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The Third Pan Book of Horror Stories

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This contains: The Last Night by Charles Birkin; Meshes of Doom by Neville Kilvington; The Whistling Room by William Hope Hodgson; Lovers' Meeting by John Ratho; The Caretaker's Story by Edith Oliver; Dr. Fawcett's Experiment by Raymond Ferris Broad; The Mystery of the Locked Room by Elliott O'Donnell; A Note for the Milkman by Sidney Carroll; A Poem and a Bunch of Roses b This contains: The Last Night by Charles Birkin; Meshes of Doom by Neville Kilvington; The Whistling Room by William Hope Hodgson; Lovers' Meeting by John Ratho; The Caretaker's Story by Edith Oliver; Dr. Fawcett's Experiment by Raymond Ferris Broad; The Mystery of the Locked Room by Elliott O'Donnell; A Note for the Milkman by Sidney Carroll; A Poem and a Bunch of Roses by Charles Lloyd; The Execution of Damiens by H H Ewers; The Two Bottles of Relish by Lord Dunsany; A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner; The Shifting Growth by Edgar Jepson and John Gawsworth; Unburied Bane by N Dennett; The Strange Adventures of a Private Secretary in New York by Algernon Blackwood; The Ocean Leech by Frank Belknap Long; The Cone by H G Wells; and The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar by Edgar Allan Poe.


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This contains: The Last Night by Charles Birkin; Meshes of Doom by Neville Kilvington; The Whistling Room by William Hope Hodgson; Lovers' Meeting by John Ratho; The Caretaker's Story by Edith Oliver; Dr. Fawcett's Experiment by Raymond Ferris Broad; The Mystery of the Locked Room by Elliott O'Donnell; A Note for the Milkman by Sidney Carroll; A Poem and a Bunch of Roses b This contains: The Last Night by Charles Birkin; Meshes of Doom by Neville Kilvington; The Whistling Room by William Hope Hodgson; Lovers' Meeting by John Ratho; The Caretaker's Story by Edith Oliver; Dr. Fawcett's Experiment by Raymond Ferris Broad; The Mystery of the Locked Room by Elliott O'Donnell; A Note for the Milkman by Sidney Carroll; A Poem and a Bunch of Roses by Charles Lloyd; The Execution of Damiens by H H Ewers; The Two Bottles of Relish by Lord Dunsany; A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner; The Shifting Growth by Edgar Jepson and John Gawsworth; Unburied Bane by N Dennett; The Strange Adventures of a Private Secretary in New York by Algernon Blackwood; The Ocean Leech by Frank Belknap Long; The Cone by H G Wells; and The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar by Edgar Allan Poe.

30 review for The Third Pan Book of Horror Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    Four cracking tales along with some others that are as lame as a three legged cat with a bad limp. No one could disagree with A Rose for Emily by that maestro from Mississippi William Faulkner nor yet The Cone by your friend and mine H G Wells Horrocks saw a cindery animal, and inhuman, monstrous creature that began a sobbing, intermittent shriek... he knew the thing below him, save that it still moved and felt, was already a dead man... "God have mercy upon me!" he cried. "O God! What have I don Four cracking tales along with some others that are as lame as a three legged cat with a bad limp. No one could disagree with A Rose for Emily by that maestro from Mississippi William Faulkner nor yet The Cone by your friend and mine H G Wells Horrocks saw a cindery animal, and inhuman, monstrous creature that began a sobbing, intermittent shriek... he knew the thing below him, save that it still moved and felt, was already a dead man... "God have mercy upon me!" he cried. "O God! What have I done?" yeah, pretty solid stuff. The oddest story here is The Execution of Damiens by H H Ewers, not a famous name. I guess it's a misogynistic tract about how some women are like praying mantises that eat their own husbands. I reread it today and I would dearly love to know what H H Ewers thought he was up to. But it's haunting, you know. Down the years it lingers, like a trace of poison in my mind. And the fourth item is in my list of all time great short stories: The Facts in the Case of M Valdemar by Edgar Allen Poe - these guys want to find out what happens to you after you die - you know, I have wondered about that myself, I believe there are a few different theories - so anyway they locate a guy with a terminal condition and they hypnotise him at the very point of death - now, the experimenter seems very skilled in hypnosis because it works but as an interviewer he is frankly lamentable - but still, such a freaky situation involving much memorable tongue waggling, which can compensate for a lot, especially at dull dinner parties.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Graham

