Encyclopedia Phantasmagoria

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

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Fontana Ghost & Horror Titles ’60’s/’70’s

Posted by demonik on June 26, 2007

This is doubtless far from complete, but if anybody can help out I’d be grateful. Other than the later volumes in the Horror and Ghost series’, I’m not looking at anything post 1979.

Anthologies

Robert Aickman (ed.) – The Fontana Book Of Great Ghost Stories 1-8 (1964 -1972)

R. Chetwynd-Hayes (ed.) – The Fontana Book Of Great Ghost Stories 9-20 (1973 – 1984)

Christine Barnard (ed.) -The Fontana Book Of Great Horror Stories 1-4 (1966 – 1969)

Mary Danby (ed.) -The Fontana Book Of Great Horror Stories 5-17 (1970 – 1984)

Mary Danby – Frighteners 1 & 2 (1974 & 1976)

Bryan Douglas – Great Stories of Mystery and Imagination (1966)Robert Muller – Supernatural (1977)

John Hadfield – A Chamber Of Horrors (1967)

J. J. Strating (ed.) – European Tales of Terror (1968)

R. Chetwynd-Hayes (ed.) – Cornish Tales of Terror (1970)

J. J. Strating (ed.) – Oriental Tales of Terror (1971)

Jim McGarry (ed.) – Irish Tales of Terror (1971)

‘Angus Campbell’ (R. Chetwynd-Hayes, ed.) – Scottish Tales of Terror (1972)

Jacquelyn Visick (ed.) – London Tales of Terror (1972)

R. Chetwynd-Hayes (ed.) – Welsh Tales of Terror (1973)

J. J. Strating (ed.) – Sea Tales of Terror (1974)

R. Chetwynd-Hayes (ed.) – Tales of Terror from Outer Space (1975)

R. Chetwynd-Hayes (ed.) – Gaslight Tales of Terror (1976)

Single Author

Robert Aickman – Dark Entries (1964)

Robert Aickman – Powers of Darkness (1968)

R. Chetwynd-Hayes – The Elemental (1974)

R. Chetwynd-Hayes – The Night Ghouls (1976)

R. Chetwynd-Hayes – Tales Of Fear & Fantasy (1977)

Brian Clemens – Thriller (1974, 1975)

Brian Clemens – More Stories From Thriller (1975)

Elizabeth Walter – Snowfall (1968)

J. S. Le Fanu – The Vampire Lovers (1970)

H. G. Wells – The Valley Of The Spiders (1964, 1978)

H. G. Wells – The Cone (1965)

Novels

H. G. Wells – The Invisible Man (1960, 1966)

Hugh Enfield – Kronos (1972)

Bernard Taylor – The Godsend (1977)

Bernard Taylor – Sweetheart, Sweetheart (1978)

Fritz Leiber – Our Lady Of Darkness (1978)

Anne Rivers Siddons – The House Next Door (1979)

Non-Fiction

Lord Halifax’s Ghost Book (1973)
Denis Bardens – Ghosts & Hauntings (1973)
Denis Bardens – Mysterious Worlds (1972)
Andrew Green – Our Haunted Kingdom (1974)
Joan Forman – Haunted East Anglia (1976, 1977)

Thanks to Rog of A Haunted Dolls House for his suggestions.

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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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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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LaFarge – Munn

Posted by demonik on May 22, 2007

Oliver La Farge – Haunted Ground: Sue, the only woman he ever loved, is dead, shot in the first burglary Quonochaug has known in twenty years. Bloody typical! George Waterson, distraught, takes his boat out to sea and writes it off, but it doesn’t kill him. Instead he’s washed up on the stretch of beach known locally as ‘Haunted Ground’ on account of its reputation as the dead folk’s hang out. He visits Sue’s mother to view his beloved in her coffin. (Ghost 11)

Sue Lake – Viktoria or, The Hungarian Doll: Narrated by somebody with their head all bandaged up. Uncaring husband Paul is topped by ‘Rosa’, a dressmakers doll animated by the spirit of his crippled wife, Elizabeth. Paul has recently remarried, but he’s just as indifferent to wife #2, Theresa who promptly turns lesbian (!) The inevitable servants bring about the worthless wretch’s downfall. (Supernatural)

Perceval Landon – Thurnley Abbey: Broughton inherits the country house which dates from pre-reformation days and urgently requests that his friend Calvin pays a visit. The previous occupant, Clarke, a hermit and miser, put it about that the place was haunted by the spectre of a walled-up nun and popular local opinion has it that he was right. When Calvin sets eyes on Broughton he’s struck by how rapidly his health has declined in the few months he’s lived here. That night he receives a visitor in his room …

