Morbid Mayflowers

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

Archive for the ‘stories index’ Category

Tabori – Woolcott

Posted by demonik on July 29, 2007

Paul Tabori – The Bridge: (Unlikely Ghosts)

Traditional – Sawney Beane: 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.
(Omnibus Of Evil)

Fred Urquhart – The Ghostess with the Mostest: (Unlikely Ghosts)

Steven Utley – Someone Is Watching: “Joe Laurel was his name, and voyeurism was his game.” Eight years into his career as friendly neighbourhood Peeping Tom and he’s never been caught. In that time Joe has accumulated a mass of information on the likes of “open-minded” swinger Mrs. Martha Baldwin who “had a keen sense of humour when it came to foodstuffs”. But this one reclusive girl intrigues him. She’s different, free of scandal and he think he’s fallen in love with her. Comes the night when she beckons him in and he realises she’s been aware of his prying all along …  (Black Magic 6)

Rosalind Wade – Shepherd Show Me: (Unlikely Ghosts)

H. Russell Wakefield – The Animals In The Case: (Dark Mind Dark Heart)

H. R. Wakefield – “He Cometh And He Passeth By”: A clever reworking of M. R. James’ Casting The Runes. London, in and around Shaftsbury Avenue and Museum Street. Oscar Clinton (a thinly veiled Aleister Crowley) is a master Satanist, incorrigible sponger, ruiner of women and patron of the Chorazin Club. Philip, fearful that Clinton will abuse his friends’ good nature as he has his own, veto’s his application to join ‘Ye Ancient Mysteries’ – “it meets once a month and discusses famous mysteries of the past – the Marie Celeste, the ‘MacLachlan case’, and so on with a flippant but scholarly zeal” – and, when the black magician learns of this, he sics a demon on him via a curious paper doll he sends him in the post. Philip’s friend, Edward Bellamy is unable to save him from the huge, shadowy form so instead vows to destroy Clinton. (Black Magic 1)

Evelyn Waugh – Out Of Depth: Bloomsbury. Socialites Rip Van Winkle and Alistair Trumptington fall foul of black magician Dr. Kakophilos who is prone to giving it plenty of “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law” (in “horrible cockney tones” – how frightful). Alistair is temporarily thrown back five hundred years with Rip being sent in the opposite direction. Neither find the experience to their liking. (Black Magic 5)

Manly Wade Wellman – Vigil: Myersville, Pennsylvania. Hermoine Simmons steals a spell-book bound in human skin from Professor Enderby on a whim and summons forth a demon she can’t control. Enderby keeps vigil over all night explaining that the thing is obliged to drink some of her blood on a twenty-four hour basis. The familiar tries to outwit the Prof by assuming the form of his faithful Chinese servant Quong, but Enderby is too smart and stabs it through the heart with a white thorn spike.

“Oh, I think you’re wonderful”, she twittered, “I’ll never be able to repay you! Anything you ask …”
Enderby looked at her calculatingly. “I’ll ask three things.”
“Yes?”
“Wash off that paint and keep it off. Then eat your supper without talking. And finally – aren’t you in a hurry to get to wherever you’re going? Well, then, don’t let me keep you”.

(Black Magic 4)

H. G. Wells – Pollock And The Porrah Man: (Bar The Doors)

George Wetzel – Caer Sidhi: (Dark Mind Dark Heart)

Dennis Wheatley – A Life For A Life: (New Chamber Of Horrors 2)

Dennis Wheatley – The Black Magician: (extract from “The Satanist”) (Satanists)

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. (Black Magic 1)

Patricia Williams – The Night Of The Beast: Osbury. Jim just hasn’t been the same man since the accident, and his interest in the occult has taken over his life. Wife Elaine consoles herself by embarking on a string of affairs, the latest with hunky toyboy Bruce. Jim’s reaction is to banish them back to pre-Christian times when the Pagans knew how to deal with an adulteress.
An eventful and unpleasant five-pager featuring a neat cameo from the Wicker Man. It’s dated 1974 but this wouldn’t have been out of place in one of the Creeps anthologies. (Black Magic 5)

