Haunted Castles—A Neo-pagan Gothic Horrorfest by Ray Russell


“Beneath the haunted castle lies the dungeon keep: the womb from whose darkness the ego first emerged, the tomb to which it knows it must return at last. Beneath the crumbling shell of paternal authority, lies the maternal blackness, imagined by the Gothic writer as a prison, a torture chamber—from which the cries of the kidnapped anima cannot even be heard. The upper and the lower levels of the ruined castle or abbey represent the contradictory fears at the heart of Gothic terror: the dread of the super-ego, whose splendid battlements have been battered but not quite cast down—and of the id, whose buried darkness abounds in dark visions no stormer of the castle had ever touched.”

Leslie A. Fielder, Love and Death in the American Novel

About the Penguin Horror Series

Penguin Horror is a collection of novels, stories, and poems (in the Poe volume) by masters of the genre, collected and Introduced by filmmaker and lifelong horror reader Guillermo del Toro.

More here…


Guillermo Del Toro on Russell’s Haunted Castles from his Introduction to the Penguin Horror series…


(Followed by More of Del Toro’s Introduction to the overall series…)

‘The case of Ray Russell offers us a chance to talk about one of the most peculiar horror writers. Russell links postpulp literature and the Grand Guignol tradition, with the modern sensibilities of America in the 1960s. Within him resides a neo-paganistic streak that is passed from Algernon Blackwood and Sax Rohmer to him and other writers of unusual proclivities, such as Bernard (aka. Bernhardt) J. Hurwood. A fascinating combination of the liberal and the heretic.

Russell was born in the early twentieth century and saw action during World War II. He held a variety of jobs and published in a variety of publications. He was part of the resurgence of fantastic literature in American letters. As executive fiction editor of Playboy in the magazine’s infancy (1954–1960), Russell probably knew his share of excess and power, but he utilized this power to provide refuge to a host of valuable genre writers, among them the brilliant Richard Matheson and the precious Charles Beaumont, but also heralded the birth of adult fantastic fiction by publishing also Vonnegut, Bradbury, Fredric Brown, and many others.

‘Russell authored numerous short stories and seven novels—including his most famous one, The Case Against Satan, which pioneers and outlines the plights of Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist. But, in spite of this and his continued collaborations with Playboy throughout the 1970s, Russell remains a forgotten writer. A sort of writer’s writer, an acquired taste. This in spite of being a recipient of both a World Fantasy Award and the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement.

In fact, in the last few decades, so little has been published about Russell that the only quote, oft repeated, is Stephen King’s blurb, in which he enthrones Sardonicus as “perhaps the finest example of the modern gothic ever written.”

Continue reading

Remember ‘The Mammoth Books of Best New Horror, ed. by Stephen Jones’?—Here are the Tables of Contents & Covers from ALL 29 BOOKS!

If you’re like me, you love a good horror series. Hell, series are cool, period, right? I remember my 1970s collection of The Occult Files of Doctor Spektor! I treasured those 19 or 20 comics. Add the amazing artwork and illustrations that a series often comes with, and they’re great! Throw in a great editor and the really good writers, telling their most frightening stories—and series are fantastic!!

I have been collecting Stephen Jones’ The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror since around 2003 and I finally have them all in either hard copy or digital editions. But having more isn’t always easier! I’m always going: Where did I place that oneC089D993-CCD7-414C-8192-28266BBD6C47 book with the killer vampire story in it? Or which book was that crazy story about the “sticks” in? you know by Wagner?

Well, now-a-days it’s very easy to look things up and put a quick name to a book to a page number … and find just what you’re looking for. But back in the day? It was a treasure hunt!

But look no further—because here is the ultimate Master List (thank you ISFDB & StephenJoneseditor.com) of Tables of Contents from all 28 anthologies!—and the covers!*—almost three decades of great short horror fiction! “That’s gotta be like forty-eight hundred teeth!”



(*If an edition had more than one cover, I’ve included both below.)

