Encyclopedia Phantasmagoria

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

Veillot – Yeats

Posted by demonik on May 22, 2007

Claude Veillot – The First Days Of Spring (Terror From Outer Space)

Tim Vicary – Guest Room (Frighteners 2)

Pamela Vincent – Homicidal Maniac!: A lone woman breaks down in the middle of nowhere. She’s aware of a hairy, green-eyed figure watching her from the trees and fears the worst. Fortunately, a car pulls up, and two men drive her away to the safety of their secluded old house. As she flops out in a chair, she wonders at all the whips and leather gear on the wall. Reminiscent of a slightly restrained version of Alex White’s notorious Never Talk To Strangers, (Pan Horror #7) (Frighteners)

Pamela Vincent – Lost Soul: Whatever you do, don’t let that miserable old widower who sits in the launderette help you load your washing into the machine!

Pamela Vincent – The Attic: Frank inherits the old house on his aunt’s death. His fiancee Sybil is uneasy about the place, particularly the attic which she detests and fears on first sight. In her nightmares, she sees a figure in shadow swinging from a beam … (Ghost 11)

Pamela Vincent – Brooding Dark: Elizabeth and Cynthia attend their first seance. Bored, the sceptical Elizabeth allows her attention to wander to boyfriend Bob which is certainly a more pleasant way of passing the time while the toad-faced medium goes through her repertoire. And, while she’s still focusing on Bob, she receives a message from the other side … (Ghost 12)

Pamela Vincent – Hard Luck Story (Horror 6)

Pamela Vincent – Mr. Priapos (Horror 8 )

Heather Vineham – The Rock Garden: “Take away the blest protectors and the dead will walk again. The black death will be back in Little Hallerton.” Melanie inherits Briar Cottage and immediately makes plans to remove the ‘weeds’ from the rockery, despite the pleadings of the aged servant, Sarah, who came part and parcel with the property as dictated by Aunt Phyllis’s will. Why does Sarah feel so strongly about the issue? In the 17th century, Alice Newcombe had a roll of cloth sent in from plague-ridden London from which her wedding dress was to be fashioned. Her intended, Mr. Carstairs, was one of those struck down as the disease ravaged the community. When, years later, Alice again walked up the aisle, Carstairs came for her. And now the unheedful Melanie sets to work on the garden … (Ghost 16)

Heather Vineham – Catherine’s Angel (Ghost 17)

Heather Vineham – The Summer House (Ghost 18)

Heather Vineham – Lost Eden (Ghost 19)

Heather Vineham – Graveyard Lodge (Ghost 20)

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.

Apparently the first ghost story Wakefield ever wrote, this has endured as a genuine creepy classic. As with all but two of his contributions to the series, The Red Lodge was reprinted from his excellent collection They Return At Evening (Philip Allan, 1928).
(Ghost 8 )

H. R. Wakefield – Lucky’s Grove: Christmas Day, 1938, and “the cream of North Berkshire society” descend on the Braxton’s snowbound Abindale Hall. Unfortunately, Mr. Braxton’s land agent, Curtis, has retrieved their splendid tree from the locally shunned Lucky’s Grove. The larch in question, furious at being uprooted and festooned in Disney characters, wreaks spectacular Norse God-assisted vengeance, and deforming the snowman is the least of it. It all makes for an interesting holiday and gives the survivors much to ponder. (Horror 3)

H. R. Wakefield – Blind Man’s Buff: : Aylesbury, Herts. When Mr. Cort asks directions to Lorn Manor a local obligingly sends him six miles in the opposite direction. Now, trapped inside the old ruin which seems to have an evil mind all of its own, Cort discovers too late why “none of us chaps goes to Manor after sundown”. (Horror 14)

Kathleen Wallace – The Head (Oriental Terror)

Hugh Walpole – Mrs. Lunt: Runceman accepts an invitation from a novelist whose book he’d praised to spend Christmas with him at Penzance. Mr. Lunt is so pathetic in his gratitude and so desperate to befriend him that his guest is soon working on an excuse to high tail it back to London. It’s not just his host; the dreary, depressing old house also affects him badly. And who’s that silent, evil looking old woman in black who keeps showing up, usually preceded by an abominable stench?  (Cornish Terror)

Hugh Walpole – The Snow: “She looked around her everywhere. All the familiar things, the pictures, the little tables, the piano were different now, isolated, strange, hostile, as though they had been won over by some enemy power.” Polchester. Herbert Fairfax’s first wife Elinor was a fiercely devoted woman and Alice, young and headstrong, doesn’t meet with the dead woman’s approval. Now even Herbert is losing patience with her. On Christmas Eve he suggests a separation whereupon Alice strikes him and he storms out of the house. Elinor’s vindictive ghost brutally sees off her successor. (Ghost 4)

