Udo Frankenstein

The Exorcist

The enormous success of William Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel The Exorcist triggered a boom in supernatural horror fiction. The film version that followed about a year later (scripted by Blatty) triggered off an equivalent boom in mainstream big-budget supernatural horror movies.

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Exorcist1
Village of the Damned

favourite horror reads of 2013

My favourite horror reads of 2013:

Henry S. Whitehead (1882-1932), Voodoo Tales. Stories of voodoo, of ghosts, and assorted weirdness, originally published in pulp magazines like Weird Tales in the 1920s.

J W Brodie-Innes (1848-1923), The Devil’s Mistress. Witchcraft novel set in 17th century Scotland. Published in 1915.

Wilkie Collins (1824-1889), The Haunted Hotel and Other Stories. A superbly subtle gothic novella plus several short stories.

Alice Askew and Claude Askew, Aylmer Vance: Ghost-Seer. Psychic detective stories from the early 20th century.

Sax Rohmer (1883-1959), The Leopard Couch and Other Stories of the Fantastic and Supernatural. A fine collection of Rohmer’s weird fiction.
Strangest Living Boy

Strange Stories

I am always on the hunt for affordable supernatural fiction, and in my quest for cheap books I have had many reasons to thank Gray Friar Press. Now here they are again, with an anthology that seems tailor-made to suit any fan of the "strange story" : Shadows Edge, edited by Simon Strantzas. This is a collection explicitly devoted to the numinous, and to the borderland between the real and the imaginary, to places where the veil separating the two has worn thin.

Borderline! Feels like I'm going to lose my mindCollapse )

By the way you can read fellow ace author Simon Bestwick's thoughts on Joel Lane's death (and life!) here.
Village of the Damned

Mad Monkton

Wilkie Collins (1824-1889) was one of the most popular writers of the “sensation novels” of the 1860s and 1870s. These were in some respects forerunners of the true detective story although they were also heavily influenced by the gothic novel. Collins’ two masterpieces in this genre were The Woman in White (1859) and The Moonstone (1868). Mad Monkton and Other Stories is a collection of his shot stories, mostly dating from before his major commercial breakthrough with The Woman in White.

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Mad Monkton
Village of the Damned

Number Seven Queer Street

Margery Lawrence’s Number Seven Queer Street was a rather late entry in the occult detective genre, appearing in 1945. The author was clearly influenced by earlier writers in the genre like Algernon Blackwood and this collection of seven short stories is fairly typical of this fascinating genre.

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Village of the Damned

Sax Rohmer’s The Leopard Couch

While Sax Rohmer’s fame may have been based on his Fu Manchu books he was also a prolific, and extremely good, writer of tales of horror. The Leopard Couch and Other Stories of the Fantastic and Supernatural includes thirteen examples of his weird fiction, mostly from fairly early in his career.

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Leopard Couch
Nite Owl

Datlow Anthology

Ah, horror anthologies. You wait for ages and then a bundle of them come along at once. This autumn has seen the appearance of fresh instalments in the two big horror anthology series: Ellen Datlow's Best Horror of the Year Volume Five and Stephen Jones' long-running Mammoth Book of Horror, now in its 24th incarnation! I shall start with the former since I read that first.

Datlow's inferno crackles merrily onCollapse )
Barn Owl with Playing Card

Amyas Northcote collection

Well, it has been a long time since I posted anything here as I've had a new job and attendant house move which have kept me very busy. However, in line with this community's support of old ghost stories, I really must devote some time to spreading the word about a welcome new addition to the Wordsworth Tales of Mystery and the Supernatural series: In Ghostly Company by Amyas Northcote. Northcote was a contemporary of the great MR James and is a member of the notional "James Gang", the gaggle of 20s and 30s writers directly influenced by James. Not much is else known about him, beyond the fact that Northcote is a pseudonym, and he has not enjoyed much fame in recent years. As such I was delighted to see a whole collection of his work in print, having only a vague memory of his most famous story 'Bricket Bottom' from various anthologies.

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