Morbid Mayflowers

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

Brown – Counselman

Posted by demonik on July 29, 2007

Frederic Brown – Nasty: The swimming trunks horror genre is surely a very small one …. (Black Magic 1)

Frederic Brown – Naturally: Henry Blodgett is hopeless at algebra and daren’t flunk his exam a third time. Will a demon help with his devilishly difficult sums? The Devil ate my homework. (Black Magic 3)

Edward Bulwer-Lytton – Kosem Kesamim The Magician: (Black Magic 2)

Roland Caine – The Eye Of The Beholder: Manfred, Hollywood hustler, summons a particularly revolting demon and demands his three wishes. The instant the words “Bring me to have and to hold as my very own – the most beautiful girl in the world” are out of his mouth his doom is sealed. It pays to be specific in these matters. (Black Magic 2)

Roland Caine – Red Christmas: Four year old Nugent Mason is so looking forward to Christmas Eve for, as he repeatedly explains to his exasperated parents, that’s when Satan Claws will bring him his presents. Mum Alice and dad Frank wonder where the little tyke gets his wild ideas from … (Black Magic 5)

J. Ramsey Campbell – The Church In High Street: (Dark Mind Dark Heart)

Ramsey Campbell – Dolls: Father Jenner’s congregation moonlight as members of the local coven. Terrified of the Priest, they use wooden dolls versus their enemies, one of whom turns black and chokes to death before she can denounce them during Jenner’s sermon. Anne suspects that her husband, the doll carver, is also the “Devil” who conducts their orgies but has yet to select her as his partner. When she gets her wish, things don’t quite go as she’d hoped and it all turns very violent and messy. (Black Magic 4)

Ramsey Campbell – Jack’s Little Friend: (Jack The Knife)

Ramsey Campbell – Lilith’s: An Inland Revenue employee becomes increasingly obsessed with a shop he sees from the bus on his daily journey home. Lilith’s, it transpires, is a sex shop, and when he eventually plucks up the courage to browse, he fixates on the rubber doll in the shop window and the crippled girl running the shop. Shortly after he buys the inflatable, Lilith’s burns to the ground and the girl perishes in the flames. The hero dumps his girlfriend and he and the doll make the happiest couple. For a while … (Black Magic 5)

Ramsey Campbell – Potential: Campbell’s original contributions to the series would later form the core of his steamy Scared Stiff collection, and they’re not for the prudish. Potential is reprinted from Demons By Daylight and details the horrific fate of Charles when he falls in with a bunch of groovy devil-worshippers who realise he’s just the guy they’re looking for. Plenty of counter culture references (which doubtless added to its appeal for Mr. Parry). The setting is ‘BRICHESTERS FIRST BE-IN: FREE FLOWERS AND BELLS’ and the story is littered with references to ‘Make Love Not War’ badges, Lovecraft, two prog-rock bands (The Titus Groans and Faveolate Collosi; “Oswald, Kennedy, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe – Kill, Kill!” LSD and black magic. (Black Magic 1)

Ramsey Campbell – The Seductress: When Betty spurns Alastair after he’s show her his room (where he keeps a photo of her surrounded by Magickal paraphenalia), the youth hangs himself. His mother, Mrs. James – a far more adept Black Magician than her son – decides that Betty is to blame, and sets about a ghastly punishment. Betty is haunted by glimpses of a shadowy figure, and, though he’s a great comfort to her to begin with, the new man in her life, James, seems to have more of the night about him than was initially apparent. (Black Magic 6)

Cleve Cartmill – No News Today: (Satanists)

Daphne Castell – The Fishers By The Fountain: Poor John and his anonymous girlfriend! One minute enjoying a love-making session, the next bowed before the sacred fishermen on account of something one of them gasped in the throes of passion and now that scary Priestess woman is giving them a stark choice: which of them is to be the sacrifice? (Black Magic 4)

Robert W. Chambers – Passeur: (Where Nightmares Are)

R. Chetwynd-Hayes – The Gatecrasher: Edward Charlton and his trendy friends hold an impromptu seance – and summon forth the spirit of Jack the Ripper. Saucy Jack soon has total dominion over Edward and together they prowl Soho, picking up working girls to butcher back at the flat off Edgware Road. When the downstairs neighbour grows suspicious that those stains on his ceiling are maybe not the result of spilt red wine after all, its time for the pair to part company. (Jack The Knife)

Isabel Colegate – The Nice Boys: (Bentlif Horror)

John Collier – The Devil, George And Rosie: George Postlethwaite meets the Devil in the Horseshoe Bar along Tottenham Court Road. George isn’t a particularly bad man but he hates women on the grounds that he’s an ugly bastard and they snigger at his advances. When he proclaims “I speak of the fires of Hell – I wish they existed in reality, so that these harpies and teazers might be sent there, and I myself would go willingly, if only I could watch them frizzle and fry”, the Devil realises he’s just the man to supervise the new annex he’s reserved just for women (the original fiery pit is now too over-populated to manage). George enjoys himself immensely for two years – he’s very proud of his innovations: “a stocking ladderer and an elastic that would break in the middle of any crowded thoroughfare” – but one day Charon ferries in the saintly, beautiful seventeen-year-old shop-girl Rosie Dixon due to an administrative error and George is smitten. How can he get them both back to the land of the living before Satan can consign George to every torture his infinitely evil mind can demise?

Lighter in touch than many of the above but with some good digs at Oxford Street and, probably, Buenos Aires which is, apparently, the closest place to Hell on earth. (New Chamber Of Horrors 2)

John Collier – Thus I Refute Beelzy: Small Simon Carter, six, worryingly pale and permanently transfixed won’t mix with the other boys, preferring to spend the holiday holed up in the beat-up summer house where he plays with his friend Mr. Beelzy. His father, a dentist, insists that Mrs. Carter and Small Simon refer to him as Big Simon at all times because he’s a smug, overbearing git of the first order. We join him as he’s bullying Small Simon into admitting that Mr. Beelzy is a figment of his imagination but the boy is proving uncharacteristically stubborn so now Big Simon is going to beat him. Even the threat of this doesn’t faze the poor kid as Mr. Beelzy has promised that he won’t allow anyone to harm him. What do you reckon? (Black Magic 6)

D. G. Compton – The Eternal Amateur: (Unlikely Ghosts)

Mary E. Counselman – Hargrave’s Fore-edge Book“I’ll teach you to mutilate a book! You – woman!”

Bibliophile Jonathan Hargraves, Patron Saint of Vault, isn’t the least concerned that his Uncle and Guardian should leave his mansion and fortune to second wife Jessica, but how could he will his book collection to the over-sexed gold-digger? And now, true to form, she’s going to auction them off and he’ll never see them again! To top it all, his poor uncle’s not cold in his grave and she’s already chasing Jonathan around the doomed library! Well, he’s seen what goes on between immoral men and loose women in some of the more exclusive volumes and it disgusts him. So he breaks her neck with a carefully aimed copy of Les Miserables.

Somehow he gets away with it. The death is recorded as accidental and now he’s free to bask in the pleasures of his collection …. until Miss Tresser, his local book-dealer’s glamorous assistant gets to look over his mansion and likes what she sees. What’s a misogynistic psychopath to do other than what he always does in such circumstances?

Books, multiple murders and supernatural retribution. It really doesn’t get much better than this. (Dark Mind Dark Heart)

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