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

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Mary Danby ‘65′ series: Calisher-Fremlin

Posted by demonik on May 25, 2007

Mary Danby 65 books

* Entries in blue have been or, hopefully, will be annotated in the Fontana section *

Hortense Calisher – Heartburn:  Psychiatrist walks into a Doctor’s surgery and says “I have some kind of small animal lodged in my chest …”

It began when a troublesome boy arrived at the school and boasted of his special ability. He could swallow animals and regurgitate them whole. Obviously, nobody believed him and when one of the kids said as much, the ‘gift’ transferred to him. Soon it has passed from one boy to the next. The shrink dismisses it as some kind of collective mania …

You can see the end coming a mile off but that doesn’t detract from the powerful strangeness of the thing.  (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

Ramsey Campbell – Calling Card: New Years Eve, a fine time for old Mrs. Harris to learn that the previous owner of her house had an unbalanced son, prone to lashing out at everybody, who eventually drowned himself – and tonight is the anniversary of his death. It’s not as if she hasn’t had enough to contend with recently, what with that nasty Christmas card and the smell of stagnant water that seems to follow her everywhere … (65 Great Spine Chillers)

Truman Capote – Miriam (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

John Dickson Carr – Blind Man’s Hood (Realms of Darkness)

Mark Channing – The Feet (65 Great Spine Chillers)

William Charlton – Undesirable Guests (65 Great Spine Chillers)

Agatha Christie – The Last Seance (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

Agatha Christie – The Strange Case of Sir Arthur Carmichael (Realms of Darkness)

R. Chetwynd-Hayes – The Door: William and Rosemary Seaton, “two young, beautiful people as modern as Carnaby Street”, are happily going about their lives until William buys an antique door from the recently demolished Clavering Grange and fits it to his cupboard. William, an author, obsesses over his purchase to the detriment of everything else. Soon enough, in his waking nightmares he’s visiting the vast blue chamber it once opened upon and learns that the door was prepared by black magician Sir Michael Sinclair during the reign of Charles II and before long Sinclair is making regular incursions into the house. The door requires blood and Sir Michael has decided that Rosemary’s will keep it in operation as his portal on the world for some time to come …

One of several Chetwynd-Hayes stories featuring Kent’s much haunted Clavering Grange, this was filmed by Amicus for From Beyond The Grave. (Realms of Darkness)

R. Chetwynd-Hayes – The Monster (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

R. Chetwynd-Hayes – Shona and The Water Horse (65 Great Spine Chillers)

R. Chetwynd-Hayes – A Vindictive Woman (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

Winston Churchill – “Man Overboard!”: …..and nobody’s realised! As he struggles to remain afloat, the ship pulls further away and he realises he’s going to drown. It just couldn’t get any worse … (65 Great Spine Chillers)

Roger Clarke – Blackberries (Realms of Darkness)

Hugh Clifford – The Ghoul (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

Adrian Cole – The Horror Under Penmire (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

Adrian Cole – The Moon Web (Realms of Darkness)

John Collier – De Mortuis (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

William Wilkie Collins – A Terribly Strange Bed (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

R. C. Cook – Green Fingers (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

Michael Cornish – Superstitious Ignorance: Edward and Penny go to view their dream home on the outskirts of London. It is currently occupied by Mrs. Laristis and her brood of filthy, wide-eyed silent children and she does all she can to turn them off of buying the place. “This house not good. Not glad. Is evil presences. Is old evil thing, maybe murder, I don’t know. Very evil things here. Not good for you.” Edward dismisses her as a credulous retard and ignores her protestations. He and Penny step into the shunned room downstairs …. (65 Great Spine Chillers)

Frederick Cowles – The Horror of Abbot’s Grange (Realms of Darkness)

F. Marion Crawford – The Dead Smile (65 Great Spine Chillers)

F. Marion Crawford – The Screaming Skull: Tredcombe Village, Cornwall. Luke Pratt killed his wife having been given the means by retired sea captain Charles Braddock when he innocently related the details of a particularly sadistic murder: the killer poured boiling lead into his victim’s ear via a funnel (!). To avoid detection, Pratt severed his wife’s head and kept it in a hatbox.
Braddock inherits the Pratts’ house on the death of a doctor friend by “hand or teeth of a person or animal unknown”, and the soon the skull is up and out of its box, rolling around and shrieking at him. The late Mrs. Pratt still hasn’t absolved him for giving her wretched husband ideas. (Realms of Darkness)

F. Marion Crawford – The Upper Berth (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

Roald Dahl – Georgy Porgy (65 Great Spine Chillers)

Roald Dahl – The Landlady: Young Billy Weaver, on business in Bath, takes a room at a Bed & Breakfast run by a sweet old girl who’s very particular about the type of client she’ll accept. The landlady, he soon decides, is dotty – why does she keep calling him ‘Mr. Weaver’? – but harmless. At least he got the first part right … (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

Roald Dahl – Pig (Realms of Darkness)

Mary Danby – The Engelmayer Puppets (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

Mary Danby – Nursery Tea (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

Mary Danby – Robbie (Realms of Darkness)