    The third in a series of blockbuster horror anthologies. Contents are as follows: THE STRANGE ADVENTURES OF A PRIVATE SECRETARY IN NEW YORK, by Algernon Blackwood. Forget the long-winded title, this is one of the best short stories I've read in my entire life. Nerve-wracking, full of a creeping suspense, with bags of atmosphere and imagination to sustain it, a story that showcases the author at his very best. 5/5 THE LAST NIGHT, by Charles Birkin. Birkin was an author who went for the grotesque r The third in a series of blockbuster horror anthologies. Contents are as follows: THE STRANGE ADVENTURES OF A PRIVATE SECRETARY IN NEW YORK, by Algernon Blackwood. Forget the long-winded title, this is one of the best short stories I've read in my entire life. Nerve-wracking, full of a creeping suspense, with bags of atmosphere and imagination to sustain it, a story that showcases the author at his very best. 5/5 THE LAST NIGHT, by Charles Birkin. Birkin was an author who went for the grotesque rather than the psychological, a bit like an early Richard Laymon. This story, set in a mental institute, is no exception. 3/5 MESHES OF DOOM, by Neville Kilvington. A pulpy "killer plant" storyline, very well written and entertaining in the best sense - nothing to dislike here. 4/ THE YELLOW CAT, by Michael Joseph. A down-on-his-luck gambler and his relationship with a stray cat is portrayed in shocking fashion in this tale of psychological suspense. Not bad, but not great either. 3/5 SPECIAL DIET, by Charles Lloyd. Our old friend Charles Birkin hiding behind a pseudonym. An old woman's strange diet may lead to her being sent to an asylum. Gristle again. 3/5 UNBURIED BANE, by N. Dennett. A playwright takes a tenancy in a rotting, fungoid farmouse in the middle of the moors, with predictable results. Absolutely splendid stuff which makes me wish there was more to read from the mysterious author, who manages to conjure up a sense of malignant evil like few others. 5/5 THE SHIFTING GROWTH, by Edgar Jepson & John Gawsworth. A strange story of 'body horror' that reminds me of Henry S. Whitehead's PASSING OF A GOD. That one has the edge, but this one is nevertheless worthwhile. 4/5 THE TWO BOTTLES OF RELISH, by Lord Dunsany. An armchair enthusiast tries to solve the mystery surrounding the disappearance of a little girl. Dollops of wry humour make this a joy to read. 5/5 A ROSE FOR EMILY, by William Faulkner. A deeply atmospheric tale of small-town life in the South during the Depression; Faulkner has the same lyrical quality that Stephen King occasionally reaches. 4/5 A POEM AND A BUNCH OF ROSES, by Charles Lloyd. A young girl unwisely accepts an invitation from the wife of her now-dead lover, with predictably nasty consequences. Subtler than you might expect, but still deeply unpleasant. 3/5 THE EXECUTION OF DAMIENS, by H. H. Ewers. Quite a traditional story of forbidden romance, mixed with some of the nastiest torture I've encountered. Not up to the level of the author's THE SPIDER. 3/5 THE OCEAN LEECH, by Frank Belknap Long. Action-packed tale of horror at sea, by a contemporary of Lovecraft's. Nothing to dislike here; 4/5 AN EYE FOR AN EYE, by Charles Birkin. In which a young girl is brutalised in Hyde Park, leading to an odyssey of murder and revenge. Typical sadism from this overworked author. 3/5 THE WHISTLING ROOM, by William Hope Hodgson. One of Carnacki, the Ghost Finder's adventures, set in a desolate mansion in rural Galway. Splendid, atmospheric, psychic detective fare, the best of its kind. 5/5 A NOTE FOR THE MILKMAN, by Sidney Carroll. A small-time poisoner hits on a foolproof method for murder in this twisty, surprising and eventful little tale. 4/5 THE FACTS IN THE CASE OF M. VALDEMAR, by Edgar Allan Poe. This classic needs little introduction; let's just say it's all about the build-up to a ghoulishly gruesome climax. 5/5 THE MYSTERY OF THE LOCKED ROOM, by Elliott O'Donnell. A locked-room mystery from a real-life ghost hunter-turned-author. Serviceable, but ordinary. 3/5 DR FAWCETT'S EXPERIMENT, by Raymond Ferrers Broad. Unpleasant surgical thrills arise when a scientist attempts to create living tissue from dead matter. Shades of HERBERT WEST, REANIMATOR, and a good, solid tale employing the old diary format narrative. 4/5 THE CARETAKER'S STORY, by Edith Olivier. A seaside cottage looks idyllic, but the seagulls have some sinister ideas. The thought behind this story isn't bad, but the execution is far from perfect. 3/5 LOVERS' MEETING, by John Ratho. A cuckolded husband plots his revenge in a slow-burner that saves all the horror for the final paragraphs. 3/5 THE CONE, by H. G. Wells. Industrial horror and a surprisingly nasty and graphic effort from a writer you think of as old-fashioned and slightly cuddly given his reputation as Britain's finest writer of science fiction. 3/5

