Dying Embers out now

Dying Embers out now

Monday 12 November 2012

Pan horror collections

I remember seeing Volume 7 of the Pan Book of Horror Stories sitting on the window sill in our dining room. I was nine years old, and I'm sure my parents would not have wanted me to read it. However, it was there for a few days, apparently forgotten about by my father. So one evening I picked it up and read it through. In the end I read it many times.
I do remember being rather disturbed by some of the images. 'The Monkey's Paw' really caught my imagination (of course it is a classic short story) and 'Never Talk to Strangers', well, it gave me nightmares. I haven't got a copy of the book, in fact I haven't seen a copy for 35 years, but it is still crystal-clear in my mind.


Every story is a cracker. Here is the track listing:

Charles J Benfleet, ‘The Man Who Hated Flies’
R Chetwynd-Hayes, ‘The Thing’
GM Glaskin, ‘The Return’
David Grant, ‘The Bats’
Dulcie Gray, ‘The Fur Brooch
Dulcie Gray, ‘Dream House’
Harry Harrison, ‘The Streets of Ashkelon’
Patricia Highsmith, ‘The Snail Watcher’
WW Jacobs, ‘The Monkey’s Paw’
John D Keefauver, ‘The Last Experiment’
John D Keefauver, ‘Mareta’
Rene Morris, ‘I’ll Never Leave You – Ever’
William Sansom, ‘A Smell of Fear’
William Sansom, ‘The Little Room’
Rosemary Timperley, ‘Street of the Blind Donkey’
Martin Waddell, ‘Cannibals’
Martin Waddell, ‘The Old Adam’
Elizabeth Walter, ‘The Island of Regrets’
Alex White, ‘Never Talk to Strangers’


The only other Pan book I read was Volume 4, which I found at a second-hand shop a year or so later. This was a similar proposition, and some of the tales I still remember vividly, particularly 'Slime' and 'The Horsehair Trunk'. When I found out in recent years that there had been an Aickman in there ... well, to my eternal shame, I have no recollection of reading 'Ringing the Changes' at all. Still, I suppose I was only 10.

Here are the stories in that Volume:

William Sansom, ‘Various Temptations’
MS Waddell, ‘The Pale Boy’
Ray Bradbury, ‘The Emissary’
Robert Bloch, ‘Lucy Comes To Stay’
Richard Davis, ‘Guy Fawkes Night’
Vivian Meik, ‘The Two Old Women’
Alexander Woollcott, ‘Moonlight Sonata’
Septimus Dale, ‘The Little Girl Eater’
Rosemary Timperley, ‘Harry’
Ray Russell, ‘Sardonicus
Robert Aickman, ‘Ringing the Changes’
Hugh Reid, ‘Dulcie’
MS Waddell, ‘The Importance of Remaining Ernest’
Joseph Payne Brennan, ‘Slime’
Adobe James, ‘The Ohio Love Sculpture’
Davis Grubb, ‘The Horsehair Trunk’
Alex Hamilton, ‘The Attic Express’
Elliott O’Donnell, ‘The Haunted Telephone’
Sir Frederick Treves, ‘The Elephant Man’  

I'm not sure that I would like my own children reading these collections at such a young age, but, as they say, it never did me any harm ... Oh, hang on –


  1. I don't remember the Pan books but I used to love the Fontana editions which were edited by Robert Aickman and R Chetwynd Hayes, containing eerie stories such as 'No Living Man So Tall' and 'Midnight Express' (my all time fave short story) along with the frightening 'The Dead Man of Varley Grange'.


  2. Ah yes, I know about those collections due to the Aickman connection, and I've read some of the stories, but I've never owned copies. Your comment has made me want to rectify matters! Thanks.