The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, Vol. 1, 1990


Table of Contents

xiii • Introduction: Horror in 1989 • [Horror in … Introductions] • (1990) • essay by Stephen Jones and Ramsey Campbell
1 • Pin • (1989) • short story by Robert R. McCammon
8 • The House on Cemetery Street • (1988) • novelette by Cherry Wilder
33 • The Horn • (1989) • novelette by Stephen Gallagher
57 • Breaking Up • (1989) • short story by Alex Quiroba
66 • It Helps If You Sing • (1989) • short story by Ramsey Campbell
75 • Closed Circuit • (1989) • novelette by Laurence Staig
93 • Carnal House • (1989) • short story by Steve Rasnic Tem
104 • Twitch Technicolor • (1989) • short story by Kim Newman
115 • Lizaveta • (1988) • novelette by Gregory Frost
144 • Snow Cancellations • (1989) • short story by Donald R. Burleson
154 • Archway • (1989) • novelette by Nicholas Royle
176 • The Strange Design of Master Rignolo • (1989) • short story by Thomas Ligotti
189 • …To Feel Another’s Woe • (1989) • short story by Chet Williamson
205 • The Last Day of Miss Dorinda Molyneaux • (1989) • novelette by Robert Westall
236 • No Sharks in the Med • (1989) • novelette by Brian Lumley
275 • Mort au Monde • (1989) • short story by D. F. Lewis
279 • Blanca • (1989) • novelette by Thomas Tessier
303 • The Eye of the Ayatollah • (1990) • short story by Ian Watson
312 • At First Just Ghostly • [Kane] • (1989) • novella by Karl Edward Wagner
370 • Bad News • (1989) • short story by Richard Laymon
383 • Necrology: 1989 (Best New Horror) • [Necrology (Jones & Newman)] • (1990) • essay by Stephen Jones and Kim Newman

The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, Vol. 2, 1991


Table of Contents

xvii • Introduction: Horror in 1990 • [Horror in … Introductions] • essay by Stephen Jones and Ramsey Campbell
1 • The First Time • (1990) • short story by K. W. Jeter
14 • A Short Guide to the City • (1990) • short story by Peter Straub
25 • Stephen • (1990) • novelette by Elizabeth Massie
47 • The Dead Love You • (1989) • short story by Jonathan Carroll
60 • Jane Doe #112 • (1990) • short story by Harlan Ellison
70 • Shock Radio • (1990) • short story by Ray Garton
89 • The Man Who Drew Cats • (1990) • short story by Michael Marshall Smith
105 • The Co-Op • (1990) • short story by Melanie Tem
115 • Negatives • (1990) • short story by Nicholas Royle
126 • The Last Feast of Harlequin • [Cthulhu Mythos] • (1990) • novelette by Thomas Ligotti
159 • 1/72nd Scale • (1990) • novelette by Ian R. MacLeod
185 • Cedar Lane • (1990) • short story by Karl Edward Wagner
194 • At a Window Facing West • (1990) • short story by Kim Antieau
205 • Inside the Walled City • (1990) • novelette by Garry Kilworth
222 • On the Wing • (1990) • short story by Jean-Daniel Brèque
230 • Firebird • (1990) • novelette by J. L. Comeau
252 • Incident on a Rainy Night in Beverly Hills • (1990) • novelette by David J. Schow
272 • His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood • [Cthulhu Mythos] • (1990) • short story by Poppy Z. Brite

Continue reading

Vintage Creepiness! I wanted to share the artwork in this cool old ghost story book with you! Check it out!

I’m reading every ghost story book, magazine, article, periodical entry, &tc. I can possibly find as research for my new Ghost Story anthology coming Christmas 2019 (See: The Greatest Ghost Stories Ever Told, in Two Volumes, ed. sanguine Woods, 2019, 2020!). I came across this cool old copy on a Public Domain archive and wanted to share the cover, ToC and some of the artwork with you. I recommend this collection/these stories (most of which are available free to read in various places online—email me if you want to find one…glad to help: thesanguinewoods@gmail.com). Click the thumbnails to enlarge…












Continue reading

Wicked Stephen King Art Print ($10 USD) from Bangorfest! Check this out!


Hidden in this amazing artwork are references to 21 Stephen King books and stories. Can you find them all?

This limited-edition 11″x17″, hand-signed print by artist Mortimer Glum, comes with a diagram showing all the hidden King references. The print was created for a recent Bangorefest appearance in Stephen King’s hometown of Bangor, Maine, and we’re now offering it online for the first time.

Get yours before they’re gone!

Click here for more information…

Tales by Moonlight II, a Follow-up Anthology of Horror Stories, ed. by Jessica Amanda Salmonson, TOC


Cover art by Jill Bauman.

