Gruesome Cargoes

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

Posts Tagged ‘Vault Of Evil’

Charles Lloyd (ed.) – Terrors

Posted by demonik on October 9, 2012

Charles Lloyd (ed) – Terrors  (Phillip Allan, 1933)

dust jacket from Facsimile Dust Jackets

Charles Lloyd – The Terror On Tobit
Guy Preston – Thirty
Francis Sibson – The “Westerdale’s” Tow
Andre de Lorde – Waxworks
Phyllis Stone – The Man With The Flayed Face
Ursula Gwynne – The Muffler
Marjory Lawrence – The Terror Of Stranger Island
Pamela James – Blue-Black Hair
John Ratho – Arabella Goes North
Phyllis Stone – Spider’s Web
Elliott O’Donnell – The Mystery Of Beechcroft Farm

The man with the flayed face, how the passengers of the Westerdale died, the Fear on the lonely island, and the artist who was caught in the spider’s web, make their first appearance – with other grisly tales – in this volume.

Review by James Doig

Charles Lloyd, The Terror on Tobit
Daphne and Anne are holidaying in the Scilly Islands and decide to spend a night on deserted Tobit island, much to the shock and horror of the locals, there being numerous cases of sightseers disappearing without trace. Naturally, the girls won’t be swayed. Jean, one of the local boys, has taken a fancy to one of the sweet young things and tags along with them, parking himself a discrete distance away. During the night Daphne, frightened by a strange whistling noise, goes in search of him and finds a pool of slime next to his camp fire. Hearing Anne scream, she rushes back only to find another pool of slime where Anne had been sleeping. Off to the asylum with Daphne. Seems to be some species of giant flesh-eating sea slug.

Guy Preston, Thirty
Not a bad ghost story in which an antiques dealer is haunted by a certain person counting out his thirty pieces of silver.

Francis H. Sibson, The Westerdale’s Tow
Nautical horror where a greedy captain tows a derelict ship back to shore for the scrap metal. Unfortunately for him, the derelict is home to an awful species of flesh eating insect from New Guinea.

Andre de Lorde, Waxworks
Young Parisian takes a wager that he can’t spend the night of a nasty storm in a waxworks. He just about makes it.

Phyllis Stone, The Man With the Flayed Face
Young woman’s car breaks down during a storm and she seeks shelter at the home of a man whose head is swathed in bandages. He’s a nice chap who suffered horrific injuries during the war. By good fortune the woman’s brother is an expert plastic surgeon. As there is no photograph of the afflicted man, a photograph of his dead twin brother is used as a model. All goes well, except that the man’s dead brother happened to be a student of the occult…

Ursula Gwynne, The Muffler
Sad and pointless story about a man on death row who has strangled his crippled son.

Margery Lawrence, The Terror on Stranger Island
Adventurers investigate Stranger Island, where numerous people have disappeared without trace. They find that the culprit is a monster-sized cross between a scorpion, crab and spider.

Pamela James, Blue-Black Hair
Beautiful young woman tries to prove an ancient family curse has no basis in fact. Silly girl…

John Ratho, Arabella Goes North
Nice conte cruel that someone should resurrect – eccentric, aristocratic Arabella finds herself on a train to Edinburgh without Sister to help her. The other passengers are mean to her, including the young girl she shares a carriage with. Unfortunately for the girl, Arabella is as stark raving mad as you can get.

Phyllis Stone, Spider’s Web
Bizarre story about a mother and daughter trying to con a rich artist out of his money. Mother is 47 and daughter is a 27 year old dwarf, but somehow they are able to pass themselves off as 20 years’ younger. Dwarf falls in love with artist and kills herself, mother goes mad.

Elliott O’Donnell, The Mystery of Beechcroft Farm
Woman’s aunt goes missing on her way home from London. Conventional ghost story – replete with headless ghost – made interesting because the murderer, an attractive woman who owns a nearby farm, gets away with it.

