Encyclopedia Phantasmagoria

Guide to the Fontana Ghost, Horror & Tales of Terror series’.

Bacon – Boucher

Posted by demonik on May 22, 2007

Gertrude Bacon – The Gorgon’s Head: Greek islands. Captain Brander relates the story of how The Hasler ran aground on Zante and he and Travers sneaked ashore to explore the cavern shunned by the local peasants on account of its being haunted. Like so many before him Travers is transformed into a column of black stone. Brander catches sight of Medusa’s awful reflection in a pool of water and runs screaming from the cave. (Ghost 8 )

Frank Baker – In The Steam Room: The masseur murders an old foe in the steam rooms of the Turkish baths, then he turns his attentions to the narrator who has witnessed the event.
(Horror 1)

Honore de Balzac – The Executioner: Often translated as El Verdugo. Menda, Spain. Following an uprising against the French, the General sentences the noble Marques de Leganes and his entire family of a wife, three sons and two daughters to death. The Marques asks only that his eldest son Juanito be pardoned. The General, being of a sadistic bent agrees – on condition that Juanito acts as executioner to the others. A young French officer is in love with one of the daughters, Clara, who had saved his life the previous evening. She too will be pardoned if she agrees to marry him. Clara lays her head on the block … (European Terror)

Honore de Balzac – The Mysterious Mansion: Also known as The Grande Bretreche. During the Spanish invasion of France, Madame de Merrett conducts an affair with a strikingly handsome escaped prisoner. One evening, her husband arrives home unexpectedly and almost catches them at it – the prisoner is forced to conceal himself in Madams’s closet. Her spouse suspects as much, but she swears on the holy crucifix that no-one is in there. Satisfied, he calls for the stonemason …. (Horror 6)

John Kendrick Bangs – The Water Ghost Of Harrowby Hall: The cadaverous, dripping, seaweed-festooned spectre of a young maiden saturates the haunted chamber for one hour every Christmas Eve. The latest Oglethorpe decides that enough is enough and hits on a fiendish plan to rid himself of her ladyship for good. (Ghost 16)

Patrick Bardan – The Warning (Irish Terror)

Maurice Baring – Venus (Ghost 5)

S. Baring-Gould – The Leaden Ring: The come-uppance of Julia Demant, eighteen-year-old heart-breaker who has already destroyed two young men by leading them on only to contemptuously reject their marriage proposals. As a result, suitor number one “married beneath himself” on the rebound and young James Hattersley blew his brains out. Old Aunt Elizabeth is scandalised by Julia’s indifference to the tragedy, her insistence on attending the ball to seek out victim number three, and launches into a tract about “the young lady of the present day” with whom she has no patience. One Baring-Gould has got this rant out of his system (he’s usually good for at least one per story: check out A Dead Finger for his views on the evils of Socialism and poor people), he treats us to a decent enough malevolent ghost story where-in Julia repeatedly experiences the sensation of putting a bullet through your head and dead James comes to claim her as his wife. (Ghost 12)

Charles Beaumont – Miss Gentibelle: The seriously embittered unmarried mother ousts her lover, Drake, and raises their son, Bobbie, as a little girl, ‘Roberta’, dressing ‘her’ in frocks, insisting she wear perfume, the works. Whenever Roberta displeases her, the punishment is severe. There’s not one of the boy-girl’s beloved pets the twisted Miss Gentibelle hasn’t killed to teach Roberta a lesson.
Roberta has recently discovered that she is a boy and finally Drake is shamed into shaking off his alcoholic stupor and beginning the process of legal adoption. Meanwhile, the resentment and frustration in his son is building to a pitch …. (Horror 6)

Sir Max Beerbohm – A. V. Laider (Ghost 2)

Belcampo – The Great Happening (European Terror)

E. F. Benson – Negotium Perambulans: ” … and him that had been a great burly man was withered to a bag o’ skin, for the critter had drained all the blood from him.”

A horror masterpiece. Polearm, an isolated fishing village in Western Cornwall. A panel in the church depicts a priest stood at the lychgate brandishing a crucifix at the huge caterpillar-cum-slug-like entity, “the pestilence that walketh in darkness”, reputed to have destroyed at least two Godless men. Now John Evans, a likable local artist who grew up at the rectory, moves into the cursed Quarry-house. In no time he’s cultivated a serious Whiskey habit and his paintings take a turn for the monstrous. The narrator is present to witness his terrible doom. (Ghost 3)

E. F. Benson – How Fear Departed From The Long Gallery (Ghost 20)

E. F. Benson – The Room In The Tower: “Suddenly a voice which I knew well broke the stillness, the voice of Mrs. Stone, saying ‘Jack will show you to your room: I have given you the room in the tower.’ It seemed to come from near the gate in the red-brick wall that bounded the lawn, and looking up, I saw that the grass outside was sewn thick with gravestones. A curious greyish light shone from them, and I could read the lettering on the grave nearest me, and it was ‘In evil memory of Julia Stone.’

