Gruesome Cargoes

Horror fiction 1925-1937: ‘Not At Nights’ & ‘Creeps’

Thrills

Posted by demonik on August 15, 2007

Charles Birkin (ed.) – Thrills (Philip Allan, 1935)

Tod Robbins – The Confession
William F. Temple – The Kosso
H. Russell Wakefield – A Fishing Story
Charles Lloyd – Henri Larne
A. H. Claxton – They Come For Their Own
E. F. Henry – I Am Smith
John Ashcroft Hopson – The House With No Road
Ellis Reed – The Queer People
Catherine Clark – The Divine Spark
Richard Anthony Parker Crawshay – Ashes And Ashes
H. Russell Wakefield – Death Of A Poacher
Godfrey Archard – A Bed For the Night
Kenneth Ingram – Passing of the Terror
Patrick Carleton – Doctor Horder’s Room

H. R. Wakefield – Death Of A Poacher: “The great beast rolled over, writhing and snarling, and then out from its body came a huge negro and the beast seemed to roll away around his feet.”

Sir Willoughby hasn’t been the same man since he returned from Africa where he was involved in a terrifying incident which culminated in his shooting dead a were-hyena, much to the consternation of the Masai people who consider the animal sacred. Their curse follows him back home to Sussex and slowly destroys him.

Patrick Carleton – Dr. Horder’s Room: ” … a cold and heavy body, whose stench was beyond all description, lay outstretched upon his own, its mouth pressed greedily to his mouth and it’s hands fastening his wrists.”

Cambridge University. Deliciously creepy Jamesian tale of the dire consequences that befall any pupil allocated Dr. Horder’s old sanctuary. Young Peter Lake is only spared being added to the list of casualties by the timely intervention of George the porter. The bearded, rubbery entity is a psychic sponge, draining the life of the young to prolongue its own.

This was revived by Richard Dalby and Rosemary Pardoe for their excellent Ghosts & Scholars anthology (Crucible, 1987), and, with its decidedly ghastly erotic undertones, it might have been equally at home in one of Michelle Slung’s I Shudder At Your Touch collections.

H. R. Wakefield – A Fishing Story: Donegal. Gallagher, vehemently anti-Brit, died when a river-bridge he was crossing mysteriously collapsed and his body was never recovered. Despite the hints and warnings of an old gillie, McBrain (who may or may not have had something to do with the Republican’s death), holidaying Englishmen Tranion insists on dangling his rod at the shunned spot …

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