Robert Aickman points out in his introduction to Thurnley Abbey that full-on encounters with ghosts have fallen out of vogue, and mores the pity. Calvin’s eyeball to sunken eyeball encounter with the rotting, shrunken sister is one of the most memorably horrific in the literature. (Ghost 2)

David Langford – At The Corner Of The Eye (Horror 10)

David Langford – Cold Spell: Stephen Carling is pissed off at the poker-faced participants in the Morris Dance who take it all so bloody seriously. And how comes he’s standing out here in the cold like a feeb while they’re in The Olde Coach House enjoying a pint? When they tell him that they’re all trooping off to Coldrock to complete the performance, he rebels. The following day, he has several visits from the senior dancers, solemnly explaining the importance of the tradition, but his mind is made up. He’s not doing it.
Like he has any say in the matter … (Horror 13)

Gladys Law – Ordeal By Fire (Ghost 20)

Harold Lawlor – The Silver Highway (Gaslight Terror)

D. H. Lawrence – The Rocking Horse Winner (Ghost 1)

Alan W. Lear – Safety Zone (Ghost 19)

Vernon Lee – Oke Of Okehurst (Ghost 6)

J. S. Le Fanu – An Authentic Narrative Of A Haunted House (Gaslight Terror)

J. S. Le Fanu – Squire Toby’s Will (Ghost 1)

J. Sheridan Le Fanu – Wicked Captain Walshawe: The atrocious old rake is cursed by Molly Doyle, maidservant to his late wife Peg, after he disrupts the dead woman’s wake in typical fashion. His soul is trapped within a corpse candle until it burns down – which takes half a century. The spectre, when it finally puts in an appearance, is one of Le Fanu’s most hideous, spraying worms all over the place and generally making the wait worthwhile. This is great stuff, worthy of its place in just about any compilation of Great Ghost Stories you care to mention. (Ghost 10)

J. S. Le Fanu – Ghost Stories Of The Tiled House (Ghost 12)

J. S. Le Fanu – Madam Crowl’s Ghost: Old Mrs. Joliffe relates a terrifying incident from her youth when, as a thirteen year old, she first arrived at Appelwaite House to wait on Lady Arabella Crowl. Her ladyship, 93, dying and three-quarters demented is a handful and the servants often resort to the leather straitjacket to curb her excesses. In her youth she had been a beauty and caught the eye of the widowed Squire Crowl. After they wed, his son by his first marriage vanished presumed drowned on account of his hat being found by the lake. In reality, his fate was even grimmer and the secret is exposed when the mad old horror finally breathes her last. (Ghost 14)

J. S. Le Fanu – The Dream (Irish Terror)

Kay Leith – For The Love of Pamela: Joe and Pamela think they’ve finally found their dream home when they move in at 12 Drayfield Grove, but a restless elemental force has other ideas. It has sexual designs on Joe, but doesn’t care for his wife at all … (Frighteners)

Kay Leith – Avalon Heights: Recently affluent Deborah moves into the brand new block of luxury flats ahead of her husband. she’s perturbed that there’s no sign of the caretaker or, for that matter, her fellow residents. Evidently the old boy keeps a dog as there are bones strewn across the floor of his apartment and she keeps hearing shuffling noises … (Frighteners 2)

Kay Leigh – The Sanguivites: Larch Cottage, Ashton-Carvel: Meg and John unwittingly discover the ancient shrine of the vampire Sanguivites and plan to sell it for a small fortune to “a chappie from the museum.” Said chappie is well impressed: he’s only ever heard of one other such sacrificial alter being unearthed, in Hungary, and that one in badly damaged condition. Meg goes out on a dress-buying spree to celebrate, but that night they’re paid a visit at home by a party of beautiful strangers. The Sanguivites have decided the shrine is going no place and Meg and John are to be its guardians – or else. (Horror 9)

Kay Leigh – The Huntress: On her way home from the nightshift Hilary finds herself trapped in a parallel world after an encounter with a desperate man looking for a street that shouldn’t exist. (Horror 12)

Shane Leslie – The Diplomatist’s Story (Irish Terror)