See also the Terrors thread on Vault of Evil forum


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L. A. Lewis – Tales Of The Grotesque

Posted by demonik on May 13, 2009

L. A. Lewis – Tales Of The Grotesque: Uneasy Tales (Philip Allan, 1934)

L A Lewis Tales Of The Grotesque

L A Lewis Tales Of The Grotesque

Many thanks to Robert Weinberg for kindly granting me permission to use his cover scans.

Lost Keep
The Tower Of Moab
The Child
The Dirk
The Chords Of Chaos
The Meerschaum Pipe
Haunted Air
The Iron Swine
Animate In Death

“Squadron Leader Leslie Allin Lewis (1899-1961) was a veteran of both world wars, flying Sopwith Camels over France in 1918 and Hurricanes over England in 1940. He was also one of the best writers in the macabre and supernatural genre between wars. A collection of his unusual and excellent stories was published in 1934 under the title Tales Of The Grotesque.

From Richard Dalby’s introduction to Haunted Air in The Mammoth Book Of Ghost Stories 2, 1977.

Officially a Creep, a modern edition, edited by Richard Dalby was published by the Ghost Story Press in 1994, and includes what seems to be L(eslie) A. Lewis’s only other contribution to horror fiction, The Author’s Tale – ghosts get down to some serious bondage and caning fun (!) – from Christine Campbell Thomson’s Terror By Night. Prior to that, the excellent Hugh Lamb had revived a few of the stories for his anthologies.

The Child: The narrator, a city boy and motorcyclist – though not, as he hastens to point out, the type “that carries a leggy flapper on the pinion and sports a cigarette holder a yard long”: What’s the matter with him? – investigates an alleged haunting at a gamekeepers cottage in the woods near ‘Wailing Dip’. Some years before, a woman who’d murdered her children had escaped from the local asylum and was last seen near the site. She was heavily pregnant at the time. The woman is presumed dead down a pot hole, but who or what has been stealing poultry from the village these past years and what did a poacher see that scared him to death?

The Meerschaum Pipe: The narrator moves into ‘Heroney’, the former country residence of Harper who butchered several women and buried them in the surrounding fields. Or rather, parts of them:

“The most revolting feature of the murders was his habit of severing the head and limbs and leaving them on the scene for identification, while carrying away the trunk for addition to a sort of museum …”

In between visits to the Vicarage and brushing up on his golf handicap, the new squire takes to smoking Harper’s best pipe. The discovery of a gypsy girl’s mutilated remains in Arningham Woods signals a new reign of terror …

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 …

The Tower Of Moab: “A veritable flock of ghoulish wraiths whirling about a young girl who stood on the kerb, wearing on her face a look of desperation that spoke of private tragedy … She uttered a ghastly, sobbing scream and hurled herself with a kind of boneless wriggle under the wheels of a lorry.”

A salesman, down on his luck, is fascinated by a huge yellow structure began by a religious cult eighty years earlier as their answer to the Tower of Babel. Fascinated and at a loose end, he jacks in his job and takes a room at the local inn where he can drink himself insensible while investigating the tower. As he sinks further into Whiskey oblivion, he becomes aware of the Devils and Angels flitting about the top of the column until the latter descend on the unwitting public en masse, tormenting them with their sins. Eventually his own demons appear and he’s taken away to a lunatic asylum.

The Author’s Tale: “He would kidnap the venomous swine of a woman and hold her captive in a secret place that he knew, flogging her daily until brute force brought her to absolute subjection.”
He is ‘Lester’, usually an amiable enough fellow with a weakness for the ladies, and she is his third wife who has ruined him, while the remote spot is a deserted farmhouse where he has rigged up his apparatus, a frame with straps and pulleys attached easily capable of suspending his greedy ex until she sees the error of her ways. What he hadn’t accounted for was the place being haunted – and by fiends of particularly sadistic bent who commandeer his torture device and use it to discipline one of their own with a savagery that has even the vengeful Lester. what he witnesses that night persuades him to make a significant amendment to his plans …

Haunted Air: “Apart from its extraordinary shade of pulsating, unnatural green, the object was quite evidently not a bird, and he might momentarily have dubbed it a grotesque toy balloon … but for the fact that it was so obviously – and somehow horribly alive. Carr described it as resembling a monstrous monkey, clambering with incredible speed up an invisible rope.”