Table of Contents

1 • A Glimpse of Supernatural Literature and the Small Presses • (1989) • essay by Jessica Amanda Salmonson
11 • Proem: The Haunted Street • (1950) • poem by Marion Zimmer Bradley
12 • Dream of a Mannikin, or the Third Person • (1983) • short story by Thomas Ligotti (variant of Dream of a Mannikin 1982)
28 • Marilyn and the King • (1983) • short story by Ruth Berman
33 • The Area • (1986) • short story by Stefan Grabiński? (trans. of Dziedzina 1918) [as by Stefan Grabinski]
45 • The Return of Noire • (1987) • short story by Michael Bullock
55 • A Light from Out of Our Heart • (1987) • short story by Jules Remedios Faye [as by Jules Faye]
61 • Mr. Templeton’s Toyshop • (1986) • short story by Thomas Wiloch (variant of Selections from “Mr. Templeton’s Toyshop”)
69 • The Devil Frolics with a Butler • (1726) • short story by Daniel Defoe (variant of The Friendly Demon)
73 • The Cats of Ulthar • [Dream Cycle] • (1920) • short story by H. P. Lovecraft
77 • Dead Dogs • (1985) • short fiction by Denis Tiani
80 • “W.D.” • (1986) • short story by David Starkey
85 • The Drabbletails • (1980) • short story by Stephen Gresham
95 • The Gravedigger and Death • (1983) • short story by Rosemary Pardoe [as by Mary Ann Allen]
103 • Taking Care of Bertie • (1985) • short story by Janet Fox
110 • Cardinal Napellus • (1986) • short story by Gustav Meyrink (trans. of Der Kardinal Napellus 1915)
122 • The Coffeepot • (1985) • short story by Théophile Gautier (trans. of La cafetière 1831)
130 • Seven • (1987) • short fiction by Stephen-Paul Martin
134 • Chocolate • (1984) • short fiction by Wendy Wees
136 • Mousewoman • (1987) • short fiction by Wendy Wees
138 • Mother Hag • (1987) • short story by Steve Rasnic Tem
148 • Good Thoughts • (1973) • short story by W. Paul Ganley
152 • Shirley Is No Longer with Us • (1978) • short story by Jody Scott
158 • The Ghost of Don Carlos • (1977) • short story by Michel Tremblay (trans. of Le Fantôme de Don Carlos unknown)
167 • Live on Tape • (1977) • short story by Spider Robinson
175 • The Head of the Hydra Flower • (1989) • short story by Carol Reid
183 • The Manhattan Phone Book (Abridged) • (1984) • short story by John Varley
189 • An Image in Twisted Silver • (1986) • short story by Charles L. Grant
195 • What Used to Be Audrey • (1984) • short story by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
200 • The Day • (1969) • short story by David Madison
206 • A Thief in the Night • (1981) • short story by Jayge Carr
211 • Silhouette • (1985) • short story by Don Beckett [as by D. Beckett]
222 • Laugh Kookaberry, Laugh Kookaberry, Gay Your Life Must Be • (1981) • short story by John Domini
242 • Azrael’s Atonement • (1987) • short story by Archie N. Roy
250 • The Eldritch Horror of Oz • (1981) • short story by L. Frank Craftlove
264 • O, Christmas Tree • (1979) • short story by W. H. Pugmire and Jessica Amanda Salmonson [as by Jessica Amanda Salmonson and W. H. Pugmire, Jr.]
279 • The Pacific High • (1988) • short story by Grant Fjermedal
293 • Jack in the Box • (1983) • short story by Ramsey Campbell
299 • Envoy: The Scythe of Dreams • (1985) • poem by Joseph Payne Brennan
300 • Appendix I: How to Publish Your Own Shoestring Horror Magazine (Tales by Moonlight II) • (1989) • essay by Peggy Nadramia
303 • Appendix II: Current Small Press Horror Magazines (Tales by Moonlight II) • (1989) • essay by uncredited

Tales by Moonlight I, an Anthology of Horror Stories, ed. by Jessica Amanda Salmonson, TOC