From his early teens the narrator has been plagued by the same ominous dream. Now aged 30, his premonition is about to be played out for real when he visits his friend John Clinton at the Sussex cottage and Mrs. Clinton repeats those words he’s come to dread: “Jack will show you to your room now. I have given you the room in the tower.” (Horror 3)

E. F. Benson – Mrs Amworth: The village of Maxley, Suffolk, is roused from its slumbers with the advent of a very merry 45 year old widow, fresh back in England after a soujourn in India. Only one person doesn’t take the gregarious Mrs. Amworth – Mr. Urcombe, a retired professor with a deep interest in the occult who suspects there’s something of the night about her. when the residents begin falling ill and one young boy teeters ion the brink of death, Urcombe confronts her. She is so angered by his accusation that she walks in front of a car. But a small thing like death isn’t going to stand in the way of her bloodlust.

When it comes to my personal favourite Benson trad. vampire chiller, The Room In The Tower just about has the edge over this ripping yarn, but Mrs Amworth is another instant classic from one of our greatest horror authors. (Horror 5)

E. F. Benson – The Thing In The Hall (Horror 10)

J. D. Beresford – The Misanthrope (Cornish Terror)

J. D. Beresford – Cut-Throat Farm: Mawdsley: the narrator wonders why the hostile locals refer to Valley Farm by its more macabre nickname. He doesn’t have long to find out because he’s staying as a paying guest of the grim old couple who live there. The pair, down on their luck, slaughter their scrawny livestock to feed him. What will happen when they’ve exhausted the meagre supply? (Horror 3)

Hjalmar Bergman – Judith: The old man stands in the doorway waving away the enemy soldiers, explaining that there is death in his house and it’s contagious. One young man doesn’t believe him and barges his way in demanding a bed for the night, only to find a young woman tending her husband who has had his throat cut in battle. Judith explains that her dad’s a bit of a drama queen, and demonstrates that she’s not one to hold grudges by plying the uninvited guest with more food and wine than she can afford to share. Her manner is even flirtatious. But once he’s fallen asleep …(Horror 2)

Sir Walter Bessant & James Rice – The Case Of Mr. Lucraft (Ghost 3)

John Betjeman – Lord Mount Prospect (Ghost 5)

Ambrose Bierce – The Damned Thing (Ghost 2)

Ambrose Bierce – The Moonlit Road: Three narratives: the first is that of the son, Joel Hetman, who tells of how his mother was strangled by an intruder. Nobody was ever convicted of her murder, and his father seemingly vanished along the Moonlit Road shortly afterward. Next, the statement of Casper Grattan, tormented by terrible dreams in which he kills a person unknown. Finally, via a medium, we have the testimony of Joel’s mother which clears up the confusion. (Ghost 10)

Ambrose Bierce – Night-Doings At Deadman’s (Ghost 11)

Ambrose Bierce – The Boarded Window: Happily married couples are a rarity on planet Bierce and maybe its just as well on the evidence of this black-hearted four pager. Murlock’s wife falls ill with fever and within days, to all appearances, she’s dead though it would have been better for both of them if there had been a doctor on hand to make sure. Her husband builds her a coffin and leaves her lying in state in their log cabin until the following morning when he’ll bury her. Perhaps he’ll be able to cry then because he feels guilty that he’s not been able to do so just yet. During the night he’s awoken by something pushing heavily against him in the dark …. (Horror 1)

Ambrose Bierce – The Man And The Snake: Harker Brayton sneers at the belief that snakes mesmerise their prey before striking. which makes the circumstances behind his death doubly humiliation. (Horror 6)

Eileen Bigland – The Lass With The Delicate Air: Cawder Village, Scottish Highlands. A bachelor war veteran, convalescing in the mountains, falls in love with a young vision of beauty in a shabby blue dress who appears in the forest every new moon. He realises from the first that she’s dead but that can’t dissuade him. Why does she look so forlorn? And who is responsible for the melancholy whistling he hears in the night? A deathbed confession reveals the sad story of Elspeth Munro and the fate of the penniless tinker she loved, shot dead by the man who was to be her husband by an arranged marriage. Not usually my thing but I loved this.   (Scottish Terror)

Charles Birkin – Havelock’s Farm: Due to a mix-up over accomodation, young Faith Harrison, the new schoolmistress, has to look for a room in the village, and the only place she can find one is at the farm of the shunned, inbred Havelock family. They’re actually a far more decent clan than their neighbours give them credit for … except, that is, for the insane son they hide away from the outside world on account of his predeliction for rape. One night, the thatched roof catches fire …. (Horror 8 )