A series of mysterious light aircraft crashes claim the lives of a succession of experienced pilots and their passengers. Ace record-breaker Pitchmann sneers at Carr’s death, dismissing him as an amateur and a lightweight, and takes to the skies in unpromising weather to prove how great he is. Meanwhile at the bar, Beckett gives his alarming take on the recent tragedies.

Vault of Evil’s Tales of the Grotesque thread.

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H. D. Everett – The Crimson Blind & Other Stories

Posted by demonik on May 13, 2009

H. D. Everett – The Crimson Blind & Other Stories (Wordsworth, 2006)


John Atkinson Grimshaw, Autumn Glory, The Old Mill (1869)

The Death Mask
Parson Clench
The Wind of Dunowe
Nevill Nugent’s Legacy
The Crimson Blind *
Fingers of a Hand
The Next Heir
Anne’s Little Ghost
Over the Wires
Water Witch
The Lonely Road
A Girl in White
A Perplexing Case
The Pipers Of Mallory *
Beyond the Pale *
The Whispering Wall

Stories marked * did not appear in The Death Mask And Other Ghosts, (Philip Allan, 1920)

Back cover blurb:

Mrs H.D. Everett was the last in a long line of gifted Victorian novelists who knew how to grip the reader through the invasion of everyday life by the abnormal and dramatic, leaving the facts to produce their special thrills without piling on the agony. ‘I always know’, says one of her characters, ‘how to distinguish a true ghost story from a faked one. The true ghost story never has any point and the faked one dare not leave it out.’ From the chilling horror of The Death Mask to the shocking violence of The Crimson Blind, from the creeping menace of Parson Clench to the mounting suspense of The Pipers of Mallory, these thrilling stories were enthusiastically received by readers and critics when they first appeared, and are sure to delight and terrify the modern reader in equal measure. With their haunting influences, their permeating scents, their midnight apparitions and unexplained sounds, they plunge us, along with the hero or heroine, into a state of increasing nevous excitement.

“Routine material. Indistinguished stories of literal horror … “The Crimson Blind’, which is often anthologised, is much the best story in the book.” – E. F. Bleiler on The Death Mask & Other Ghost Stories.

The excellent Wordsworth Editions published this collection by early (and posthumous) Creeps contributor, Mrs. Everett in a very handsome paperback edition. Let’s hope she’s the first of many! Richard Dalby introduced a collection containing the same sixteen tales for The Ghost Story Society in 1995, but i never thought we’d see a budget edition in my lifetime, so well done Derek and the team! To be fair, Bleiler is not altogether wide of the mark with that “routine” jibe, as some of the stories are …. on the aenemic side.


The Crimson Blind: In his youth, Ronald McEwen had spent a fortnight at Swanmere Rectory as a guest of his uncle, Rev. Sylvanus Applegarth. The reverend’s sons are wont to tease Ronald about his belief in ghosts and one night persuaded him to visit a derelict house which – they tell him – has a reputation of being haunted. Ronald is well aware that the boys are planning a prank, but they seem as surprised as he when an upstairs blind is raised and a deranged figure comes crashing through the glass at them. Twenty years later, when the property is incorporated into his friend’s luxurious manor house, McEwen learns the truth. It transpires that the place was once a lunatic asylum, and an inmate had tried to burn his room to the ground, killing himself when he jumped out through the window.

The Death Mask: Gloriana Enderby is fanatically opposed to second marriages. On her deathbed she requests that her husband, Tom, covers her face with a particular handkerchief she values among her possessions.
After the funeral Tom sets his cap at the new neighbours’ daughter, Lucy Ashcroft. When they become engaged Gloriana haunts them, the image of her face forming upon hankies and sheets. When it glowers at them from the tablecloth as they’re attempting to dine, Lucy throws in the towel.