Table of Contents

v • Foreword (Tales By Moonlight) • essay by Jessica Amanda Salmonson
vii • Introduction (Tales By Moonlight) • essay by Stephen King
1 •  The Nocturnal Visitor • interior artwork by Allen B. Cox
2 • The Nocturnal Visitor • novelette by Dale C. Donaldson
19 •  Flames • interior artwork by Jeffrey Potter
20 • Flames • short story by Jeffrey Lant
31 •  An Egg for Ava • interior artwork by Wendy Adrian Shultz
32 • An Egg for Ava • short story by Richard Lee Fulgham [as by Richard Lee-Fulgham]
40 • See the Station Master • short story by George Guthridge [as by George Florance-Guthridge]
55 •  A Tulip for Eulie • interior artwork by Stephen Fabian
56 • A Tulip for Eulie • novelette by Austelle Pool
70 • Cobwebs • short story by Jody Scott
79 •  The Toymaker and the Musicrafter • interior artwork by Paul Sonju
80 • The Toymaker and the Musicrafter • short story by Phyllis Ann Karr
85 •  Witches • interior artwork by Stephen Jones
86 • Witches • short story by Janet Fox
96 • A Night Out • short story by Nina Kiriki Hoffman [as by N. K. Hoffman]
100 •  A Night Out • interior artwork by Earl Geier
103 •  Jaborondi Jazz • interior artwork by Randy Broecker
104 • Jaborondi Jazz • short story by Gordon Linzner
112 • A Wine of Heart’s Desire • novelette by Ron Nance
132 •  A Wine of Heart’s Desire • interior artwork by Thomas Clark
139 •  Spring Conditions • interior artwork by Randy Broecker
140 • Spring Conditions • short story by Eileen Gunn
146 • The Sky Came Down to Earth • short story by Steve Rasnic Tem
153 •  Joan • interior artwork by Paul Sonju
154 • Joan • short story by Rosemary Pardoe [as by Mary Ann Allen]
160 • The Night of the Red, Red Moon • short story by Elinor Busby
165 •  Toyman’s Name • interior artwork by Paul Sonju
166 • Toyman’s Name • short story by Phyllis Ann Karr
175 •  Dog Killer • interior artwork by Brad W. Foster [as by Brad Foster]
176 • Dog Killer • short story by William H. Green
185 •  The Mourning After • interior artwork by Wendy Adrian Shultz
186 • The Mourning After • short story by Bruce McDonald
193 •  The Hill is No Longer There • interior artwork by Randy Broecker
194 • The Hill is No Longer There • short story by John D. Berry
199 •  The Hill is No Longer There [2] • interior artwork by Randy Broecker
201 •  The Inhabitant of the Pond • interior artwork by Wendy Adrian Shultz
202 • The Inhabitant of the Pond • novelette by Linda Thornton

To Walk the Night–A Vintage Horror Novel by William Sloane…Keep the Light On!


To Walk the Night

William Sloane



Art by William Rose for a later pb edition (Pinterest).

‘The form in which this narrative is cast must necessarily be an arbitrary one. In the main it follows the story pieced together by Dr Lister and myself as we sat on the 

terrace of his Long Island house one night in the summer of 193–. But in retelling it I have not tried to follow exactly the wording of our conversation. To do so would leave many things obscure to readers who did not know Selena, Jerry, and the rest of us. Therefore I have allowed myself the liberties of adding certain descriptions of people and places, and of attempting to suggest now and again the atmosphere of strangeness, even of terror, which was so much a part of my life while these events were in progress.

My belief is that this story is unlikely to attract much attention. Essentially it is concerned with people whose very names, with one exception, are unknown to the general public. One of them is now dead and another is alive merely in the physical sense of the word. The evidence which I can bring forward in support of its truth is almost wholly indirect, and psychological rather than circumstantial.

With some hesitation I submitted galley proofs of this book to Alan Parsons, who worked on the LeNormand case from its beginning. The letter he sent in reply is confidential, and I am not free to print it here. Thanks, however, to valuable suggestions from him the presentation of the facts has been revised in several places, and where my narrative touches upon the evidence in the official records it is at least accurate. Its interpretation, of course, is entirely Dr Lister’s and mine. What Parsons may have thought of it I cannot tell for certain. But some weeks ago, in making a final check on the transcripts of parts of the evidence, I went to his office at New Zion. When his secretary brought me the case folders I observed that she took them out of a file drawer labeled “closed.”

I am not sure that it is wise to make this story a matter of public record. Dr Lister and I have hesitated before doing so. Our ultimate decision is based upon the belief that it is never expedient to suppress the truth. We do not expect it to secure immediate acceptance. There are some experiences which are alien to everyday life; they are “doomed for a certain term to walk the night” before the mind of man either recognizes them for what they are or dismisses their appearance as fantasy.’

Berkeley M. Jones
Long Island, 1954

And mind alone is never whole,
But needs the body for a soul.

– Struthers Burt: Pack-Trip: Suite

Chapter One: End of Evening

THE driveway began to dip to the long pitch of the bluff. The old taxi lumbered around curves and dropped heavily down the slope, its tires making a strong, harsh noise as they rolled over the gravel. The sound told me, without my having to open my eyes, how close we were to the house. Only a minute more to lie back in the refuge of this dilapidated sedan and be carried along without effort and without thought. Then the narcotic of traveling, of surrendering myself to the mere forward motion of train and automobile, would wear off. For twenty-five hundred miles and three days I had tried to imagine what I would do when the wheels under me stopped rolling and I should have to rouse myself to action.

Continue reading