L. A. Lewis – Hybrid: In his youth Chambers was plagued by nightmares which a clairvoyant later convinced him were flashbacks from a previous life when he was an adept black magician. when Chambers marries and takes up home in Sussex he realises that this is where his diabolical incarnation practiced evil and the adjoining field is where he was burnt at the stake. his familiar, a raven-like bird, gradually takes him over until – as his devoted wife explains to Dr. Cole – “His body is mad, but his mind is sane”. chambers degenerates into a hopping, squawking sex maniac and ravishes his wife. Dr. Cole eventually gets a specialist to take care of him but in the meantime Mrs. Chambers gives birth … (Horror 12)

Charles Lloyd (Charles Birkin) – A Low Profile: A small community of elderly English expatriates are caught up in the invasion and occupation of Zarana, a tiny island off the coast of Africa. ‘Boy’ Brackett hasn’t heard from his two friends Henrietta and Doris for a few days so he crosses town to see if they’re alright. They’re not. Looters have murdered them, tied their bodies to chairs and propped them up around a table. Doris’s hand has been severed – the cats are playing with it in the dirt outside – to get at her rings. Not knowing what to do or even who to report the crime to, Brackett finishes the game of scrabble they were engaged in to see who’d have won, a final futile gesture of friendship. (Horror 10)

Frank Belknap Long – The Black Druid: Pompous archaeologist Stephen Benefield has a nasty overcoat experience while researching Celtic “mythology”. He makes a spectacular transformation while riding home on the New York subway. (Horror 15)

Hazel F. Looker – The Lost Gold Mine (Welsh Terror)

H. P. Lovecraft – Herbert West – Reanimator: Herbert West is a brilliant if somewhat unstable student at Miskatonic University, Arkham, whose obsession is the resurrection of the dead. His Dean, the brilliant Dr. Allan Halsey, appalled at the number of small animals West and the narrator – presumably Lovecraft – have destroyed during their experiments, bans them from pursuing their program on the premises. Unbeknown to him, they’ve already revived a corpse at the derelict Chaplin house which they’ve converted into a makeshift lab. The re-animated body, that of a drowned man they’d dug up within hours of his death, is soon up and about – but that’s the problem. He goes AWOL.

A typhoid epidemic! What a stroke of luck! Better still, Dr. Halsey is among the victims having heroically given his all to save as many lives as possible. With his detractor out of the frame, West gets down to business. So far, it’s been a rotten year for Arkham, but it’s about to get worse as a sadistic killer is on the lose, tearing innocent citizens apart and biting off their flesh. Thankfully, he’s captured and committed to an asylum but what a dreadful shock for the locals that he should bear such an uncanny resemblance to their recently deceased savior, Dr. Halsey!

“Damn it”, laments West, “It wasn’t quite fresh enough!”

West and Lovecraft now set themselves up as general practitioners in Bolton, the neighbouring factory town. an illegal boxing match provides them with the raw materials they need in the burly form of Black Robinson, ‘The Harlem Smoke’, who has just been punched out of this world (albeit temporarily). After another partial success with a heart-attack victim – at least they got the poor bastard to scream – West moves the practice to Boston until come 1915 he joins the medical corps and heads for Flanders where the corpses are plentiful. By now even Lovecraft has his concerns: ” I did not like the way he looked at healthy living bodies.” When their mutual friend and sometime trusted collaborator Major Sir Eric Moreland Clapham-Lee is all but decapitated in a plane crash, West completes the job and injects the headless body with his special life-giving serum.

The war is over now and West and Lovecraft are back in Boston, having taken yet another remote property. We are now expected to believe that the animated remains of Clapham-Lee fashions himself a new synthetic head, spirits himself back to America, and frees the thing that was Dr. Halsey from Sefton asylum! These two now organise the small army of West’s unlovely bodged experiments into a ‘Tomb Legion’, each of them with a justified grudge versus the reanimator. They descend in awful silence on the old dark house overlooking the cemetery … (Horror 13)

H. P. Lovecraft & August Derleth – The Shuttered Room (Horror 3)

H. P. Lovecraft & August Derleth – The Fisherman Of Falcon Point (Sea Terror)

Brian Lumley – Aunt Hester: Aunt Hester , Spiritualist and all-round Black Sorcery dabbler, has the ability to project her mind into the body of another while theirs are temporarily transferred into hers. As a result of this, her family have shunned her from a young age, particularly her brother George who despises her as a witch. Hester is obsessed with the idea of meeting her niece and nephew, if only for a few moments, and to do so she decides to use George’s as her host body.