The Lonely Road: With his transport home retired lame, Tom Pultenay is forced to walk the eight miles home from Ballymacor via a road which has attained a bad reputation on account of recent muggings. Sure enough, two rum fellows are soon on his trail, but the weaponless Tom is saved from grief by Boris, the late master’s loyal dog, who takes him the length of the road before fading into nothingness. A sub-plot involves Tom’s tricky courtship of the widow Margaret, but this one definitely warrants Bleiler’s indifference.

Fingers Of A Hand: Much more fun. Two unmarried Aunts, Sara and our narrator Grace, take little Dick and Nancy on holiday in Cove while their father is away in India. The first two weeks are uneventful – thank God Mrs. Everett doesn’t describe them in detail – but when the traditional seaside weather kicks in and torrential rain stops play, Grace finds a message scrawled on the fresh sheet of paper: “GET OUT AT ONCE”. “Surely they could have been traced by no mortal hand!” Sadly, Everett again opts for a benevolent ghost whose interference prevents what would have been a terrible tragedy, but there are some neat moments involving the hand which may even have influenced W. F. Harvey’s malefic The Beast With Five Fingers.

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More Philip Allan: The non-anthology ‘Creeps’

Posted by demonik on May 13, 2009

More Philip Allan: The non-anthology ‘Creeps’

Apart from the famous anthologies, there were a number of novels and single author collections in the Creeps series. From Tales Of Fear (I’ve added the year of publication, when known)


To be successful, the gruesome story must not be too long. The most hardened of us can only take this kind of thing in small doses with a breathing space between each.

The sales of these volumes have gone into many thousands. Some have gone quite out of print; but new ones are being constantly added. Each volume has about a dozen stories of sheer, stark horror – and noone, whatever their nerve strength, should read them at night. Nervous people should not read them at all.



If you have enjoyed the stories in this popular series – why not write one? It is very probable that other volumes will be added: and the publishers are always ready to consider the work of new, as well as established, authors.

Send MSS. to

Messrs. PHILIP ALLAN & CO., Ltd.
69, Great Russell Street, London, W.C.1

Mark envelopes ‘Creeps’

Three more books, also published by Philip Allan, which appeared too early to be considered legit Creeps were Mrs. Everett’s The Death Mask & Other Ghost Stories (1920), Tod Robbins’ Who Wants A Green Bottle? (1926) and H. R. Wakefield’s They Return At Evening (1928).

Come 1936 and the publisher seems to have veered off into a SF direction with Edmond Hamilton’s The Horror Of The Asteroid & Other Planetary Horrors and Barrington Beverley’s The Space Raiders, although that same year saw publication of Charle’s Birkin’s Devil Spawn, which collected all his contributions to the anthologies and is unquestionably a Creep!.

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Still Not At Night : Arrow edition

Posted by demonik on August 20, 2007

Christine Campbell Thomson (ed) – Still Not At Night (Arrow, 1962)


Joseph O. Kesselring – King Cobra
Joseph McCord – The Girdle
Flavia Richardson (Christine Campbell Thomson) – Behind the Blinds
Michael Gwynn – The Death Plant
Greye La Spina – The Tortoiseshell Cat
J. Dyott Mathews – The Tapping
Oscar Cook – Si Urag Of The Tail
August Derleth – The Metronome
H. Thomson – Offspring Of hell
Elizabeth Sheldon – The Ghost That Never Died
Henry S. Whitehead – The Passing Of A God
Jessie D. Kerruish – The Wonderful Tune
Geoffrey Vace (Hugh B. Cave?) – Four Doomed Men

More Not At Night was reprinted as Never At Night (Arrow, 1971) and Still Not At Night was reissued as Only By Daylight (Arrow, 1972).


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More Not At Night: Arrow edition

Posted by demonik on August 20, 2007

Christine Campbell Thomson (ed.) – More Not At Night (Arrow, 1961, 1963)


Harold Ward – The Closed Door
Mortimer Levitan – The Third Thumbprint
Romeo Poole – The Death Crescents Of Koti
Will Smith & R. J. Robbins – Swamp Horror
Oscar Cook – Golden Lilies
Jessie D. Kerruish – The Seven Locked Room
Loretta G. Burroughs – Creeping Fingers
Flavia Richardson – Out Of The Earth
B. W. Sliney – The Man Who Was Saved
Hester Holland – Dorner Cordainthus
Robert E. Howard – Rogues In The House
David H. Keller – The Thing In The Cellar
Oswell Blakeston – The Crack
Archie Binns – The Last Trip


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Not at Night Omnibus

Posted by demonik on August 15, 2007

There’s more, far more to the series than this greatest hits selection, but it’s as good a place to start as any. Readers of the early “Pan Horror” books will be familiar with a goodly few of these.

