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Archive for the ‘Young Adult’ Category

Robert Westall – Ghost Stories

Posted by demonik on December 16, 2011

Robert Westall (ed.) – Ghost Stories (Kingfisher, 1993)

Graham Potts

Graham Potts

Illustrations by Sean Eckett

Franz Kafka – The Knock At The Manor Gate
Gahan Wilson – Yesterday’s Witch
John Hynam – A Legion Marching By
Charles Dickens – The Lawyer And The Ghost
Anonymous (India) – The Ghost Who Was Afraid Of Being Bagged
Psu Sung-Ling (Adapted by Vida Derry) – School For Ghosts
Mary Williams – The Little Yellow Dog
Kenneth Grahame – The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
Alison Prince – The Lilies
Ray Bradbury – The Emissary
Ruth Manning-Sanders – John Pettigrew’s Mirror
Saki – Sredni Vashtar
Philippa Pearce – Miss Mountain
Guy de Maupassant – Was It A Dream?
Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch – A Pair Of Hands
Robert Westall – The Boys’ Toilets
John Gordon – Left In The Dark
W. W. Jacobs – The Monkey’s Paw
M. R. James – Lost Hearts
Perceval Landon – Thurnley Abbey
Jean Richardson – Not At Home
Joan Marsh – The Shepherd’s Dog


Haunting! Shiver and shake at these spine-chilling tales of ghosts and ghouls from top authors. Guaranteed to give you goose bumps!

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Anthony Horowitz – The Puffin Book Of Horror Stories

Posted by demonik on November 21, 2011

Anthony Horowitz (ed.) – The Puffin Book Of Horror Stories   (Puffin, 1986: Viking 1984)
Puffin Book of Horror Stories
Illustration: Stephen Player

Anthony Horowitz – Introduction

Pete Johnson – Secret Terror
Stephen King – Battleground
Robert Westall – The Vacancy
Guy De Maupassant – The Twitch (trans Anthony Horowitz)
Laurence Staig – Freebies
Roald Dahl – Man From The South
Kenneth Ireland – The Werewolf Mask
Bram Stoker – Jonathan Harker’s Journal (extract from Dracula)
John Gordon -Eels
Anthony Horowitz – Bath Night


Whether it’s vampires, werewolves, ghouls or huge hairy spiders, whatever makes your flesh creep, you’ll find it in this chilling collection of horror stories edited by Anthony Horowitz.

Robert Westall’s ‘The Vacancy’ puts a horrific new perspective on being unemployed and John Gordon’s ‘Eels’ turns those slimy creatures into grisly instruments of torture. Classic horror stories such as ‘Dracula’ and ‘The Twitch’ are combined with contemporary horror from Stephen King, the master himself, to make a collection that lingers in your mind long after the lights go out!

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Michael Sims – Dracula’s Guest

Posted by demonik on September 13, 2011

Michael Sims (ed.) – Dracula’s Guest: A Connoisseur’s Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories (Bloomsbury, 2010)

Victoria Sawdon

Cover illustration: Victoria Sawdon

Michael Sims – Introduction: The Cost Of Living

Part One: The Roots

Jean-Baptise de Moyer, Marquis d’Argens – They Opened The Graves
Antoine Augustin Calmet – Dead Persons In Hungary
George Gordon, Lord Byron – The End Of My Journey
John Polidori – The Vampyre
Johann Ludwig Tieck (attributed [almost certainly wrongly]) – Wake Not The Dead
Theophile Gautier – The Deathly Lover

Part Two: The Tree

Aleksei Tolstoy – The Family Of The Vourdalak
James Malcolm Rymer – Varney The Vampyre (extract)
Fitz-James O’Brien – What Was It?
Anonymous – The Mysterious Stranger
Anne Crawford – A Mystery of the Campagna
Emily Gerard – Death And Burial – Vampires And Werewolves
Mary Cholmondeley – Let Loose
Eric Count Stenbock – A True Story of a Vampire
M. E. Braddon – Good Lady Ducayne
Augustus Hare – And The Creature Came In
F. G. Loring – The Tomb of Sarah
Hume Nisbet – The Vampire Maid

Part Three: The Fruit

Mary E. Wilkins-Freeman – Luella Miller
M. R. James – Count Magnus
Alice and Claude Askew – Aylmer Vance and the Vampire
Bram Stoker – Dracula’s Guest

Bibliography & Further Reading

From the Blurb
Before Twilight and True Blood, vampires haunted the nineteenth century, when brilliant writers everywhere indulged their bloodthirsty imaginations, culminating in Bram Stoker’s legendary 1897 novel, Dracula.