Alexander Woollcott – Moonlight Sonata: A “true” story, published in America rather than the UK on account of it being far too scandalous and horrific for the English press! All names – except for that of the lunatic – have been altered to protect Woollcott from a libel suit.
Cazalet invites his friend Dr. Alvan Barach to stay at his crumbling manor house (Barach thinks of it as ‘The Creeps, Sevenoaks, Kent’). The guest is disturbed in his sleep and wakes to discover a figure intently sewing in the corner of his room. At first, he takes this to be one of the ghosts he’s been warned about, but the discovery of cook’s mutilated body disillusions him of that one … (Bar The Doors)

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Rohmer – Summers

Posted by demonik on July 29, 2007

Sax Rohmer – In The Valley Of The Sorceress: (Black Magic 1)

Sax Rohmer – The Mystery of Dr. Fu Manchu: [extract] (Omnibus Of Evil)

Sax Rohmer – The Whispering Mummy: (New Chamber Of Horrors)

Dennis Roidt – The Green Vase: The hideous ornament is the work of the disturbed young Matthew Hargrove who was inordinately proud of his creation and forbade anyone to move it. Since his death two men have gone against his wishes and been torn to pieces for their trouble. Now Vince has bought Lanceford House and he respects and fears Hargrove’s wish. His friend Edward, however …. (Dark Mind Dark Heart)

Christine Brooke-Rose – The Foot: (Unlikely Ghosts)

Ray Russell – The Cage: Ray Russell – The Cage: The Countess is about to begin an affair with her husband’s right-hand man, who many suspect is the Devil Incarnate. Worried at her husband’s penchant for torture, she demands her fiendish suitor grants her wish: “Make this beauty never fade. Make it withstand the onslaught of time and violence. Make me – no matter what may befall – live forever.”

When the Count discovers her infidelity, true to form, he locks her in his favourite contraption for the night, just as her treacherous lover is advising the enemy army how best to take the castle …. (Black Magic 4)

Ray Russell – Sagittarius: In 1909, the two finest actors in Paris were the classical Sellig and his polar opposite Laval, a monstrous performer at the Grand Guignol. Narrator Earl Terrence Glencannon is intrigued by both, the one handsome and charming, the other every bit as ghastly as the Bluebeard role he has made his own (he doesn’t even use make-up). When Clothilde, a pretty good-time girl on the theatre fringes is found butchered in the manner of a Ripper victim, the terrible secret linking the two actors is gradually revealed. Glencannon theorises that the killer is none other than the son of Mr. Hyde, modelling himself on Gilles de Rais (!). (Omnibus Of Evil)

Anthony Rye – My Man Closters: (Unlikely Ghosts)

William Kean Seymour – A Tale in a Club: (Unlikely Ghosts)

Robert Sheckley – The Altar: North Ambrose, New Jersey: Mr. Slater bumps into an urbane foreign gent who asks him directions to the Altar of Baz-Matain. It transpires that he is Elot, the group’s new business manager during a time of fierce local competition from the other occult aggregates who proliferate in the area. Mr. Slater is appalled that his respectable town should be given over to these blasphemers and telephone’s the mayor to demand he do something about it. In his turn that worthy tells Mr. Slater that he’s been strung a line. Determined to prove the mayor wrong, the next time he meets Elot Mr. Slater asks if he can attend the next ceremony … (Black Magic 3)

Mary Shelley – The Transformation: (New Chamber Of Horrors)

M. P. Shiel – Xelucha: (Dark Mind Dark Heart)

Henry Slesar – The Wish-Giver: A belligerent demon is sent to Earth and sets up shop on First Avenue. One free wish granted per client, but you’d better get it right …. (Black Magic 5)

Clark Ashton Smith – The Return Of The Sorcerer: (Black Magic 2)

Feodor Sologub – The Invoker Of The Beast: (Black Magic 1)

Lewis Spence – The Horn Of Vapula: (Black Magic 6)

Wilbur Daniel Steele – The Woman At Seven Brothers:(Bar The Doors)

