Encyclopedia Phantasmagoria

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

Pain – Ryunosuke

Posted by demonik on May 22, 2007

Barry Pain – Not On The Passenger List (Ghost 4)

Pansy Pakenham – The Cook’s Room: The late James Maxwell-Smith of Terncote Manor had two passions in life – detective fiction and his French cook, Elise. When he died, his bereaved lover moved home across the channel. A guest in her old attic room has a nasty experience involving a bed, the marble bust of James and the ghost of Elise who has just committed suicide (!) (Ghost 16)

Mary E. Penn – In The Dark (Ghost 19)

Eden Phillpots – The Iron Pineapple (Cornish Terror)

Rog Pile – Mary: Introduces the uneasy subject of mongolism, then all but taboo in horror fiction and gives the whole thing a queasiness from the first page: you can’t help but feel sympathy for the girl or her parents – what’s going to happen to make the situation worse? The answer is the girl she meets at the pond behind her new home … (Horror 11)

Simon Pilkington – The Inheritance (Scottish Terror)

Hal Pink – The Screaming Plant: “A figure with the body, arms and legs of a man, but with roots instead of hands and feet and a cluster of leaves where the head should have been .. the mandrake was supposed to be a plant with human form and the voracity of a carnivorous animal which reached out with its root tentacles to seize unsuspecting herb-gatherers and crush them to death, gaining strength from their blood.”

Botanist Barker has recently acquired a genuine mandrake seed and, when it germinates, the plant grows to monstrous proportions, taking over the cellar. It’s size isn’t the only imposing thing about it: “Flower-shaped suckers there were indeed, opening and shutting like so many gasping mouths waiting for food. Tom, the Persian cat is the first victim, the plant totally exsanguinating him, and then it corners Barker. When the narrator rushes to the rescue, they hack the abomination to pieces with an axe, accompanied by the sound of its screams. (Horror 12)

Marion Pitman – Dead And Alive (Horror 11)

Edgar Allan Poe – The Facts In The Case Of M. Valdemar: “His face wore a leaden hue: the eyes were utterly lustreless and the emaciation was so extreme, that the skin had been broken through by the cheek-bones. His expectoration was excessive.”

Take a fond, lingering look because that’s the best author and bibliophile M. Ernest Valdemar gets to look at any point during the story. The dying man has agreed to his friend P—‘s macabre request that he allows himself to be mesmerised on his death bed. It all goes far better than anybody could’ve reasonably have wished – seven months after his passing Valdemar is showing no sign of decomposition – but then P– makes a fatal miscalculation. Rousing Valdemar from his trance, he asks “Can you explain to us what are your feelings or wishes now ?” … (Ghost 2)

Edgar Allan Poe – A Tale Of The Ragged Mountains (Horror 5)

Edgar Allan Poe – The Tell-Tale Heart: Poe’s work has been done to death by millions better than me, so, as with M. R. James, Blackwood, Lovecraft and the like, I’ll spare you an illiterate’s-eye view and just mention that I like him best when he’s at his most hilariously ghoulish. In The Tell-Tale Heart, the narrator, at pains to assure us of his sanity, commits premeditated murder on an old neighbour with whom he has no quarrel whatsoever: he just can’t abide one of his eyes. After spying on the old fellow for several nights and revelling in his discomfort, the murderer flattens him under his own bed, dismembers the body and conceals it beneath the floorboards. There’s nothing to connect him to the crime so when he’s visited by police investigating a shriek in the night it should be a formality to convince them of his complete innocence, what with his superior brain and all. (Horror 8 )

Edgar Allan Poe – A Descent Into The Maelstrom (Sea Terror)

Charles D. Pollexfen – Stowaway (Sea Terror)

Arthur Porges – Ruum (Terror From Outer Space)

Robert Presslie – The Night Of The Seventh Finger (Terror From Outer Space)

J. B. Priestley – The Grey Ones (Ghost 6)

Alison Prince – Mother’s Day: Nice Tom Rampage and his feisty, Save The Whale campaigning girlfriend Irma visit his embittered, paranoid old mother at the nursing home. Irma’s been messing about on the tennis courts and has a speck of rust in her eye. Let Mrs. Rampage see to it for you, dear …

You know exactly what’s going to happen – especially if you’ve read the back cover blurb which puts even the most sadistic Vault spoilers to shame – but it’s the crushing inevitability of the outcome that gives Prince’s evil little tale its power. (Horror 16)

Alexander Pushkin – The Queen Of Spades (Ghost 4)

Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch – The Roll-Call Of The Reef (Cornish Terror)

Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch – The Seventh Man (Ghost 3)