Pity she didn’t check on his current state of health first. (Ghost 20)

Lord Lytton – The Haunters And The Haunted (Ghost 8 )

Desmond MacCarthy – Pargiton And Harby (Ghost 4)

Hugh MacDiarmid – The Stranger: The old boys in the rustic pub are debating the stranger who sauntered in and stood them a round of drinks. Old Ben refused the offer on the grounds that his missus reckons that, like Jesus, this fellow wasn’t born of man and woman. So when he returns they ask him. (Ghost 3)

Arthur Machen – The Great Return (Ghost 5)

Arthur Machen – The Shining Pyramid (Welsh Terror)

W. MacQueen-Pope – Drury Lane Ghost (Ghost 15)

Roger Malisson – The Thirteenth Kestrel: Stanley Davis was the only man who could fly the Kestrel without coming to grief. Even so, when he dies (suicide: complicated love life and debt) there’s no shortage of club members willing to buy it with Bill Rogerson eventually winning through. His colleagues find that odd: wasn’t Stan having an affair with his wife Lucy? Bill’s maiden flight in the Kestral is also his last and over the coming weeks the plane wipes out most of Stan’s associates in increasingly vicious and inventive manner. (Frighteners 2)

Roger Malisson – The Last Victim: Kensington & Chelsea, late nineteenth century. Sculptor Shrigley Briars is dying of consumption just as his career is taking off when he meets Satanist Amelia Crawthorn at a party (not a bad one: Oscar Wilde shows up). She persuades him to sell his soul in exchange for his health and success. All he has to do is sacrifice one sinful soul to the Devil per annum, which isn’t especially arduous considering the circles he moves in. But how does he dispose of the bodies? (Gaslight Terror)

Roger Malisson – Lady Celia’s Mirror: Kings Road, Chelsea. Gay antiques dealers Jed Jardine and Bertie Thompson acquire a magnificent rosewood mirror in a mansion-clearance. Bertie gets a dreadful shock when he glimpses a malicious looking old woman leering at him from the glass but Jed sees nothing and the pair have a tiff. They decide to sell it and Laurence, their hairdresser friend, snaps it up for his new Mayfair salon. When a pretty young stylist is murdered on the premises, Bertie determines to learn the history of the accursed mirror.
‘Camp black comedy’ is probably the phrase I’m groping for. Pop culture references: The Beatles and the Sunday scandal sheet The News Of The People (“Priory Sex Murder Shock Probe – Naked Monk Found Strangled“). (Ghost 11)

Roger Malisson – A Fairly Great Reckoning: Successful Washington lawyer Henry Baynes Neumann moves to a Tudor cottage in Kent to convalesce after a heart scare. He investigates the cellar … and finds himself thrown back into the late Sixteenth century. He’s been summoned by an old magician on behalf of a poet who is eager to know if his fame survives his death … (Ghost 12)

Roger Malisson – Disappearance: The Stanley family move into Shrapton Hall and from the first little Jane sees and converses with the ghosts of the 18th century Lady Mary Rigby and her daughters. Her mother, Elizabeth, convinces herself that Jane and her sister Sophie are merely indulging in a Brontesque fantasy … until Jane disappears during a game of hide and seek.

Back in time, a strange little girl in bizarre attire is discovered by the servants at Shrapton Hall, while in the present Elizabeth locates her missing daughter’s grave in the local churchyard … (Ghost 13)

Roger Malisson – Welcombe Manor: With the ratings in decline, it’s time for some tough decisions to be made by the producer of long running television soap Welcombe Manor which details the lives of a community of tower block dwellers. It’s decided that popular character will be bumped off in a hit-and-run by joy-riders as he leaves The Welcombe Inn. The actor who plays him, old Joe Kendal, takes it badly: he goes on a three week bender and winds up critically in hospital. When the episode is aired, the switchboard is jammed with complaints from viewers upset by the macabre scream that accompanies Joey’s death, although no such scream was ever recorded. From that day forth, Welcombe Manor is cursed. Joey’s ghost walks abroad and, as the show runs over-budget and more actors and technicians are seriously injured on and around set, it’s finally axed. (Ghost 17)

Roger Malisson – Skin Deep: After a whirlwind romance, 42 year old male model Julian Haymer-Knight marries up and coming star Sophie Seaton, 17, but within weeks of the happy event, she is killed in a car accident. At first Julian is supremely flattered that this girl loved him so much her beautiful spectre comes to visit him in their bedroom any night, but then the ravages of death start going to work … (Ghost 20)