Mary Danby – Woodman’s Knot (65 Great Spine Chillers)

August Derleth – The Extra Passenger: Mr. Arodias murders his eccentric uncle Thaddeus unaware that he is a powerful Warlock. Fleeing the scene of the crime on the night train, he is irked to discover a dark and silent character sharing his compartment …
(Realms of Darkness)

Charles Dickens – The Signal-Man (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

Monica Dickens – Activity Time (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

William Croft Dickinson – The House Of Balfother (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

William Croft Dickinson – The Witch’s Bone (Realms of Darkness)

David Dixon – The Lodger In Room 16 (65 Great Spine Chillers)

Arthur Conan Doyle – The Adventure Of The Speckled Band (65 Great Spine Chillers)

Arthur Conan Doyle – The Brazilian Cat (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

Arthur Conan Doyle – The Brown Hand (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

Amelia B. Edwards – The Four-Fifteen Express (Realms of Darkness)

Amelia B. Edwards – The Phantom Coach (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

Stanley Ellin – The Speciality Of The House (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

A. E. Ellis – The Haunted Haven (Realms of Darkness)

A. E. Ellis – If Thy Right Hand Offends Thee (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

H. H. Ewers – The Spider (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

Elizabeth Fancett – Someone In The Room (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

Elizabeth Fancett – When Morning Comes (65 Great Spine Chillers)

William Faulkner – A Rose For Emily (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

Rick Ferreira – The Girl From Tomango (65 Great Spine Chillers)

C. S. Forester – The Man Who Didn’t Ask Why: Prescience is a double-edged blade. Carpmael has an unerring ability to predict the future, which is how he’s amassed a fortune as a notorious gambler and speculator. But how long will it last? When and how will he die? The doom he envisions while bedridden in hospital is is so awful, he blows his brains out on the spot. That is, he attempts to…… (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

Celia Fremlin – Don’t Tell Cissie (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

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Mary Danby ’65’ series: Adam-Burrage

Posted by demonik on May 25, 2007

Mary Danby 65 books

* Entries in blue have been or, hopefully, will be annotated in the Fontana section *

Villiers de L’isle Adam – The Salvationists: Aka The Torture Of Hope: Having endured Segovian torture chambers for a year without once renouncing his faith, Rabbi Aser Abarbanel is told that he will be burned alive at tomorrow’s auto de fe. No sooner has the Grand Inquisitor broken this cheering news, than the Rabbi realises his tormentor has forgotten to lock the cell door behind him … (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

Robert Aickman – Ringing The Changes (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

Joan Aiken – Lodgers (65 Great Spine Chillers)

A. J. Alan – My Adventure In Norfolk: Alan checks on a bungalow that he and his wife will be renting as their holiday home come August. Being February (Mrs. Alan believes in planning ahead), it’s snowbound. During the night a young woman’s car breaks down outside and he gallantly goes to her assistance. Rather than being grateful the girl is surly and uncommunicative, even when a local truck driver stops and agrees to give her a lift to Norwich. Alan pushes the car into the garage … and notices a dead man propped up by the window. The next morning both car and corpse have vanished and our man is in for a surprise when he reports the incident to the police. (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

Martin Amis – Denton’s Death (Realms of Darkness)

Anon – In the Slaughteryard (Realms of Darkness)

Anon – The Dead Man of Varley Grange (Realms of Darkness)

Robert Arthur – Footsteps Invisible (Realms of Darkness)

Cynthia Asquith – The Playfellow (65 Great Spine Chillers)

Edith Bagnold – The Amorous Ghost: While his wife is away, two of the maids hand in their notice after discovering a woman’s underclothes in the master’s room. That night, he watches transfixed as a figure half-materialises in a chair with her back to him, slowly slipping out of her clothes. It’s with great relief he hears his wife return, undress and slip into bed beside him. It must be freezing outside because she’s cold enough to chill the entire room …. (65 Great Spine Chillers)

Denys Val Baker – The Face In The Mirror (65 Great Spine Chillers)

Denys Val Baker – The Potter’s Art (Realms of Darkness)

Honore de Balzac – The Mysterious Mansion (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

S. Baring-Gould – The Leaden Ring (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

E. F. Benson – The Bus Conductor (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

E. F. Benson – Caterpillars: “Gradually, like some hideous tide of flesh, they advanced along the passage …” Villa Cascana, Italian Riviera. Benson has dreadful visions of ghostly mutant creatures crawling over the bed of his friend and fellow visitor Arthur Inglis. At breakfast the following morning Inglis hands him a pill box in which he’s captured a caterpillar with curious crab-like legs – with grim irony he refers to it as species Cancer Inglisensis. Mindful of his ominous dream, Benson hurls it out of the window and into the fountain but the furry little fiend refuses to drown. It seems to have designs on Inglis. Only much later, when Inglis is no longer with us, does Benson learn the dreadful fate of the man who’d previously stayed in his friend’s room. (65 Great Spine Chillers)

