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Archive for the ‘*Coronet*’ Category

Joan Kahn – Some Things Strange & Sinister

Posted by demonik on November 19, 2007

Joan Kahn (ed.) – Some Things Strange And Sinister (Coronet, 1976)

Some Things Strange And Sinister

Gordon Crabb

Agatha Christie – The Lamp
Guy de Maupassant – Nerves
John Collier – Thus I Refute Beelzy
Algernon Blackwood – Keeping His Promise
Andre Maurois – The House
Louis Golding – The Call of the Hand
W. Wilkie Collins – The Dream Woman
H. G. Wells –  The Story of the Late Mr. Elvesham
Neil Bell – The Strange Occurrences Connected with Captain John Russell
Margaret Irwin – The Book
Bram Stoker – Dracula’s Guest
John B. L. Goodwin – The Cocoon
Pamela Hansford Johnson – The Empty Schoolroom

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Peter Haining – The Necromancers

Posted by demonik on September 9, 2007

Peter Haining (ed.) – The Necromancers: The Best Of Black Magic And Witchcraft  (Hodder & Stoughton, 1971, Coronet, 1972)

The Necromancers

Preface – Peter Haining
Introduction – Robert Bloch

Robert Graves – Modern Witchcraft
Rollo Ahmed – Black Magic Today
Aleister Crowley – The Black Lodge
Betty May – The Sacrifice
W. B. Yates – The Sorcerers
Denis Wheatley – A Life For A Life
C. W. Olliver – The Witches’ Sabbat
Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Salem Mass
Cotton Mather – The Tryals Of The New England Witches
[An Indictment For Witchcraft]
W. Harrison Ainsworth – The Lancashire Witches
Margaret Murray – An Initiation To Witchcraft
[A Pact With The Devil]
[How To Raise A Spirit]
Anonymous – The Black Goat Of Brandenberg
Benvenuto Cellini – My Experiences In Necromancy
Lawrence Flammenberg – The Necromancer
E. F. Benson – Gavon’s Eve
[The Confession Of The Witches Of Elfdale]
Sax Rohmer – The Witch Finders
Robert Anthony – The Witch-Baiter
P. T. Barnum – The Spell On witchcraft
Frank Hamel – Familiars
August Derleth – Saunder’s Little Friend
Ronald Seth – The Chambre Ardente Affair
Algernon Blackwood – The Tarn Of Sacrifice
Montague Summers – The Hell-Fire Clubs
Michael Harrison – At The Heart Of It
Robert Bloch – Beelzebub

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Hugh Lamb – Tales from a Gaslit Graveyard

Posted by demonik on September 7, 2007

Hugh Lamb  (ed.) – Tales from a Gaslit Graveyard (W.H. Allen, 1979, Coronet, 1980)

Tales From Gaslit Graveyard

Introduction – Hugh Lamb

Hume Nisbet – The Haunted Station
Robert Barr – The Hour And The Man
Mrs. J. H. Riddell – Nut Bush Farm
J. H. Pearce – The Man Who Coined his Blood Into Gold
Lady Dilke – The Shrine Of Death
Lady Dilke – The Black Veil
Ambrose Bierce – The Way Of Ghosts
K. & H. Ptichard – The Fever Queen
W. C. Morrow – The Permanent Stiletto
Richard Marsh – The Houseboat
R. Murray Gilchrist – Dame Inowslad
Anon – The Mountain Of Spirits
Anon – The Golden Bracelet
The Countess Of Munster – The Tyburn Ghost
Guy Boothby – Remorseless Vengeance
Bernard Capes – The Green Bottle
Bernard Capes – An Eddy On The Floor

Tales from a Gaslit Graveyard

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Hugh Lamb – The Taste Of Fear

Posted by demonik on September 7, 2007

Hugh Lamb (ed.) – The Taste Of Fear (W. H. Allen, 1976: Coronet, 1977)