Acclaimed author and anthologist Michael Sims brings together the finest vampire stories of the Victorian era in a unique collection that highlights their cultural variety. Beginning with the supposedly true accounts that captivated Byron and Shelley, the stories range from Aleksei Tolstoy’s tale of a vampire family to Fitz-James O’Brien’s invisible monster to Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s sinister widow Good Lady Ducayne. Sims also includes a nineteenth-century travel tour of Transylvanian superstitions, and rounds out the collection with Stoker’s own Dracula’s Guest – a chapter omitted from his landmark novel.

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Peter Haining – Scary!

Posted by demonik on December 14, 2007

Peter Haining  (ed.) – Scary! Stories That Will Make You Scream! (Souvenir, 1998)


Peter Haining – The Scaremongers: An Introduction

R. L. Stine – The Spell
Jerome Bixby – It’s a Good Life
Richard Matheson – Drink My Red Blood
William F. Nolan – Something Nasty
Leon Garfield – The Restless Ghost
Isaac Asimov – The Thirteenth Day of Christmas
Zenna Henderson – Hush!
Roald Dahl – Spotty Powder
Ambrose Bierce – A Baby Tramp
Ray Bradbury – The Man Upstairs
Joan Aiken – Dead Language Master
Stephen King – Here There Be Tygers
Ramsey Campbell – Trick or Treat
Robert Bloch – A Toy for Juliette

Posted in *Souvenir*, Peter Haining, Young Adult | Leave a Comment »

Richard Davis – Jon Pertee Book Of Monsters

Posted by demonik on November 29, 2007

Richard Davis (ed.) – The Jon Pertee Book Of Monsters (Methuen, 1978: Magnet, 1979)

Petwee Book Of Monsters

Cover art by George Underwood, with illustrations by Nicholas Hockley

Introduction and Epilogue by Jon Pertwee

George Evans – The Samala Plant
Tim Stout – Night of the Sand Wolf
Philip Welby – The Nondescript
David Campton – Spawn
Guy Weiner – The Glendale Monster
Catherine Gleason – Ming
Glenn Chandler – The Intruders
Roger Malisson – The Lambton Worm
John Halkin – The Eyes Have It

Thanks to Steve Goodwin of Vault for providing the contents and cover scan.

Posted in *Magnet*, *Metheun*, Richard Davis, Young Adult | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Richard Davis – Spectre 3

Posted by demonik on September 20, 2007

 Richard Davis (ed) – Spectre 3 (Abelard, 1976)

spectre 3

In The Gruesome Book, Ramsey Campbell castigates horror collections aimed at children which find it necessary to talk down to them. Having read three stories from Spectre 3, I shouldn’t think Davis’s was one of the books he had in mind. Even Chetwynd-Hayes dispenses with the badly dated, often tiresome humour that became something of an albatross in favour of a straight horror story. The Blackwood, RCH and Joyce Marsh offerings have appeared in adult collections and Tim Stout’s hefty slab of Grand Guignol would have been ideal for the Fontana Horror series.

Tim Stout – Heritage: Greenville, Alabama. Calvin E. Danby has the recently excavated dungeon of the family castle brought over from England and reconstructed brick by brick with pride of place going to the carving of an enormous, evil-looking wolf. When ‘big blonde’ Sadie Zellaby is seemingly clawed by the carving, Danby researches his family history and learns of an unfaithful wife hacked to pieces with an axe, a torture spree, various mutilations and the grim fate of the worst of his ancestors, mad Sir Hubert, who fought with a double-headed axe and was eventually crushed to death.