Hugh Walpole – Tarnhelm: Faildyke Hall on the outskirts of Gosforth village, Cumberland. The narrator reflects on his days at boarding school when, during the holidays he was shunted from one relative to another until the winter of 1890 when aged eleven he was packed off to stay with his elderly uncles Robert and Constance. Uncle Robert is approaching seventy, a touchy-feely yellow-toothed horror who the boy fears on sight. Constance is five years younger, something of a dandy and likable but for his continuous cowering to Robert who he is at pains not to accept. The boy is befriended by Robert’s barrel-chested valet Bob Armstrong who takes it upon himself to protect him and warns him never to go up into the tower where the old boy spends most of his time. Of course, when Uncle Robert invites him to his quarters, he ignores Bob’s warning. The old man shows him his tarnhelm, a skull-cap by which the wearer can transform himself into their wild animal of choice – his being a vile yellow dog. Although it’s not quite clear exactly what intentions the fiend has toward the boy (you can imagine it as creepily as you want) they’re obviously disturbing enough for Constance to finally conquer his cowardice. (Horror 1)

Hugh Walpole – The Silver Mask: Kensington, West London. Miss Sonia Herries, 50, falls foul of her good nature when she invites a starving, exceptionally handsome young man into her lavish home when he stops her in the street. Henry Abbott makes no bones of his daily business – “I am a pimp, a thief, a what you like – anything bad” – but he has the nicest smile and a fine eye for beautiful objects like that silver clown’s mask on the wall. After a good feed Abbott returns to his starving wife Ada and their baby leaving Miss Herries unmolested, her possessions ditto (save for a valuable cigarette box which he later returns). Over the next weeks he insinuates his way into her life until he and his ghastly relatives have ousted her altogether.
Hints of the supernatural but E. F. Bleiler got it spot on when he classified the story a case of “social vampirism”. Needless to say, it’s excellent. (Horror 9)

Elizabeth Walter – A Question Of Time: Art student Barney buys a portrait of a monk from a junk shop after recognising him as Father Furnival, “died in 1612, in prison – probably of torture – after being betrayed as he hid in the Priest’s hole”. Barney knows all this because he remembers being present at the arrest. In an earlier incarnation he sold out the Holy man. (Ghost 5)

Elizabeth Walter – In The Mist (Ghost 10)

Elizabeth Walter – The Travelling Companion: Jennifer Mallory finally leaves hospital and boards the train at Paddington, heading for her parents’ home to recuperate. Much to her surprise, she’s been assigned a chaperon, Tim, who she suspects is queer because she’s heard they make the best male nurses. In actual fact Tim is straight and has been through a similar tragedy to Jennifer – he lost his girlfriend in a motorcycle accident. After a grim journey interrupted by a professional mourner from somebody else’s funeral, they arrive at her mum and dad’s place only to find they’ve gone away that same day. Snippets of overheard conversation heard from gas-bagging neighbours suggest something isn’t quite right. When the couple take a short cut through the cemetery en route to her aunt’s place Jennifer learns the awful truth. (Ghost 12)

Elizabeth Walter – The Spider: Bad enough that luvvy journalist Justus Ancorwen (he writes for a ‘sixties equivalent of Hello) was reckless enough to start a relationship with virginal Isabel Bishop, but it’s even worse that she occupies the rooms below him so, when he leaves her, there’s little chance of avoiding her for long. Tonight though, he’s almost relieved that she lives in such close proximity as a spider “as big as a coal scuttle” is out for vengeance after he flushed one of its brethren down the sink. He can’t abide spiders at the best of times, but this thing! Isabel mockingly wonders if it comes from Mars and generally uses the opportunity to humiliate him for his caddish behaviour. But when they return to his room the following morning and she locks him in with his “imaginary” eight-legged friend … (Horror 2)

Elizabeth Walter – The Tibetan Box (Horror 8 )

Elizabeth Walter – Telling The Bees (Horror 10)

Norman Watson – The House On Big Faraway (Horror 2)

Evelyn Waugh – The Man Who Liked Dickens: Brazil. The hapless Mr. Henty, the sole survivor of the ill-fated Anderson expedition is taken in and cared for by McMasters, an Englishman who has lived in the jungle among the Shiriana Indians for close on sixty years. McMasters is illiterate and his pleasure is having others read to him so – once he has recovered from malaria – the grateful Henty obliges the old boy with some chapters from mouldering copies of Bleak House & Co. Worryingly, he finds his rescuer stoically silent on the subject of his return to civilisation and it is soon clear that McMasters will stop at nothing to preserve his daily dose of Dickens … (Horror 9)

