair with her back to him, slowly slipping out of her clothes. It’s with great relief he hears his wife return, undress and slip into bed beside him. It must be freezing outside because she’s cold enough to chill the entire room ….

Stella Gibbons – Roaring Tower: Clara’s parents disapprove of her lover, and pack her off to Aunt Julia in Cornwall to recuperate. Clara is instrumental in releasing the trapped spirit of a ghostly bear, imprisoned in a pit at the base of the roaring tower, so named after the tormented creature’s bellows for assistance.

Marjory E. Lambe – The Return: A murderer returns to the house of his victim, an old miser who once employed him and who he surprised while he was counting his treasure. The skinflint’s spectre (or his guilty conscience) provide his undoing. When he is recognised in The White Horse and Bessie the barmaid raises the alarm, the old boy’s son decides to look over the house. The burglar, when faced with the unexpected visitor, sees “the white hair … streaked with blood, the skin yellow across the skeleton face … the bloodless lips … drawn back into a grin of pure triumph.”

Marjorie Bowen – The Accident: Murchinson and Bargrave are involved in a car smash. When Murchinson sees the ‘grey whisp’ that is his enemy emerging from the wreckage, he gloats: “So you were killed, you silly fool!”

Pamela Hansford Johnson – The Empty Schoolroom: Maud remains behind with M. Fournier and Marie during the school holidays and encounters the sobbing ghost of an ugly girl in a dunces cap. She had been mistreated and humiliated by the embittered headmistress and now it is time to exact revenge …

Marjorie Bowen – A Persistent Woman:After yet another blazing row, Temple decides to leave his wife, Sarah. She clings to him with a greater tennacity than either would have thought her capable.

Margery H. Lawrence – The Haunted Saucepan: London, around St. James’ Palace. Anybody who eats anything prepared in the saucepan suffers the most horrible pains consistent with the pangs suffered by those poisoned with arsenic. Connor,Trevanion and a borrowed dog conceal themselves in the kitchen overnight to catch who or what has been setting it on the boil. The denouement is predictable, but the story has some wonderfully atmospheric touches and Strutt, the butler, is a trip.

Fay Weldon – Breakages: Poltergeist activity in the unhappy household of the vicar and his “barren” wife. David’s prize possessions are forever being broken and mended by Dierdre, who prays that he won’t notice the cracks. When he does, the ensuing flare-up is enough to decide her to pluck up the courage and leave, especially as it is now known that his impotence has been responsible for their childlessness. When she goes, her room destroys itself. David remarries. The second time is as joyless as the first.

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Stephen Jones – Mammoth Book of Terror

Posted by demonik on September 1, 2007

Stephen Jones (ed.) – The Mammoth Book of Terror – ed. Stephen Jones (Robinson. 1991)

Luis Rey

Introduction:Talking Terror – Stephen Jones

Clive Barker – The Last Illusion
David J. Schow – Bunny Didn’t Tell Us
Hugh B. Cave – Murgunstrumm –
Dennis Etchison – The Late Shift
Lisa Tuttle – The Horse Lord
R. Chetwynd-Hayes – The Jumpity-Jim
Ramsey Campbell – Out Of Copyright
Karl Edward Wagner – The River Of Night’s Dreaming
Basil Copper – Amber Print
Brian Lumley – The House Of The Temple
Robert Bloch – The Yougoslaves
David Campton – Firstborn
Manly Wade Wellman – The Black Drama
Charles L. Grant – Crystal
F. Paul Wilson – Buckets
David A. Riley – The Satyr’s Head
Stephen Laws – Junk
Graham Masterton – Pig’s Dinner

Perhaps it’s because of their size, but I’ve not really followed this series like I thought I would the first time I treated myself to a Mammoth. Some are stronger than others – I remember being disappointed with the “Dracula” one – but this is a neat selection indeed.

Robert Bloch – The Yougoslaves: A youthful gang pick the pocket of an old man in Paris (an old friend of ours, as it happens). He’s not worried about losing cash and credit cards, but his wallet contained a ruby-studded key of much importance. He forces one of the rogues to take him to the Fagin wannabe’s hideout – the sewers – where he witnesses the gang rape of a girl of six and finds himself on the wrong end of Mr. Big’s revolver. He’s starting to get annoyed now. And there sure are an awful lot of rats down there …

The story has been so grim and realistic up until now that it comes as a shock – and a disappointment – when Bloch let’s on that the aged fellow is none other than .. an old friend of ours.

Hugh B. Cave – Murgunstrumm: The Gray Toad Inn is home to the ghoul Murgunstrumm and partner Marionaire – a vampire – who do away with any young woman they get their claws and fangs into. Only Paul and his fiance Ruth have ever escaped their clutches, but were each placed in an asylum when they told of their terrifying experiences. Paul is now on the run and has lured the psychiatrists who committed him to the Inn so that they can experience the horrors of the place first hand. Meanwhile, Ruth has affected her own escape and is heading for the same destination …

Charles L. Grant – Crystal: An old woman, rejuvenated by every death she instigates.

Basil Copper – Amber Print: Silent movie buffs Blenkinsop and Carter locate an impossibly rare cut of The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari which includes some mighty sadistic scenes which didn’t survive the cutting room floor. They are pursued to their doom by Caligari and Cesare.

Stephen Laws – Junk: A strange guy comes to Frank McLaren’s scrapyard with a list of bizarre and morbid requests: the rear seat from an Anglia in which the passenger died, preferably decapitated: An unruptured petrol tank from a Datsun Cherry, one child fatality required, etc.

McClaren tolerates the man’s sick shopping lists but comes the day when he can’t provide a particular piece and he decides to fob him off with an ordinary windscreen (as opposed to that in which a victim suffered damage to their eyes). The customer sees through the deception and Frank brains him with a spanner then shoves his body inside a wreck destined for the crusher. Stranger and car are merged into a solid four foot cube which the murderer dumps in the centre of the yard. That’s when his problems begin …

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