R. Chetwynd-Hayes – Lord Dunwilliam And The Cwy Annwn: RCH has been damned with faint praise on here (mea culpa), but this is up there with the best of his work. The arrogant Lord Dunwilliam, adrift in a snowstorm, chances upon a solitary cottage where live Evan ap Evans and his beautiful daughter, Silah. Dunwilliam is used to getting what he wants when he wants it and he’s decided Silah is going to be his by any means necessary. Evans spins him some cock and bull story about the girl having a fearsome lover, Annwn the Wild Huntsman whose pack are Hell-hounds, but as if an educated man would believe that …

David Campton – I’m Sorry, Mrs. Baxter: Bored teenagers from the estate hang around the Co-op in the High Street. They spend much of their time mithering passers by, one of whom happens to be Mrs. Baxter, a virtual mummy so wrapped up as to be indiscernible beneath her clothes. As Stew, Wally, Pete and the narrator jostle her, the old girl’s shopping spills onto the pavement and she suffers a heart attack. One by one the thugs are punished … by her clothes. There’s a brilliant cameo by a blue and white football scarf which wraps itself around one lad’s head just as he’s crossing a busy road.

Thanks, Victoria

Posted in *Abelard*, Richard Davis, Young Adult | 1 Comment »

Richard Davis – Spectre 2

Posted by demonik on September 20, 2007

Richard Davis (ed.) – Spectre 2 (Abelard 1975)

help! cover wanted

Introduction – Richard Davis

Tim Stout – The Hand From Haunted Hollow
Chris Parr – TA/9/73
Frances Stephens – The Chemical Man
Tim Stout – Jelly Baby
Joyce Marsh – The Shepherd’s Dog
Elizabeth Fancett – Ghosts Look Like People
Bram Stoker – The Judge’s House
Rosemary Timperley – The Tall Woman
Gladys Greenaway – A Matter Of Timing

Tim Stout – The Hand From Haunted Hollow: Disillusioned schoolmaster breaks down (carwise) in the midst of Savernake forest- his rescuer, a woman “ninety at least” makes him a gift of a hand painted jigsaw version of the idyll in which he’s lost.

Later, at home, bad weather leaves him without electricity, so for amusement he turns to gaslight and the forgotten puzzle. However, the picture which forms beneath his increasingly unwilling fingers doesn’t resemble that on the box:

“The cemetery’s image buckled and crumbled, wrenched apart by something that was tearing it’s way up from within”….

Chris Parr – TA/9/73: A grumpy old man and joke shop employee (oxymoron of the century, or dramatic device- you decide!) gets more than he bargained for when he decides to plant TA/9/73 (a toy tarantula) on the arm of a womanising banker type in the midst of a busy London pub during the Xmas Eve frivolities. Said BT promptly runs screaming from the pub into the oncoming traffic- next time Grumpy sees him in the shop he wonders:

“Why there was no elastic holding the mask round the back of his head?”

(BTW guys, have to share one of Mr. G’s wonderfully PC thoughts:

“I don’t like women. Never have. Bother and demands is what they’re about and I can do without that.”

Pankhurst eat your heart out.)

Tim Stout – Jelly Baby: Dr. Ian Reynolds engages a conjourer to entertain his daugter and her friends at her 10th birthday party, but while travelling home accidentally bumps into the magician’s van. Due to his resulting injury the magician recommends a rival company, with the grudging warning; “I don’t want to be within a hundred miles of your place tonight.”

Reynolds is “lucky” enough to engage the sevices of the “Director”, who ensures that havoc and panic reign during little Valerie’s party. His coup de grace literally belittles Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds, and made me realise why I’ve always had an aversion to blackcurrant flavoured jelly.

Joyce Marsh – The Shepherd’s Dog: If you can read this without shedding a tear then you must be made of stone. A “Grayfriers Bobby” type tale, written with Marsh’s usual accuarate sense of place and person- an absolute heat breaker.

Elizabeth Fawcett – Ghosts Look Like People: I wasn’t keen on this one- it’s a bit Scooby Do. Although that’s me reading it as an adult- it’s not really fair to comment as the books were meant for kids.

Rosemary Timperly – The Tall Woman: Elsewhere on this site Demonik writes about F. Paul Wilson’s “Buckets” as an abortion revenge story. This is an infanticide revenge story, and no less poweful for it’s lack of gore. The child of an woman she thought she’d left behind when:

“She had pressed snow over it’s eyes, then snow in it’s mouth.”

has come looking for her…

Can you believe these books were compiled for kids?!

Gladys Greenaway – A Matter Of Timing: …reminds me of “The Woman In The Green Dress” by Joyce Marsh.

Thanks to Victoria for posting the details and plot outlines.