Philip Welby – Buffy: North London. Burford “Buffy” Albright is chief among the schoolboy tormentors of trampish alchemist Halliwell. One day he goes too far and the outcast avenges himself by systematically disfiguring the bully by means of black magic. (Horror 11)

H. G. Wells – The Door In The Wall (Ghost 6)

H. G. Wells – The Sea Raiders (Horror 5)

Edith Wharton – Afterward (Ghost 2)

Edith Wharton – The Lady’s Maid’s Bell (Ghost 9)

Dennis Wheatley – The Case Of The The Long Dead Lord: The affable, globetrotting Psychic Detective Neils Orsen and his assistant, Bruce Hemmingway visit Stuart Castle where the dastardly noble has been tormenting young Fiona Clyde. (Ghost 13)

Dennis Wheatley – The Snake: Carstairs amuses Jackson and the narrator with the story behind his rags to riches success, all of it due, he believes, to black magic. In South Africa, he’d worked as book keeper to Isaacson, a despicable loan shark who’d one day crossed swords with Umtunga, the local witch-doctor over an outstanding debt (after penalties, Umtunga owed him thirty women). Unimpressed at this rudeness, Umtunga promptly performed a cockerel sacrifice on the usurer’s doorstep, and that night the loan shark died horribly. His widow then ordered Carstairs to call in the debt. Through more luck than judgment, he survives a were-mamba attack and decides it’s time to cut a deal with the voodoo guy at Mrs. Isaacson’s expense. He’s never looked back. (Horror 7)

Malachi Whitaker – New Moon: The horror of a hateful marriage. Mrs. Mollineaux wed young and soon learnt that her husband is a cruel and despicable despot. unfortunately, her three sons – most notably the debauched Godfrey – take after their father. Only after the men are dead can Mrs. Mollineaux reclaim the life that went into suspended animation when she was fifteen. (Horror 4)

T. H. White – The Troll: Lapland: A man hears noises coming from the adjoining hotel room and, peering through the keyhole, watches horrified as an eight foot tall Smurf devours a woman. After prying into the business of who booked the room, he finds he’s set himself up as the blue ogre’s next meal … (Horror 8 )

Henry S. Whitehead – The Lips (Ghost 6)

Oscar Wilde – The Sphinx Without A Secret (Ghost 4)

Mary Williams – Melody in a Minor Key (Ghost 14)

Mary Williams – They Walk At Evening (Ghost 19)

Ralph Williams – The Head-Hunters (Terror From Outer Space)

Angus Wilson – Mummy To The Rescue: The retarded, violent Celia is an orphan, her only real friend being Mummy, the doll she keeps beside her at all times which represents her dead mother. Now well into adulthood, Celia is proving too much of a handful for her Nanny, and grandparents the Hartleys reluctantly make plans to have her committed. On the eve of her confinement, a hateful Mummy visits her in a dream and throttles her. The following morning she’s discovered dead in bed having strangled on her bed-jacket.
Not quite as unsettling as the same author’s unbearable Raspberry Jam, perhaps, but getting there. (Horror 10)

Angus Wilson – Animals Or Human Beings: Welsh Marches. Fraulien Partenkirchen’s parents pack their troublesome daughter off to Wales to take up the position of housekeeper to eccentric old Miss Ingelow. The old girl is a fervent anti-vivisectionist and devotes her life to adopting the unfortunate creatures destined for the laboratory. The Fraulien decides she doesn’t like pets – not when they’re huge buck rats, anyway – and resigns just in time to avoid witnessing Miss Ingelow’s grisly death. (Welsh Terror)

William Wood – One Of The Dead (Horror 13)

P. C. Wren – Fear (Ghost 10)

John Wyndham – Close Behind Him: Spotty and Smudger make the mistake of burgling the premises of a black magician and trader in occult paraphenalia. While the robbery is in progress, Spotty is surprised by the owner who grapples with him and sinks his teeth into the thief’s leg. Spotty retaliates by bashing him with an iron pipe, killing him outright. He soon discovers that he’s being trailed wherever he goes by a pair of bloodied footprints. The haunting doesn’t last long, but only on account of Smudger braining him, whereupon the footsteps transfer their attentions to his partner in crime. At first the imprints remain five yards behind his own but soon they’re closing with each passing hour, and now bite marks have appeared on his neck … (Horror 6)

W. B. Yeats – The Sorcerers (Irish Terror)

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