Introduction – Hugh Lamb

Frederick Cowles – Three Shall Meet
David Sutton – The Fetch
W. F. W. Tatham – Manfred’s Three Wishes
William Hope Hodgson – From The Tideless Sea
Michael Sims – Benjamin’s Shadow
John Blackburn – The Final Trick
E. H. Visiak – The Queen Of Beauty
A. C. Benson – The Uttermost Farthing
Ramsey Campbell – Ash
L. T. C. Rolt – The House Of Vengeance
Les Freeman – Late
Erckmann-Chatrian – The Crab Spider
Roger Parkes – Interim Report

Unusually for Hugh, he serves up a selection of stories from the Victorian age through to the (then) present day. A few of the moderns to be getting along with …

Les Freeman – Late: Darlington. Doug returns to a hotel he visited 20 years ago on a Ghost Hunt and discovers that the room he occupied on that occasion, no 75, has a reputation for being haunted and has rarely been used since.
The spectre he’d sought out on the first visit was that of a WWII pilot who died crashing his plane into the sea rather than bail out and risk it hitting a house. Whenever anyone sees his face, they die. Doug’s about to find out whether or not that’s true.

David Sutton – The Fetch:Campus horror. Finch hides behind a tombstone on Halloween night intent on scaring the students who, at the instigation of self-confessed ‘black magician’ Cookson, plan to hold a ceremony among the graves. Finch is horrified when they split open a coffin, even moreso when, during the ritual, the corpse is addressed by his name …

Michael Sims – Benjamin’s Shadow: Cornwall. An old lady leaves the narrator her entire fortune provided he spends the rest of his life on her estate, otherwise the will is declared null and void. The place is haunted by all manner of apparitions – a tiny spectral hand, mewling voices, the bath-water turning to blood, a couple dressed in the attire of a previous century, etc.
When, one morning, he sees the wall ‘rippling’ as he shaves, he decides it’s time to investigate. He discovers a child’s bones, gives them a decent burial, but still the haunting persists.

Ramsey Campbell – Ash: Lloyd, researching local customs and folk tales in the Cotswolds, temporarily moves into a house which has a reputation for being “tragic”, although the only recent history attached to it concerns a couple who had a dreadful flare-up, with the guy burning all his girl’s possessions before moving out. Before long Lloyd detects a presence about the place trailing ash into the rooms, and a woman’s voice interupts his tape-recordings and telephone calls to his girlfrind, Anthea. When he inspects the furnace in the cellar, he learns the dreadful truth …

Erckmann-Chatrian – The Crab Spider: The hot springs at Spinbronn are popular with gout sufferers until one day they flood and a heap of animal skeletons are washed out of a nearby cave, and with them that of a little girl who died five years earlier. What is responsible? All is revealed when Sir Thomas Haverchurch decides to have a swift skinny dip …

At their best, E&C’s stories are way ahead of their time, but if any of their tales warrants a “shocking”, I’d say it’s The Child-Stealer. Really nasty. Hugh compiled a
Best Tales Of Terror Of Erckmann-Chatrian (Millington, 1981).

Roger Parkes – Interim Report: Began life as a script for Crown Court but was rejected on the grounds that it was too grim. The Spiteri twins start behaving oddly from the day the family move into Stone Gables, nattering in their sleep and sitting like zombies before the TV during the day. Their parents get it into their minds that the house is haunted and the kids are possessed. An exorcism fails and even leaving the house for a caravan site doesn’t shift the “demons”, so Mrs. Spiteri takes drastic measures …

Hugh Lamb Taste Of Fear

Thanks to Ade for scanning this striking cover to the Coronet edition. 