Robert Louis Stevenson – The Bodysnatcher: Fictitious account of the Burke and Hare murders. Edinburgh, 182-. Fettes, a medical student of some promise, is assigned the duty of paying the Resurrection Men who deliver corpses out back of the dissecting rooms for Dr. K— to distribute among his classes. It is soon obvious to Fettes that many of the “subjects” did not die of natural corpses – one such, ‘Jane Galbraith’ (Burke victim Mary Patterson) is his drinking partner of the previous day – but he’s imposed upon by star pupil Wolfe “Toddy” McFarlane to keep his suspicions to himself as no good can come of pointing the finger. McFarlane has good reason to silence him, for he too is a murderer. When a man named Gray insults him in a bar, he delivers his body to Fettes and bribes him to keep his mouth shut. The pair go into business together, digging up bodies from neighbouring churchyards until the night they receive their come-uppance following their exhumation of a farmer’s wife at Glencorse. (Where Nightmares Are)

Robert Louis Stevenson – Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde: (extract) (Omnibus Of Evil)

Robert Louis Stevenson – Thrawn Janet: (Where Nightmares Are)

Bram Stoker – The Burial Of The Rats: (New Chamber Of Horrors)

Bram Stoker – Dracula (extract): (Omnibus Of Evil)

Jean Stubbs – Are You There: (Unlikely Ghosts)

Montague Summers – The Satanic Mass: (Satanists)

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Nisbet – Quinn

Posted by demonik on July 29, 2007

Hume Nisbet – The Demon Spell: ” … a mangled corpse lying on the muddy pavement, and a demoniacal, dark, pock-marked face bending over it, with the lean claws outspread, and the dense fog instead of a body, like the half-formed incarnation of muscles.”

A pretty medium materialises the ghost of Ripper victim Polly who warns Nisbet who he’s earmarked as his next victim (you’ve guessed). Our hero bursts in on him just as he’s about to get down to business. (Jack The Knife)

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 … (Bar The Doors)

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. (Where Nightmares Are)

Lewis Padgett (Henry Kuttner) – Compliments Of The Author: (Black Magic 6)

James Hamilton-Paterson – Salpingogram: (Unlikely Ghosts)

James Platt – The Devil’s Debt: (Black Magic 1)

Edgar Allan Poe – The Cask Of Amontillado: Fortunato, who prides himself a connoisseur of fine wine, insults Montressor, his friend and our narrator, and now must pay with his life which, on planet Poe, involves his being bricked up alive and none of this namby pamby killing him first and putting him out of his misery malarkey. As Fortunato has been participating in carnival, he’s dressed in some kind of fetishistic regalia of striped dress and jesters cap for the ordeal which adds another pervy ghoulish touch. One of Poe’s most alarming works, morbidly funny but ultimately terrifying. (Where Nightmares Are)

Edgar Allan Poe – The Man That Was Used Up: (Where Nightmares Are)

Edgar Allan Poe – Silence: (Bentlif Horror)

Edgar Allan Poe – The Tell-Tale Heart: The narrator, at pains to assure us of his sanity, commits premeditated murder on an old neighbour with whom he has no quarrel whatsoever: he just can’t abide one of his eyes. After spying on the old fellow for several nights and revelling in his discomfort, the murderer flattens him under his own bed, dismembers the body and conceals it beneath the floorboards. There’s nothing to connect him to the crime so when he’s visited by police investigating a shriek in the night it should be a formality to convince them of his complete innocence, what with his superior brain and all. (Bentlif Horror)

Arthur Porges – The Other Side: Arthur Porges – The Other Side: “What was the best way to finish him off? He dwelled with pleasure on certain peculiary medieval tortures: so few people understood just what it meant to be drawn and quartered. Much more horrible than they dreamed …”

Dr. Irwin Craig makes use of a medieval black magic parchment to destroy his enemy, Prof. Walter Randall whose meteoric rise to the chairmanship of the Humanities Division at Midwestern Uni really rankles. Worse, Randall’s latest paper effortlessly anihilates Craig’s life work History Of The First Crusade. Oh, is he gonna suffer!