Many thanks to Robert Weinberg for kindly granting me permission to use his cover scans.

Zealia B. Bishop – The Curse of Yig
W. J. Stamper – Lips of the Dead
Jessie D. Kerruish – The Wonderful Tune
Michael Gwynn – The Death Plant
R. Anthony – The Witch-Baiter
Hester Holland – The Library
Guy Preston – The Inn
A. W. Kapfer – The Phantom Drug
H. P. Lovecraft – Pickman’s Model
Oscar Cook – His Beautiful Hands
Edmond Hamilton – Pigmy Island
Flavia Richardson (Christine Campbell Thomson) – Behind the Yellow Door
Oswell Blakeston – The Crack
J. Joseph Renaud – Suzanne
Mary E. Counselman – The Accursed Isle
Warden Ledge – The Legion of Evil
Seabury Quinn – The House of Horror
Guy Preston – The Way He Died
Hazel Heald – The Horror in the Museum
George Fielding Eliot – The Copper Bowl
Hugh B. Cave – The Watcher in the Green Room
G. Frederick Montefiore – Black Curtains
L. A. Lewis – The Author’s Tale
H. Warner Munn – The Chain
Oscar Cook – Piecemeal
Hester Holland – The Scream
Will Smith & R. J. Robbins – Swamp Horror
Jessie D. Kerruish – The Seven Locked Room
Henry S. Whitehead – The Chadbourne Episode
David H. Keller – The Thing in the Cellar
Flavia Richardson – The Black Hare
Anthony Vercoe – Flies
August Derleth – The Tenant
Gordon Chesson – Little Red Shoes
Harold Ward – The Closed Door

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The Creeps Omnibus

Posted by demonik on August 15, 2007

“The Creeps Omnibus”, ed. Charles Lloyd, (Phillip Allan,1935), collected together the entire contents of the first three books in the series, “Creeps”, “Shudders” and “Shivers”.

CREEPS ed. Charles Lloyd, (Phillip Allan,1932)

Tod Robbins – Silent, White, & Beautiful
H. R. Wakefield – The Red Lodge
Elliott O’Donnell – The Ghost Table
Tod Robbins – Spurs
H. R. Wakefield – “He Cometh And He Passeth By”
Philip Murray – The Charnel House
Elliott O’Donnell – A Wager And A Ghost
Charles Lloyd – The Last Night
Tod Robbins – Cockrow Inn

SHUDDERS ed. Charles Lloyd, (Phillip Allan,1932)

H. R. Wakefield – Or Persons Unknown
Tod Robbins – Toys
Elliott O’Donnell – Accusing Shadows
H. R. Wakefield – Professor Pownall’s Oversight
Charles Lloyd – The Harlem Horror
Philip Murray – The Trunk
H. R. Wakefield – The Third Coach
Philip Murray – The Crimson Blind
Elliott O’Donnell – The Haunted Spinney
Philip Murray – The Patch
H. R. Wakefield – That Dieth Not

SHIVERS ed. Charles Lloyd, (Phillip Allan,1933)

H. R. Wakefield – The 17th Hole at Duncaster
Charles Lloyd – An Eye for an Eye
Tod Robbins – Wild Wullie the Waster
Mrs. Everett – The Death Mask
Elliott O’Donnell – The Ghost in the Ring
Philip Murray – The Poplar Tree
H. R. Wakefield – “And He Shall Sing…”
Tod Robbins – Who Wants a Green Bottle?
Elliott O’Donnell – The Tank of Death