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Hugh Lamb – Terror By Gaslight

Posted by demonik on September 1, 2007

Terror by Gaslight – ed. Hugh Lamb (W.H. Allen, 1975, Coronet, 1977)

Preface – Hugh Lamb

Robert Barr – Purification
Grant Allen – The Beckoning Hand
Rhoda Broughton – Nothing But The Truth
Charles Ollier – The Haunted House Of Paddington
Edwin Lester Arnold – A Dreadful Night
Andrew Lang – The House Of Strange Stories
Erckmann-Chatrian – The Invisible Eye
Jonas Lie – The Earth Draws
Fitz-James O’Brien – The Wondersmith
R. Murray Gilchrist – The Basilisk
S. Baring Gould – A Dead Man’s Teeth
Dick Donovan – The Doomed Man
Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward – Kentucky’s Ghost
Anon – The Weird Woman

Another great helping of Victorian vileness. Barr’s story comes from his collection “Revenge”, so that’s a clue as to what “Putrification” (and everything else in there) is about. One of Andrew Lang’s “Strange Stories” stands head and shoulders above the others – which are, admittedly, on the insipid side – and reads like the template for E. F. Benson’s “The Bus Conductor.”

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Hugh Lamb – Victorian Nightmares

Posted by demonik on September 1, 2007

Hugh Lamb (ed.) – Victorian Nightmares (W.H. Allen, 1977, Coronet, 1980)

Bob Haberfield

H. B. Marriott-Watson – The Devil of the Marsh
G. R. Sims – A Tragic Honeymoon
Morgan Robertson – The Battle of the Monsters
R. Murray Gilchrist – The Return
Dick Donovan – The Corpse Light
Frank Norris – The Ship That Saw a Ghost
Ambrose Bierce – A Bottomless Grave
Ambrose Bierce – One Summer Night
J. K. Bangs – Ghosts That Have Haunted Me
George Mandeville Fenn – Haunted by Spirits
J. Keightley Snowdon – A Ghost Slayer
Guy de Maupassant – The Tomb
Rhoda Broughton – The Man with the Nose
Dorothea Gerard – My Nightmare
Georgina C. Clark – A Life-watch
Richard Marsh – The Haunted Chair
W. Carlton Dawe – Coolies
Erckmann-Chatrian – The Three Souls
Guy Boothby – A Strange Goldfield
Robert Barr – An Alpine Divorce
E. and H. Heron – The Story of Baelbrow

H. B. Marriott-Watson – The Devil of the Marsh: The narrator keeps his late night tryst with the beautiful lady of the marsh. Through the mist, he glimpses his predecessor, a skeletal, toad-like thing that once was a man before she drained the life from him. But still he wants her. It is only after he’s watched his beloved gloatingly drown the wretch in the swamp that he comes to his senses.

G. R. Sims – A Tragic Honeymoon : When he learns that the woman he loves is to marry another, the young man books a room in the London hotel where she and her husband will stay the night before setting off on honeymoon. Then he slits his throat. By chance, the happy couple are in the room below when his blood starts seeping through the ceiling …

Guy de Maupassant – The Tomb: Courbataille, a young lawyer, is apprehended in Bezier’s cemetery one night as he removes his lover’s corpse from her grave. Before an initially hostile court he tells how his anguish at never being able to see the beautiful twenty-year old again had driven him to it. Then he describes the condition of the rotting body he held in his arms …

Ambrose Bierce – One Summer Night: Henry Armstrong is a victim of premature burial. Lucky for him, within hours of being planted in the soil, two medical students hire big negro Jess the cemetery caretaker to dig him up to furnish their dissecting table. On second thoughts, maybe “lucky” isn’t the right word …

Robert Barr – An Alpine Divorce: John Bodman and his wife are united in mutual loathing. He resolves to murder her, and books a vacation in the Swiss Alps with this in mind. He leads her up on Hanging Outlook and “a sheer drop of a mile straight down, and at the distant bottom … ragged rocks.” Mrs. Bodman has already guessed his intentions and has a nasty counter-revenge lined up for him.

E. and H. Heron – The Story of Baelbrow: Baelness, East Anglia. The Swaffams’ family mansion has been haunted for several generations. The present day owners are rather fond of their spook – until it turns malevolent and frightens a maid to death. Low discovers that the mansion was built on the site of an ancient barrow, and an evil spirit has animated a mummy brought home by one of the family. To make matters worse, the mummy displays classic vampire behaviour. Haunting terminated when Swaffam blows it’s face off and the remains are set alight and cast adrift in a canoe.