Roger Malisson – A Little Knowledge: Martha Hudd, an alienated 11 year-old bullied by her overbearing mother, builds a temple to Kali in the woodshed. Nobody pays any attention to her until uncle Jim comes to stay. When he sees popstar Mitchie McGee almost torn to pieces by fans after Martha has blasted him out for kissing a girl, Jim momentarily wonders if the child really does have some terrifying powers after all. But that way is madness.
Another tidy horror from the underrated Malisson. (Horror 10)

Roger Malisson – The Salesman: Brammingham. Struggling insurance salesman Donald Winterbottom and his wife Dorothy are invited to join the local coven. Dot thinks it will do them good to rub shoulders with all their prosperous neighbours, but, when the other women tell her of the obscene carrryings on, she vows never to return. Unfortunately, Donald has already allowed the saturnine Mr. Anneheg to talk him into making a wish …. (Horror 11)

Roger Malisson – Switching Off: Dad finally had enough of Mums sleeping around and packed his bags and menopausal Miss William’s makes his every day at school a misery. The only thing that keeps Mark Sugden going is his determination that one day he’ll leave school and become an electrician like his father. His world takes an amazing turn for the better when, school and Miss Williams behind him, he gets a job as a sweeper-upper and tea maker at the salon. Pam, the pretty young proprietor, takes a shine to him and with her encouragement he begins to show promise as a hairdresser. Everything’s going well until his old nemesis pops in for a cut and dry. (Horror 16)

Roger Malisson – Countess Ilona, or The Werewolf Reunion: Castle Tyrhh, East Hungary, 13th March 1880: The Countess invites four gentlemen to a reunion party at the remote castle of her late husband. The quartet from her dubious past comprise the Baron Von Hallen, Dr. Felix Krauss, arms dealer Zoltan Vinzenz and, incongruously, Hugo Hoffman, a sensitive artist. All are party to a dark secret. During the night, amidst the cries of the timber wolves, the four are torn apart and partially eaten. It transpires that each played a party in the tragedy of Ilona’s life, namely the tainted blood of her beloved son Hugo, as each had known what her husband was when they abandoned her to him in order to further their careers. A fine slab of Gothic melodrama and the episode I’d most like to see from the series. (Supernatural)

A. H. Manhood – Wish Me Luck (Cornish Terror)

Frederick Marryat – The Werewolf (Horror 13)

Joyce Marsh – Old Heather’s Picture (Frighteners)

Joyce Marsh – The Tree (Ghost 8 )

Joyce Marsh – Tomorrow’s Child: Post nuclear holocaust and London is plagued by giant insects. Paul Mandrake, one of the few human’s left in one piece, conceals himself in a shop doorway, determined to survive. Rationalized. (Horror 9)

Charles Maturin – Melmoth The Wanderer [extract] (Irish Terror)

W. Somerset Maugham – The End Of The Flight: A Dutchman is relentlessly tracked across continent by the ghost of a Chines he wronged and probably murdered. The pursuit ends at the D.O.’s bungalow in Northern Borneo and Maugham has perfected the Great Slight Ghost Story. (Ghost 3)

W. Somerset Maugham – The Taipan: He’s the head man in a major China-based company. Today he walks past the cemetery congratulating himself that he has not gone the way of his fellows who made a fortune and drank themselves to death before they reached thirty. Presently he encounters three Chinese digging a fresh grave. But surely, nobody has died recently or he’d have been informed …? (Ghost 13/ Oriental Terror)

W. Somerset Maugham – The Man From Glasgow (Ghost 15)

Guy De Maupassant – Who Knows? (European Terror)

Guy De Maupassant – The Hostelry (Ghost 13)

Guy De Maupassant – An Apparition (Ghost 19)

Guy De Maupassant – The Hand: Sir John Rowell keeps the severed black hand of his “best enemy” as a memento of his victory in their epic struggle – a hollow one as it turns out, for he has to keep the shrivelled black relic on a stout chain for fear of it throttling him. One night ….
(Horror 5)

Guy De Maupassant – Vendetta: When her son is murdered the widow Saverini swears vengeance. But how can an old woman and a gaunt sheepdog overcome a robust young killer? It’s amazing what you can do with some bales of straw, your husband’s old clothes and a string of black pudding. (Horror 13)

Andre Maurois – Thanatos Palace Hotel: US Mexican border: Feel suicidal but don’t want to make a mess of ending it all? Let Mr. Boerstecher and his staff do all the hard work for you. Very reasonable rates. (Horror 14)

Jim McGarry – The Island Magee Terror (Irish Terror)