As is obvious from the above, Charles Birkin/ ‘Charles Lloyd’ was working with a very small stable of authors to begin with, but he certainly succeeded in getting the best from them. Robbins “Spurs” is the short story which spawned Tod Browning’s classic horror movie, “Freaks”. Wakefield’s Satanist in “He Commeth … ” is loosely based on the then very newsworthy Aleister Crowley, while the same writers “The Red Lodge” is among the very best haunted house stories ever written IMHO. Birkin doesn’t disgrace himself amongst such company, although why Van Thal didn’t resurrect “The Harlem Horror” – a truly sadistic tale of child abduction that gets uglier with every paragraph – along with the others for his Pan horror series is a mystery. Phillip Murray (possibly even publisher Allan under a pseudonym), perfected the short-short horror story form, rarely exceeding four pages, yet never needing to. Hugh Lamb used “The Charnel House” for one of his own excellent anthologies, as it’s one of the very grimmest pieces in here.

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Powers Of Darkness

Posted by demonik on August 15, 2007

Charles Lloyd (ed) – Powers Of Darkness (Phillip Allan,1934)


>Many thanks to Robert Weinberg for kindly granting me permission to use his cover scans.

INCLUDED in this volume of the “CREEPS” series are many famous names, and while stories of the supernatural will delight lovers of the psychic world, thrill seekers will find sensations in plenty.

Lord Dunsany gives the explanation of a horrible and baffling murder; Hastings Turner a grisly tale of retribution from an unexpected source; C. Fox Smith, the noted writer of the sea, a story of the fate of three mutineers under tropic skies; and other contributors of considerable merit and literary reputation.

Lord Dunsany – The Two Bottles Of Relish
A.E.D. Smith – The Coat
Charles Lloyd – Obsession
Kenneth Ingram – The Third Time
J.H. Turner – The Guillotine
Cicely Fox-Smith – The Mutineers
Russell Thorndike – November The Thirteenth
L.A. Westney – The Miniature In Black
E.R. Morrough – The Temple Servant
Maureen E. Shaw – A Nice Cup Of Tea

Lord Dunsany – The Two Bottles Of Relish: The police know that Steeger killed Nancy Elth but nobody can work out what he did with the body. And why did he cut down all those trees?
A ghoulish mystery, solved by a chance remark by Num Numo salesman Smithers to his genius flatmate Linley. Killer kiss off line.

Charles Lloyd – Obsession: Hartledean. Doris Carson and Henry Russell are to wed. Joe, the village idiot, has a massive crush on Doris as she’s the only person who has ever been kind to him. After she gently declines his offer of marriage, Joe takes to stalking both she and her burly fiancé. Henry beats him up.
Events reach their grim conclusion at the old quarry when, with a superhuman effort, Joe dislodges a huge boulder, intending for it to crush the life out of his rival. It takes a nasty deflection on the way down ..

A. E. D. Smith – The Coat: On a cycling holiday in France, the narrator stops off to mend a puncture at a deserted chateau near Vosges where he is seen off by an animated coat. He later learns that it belonged to a sadistic murderer in Napoleon’s army whose own daughter was obliged to shoot him in the back.

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Posted by demonik on August 15, 2007

Charles Lloyd (ed) – Shivers (Phillip Allan, 1933)


Many thanks to Raymond Russell and Rosalie Parker of Tartarus Press and the excellent Supernatural Fiction Database for kindly granting me permission to use this cover scan.

H. R. Wakefield – The 17th Hole at Duncaster
Charles Lloyd – An Eye for an Eye
Tod Robbins – Wild Wullie the Waster
Mrs. Everett – The Death Mask
Elliott O’Donnell – The Ghost in the Ring
Philip Murray – The Poplar Tree
H. R. Wakefield – “And He Shall Sing…”
Tod Robbins – Who Wants a Green Bottle?
Elliott O’Donnell – The Tank of Death

H. R. Wakefield – The Seventeenth Hole At Duncaster: A golf club on the Norfolk coast. The course has recently been extended at the expense of a strip of woodland, but members complain the hole is unplayable and a particularly foul stench periodically emanates from the vicinity. The secretary, Mr. Baxter, suffers nightmares in which he is gloatingly informed of who will be next to die at the 17th, and the voices are never wrong. After a woman is stripped and murdered by persons unknown at the blighted spot, he wisely obtains a transfer to London, where he later learns that ‘Blood Wood’ – as it is known locally – was once the haunt of Druids.