Utilizing a photo of his enemy stuck to a cardboard effigy, Craig devises a series of exquisite torments for Randall to endure before he kills him before he’s distracted by a piece on Miss Universe in the newspaper. Phwoar! He fancies a piece of her! So he sets to work with his scissors and places a love-spell. Sadly, he neglects to check the report on the other side of the page … (Black Magic 6)

J. B. Priestley – The Demon King: The company assembled for Mr. Tom Burt’s boxing day premier of Jack And Jill at the Theatre Royal, Bruddersford are a motley crew, the solitary performer with any kind of track record being their Demon King, Kirk Ireton, whose talent has been somewhat diminished by his capacity for alcohol. When he disappears after a session in The Cooper’s Arms mere hours before the pantomime it looks as though even the dubious talents of the Happy Yorkshire Lasses won’t salvage this turkey. But come the eleventh hour and Ireton – or, at least, somebody dressed in a most impressive Devil’s costume – shows up. The troupe go on to play a blinder.
(Omnibus Of Evil)

Joseph F. Pumilia – Forever Stand the Stones: (Jack The Knife)

Joseph F. Pumilia – Instrument Of Darkness: (Black Magic 3)

Seabury Quinn – The Children Of Ubasti: (Black Magic 2)

Seabury Quinn – The Hand Of Glory: “You are a scoundrel and a villain and a most unpleasant species of malodorous camel … As far as I am concerned. Monsieur, you may go to the devil, nor need you delay your departure in anywise out of consideration for my feelings.”

Flaming fingers, black sorcery, distressed pyjamas, a cat on a spying mission, falling masonry, moaning about the prohibition … in other words, just another routine investigation for the phantom fighter and his loyal friend Dr. Trowbridge.

This time, our heroes intervene on behalf of young Diane Wickwire, whose occult-crazy father is prepared to sacrifice her to the Magna Mater to learn the secret of the sacred meteorite with the bit of parchment sticking out of it (yes, that old one again). To complicate matters further, a rival Satanic outfit (German-fronted) have designs on the same girl, and, come Walpurgisnacht, it seems it’s they who will triumph as they lure her to a ruined Irish Chapel for an impressive Black Mass celebration and summon forth a miles better demon than that goat thing in The Devil Rides Out.

Can the dapper little Frenchman save her, or will he still be too busy testing out his withering barbs at the expense of the hapless Mr. Wickwire?

(Black Magic 1)

Seabury Quinn – The Incense Of Abomination: (Black Magic 3)

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Jacobi – Metcalfe

Posted by demonik on July 29, 2007

Carl Jacobi – The Aquarium: (Dark Mind Dark Heart)

John Jakes – The Man Who Wanted To Be In The Movies: George Rollo is in love with perfume clerk Mabel Fry but she only has eyes for hunky Hollywood stars like Todd St. Bartholemew who she avidly follows in movie mags. Desperate that he’s lost her when a local schmuck gets a screen test he turns to his witchy friend Yolanda and blurts out his love for Mabel and can she perform some ritual that will put him on the silver screen? Beware of what you wish for, etc. (Dark Mind Dark Heart)

M. R. James – Count Magnus: Touring Sweden, the unfortunate Mr. Wraxall discovers family papers in a house in Vestgothland, charting the career of a saturnine seventeenth century noble, a dabbler in alchemy reputed to have made the black pilgrimage to Chorazin where it’s said the Anti-Christ will be born. It is also the recommended haunt of those wishing to “obtain a long life, acquire a faithful messenger and see the blood of his enemies”. (New Chamber Of Horrors)

M. R. James – The Uncommon Prayer Book: (Bentlif Horror)

David H. Keller – In Memoriam: Dr. Brown interviews the reclusive Prof. Moyers, a man with a very peculiar tobacco bowl – the hollowed out skull of his wife. Brown is greatly relieved to leave in one piece. “Only once before I had known such a pall of horror to depress me – after a visit to an asylum for the hopelessly insane.” (Dark Mind Dark Heart)

C. M. Kornbluth – The Words Of Guru: (Black Magic 4)

Henry Kuttner – The Salem Horror: (Black Magic 6)

Henry Kuttner – Threshold: (Black Magic 3)

Noel Langley: see Tales Of Mystery And Revenge

J. S. Le Fanu – Carmilla: (Omnibus Of Evil)

J. S. Le Fanu – The Familiar: (Where Nightmares Are)

J. S. Le Fanu – The White Cat Of Drumgunniol: (Where Nightmares Are)

Fritz Leiber – Four Ghosts In Hamlet: (New Chamber Of Horrors 2)