Posted in *Abelard*, Richard Davis, Young Adult | Leave a Comment »

Richard Davis – Spectre 4

Posted by demonik on September 20, 2007

Richard Davis (ed.) – Spectre 4 (Abelard, 1977)

Julia Birley – The Understudies
Tim Stout – Free For Dinner
Robin Smyth – The Ghost Of Cottfield Village
Samantha Lee – Sea Change
Pamela Cleaver – The Skulls In The Belfrey
Paul Dorrell – Lamia
Robin Smyth – The Boy With The Short Haircut
Joyce Marsh – The Master Of Blas Gwynedd
Guy Weiner – Scriveners Inn
Basil Copper – The House By The Tarn
T. E. D. Klein – Magic Carpet

Posted in *Abelard*, Richard Davis, Young Adult | Leave a Comment »

Mark Ronson – Beaver Book Of Horror Stories

Posted by demonik on September 18, 2007

Mark Ronson (ed.) – The Beaver Book Of Horror Stories (Beaver, 1981, 1984)

Cover photograph: John Knights

Introduction: ‘Not Of This World’ – Mark Ronson

Ray Bradbury – The Man Upstairs
William Hope Hodgson – The Voice In The Night
Joan Aiken – Who Goes Down This Dark Road?
John Buchan – The Wind In The Portico
R. E. Alexander – The Aerophobes
H. P. Lovecraft – Pickman’s Model
Paul Ernst – The Thing In The Pond
Fitz-James O’Brien – What Was It?
Clark Ashton Smith – The Seed From The Sepulchre
Mark Ronson – Changeling

What is the creeping grey horror that lurks in the middle of the Pacific Ocean?

How can golden specks of dust turn men and women into ruthless killers?

Whose are the invisible bony hands that lock around a man’s throat as he lies in bed?

The Beaver imprint was aimed at children. This horror collection probably was too, although it says “for older readers” on the back. The pulps are well represented with the most pleasant surprise being a revival of Paul “Dr. Satan” Ernst’s slime-oozing classic, The Thing In The Pond.

Ronson, as we only recently discovered, is also Marc Alexander, author of several non-fiction ghost gazetteers.

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Mary Danby – The Green Ghost

Posted by demonik on September 17, 2007

Mary Danby (ed.) – The Green Ghost and Other Stories (Armada, 1989)


Terry Tapp – The Green Ghost
Rita Morris – Hallowe’en
Rosemary Timperley – The Sinister Schoolmaster
Sydney J. Bounds – Hunters’ Hill
Alison Prince – The Baby-Sitter
Tony Richards – The Sound of Sirens
Ken Burke – Dance of Death
Catherine Gleason – The Woodeaves Ghosts
Mary Danby – Lorimer’s Bride
Joyce Marsh – The Shepherd’s Dog
Terry Tapp – The Junk Room
Daphne Froome – This Book Belongs To…
Rosemary Timperley – The Murderous Ghosts
Roger Malisson – Sarah –
Ruth Cameron – A Red, Red Rose
Alan W. Lear – Whoever Heard of a Haunted Lift?
Tony Richards – The Girl in the Cellar
Catherine Gleason – The Longest Journey
Sydney J. Bounds – Spirit of the Trail
Mary Danby – The Grey Lady
John Duncan – Child of the Future
Daphne Froome – Lisa
Sydney J. Bounds – The Train Watchers
Joyce Marsh – The Warning
Catherine Gleason – House of Glass
Anon – Teeny-Tiny
Rosemary Timperley – Stella
Ann Pilling – Gibson’s
Terry Tapp – The Doll
Mary Danby – Mr. Jones
Ruth Cameron – The Ghostly Gardeners
Tony Richards – Someone Drowned
R. Chetwynd-Hayes – The Third Eye
Alison Prince – The Servant
Rosemary Timperley – The Thing That Went Bump in the Night
Joyce Marsh – Sir Harry Mortlake’s Clock
Sydney J. Bounds – The Haunted Circus
Catherine Gleason – The Post Room
Terry Tapp – The Day I Died
Alison Prince – Can’t Help Laughing
Ken Burke – The Return of the Lorelei
Mary Danby – The Ghost Writer

Mammoth selection from the long-running childrens series The Armada Book Of Ghost Stories (1967-1983) the first two books being edited by Christine Bernard with Danby taking over on number three (there were fifteen volumes as far as I’ve been able to establish).

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