Encyclopedia Phantasmagoria

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

Nabokov – O’Sullivan

Posted by demonik on May 22, 2007

Vladimir Nabokov – The Visit To The Museum (Ghost 7)

Ray Nelson – Eight O’Clock In The Morning (Terror From Outer Space)

Edith Nesbit – Man-Size in Marble: Brenzett village. The church houses two statues commemorating wealthy knights of evil repute. Local legend has it that these huge marble figures rise from the slab at eleven on Halloween and walk abroad. The narrator and his timid wife Laura, whose house is built on site of the brothers’ once home, are about to discover if there’s any truth in this laughable old wives tale. (Ghost 2)

E. Nesbit – John Charrington’s Wedding: Brixham. The village belle May Forster, finally gives in to the persistent John Charrington and accepts his marriage proposal. It is clear to all the villagers that she’s loved him all along, and as for John, “My dear, I believe I should come back from the grave if you wanted me.” Which, as it turns out …

Come the wedding day and, while the best man kicks his heels at the station awaiting Charrington’s return from a mercy dash to a sick relative, the wedding goes ahead and a terrified May is hustled into the carriage by her corpse groom as the bells sound the death knell … (Ghost 15)

Edith Nesbit – The Head: Derbyshire. Lost en route to an interview with music hall legend Tottie de Vere, promoter Morris Diehl stops at a remote house and begs shelter for the night. His host, April Vane, gives the appearance of being an octogenarian, but in reality he’s merely 43 years old, prematurely aged by the bitter tragedy which saw the woman he loved burnt to death while her husband lolled drunk in the gutter. Vane is obsessed with the event to the point of having built a scale model of the village commemorating the incident with little figures indicating where the locals stood at the time of the blaze. Diehl recognises it as a work of genius and brings Vane back to London with a commission to build a life-size replica of his masterpiece. This he does, but with one chilling improvement …. (Horror 4)

Josef Nesvadba – Vampires Ltd: English setting for this story of a Czech in need of a lift who is gifted a magnificent racing model by a pale gent who promptly hails a taxi and sets off in the opposite direction. Behind the wheel, Nesvadba is the king of the road, the public falling over themselves to be of assistance, but there’s a price to pay for a dream car that runs on something other than petrol … (European Terror)

Andrea Newman – She’ll Be Company For You: Henry has just lost his invalid wife, Margaret, one of those deaths usually referred to as a merciful release for all concerned. His despised sister-in-law Barbara doesn’t see it that way. She insists on lumbering him with her cat, Jennet, while she spends a few weeks convalescing abroad. It is soon apparent to him that puss has something of the uncanny about it and Henry’s life is soon in meltdown. Halloween approaches. (Horror 15)

John Nicholson – Sawney Beane And His Family: Sawney Beane and his clan snatch innocent travellers, drag them back to their cave then pickle and eat them. “In the conflict the poor woman fell from behind him, and was instantly butchered before her husband’s face, for the female cannibals cut her throat, and fell to sucking her blood with as great a gust, as if it had been wine”. This exciting and incredibly gory history is usually credited to Captain Charles Johnson, although it probably wasn’t new when he included it in his General History Of The Most Famous Highwaymen, etc. (1734). It’s even been suggested that ‘Johnson’ was Daniel Defoe. (Scottish Terror)

Amyas Northcote – Brickett Bottom (Ghost 16)

Alfred Noyes – Midnight Express: As a twelve year old, Mortimer was terrified of an illustration in one of his father’s books depicting a man standing under a dreary lamp on a desolate railway platform, staring into a pitch black tunnel. This makes such an impression on the boy that he pins it to the facing page so as never to see it again.
Thirty eight years later, he finds himself on that same railway platform after dark, and there is that ominous figure stood before the tunnel mouth. He approaches, desperate to get a look at the man’s face …  (Ghost 8 )

Fitz-James O’Brien – What Was It?: 26th Street, New York. Following a night of opium smoking and conversation about the supernatural, narrator Harry is attacked in his bed by an invisible being. After a fierce struggle he eventually manages to subdue the unseen assailant with the help of friend Hammond. They bind “the enigma” but have no idea what to do next; they can’t keep it in the house indefinitely, but to let it loose on the world is unthinkable.

Fortunate for them then, that the being dies through lack of sustenance and, after taking a plaster cast, they bury it in the back garden. The passages concerning the assault on Harry identity the type of food it needed to remain alive. (Gaslight Terror)

Sean O’Casey – The Raid (Irish Terror)

Maureen O’Hara – The Rainbow: Takes the nightmare of heroin addiction as it’s theme and the famous Finsbury Park rock venue as it’s setting; it’s “horror with a message”, admirable in sentiment but entirely incongruous. (Horror 11)

Mrs. Oliphant – The Library Window (Ghost 5)

Oliver Onions – The Beckoning Fair One (Ghost 3)

Oliver Onions – Two Trifles (Ghost 10)

Oliver Onions – The Rocker (Ghost 13)

Vincent O’Sullivan – When I Was Dead (Ghost 4)

Vincent O’Sullivan – The Business Of Madame Jahn (Ghost 15)

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