Jim McGarry – The Clonmel Witch Burning (Irish Terror)

Feng Meng-Lung – The Canary Murderers (Oriental Terror)

Prosper Merimee – Mateo Falcone (Horror 4)

Judith Merril with Algis Budrys – Death Cannot Wither (Ghost 9)

John Metcalfe – Nightmare Jack (Ghost 2)

John Metcalfe – Time-Fuse (London Terror)

‘M. H’. – The Phantom Hare (Cornish Terror)

Richard Middleton – The Ghost Ship: Fairfield, the most haunted village in England is nonetheless a peaceful place where the ghosts and humans co-exist in harmony … until the Jubilee celebrations of 1897 when Captain Roberts’ spectral pirate galleon turns up in the garden behind The Fox & Grapes. The ship is well stocked with rum and soon all the phantoms have become anti-social binge-drinkers. (Ghost 1)

Richard Middleton – On The Brighton Road: Middleton (1882-1911) committed suicide and much of his work reflects the bitterness and despondency he presumably felt. On The Brighton Road sees a tramp encounter a young waif, rootless like himself, who insists that he’s already died several times, only to revive and continue his aimless wandering. (Ghost 10)

Richard Middleton – The Passing Of Edward: Short quiet piece in which a dead boy, through a supreme effort, manages to partially appear and bring comfort to his sister. She hears him, but can’t see him. (Ghost 17)

G. A. Minto – The Ghost Of U 65 (Ghost 11)

Edmund Mitchell M. A. – The Phantom Of The Lake (Gaslight Terror)

A. B. Mitford – The Forty-Seven Ronins (Oriental Terror)

George Moore – Pricilla And Emily Lofft (Ghost 6)

Elinor Mordaunt – The Recall (Sea Terror)

W. S. Morrison – The Horns Of The Bull: But sons, if either of you leaves his island for the blood of the other, my curse will strike him … and his brother will triumph over him” – so says the dying elder of the Isle of the Lamb. The two sons, Orm and Iain, have loathed each other all their lives so their father leaves Orm the Isle of the Lamb and Iain the neighbouring Isle of the Bull to prevent them killing each other the minute he’s dead. Orm, the more war-like and devious of the pair, rules his people with black magic and terror while his brother lives as a hermit. You have probably already deduced who is responsible for triggering the final conflict and who prevails in a story that has more to do with folklore than terror. (Scottish Terror)

W. C. Morrow – Over An Absinthe Bottle (Ghost 7)

Patricia Moynehan – Just For The Record (Ghost 16)

Patricia Moynehan – The Old Rectory Well: Almost on moving in, Nerissa is disturbed by several ghostly presences around the old rectory, while Darrel is prone to sudden rages. The haunting goes back to 1650 when a Captain in Cromwell’s army ordered that the well be sealed, fully aware that an Earl was concealed within: the family of loyalist sympathisers who’d assisted him were then taken to the churchyard and murdered. (Ghost 18)

Robert Muller – Mr. Nightingale or, Burning Masts: Mr. Nightingale, a shy, inexperienced 35 year old, is in Hamburg on his father’s business, boarding with the Steekebeck family who have a fancy for reading Gothic horror stories aloud. This and the close proximity of four women proves too much for Mr. Nightingale and his lecherous other self soon establishes total control. First he attacks Elyse who subsequently falls pregnant. Next it is the turn of her unstable sister, Felizitas, who longs to see the old ships in the harbour aflame like they were during the great fire of 1842. Felizitas gets her wish: Mr. Nightingale deflowers her, sets the ships ablaze and leaves her to go racing into the heart of the flames.
The ladies and gentlemen of the Club of the Damned take a dim view of his story, and, regarding him as no better than a base murderer, they dispose of him in the approved manner. (Supernatural)

H. Warner Munn – The Wheel: A companion piece to his Weird Tales/ Not At Night squirm-inducer The Chain. The American, Preece, is given a guided tour of Bohorquia’s torture chamber, the centre piece of which is a customised treadmill suspended over a trough of bubbling pitch. Once you’re on there, it’s a case of keep walking, keep awake, as the guy operating the fiendish contraption has all these snazzy coloured levers he can pull to flick you over the side.

Mein host, who is clearly a loose cannon, relates the grim fate of three of his ancestors at the hands of the Inquisition and the campaign by generations of Bohorquia’s to obliterate the families responsible from the face of the earth. Now there’s only one person to be rid of and the revenge is complete. Rotten moment for Preece to realise who he’s descended from … (Horror 16)

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