E. F. Benson – Negotium Perambulans (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

E. F. Benson – The Thing in the Hall (Realms of Darkness)

Ambrose Bierce – The Boarded Window (Realms of Darkness)

Ambrose Bierce – The Damned Thing (65 Great Spine Chillers)

Ambrose Bierce – The Middle Toe Of The Right Foot (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

Charles Birkin – Little Boy Blue: Cleeness, Lincolnshire. Moira Lattern takes son Oliver to a holiday home to recuperate after an illness. Oliver is soon playmates with Sammy, another youngster who Moira at first takes to be her little boy’s imaginary friend. A photograph in an old album of a lad in a sailor suit soon disillusions her of this and, after a leisurely build-up, the story picks up a gear as it moves toward its inevitable horrifying climax on the quicksands. (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

Charles Birkin – Text For Today: Text For Today: Rev. Herbert Wessel and wife May are on missionary work in Namavava. The living is idyllic until a rapist is murdered by members of the victim’s outraged family. The killers are caged awaiting trial when one of the Reverend’s boys has a Biblically-inspired bright idea that will surely help the Holy couple overcome their language difficulties … . (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

Algernon Blackwood – A Case Of Eavesdropping (65 Great Spine Chillers)

Algernon Blackwood – Keeping His Promise (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

Robert Bloch – A Home Away From Home: Presumably the be basis for what would become the framing story for Asylum although sadly, Dr. Starr doesn’t get a name-check. Instead, the unfortunate psychiatrist is Dr. Bracegirdle, and his niece, Natalie Rivers, has travelled from Australia to the West Country of England to meet him for the first time. When she calls at the cottage where he lives and practices, there seems to be some kind of party going on. Bracegirdle informs her that he’s been called out but he’ll send one of his nurses to pick her up at the station. Miss Plummer duly arrives and drives Natalie to the asylum where she’s obliged to join the drunken revellers who are by now in worryingly high spirits. Natalie escapes to her uncles study where she discovers just whose departure the patients are celebrating …. (65 Great Spine Chillers)

Robert Bloch – The Mannikin (Realms of Darkness)

Robert Bloch – Return To The Sabbath: The brief rise and gruesome fall of Austrian horror actor and black magician Karl Jorla. His first film, Return To The Sabbath, made as a favour to a director friend, was never meant to be released but somehow finds its way to LA where its shown in a burlesque fleapit. Jorla’s stunning turn as a reanimated corpse decides aspiring producer Les Kincaid to sign him up for a Hollywood remake and Jorla jumps at the chance to get out of Austria. His fellow diabolists are furious as Return‘s big resurrection ceremony exposes secrets of their craft. The director is ritualistically murdered in a Paris hotel and now several shadowy figures show up on set. Jorla see’s the filming through way beyond the call of duty …. (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

Anthony Boucher – They Bite (Realms of Darkness)

Sydney J. Bounds – Hothouse (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

Elizabeth Bowen – The Cat Jumps (65 Great Spine Chillers)

Elizabeth Bowen – The Demon Lover (Realms of Darkness)

Marjorie Bowen – The Crown Derby Plate (Realms of Darkness)

Marjorie Bowen – Kecksies (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

Ray Bradbury – The October Game: Mich, the disgruntled and deeply disturbed husband, determines that wife Louis is going to pay for ‘depriving’ him of a son. He isn’t going to shoot her, though – he wants her to really suffer, and he reckons the only way he can get back at her is through their one daughter, eight year old Marion. The Halloween party provides him with his opportunity. Deliciously horrible. (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

Christianna Brand – The Kite (Realms of Darkness)

Joseph Payne Brennan – The Horror At Chilton Castle (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

D. K. Broster – Couching At The Door (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

Gerald Bullett – Dearth’s Farm (65 Great Spine Chillers)

Anthony Burgess – An American Organ (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

John Burke – Don’t You Dare:  Snide, overbearing Laura swims too close to the weir once too often, leaving husband Robert to raise their spoilt teenage kids, Michael and Candida. It was Laura’s confident boast that she would outlive Robert, go find herself a real man, like that nice philandering major across the river, once Robert had been safely buried. After a respectful interval, Michael takes up with the considerate Janet, a woman he can truly love – until she begins taking on his late wife’s cruel characteristics. As the dead woman takes possession of both her rival and the children, Robert’s tenuous grasp on sanity finally gives out when Janet invites their odious neighbours over for an impromptu cocktail party. (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural):

Thomas Burke – The Hollow Man (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

Thomas Burke – The Bird (65 Great Tales Of Horror)

A. M. Burrage – Browndean Farm: The narrator and author friend Rudge rent the old farmhouse for the inevitable ridiculously low price, later to learn that it has remained unoccupied since previous occupant Stanley Stryde was hung for murder. Stryde, the village Romeo, maintained his innocence to the last, claiming the dead girl took her own life and he’d only buried her out of fear that the police wouldn’t believe him. Popular local opinion has it that he was telling the truth. Now the eighth anniversary of the “murder” is approaching and a ghostly presence makes itself known at Browndean Farm. (65 Great Tales Of The Supernatural)

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