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Archive for the ‘*W.H. Allen*’ Category

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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Peter Haining – Dr. Caligari’s Black Book

Posted by demonik on September 6, 2007

Peter Haining (ed) – Dr. Caligari’s Black Book (W. H. Allen, 1968)

Haining Dr. Caligari Black Book

“For here are tales from the world of Dr. Caligari: mysterious sideshows, freaks and monsters, seances, macabre plays, and all manner of terrors lurking in the shadows.”

Introduction – Peter Haining

S. L. Dennis – The Second Awakening Of A Magician
Ray Bradbury – The Jar
Lady Eleanor Smith – Satan’s Circus
Agatha Christie – The Last Seance
August Derleth – Mrs. Elting Plays Her part
Anthony Gittens – The Third Performance
A. M. Burrage – The Waxwork
Robert Bloch – The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Marcel Ayme – The Dwarf
J. B. Priestly – The Demon King
Hazel Heald – The Horror In The museum
H. R. Wakefield – Farewell Performance
Barry Pain – The End Of A Show

A second version of the book, published in paperback the following year replaces some stories:

Peter Haining (ed) – Dr. Caligari’s Black Book (Nel, 1969)

Dr Caligari’s Black Book

Cover: Bruce Pennington

Amber Print – Basil Copper
The Second Awakening Of A Magician – S L Dennis
The Haunted Cinema – Louis Golding
The Jar – Ray Bradbury
The Theatre Upstairs – Manly Wade Wellman
The Last Seance – Agatha Christie
Headlines For Tod Shayne – August Derleth
The Sorceror’s Apprentice – Robert Bloch
The Harlem Horror – Charles Lloyd
The End Of A Show – Barry Pain

Thanks to Calenture at Vault Of Evil for the NEL cover scan and contents.

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Hugh Lamb – A Tide Of Terror

Posted by demonik on September 1, 2007

Hugh Lamb (ed.) – A Tide Of Terror; An Anthology Of Rare Horror Stories (W.H. Allen, 1972: Taplinger, 1973)

Tide Of Terror


Introduction – Peter Haining

H. R. Wakefield – The Red Lodge
W. C. Morrow – His Unconquerable Enemy
Joseph Payne Brennan – On The Elevator
A. C. Benson – The Closed Window
E. F. Benson – The Step
R. H. Benson – Father Brent’s Tale
Charles Birkin – Some New Pleasures Prove
Margery Lawrence – The Dogs Of Pemba
Algernon Blackwood – Full Circle
A. N. L. Munby – The Tregannet Book Of Hours
Sax Rohmer – The Master Of Hollow Grange
C. D. Heriot – The Trapdoor
Bertram Mitford – The Sign Of The Spider
Ambrose Bierce – Some Haunted Houses
T. O. Beachcroft – The Eyes
Thomas Burke – Johnson Looked Back
Eleanor Scott – The Twelve Apostles
Hugh Walpole – Mrs Lunt

Charles Birkin – ‘Some New Pleasures Prove’: Devon. Laura Campbell’s car breaks down shortly after being stopped at a police roadblock where she was warned that sadistic killer Arthur ‘The Midnight Murderer’ Smith is on the loose having escaped from the Waymore asylum. When she chances upon Jasmine Cottage, Laura thinks her troubles are over – until, watching the ten o’clock news, she realises that her genial host fits the description of the man the police are looking for.

W. C. Morrow – His Unconquerable Enemy: Calcutta. Neranya is a loyal servant of the Rajah but prone to cruelty and outbursts of temper. When he fatally stabs a dwarf, the Rajah orders that his right arm be severed as punishment. Neranya despises him thereafter and plots to destroy him. First he butchers his only son, for which crime his legs are sliced off (he’s already lost the second arm for an earlier misdemeanor). The quadruamputee is shoved in a cage ten feet off the floor in the Grand Hall where the Rajah can pop in for a quick gloat whenever he likes. That should keep the armless, legless one out of mischief!

Shouldn’t it ….?

H. R. Wakefield – The Red Lodge: The narrator, his wife Mary and son Tim move into the old Queen Anne house of the title, rented from an unscrupulous estate agent, Wilkes, who turns a blind eye to the numerous tragic deaths associated with the property. Before long the new residents are subjected to all manner of supernatural manifestations, beginning with the slime trodden into the carpets of many of the rooms by persons unseen and the recurrent apparition of a ‘green monkey’ sprinting toward the pond. Legend has it that, back in the early eighteenth century, the then owner brided his servants to terrify his wife to death. They succeeded all too well, and one night she ran from the house and drowned herself. Her husband wasted no time in installing a harem at the lodge, but one by one his lovers followed her example. And so it has continued to the present day.

E. F. Benson – The Step: Alexandra, Egypt. John Cresswell, ruthless real estate speculator, evicts a family from their home. The strain proves too much for the father. Cursed for his callous behaviour by the man’s widow, Cresswell is pursued everywhere by – at first – invisible footsteps. Finally, the abomination shows itself.

Thomas Burke – Johnson Looked Back: Johnson is pursued through the London fog by an eyeless, handless thing of “maimed ugliness.” In his final moments, he recognises his pursuer as …

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