Morbid Mayflowers

Horror & Supernatural paperbacks ’60’s & ’70’s

Peter Saxon – Darkest Night

Posted by demonik on July 13, 2007

Peter Saxon – The Darkest Night (Mayflower Dell, Oct. 1966)



The darkest night … the night when the devotees of Kali, goddess of destruction, make their unholy puja.

This was the night when Dennis Wood faced the grimmest challenge of his whole life: a test that was to bring him face to face with the unspeakable horrors of a worship based on death and destruction.

A young English girl stripped for sacrifice … blood-maddened, lust-crazed worshippers … and the esoteric mysteries of a faith founded on the ultimate Negation.

These were the elements that came together on the Darkest Night: Kali’s festival of unbridled licence and foulest murder.

Who could resist? I’m only just through the prequel, which concerns an incident in the Sepoy mutiny. Ten British women are captured by forces loyal to the Maharajah of Mahadhrana (“Scourge of Islam, Lord of the Seventy-Nine Elephants and a most infinite rascal”) and imprisoned in a dungeon to await the darkest night. Their menfolk gallantly ride to the rescue but, alas, they are too late to save one of the women, who is sacrificed to a very animated statue of Kali. The Maharajah and his goons are taken outside and hung. The evil old scoundrel takes it all in his stride and warns that “I will be back”, wherupon all the flesh falls away from his dangling body to briefly reveal a skeleton, which almost instantly becomes powder and dust.

We now shoot forward 40 years to 1897 when the story proper is about to kick off as we’ve just been introduced to Dennis Wood. I’ve not checked which version of Saxon wrote this yet, but it seems very The Torturer thus far.

For the rest of this review and the responses see Vault Of Evil again.

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