Charles Birkin – An Eye For An Eye: Dr. Peters’ daughter, Angela, is raped and murdered on Wimbledon Common, the finer details of the crime being too ghastly to be divulged to the press. The finger of suspicion points at Peters’ chauffeur, George Yarrow, but he walks from the court a free man as there is no concrete evidence against him. Peters gives him his old job back and bides his time until such evidence is forthcoming. When Yarrow’s embittered lover, Nelly Torr, comes out of a coma, she gives him enough detail to hang the wretch, but Dr. Peters isn’t about to let him off that lightly.

Mrs. Everett – The Death Mask: Gloriana Enderby is fanatically opposed to second marriages. On her deathbed she requests that her husband, Tom, covers her face with a particular handkerchief she values among her possessions.
After the funeral Tom sets his cap at the new neighbours’ daughter, Lucy Ashcroft. When they become engaged Gloriana haunts them, the image of her face forming upon hankies and sheets. When it glowers at them from the tablecloth as they’re attempting to dine, Lucy throws in the towel.

H. R. Wakefield – “And He Shall Sing …”: “A foul and deadly stench filled the room … he saw that that Something was naked, livid, and that blood was streaming jerkily from its rotting lips.”

Mr. Kato approaches Mr. Cheltenham with a book of Japanese verse which he is desperate to see published. Cheltenham realises he has a masterpiece on his hands, but can it really be the work of the semi-literate Kato and, if not, what’s happened to the man who really wrote it? Come to that, why is he always seeing a small black figure out of the corner of his eye these days?

Buried underneath Wakefield’s usual sarcasm, a truly grim story surreptitiously claws its way to the surface.

Tod Robbins – Wild Wullie the Waster: Branstaun Tower, Scotland. A pointless argument during a billiards match leads to the premature ends of Wild Wullie Campbell and his friend Roderick Dingwall. As ghosts the “doddering old fossils” hide away in the attic by day and enjoy nightly billiards, but then the new owners arrive …
Delightful. It’s like some kind of literary precursor to the Shiver & Shake comic strip!

Elliott O’Donnell – The Ghost in the Ring: Prize fighter Jim Rogers disposes of his next opponent Eddy O’Malley by nudging him into a quicksands. Two years later O’Malley’s ghost comes to the assistance of a novice who is fighting Rogers for the Californian heavyweight championship.

Philip Murray – The Poplar Tree: Her late husband planted the tree and, at first, it was a comfort to her in her solitude. Of late it’s started to creep her out. So she instructs the gardener to chop it down …

Elliott O’Donnell – The Tank of Death: Dick ‘The Snake’ Driscoll, an ex-rugby international now gentleman thief, is hired by Prof. Carleras to steal a document from a house in Maida Vale. Driscoll’s friend Marcelle Garteau takes a job at The Herrings as a maid, fending off her lecherous employer for a fortnight until her mission is accomplished. A freak injury prevents Driscoll from taking the papers to Carleras, so Marcelle goes in his stead. Unfortunately for her, the professor has no intention of settling his debt and he doesn’t want any living witnesses to the theft either …

Part crime caper, part love story and just the one moment of horror to warrant it’s inclusion in the book, this is a more enjoyable read than The Ghost In The Ring.

Tod Robbins – Who Wants A Green Bottle?: Scotland. The Laird of Kilgour’s deathbed confession. When his miserly Uncle Peter died, Kilgour gleefully partied the old skinflint’s fortune away. One Halloween he sees a tiny man trying to make away with a gold coin. Trapping him under a tumbler, he extracts from his uncle (for it is his spirit) a wish and is soon given a guided tour of Hell. He learns that, to avoid the torments of the pit, the soul must be contained in a green bottle at the moment of death.

Plenty of potential for horror, but this is Robbins at his most whimsical.

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