  3. 4 out of 5

    Aussiescribbler Aussiescribbler

    Once again Herbert van Thal has collected together a fine assortment of ghoulish tales. Part of the fun of reading horror stories is to experience varied takes on familiar themes. What would a horror anthology be without old dark houses, fiendish forms of revenge, cannibalism, murderous psychopaths... Suspense, gore, black humour and maybe even a touch of poetry. All part of the flesh-creeping feast you will find in the third in this legendary series of anthologies. (Van Thal may have been a bit Once again Herbert van Thal has collected together a fine assortment of ghoulish tales. Part of the fun of reading horror stories is to experience varied takes on familiar themes. What would a horror anthology be without old dark houses, fiendish forms of revenge, cannibalism, murderous psychopaths... Suspense, gore, black humour and maybe even a touch of poetry. All part of the flesh-creeping feast you will find in the third in this legendary series of anthologies. (Van Thal may have been a bit lazy this time out though. In researching the authors of these stories I discovered that seven of the stories in this collection also appeared in a 1933 anthology called Horrors, edited by Charles Lloyd (aka Charles Birkin), author of four of the stories included here.) Algernon Blackwood - The Strange Adventures of a Private Secretary in New York Blackwood (1869-1951) was one of Britain's premier writers of supernatural tales. Here he gives his eccentric take on the old dark house story. An eerily convincing portrait of insanity, or is it more than just insanity? Charles Birkin - The Last Night Sir Charles Lloyd Birkin, 5th Baronet (1907-1985) was himself the editor of a series of horror anthologies back in the 1930s - Creeps Library. His personal specialty was stories known as conte cruel, non-supernatural tales with nasty climatic twists. That certainly applies to the first of his four stories in this collection. Poor Nora is just paranoid. Or is she? Neville Kilvington - Meshes of Doom A monster plant story with a difference. Michael Joseph - The Yellow Cat If you are a character in a horror story, beware of cats, even if they aren't black. That is the moral of this tale of a down-on-his-luck gambler who finds himself adopted by the title feline. Charles Lloyd - Special Diet This anthology is rather heavily loaded with contributions by Charles Birkin, which is probably why, on two of the stories, he is credited as Charles Lloyd. This grizzly tale will convince you not to delay in having your elderly relatives consigned to a home. N. Dennett - Unburied Bane Another tale of a creepy house in a deserted location, this time with a history of witchcraft. Edgar Jepson and John Gawsworth - The Shifting Growth I'm not sure why it took two writers to write this brief slice of medical horror. It's less a story than a relation of a single incident, but one which is so delightfully revolting you won't soon forget it. Edgar Alfred Jepson (1863-1938) specialised in writing adventure and detective fiction. John Gawsworth (real name, Terence Ian Fytton Armstrong) (1912-1970) wrote poetry as well as short stories. Lord Dunsany - The Two Bottles of Relish Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany (1878-1957), published more than 80 books in his lifetime and wrote many hundreds of short stories as well as novels and plays. This is one of the standout stories of the collection, even though regular readers of these kinds of stories will cotton on fairly early to where it is heading. William Faulkner - A Rose for Emily Van Thal liked to mix in some classic literature along with the pulp fiction. William Faulkner (1897-1962) is one of America's most highly regarded authors, having won both the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for literature, and A Rose for Emily is one of his most famous short stories. It is very much a horror story, but one with something to say about small town "morality". Charles Lloyd - A Poem and a Bunch of Roses A nasty revenge tale made more disturbing by leaving its principle horror to the reader's imagination. H. H. Ewers - The Execution of Damiens Hanns Heinz Ewers (1871-1943) was a German actor, poet, philosopher and writer of short stories. He was a longtime friend of occultist Aleister Crowley, and was cited as an influence by U.S. horror writers, H.P. Lovecraft and Guy Endore. The Execution of Damiens is one of the most intriguing stories in this collection. The horror is not of the obvious kind one might expect. It's an enigmatic story which may have you thinking long after you finish reading it. Frank Belknap Long - The Ocean Leach Frank Belknap Long (1901-1994), was a prolific author of horror, fantasy and science fiction stories as well as comic books. He was a friend of