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Hugh Lamb – The Thrill Of Horror

Posted by demonik on September 7, 2007

Hugh Lamb (ed) – The Thrill Of Horror  (W. H. Allen, 1978)


Introduction – Hugh Lamb

H. Rider Haggard – Only A Dream
L. A. Lewis – The Meerschaum Pipe
A. Erskine Ellis – The Life-Buoy
Sir T. G. Jackson – The Lady Of Rosemount
John Gawsworth – How It Happened
Valerie Bryusov – In The Mirror
Joy Burnett – “Calling Miss Marker”
Dick Donovan – A Night Of Horror
L. T. C. Rolt – The Shouting
Charles Birkin – The Happy Dancers
William Hope Hodgson – The Weed Men
Frederick Cowles – Eyes For The Blind
H. R. Wakefield – Mr. Ash’s Studio
Robert Haining – Montage Of Death
Grant Allen – Pallinghurst Barrow
Eleanor Scott – Randall’s Round
E. H. Visiak – The Skeleton At The Feast
E. H. Visiak – Medusan Madness
A. C. Benson – Out Of The Sea
R. Murray Gilchrist – Witch-In-Grain
A. N. L. Munby – The Tudor Chimney
M. R. James – The Experiment

Charles Birkin – “The Happy Dancers”: Russia on the eve of the revolution. Serge, son of the Grand Duke, marries Louba, a peasant girl whose father is Boris Kerensky, a political agitator. The Duke has recently had him whipped and has threatened him with Siberia if he continues to stir up dissent.

Come 1917 and Serge is a soldier, while Louba has blossomed. As ‘Nikakova’ she is a celebrated cabaret performer at “The Happy Dancers”. She is also pregnant with the couples’ first child and is awaiting Serges return from duty to break the good news to him. The only blot on the landscape is that her father has discovered her whereabouts and his mob are fighting with the infantry on the outskirts of town. Their arrival at “The Happy Dancers” coincides with Serge’s …

Frederick Cowles- Eyes For The Blind:“I shuddered. Who had not heard of John Dangerfield? This monster had been convicted of the most vile crimes. His mania was to attack unsuspecting persons, often children, and gouge out their eyes. He had blinded five people in this manner ….”

Sydney Jackson, a young medium, holds a seance at a haunted castle in Ecclefain where a black magician had been blinded and killed in 1694 after a grave-robbing, eye-plucking spree. Guess who he becomes possessed by?

L. T. C. Rolt – The Shouting: Rolt had a brilliant collection of industrial age ghost stories, Sleep No More, published in 1948 after which he wrote nothing else in the field until Hugh Lamb tempted him out of retirement. The Shouting is an atmospheric piece set in Devon. Edward confesses the reason why he’s terrified of woods. It seems that he has witnessed a diabolical ritual by feral children to summon their God – the Green Man.

John Gawsworth – How It Happened: Surrey: Stanley Barton’s handsome elder brother and Marjery are in love. They meet every evening beneath the fir tree. Stanley isn’t happy about this at all because he also loves Marjery. She makes the mistake of laughing at him when his brother scorns “he ought to have more pride than to hang about where he isn’t wanted.”
Soon he isn’t the only one hanging about, as Stanley explains from the asylum.

L. A. Lewis – The Meerschaum Pipe: The narrator moves into ‘Heroney’, the former country residence of Harper who butchered several women and buried them in the surrounding fields. Or rather, parts of them:

“The most revolting feature of the murders was his habit of severing the head and limbs and leaving them on the scene for identification, while carrying away the trunk for addition to a sort of museum …”

In between visits to the Vicarage and brushing up on his golf handicap, the new squire takes to smoking Harper’s best pipe. The discovery of a gypsy girl’s mutilated remains in Arningham Woods signals a new reign of terror …

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