Edogawa Rampa – The Hell Of Mirrors : From childhood the brilliant but unbalanced Tanuma has been obsessed with reflective surfaces and, having finished his education, he sets up a laboratory where he can indulge his passion to his hearts content. A voyeur, he trains a powerful telescope on his neighbours and a concealed periscope through which he spies upon the antics of his maids, one of whom, Kimiko, doubles as his lover. When it comes to his creative side, perhaps his finest achievement is to invent the mirror ball, except his is turned inside out and large enough to contain a man. After several hours spent testing it out, he emerges a drooling maniac. “But how could this come about? Could the mere fact of confinement inside this glass sphere have been enough to drive him mad? …. What in the devil had he seen there? (Oriental Terror)

Tina Rath – The Fetch (Ghost 19)

Tina Rath – Fifth Sense: Jenny, the village idiot, has been murdered along the cliff, her head separated from her body which has been chewed. Little Sara’s belief that a werewolf is responsible is not as wide of the mark as her father believes. The killer is no stranger to either of them.(Horror 17)

James Reynolds – The Headless Rider Of Castle Sheela (Irish Terror)

James Reynolds – The Weeping Wall (Irish Terror)

Tony Richards – After Dark: Greenwich Village, New York. Jazz legend Jaybee Klane has been dead twenty years when his new, ground-breaking album After Dark is released to a mixture of rave reviews and outraged cries of “hoax!” Jaybee died of a bullet wound to the head. The verdict was suicide although his his old manager, Kenneth Zoth, knows this to be nonsense. Now the pair are reunited in the crumbling Bleeker Street slum where Klane made his home … (Ghost 17)

Tony Richards – Streets Of The City: Marshall Harris ran when his girlfriend, Kris, was raped and torn to pieces by a street gang. Twenty years later, he is in love again and plans to marry. A series of violent murders occur, the victims all friends or acquaintances of his, and whenever the murderer is apprehended, each claims a girls voice in his head ordered him to do it. (Ghost 18)

Tony Richards – Our Lady Of The Shadows (Ghost 20)

Tony Richards – Headlamps: Colorado. Thirty-five years ago, in the autumn of 1934, old Harry was disfigured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. He’s remained up in the mountains ever since, forcing lone drivers off the narrow road with his decrepit, explosive-laden truck. Tonight its the turn of John Turrell, lost en route to Pikes Peak. (Horror 14)

Martin Ricketts – And Now The Pact: Miller finds a book containing instructions on how to summon the Devil, which he does. They make the usual deal – Miller’s soul in exchange for gold, flash cars, a beautiful woman – in a disappointingly workmanlike four pager. (Frighteners)

Martin Ricketts – Dissolving Partnership: Brooks moves in next door to partner Crowell at Mrs. Graham’s guest house following the mysterious disappearance of the previous tenant. The pair are planning their next robbery, and Crowell has finally perfected his serum that will reduce a man to under twelve inches tall … (Frighteners)

Mrs Riddell – Old Mrs. Jones (Ghost 7)

R. Ellis Roberts – The Narrow Way: Was it a black miracle, or did Father Lascelles poison his congregation and single-handedly “convert” the parish of Uny to Catholicism in August 1912? According to Lascelles, he prayed to the Lord on All Souls Night to visit the community as the Grim Reaper and, as a result, a plague decimated the population. To Lascelles, the end justifies the means as “all of those who died were reconciled to the Holy Church before death. Of those who remain, nearly all have adhered to the church.” He has even converted Mr. Trengrowse of “the primitives.” Dr. Marlowe and Sir Joshua confront the fanatic and he assures them there’ll be no more deaths as he has prayed for them to cease. (Cornish Terror)

Lennox Robinson – A Pair Of Muddy Shoes: The female narrator holidays at her Aunt Margaret’s house in West Cork, the scene of an attempted murder some years earlier when Ned all but throttled his wife and was committed to an Asylum for his trouble. Now the girls is possessed by the recently deceased Ned soul, and, sleepwalking, goes in search of his widow …. (Horror 8 )

Sax Rohmer – Tcheriapin: A celebrated violinist, famed for his tortured composition The Black Mass gravitates toward Dr. Kreener (“a Don Juan of science”) and his Soho bohemian set. Kreener has developed a process whereby he can reduce and preserve flowers and even animals to a gem-like state. As yet, he hasn’t experimented on a human being but Tcheriapin’s constant goading of fiery Scot Andrews provides a perfect opportunity. (Horror 7)

David E. Rose – White Christmas : Short, sad moodpiece. After a long illness, Louise at last feels well again, just in time to enjoy Christmas Day and all its lovely surprises. Cut to a snowbound churchyard where a funeral is in progress …. (Ghost 15)

A. L. Rowse – All Souls’ Night (Cornish Terror)

Akutagawa Ryunosuke – Hell Screen (Oriental Terror)

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