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Hugh Lamb – Victorian Tales of Terror

Posted by demonik on September 1, 2007

Hugh Lamb (ed.) – Victorian Tales of Terror (W.H. Allen, 1974, Coronet, 1976)

Introduction – Hugh Lamb

M. P. Shiel – Xelucha
Charles Dickens – The Black Veil
Elizabeth Braddon – The Mystery At Fernwood
Guy Boothby – The Black Lady Of Brin-Tor
Guy De Maupassant – The Mother Of Monsters
Erckmann-Chatrian – The Murderer’s Violin
Richard Marsh – The Mask
Anon – The Dead Man Of Varley Grange
Ambrose Bierce – My Favourite Murder
Mrs. Molesworth – The Shadow In The Moonlight
Mrs. J. H. Riddell – The Last Of Squire Ennismore
J. A. Barry – The Red Warder Of The Reef
Grant Allen – Wolverden Tower
J. S. Le Fanu – Madam Crowl’s Ghost
Dick Donovan – The Cave Of Blood

Richard Marsh – The Mask:Mary Brooker is a Broadmoor escapee with a genius for disguise. But what has this to do with the man suspected of drugging and robbing passenger Mr. Fountain, or the beautiful fellow traveller Mrs. Vaynes and her wizened mother? Fountain, doped and helpless, learns all when Mrs. Vaynes demonstrates the secret of the masks and finds himself glaring into the hideously mutilated visage of a maniacal human vampire.

J. A. Barry – The Red Warder Of The Reef: Australia. ‘Combo’ Carter, a 23 year old killer, make a daring escape from the condemned cell and heads off toward the harbour at Port Endeavour with the law in hot pursuit. Due to a number of catastrophic shipwrecks, the marine authority have finally invested in a huge metal buoy ‘The Red Warder’ and tomorrow it is due to be capped, sealed and launched. “What a top place to hide!” thinks Combo …

Anon – The Dead Man Of Varley Grange: Westernshire. When young Henderson takes over the Grange, he unwisely invites eight friends to spend the Christmas holiday with him. Prior to his arrival the property had remained vacant for years due to the dreadful family curse as it is reputed that, some centuries ago, Captain Varley murdered his sister after she fled the Convent and ran off with her lover. Now their phantoms stalk the Grange and if you’re unfortunate enough to see the dead nun’s face you die within the year!

Erckmann-Chatrian – The Murderer’s Violin: Young Karl is a technically accomplished musician but he can’t compose for toffee. His tutor’s advice is to lose weight, so he waddles off on a walking tour of Switzerland where he takes a room in a hovel with an old man and an idiot girl. The man bears an uncanny resemblance to the violinist Melchier, hung in chains for the murder of an innkeeper. That night as Karl lies abed, a skeleton treats him to a ghastly recital on the fiddle.

Ambrose Bierce – My Favourite Murder: Bierce invents the serial-killer, and this one certainly takes the greatest pride in his work! Begins with the chatty “Having murdered my mother under circumstances of singular atrocity, I was arrested and put upon my trial, which lasted seven years. In summing up, the judge of the Court of Acquittal remarked that it was one of the most ghastly crimes that he had ever been called upon to explain away.” This being Bierce, our friend leaves the court a free man “without a stain on my reputation”.

Guy de Maupassant – The Mother Of Monsters: A peasant farm-worker falls pregnant and, ashamed, constructs a corset of wood and rope to conceal the evidence. The child is born hideously deformed, earning her mother the nickname ‘the She-devil’. However, her misfortune turns to advantage when the owner of a travelling show offers to buy the monstrosity. She then becomes a one woman atrocity factory, pumping out a mutant offspring to order (in as much as it’s physically possible, of course) and setting herself up for life.

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