H. P. Lovecraft – Dreams In The Witch-House: (Black Magic 3)

H. P. Lovecraft – The Festival: (Satanists)

H. P. Lovecraft – The Thing On The Doorstep: (New Chamber Of Horrors 2)

H. P. Lovecraft – Witches’ Hollow: (Dark Mind Dark Heart)

Marie Belloc Lowndes – The Lodger: “I can’t think why he wants to go out in such weather. He did it in last week’s fog, too … ‘twould be a very bad thing for us if anything happened to him. The lodger’s the first bit of luck we’ve had for a very long time.”
That’s Mr. Bunting talking, and the stroke of good fortune he’s discussing with second wife Ellen is the self-styled “man of science”, Mr. Sleuth who moved into their Marylebone home on December 29th at a time when they were too broke to carry on. An easy date to remember as that was also when the first of the “‘Orrible murders in Whitechapel” made the headlines.

Mr. Sleuth has eccentric ways. He turns around the pictures and photo’s in the sitting room so that they face the wall because “those women’s eyes follow me about.”: he fanatically scrutinises the Bible for the worst of the anti-women references: he conducts experiments in his room at ungodly hours, experiments that require extreme heat.

Another of the murders, this time in Marylebone. Mrs. Bunting is far from sympathetic – “it serves that sort of hussy right” – but the killing disturbs her deeply because she already has her suspicions. To make matters worse, Bunting’s daughter, Daisy, is coming to spend her eighteenth birthday with them. She arrives in London just as two more mutilated corpses are discovered in Kings Cross …

The murders take place off the page, but this is among the more effective Ripper stories for the sheer suspense of the thing as Sleuth invites Daisy along with him to Madame Tussauds for a birthday treat. By now the Buntings are certain that he is the Ripper but do nothing to prevent her leaving with him. Greed has much to do with it, but Ellen Bunting doesn’t seem in the least unsympathetic to the madman’s cause and has she developed some kind of hideous crush on him?

If only the Chamber of Horrors was half as frightening these days. (Jack The Knife)

Frank Mace – The Ideal Type: Carson picks up drunken stranger Smith in a pub and drives him across town to meet his friends. As Smith sobers he realises he might be in a spot here: what if the guy’s some kind of mugger or sex-pervert? Carson assures him he’s neither of these, it just so happens that there’s something about Smith’s face that marks him out as the ideal type. So that’s all right then.

Not entirely placated, Smith allows himself to be led into a dark chamber where a disembodied hand dances on a pedestal … (Dark Mind Dark Heart)

Arthur Machen – Out Of The Earth: (New Chamber Of Horrors)

McKnight Malmar – The Storm: (Bar The Doors)

Richard Matheson – The Likeness Of Julie: (Black Magic 2)

Richard Matheson – No Such Thing As A Vampire: The people of Solta, a village in the Romanian mountains, are in the habit of painting crosses on their doors and gathering garlic bulbs to ward off the undead, so when Madame Alexis Gheria wakes to find her nightdress shredded and blood seeping from her throat, they know what they’re up against. Dr. Gheria is devotion personified, keeping vigil at his wife’s bedside through the night but still the attacks continue. Karel, the devoted old butler, explains to his master that this is undoubtably due to his having been drugged by the vampire’s “mephitic presence” and assures him that, when the guilty party has been identified, he’ll do what needs to be done – just as Gheria hoped he would. He now consults his young colleague and “dearest friend” Dr. Vares who needs little persuasion to tend the woman with whom he had an affair during the summer … (New Chamber Of Horrors 2)

Richard Matheson – Witch War: Seven sweet adolescent girls versus the might of the military. There can only be one outcome in such a cruelly one-sided conflict. (Black Magic 1)

Guy De Maupassant – Night: (Where Nightmares Are)

John Metcalfe – The Firing Chamber: The Rev. Noah Scallard is tormented by a terrible accident at the Double Dyker potteries – he just can’t stop thinking about the dreadful way that unfortunate man died. It seems to awaken a dormant sado-masochistic streak in him… (Dark Mind Dark Heart)

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