Charles Birkin – No More For Mary: One of Birkin’s rare and increasingly bizarre excursions into SF. Author Toby Lewis, holidaying in San Bernando, discovers a beautiful jewelled insect and decides it will do nicely for sister Mary who’s something big in Lepidoptera at Oxford. The “bug” is actually Zeon, a visitor from a far more developed and benevolent society than our own who are intent on colonising Earth by peaceful means and saving us from ourselves. After the hapless Toby has left him exposed near an ants nest, Zeon suffers a cruel and agonising death while trying to free himself of his spacesuit. (Terror From Outer Space)

Julia Birley – The Old Men (Frighteners)

E. Owens Blackburne – An Unsolved Mystery (Ghost 17)

Algernon Blackwood – The Wendigo (Ghost 1)

Algernon Blackwood – Keeping His Promise (Ghost 9)

Algernon Blackwood – The Woman’s Ghost Story (Ghost 11)

Algernon Blackwood – A Case Of Eavesdropping: The hapless Jim Shorthouse is an Englishman on hard times in an unspecified US city. He takes a job on the local newspaper to finance his dingy room in a multi-occupied house. The fearsome landlady says the only other tenant on his floor is an elderly German, but the walls are paper thin and Jim soon hears the man in heated conversation with his son, Otto. One night the argument gets out of hand and a trail of blood streams under the partition and across the floor of Shorthouse’s hovel. He barges down the door and enters upon … an empty room. The landlady explains that several previous tenants have experienced the same adventure – it even killed the last one. The haunting is a reenactment of a murder committed twenty years ago when Steinhardt, a senior partner in a collapsing Wall Street company, murdered his son to cover up a theft. (Horror 1)

Algernon Blackwood – The Empty House: Shorthouse’s aunt Julia procures the key and persuades him to accompany her in holding an all night vigil in the allegedly haunted house. the haunting “has to do with a murder committed by a jealous stableman who had an affair with a servant in the house. One night he managed to secrete himself in the cellar, and when everyone was asleep, he crept upstairs to the servants quarters, chased the girl down to the next landing, and before anyone could come to the rescue, threw her bodily over the banister into the hall below.” (Horror 4)

Algernon Blackwood – Confession (London Terror)

Algernon Blackwood – The Man Who Was Milligan (Oriental Terror)

Nyki Blatchley – Safe As Houses: Mrs. Parker’s lodging house is the last in a row built by a man who was later hung for murder and the place has a sinister reputation on account of the high mortality rate among the tenants. When Mrs. Parker decides to sell up, the house realises it will be demolished and attacks the occupants in a series of vampiric attacks. Much better than I’ve made it sound. (Horror 13)

Robert Bloch – The Mannikin: Simon Maylore is born with the beginnings of a twin growing out of his back. As he attains manhood, so the hump becomes more pronounced – it has now grown a head, torso and arms: it can even speak (“More blood, Simon. I want more.”) The vampiric growth achieves domination over its host and Simon is manipulated into performing black magic rituals. The growth is intent on raising the Elder Gods versus mankind. (Horror 7)

Robert Bloch – Girl From Mars: what with the bad weather, poor takings and his girl Mitzie running off with Rajah the magician, Carney boss Ace Lawson hasn’t had much luck of late. It seems all that is about to change when the Platinum girl walks in, asking to see the Girl from Mars. Ace explains that she, Mitzie, was a fake, bat wings and all, but hits on the idea of hiring this bombshell to take her place. She gives him some spiel about being from Mars – or “Planet Rekk” as it’s known to its inhabitants – her rocket having crashed to Earth during an electrical storm. She also keeps reminding him that she’s very hungry …(Terror From Outer Space)

Richard Blum – The Firmin Child (Ghost 5)

Anthony Boucher – They Bite: The Carka family operate in a manner comparable to the Sawney Beane clan. Twice the army have been sent into the small Californian desert town to wipe them out, twice they’ve come back – biting. Now Hugh Tallent arranges to meet the man who’s been blackmailing him at a seemingly abandoned old ruin … (Horror 15)

2 Responses to “Bacon – Boucher”

  1. my father leonard wolf starred in the movie the 1974 p.b.s masterpiece theatre the boarded window. he is now deceased and i am trying to share my memory of this movie with my now adult son; if you could direct me or have any further info towards finding this classic me and my famile would be eternally gratefull. thankyou in advance for any help, james’ mom

    • demonik said

      hi james’ mom

      what i will do is copy your query onto our message board where more people will see it and, hopefully, someone will be able to help. will let you know if anything turns up!

      good luck


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