H.P. Lovecraft and some of his stories are considered to be contributions to Lovecraft's Cthulu Mythos. The Ocean Leach isn't one of them, but it does deal with a tentacled beastie. Long seems less interested in telling an adventure tale of an encounter with a sea monster than presenting the horror of seduction towards death. Charles Birkin - An Eye for an Eye As you can tell from the title, this is a revenge tale. And you just know that Birkin will come up with something nasty. The way the story is told, moving in a circle through a number of different points of view, very elegantly presents the tale of a unique form of punishment. William Hope Hodgson - The Whistling Room William Hope Hodgson (1877-1918) was a English author of novels, short stories and poetry. He wrote a lot of sea-based horror stories, and also a series about Carnacki the Ghost Finder, of which The Whistling Room is one. At first the idea of a room haunted by whistling doesn't seem that scary, but between the wild visual manifestations which climax the story and Carnacki's supernatural gobbledegook as he theorises about how it is all taking place, there is lots of fun to be had, and the solution to the mystery is a satisfying one. Sidney Carroll - A Note for the Milkman Sidney Carroll is best-known as the screenwriter of The Hustler (1961). This story is one of the highlights of the collection with its gleeful presentation of the psychopathic mindset. Edgar Allan Poe - The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar The previous volume contained one of Poe's most famous stories, The Black Cat. This gruesome tale of the supernatural is a bit less well-known, though it was memorably filmed (along with The Black Cat) by Roger Corman in Tales of Terror (1962) with Vincent Price and Basil Rathbone in the key roles. Elliott O'Donnell - The Mystery of the Locked Room Elliott O'Donnell (1872-1965) was a self-proclaimed ghost hunter. But this is not a ghost story. It is a "curiosity is likely to kill the protagonist of the story" story. There isn't anything very special about the plot, but he still manages to make it very creepy. Raymond Ferrers Broad - Dr. Fawcett's Experiment Nothing much seems to be known about Broad. This is an experiment gone wrong story, told in diary form. Broad uses the form very well to convey the increasingly crazed mood of the protagonist. Edith Olivier - The Caretaker's Story Edith Olivier (1872-1948) was a society hostess and author who won an MBE in 1920 for helping to form the Women's Land Army. This is one of the cleverer stories in the collection, with a certain dark poetry about it. John Ratho - Lovers' Meeting I can't find out anything about John Ratho, except that he made at least one other contribution to Charles Lloyd Birkin's Creeps Library series. This one combines the revenge story with the medical horror. A tasty piece of viciousness. H. G. Wells - The Cone This is the second Wells story to appear in one of these collections. The previous volume contained Pollock and the Porroh Man. The Cone is another revenge story. The plot is nothing terribly clever, but it's well-written.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    Lesson I have learned from this book: If the mysterious widow of the man you had an affair with invites you to stay in her isolated castle in the French countryside, complete with dungeons and hidden passages, and her only servants are an elderly crone and her seven-foot-tall idiot son, and no one knows you're there - well maybe you shouldn't go. Lesson I have learned from this book: If the mysterious widow of the man you had an affair with invites you to stay in her isolated castle in the French countryside, complete with dungeons and hidden passages, and her only servants are an elderly crone and her seven-foot-tall idiot son, and no one knows you're there - well maybe you shouldn't go.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mark Hodder

    A decent collection but this volume is a drop in quality after the excellent first two of the series. Of the 21 stories, none stands out particularly, unless you count H. G. Wells's THE CONE, which is notable for all the wrong reasons, being almost incomprehensible. A decent collection but this volume is a drop in quality after the excellent first two of the series. Of the 21 stories, none stands out particularly, unless you count H. G. Wells's THE CONE, which is notable for all the wrong reasons, being almost incomprehensible.

  6. 5 out of 5

    The rockabilly werewolf from Mars

    Nothing particularly notable in this anthology. Of the various stories, most of the interesting ones are easily available elsewhere. Only one story (Unburied Bane) which I had not previously read is of particular note, and it's not worth getting the whole book for just that story. I should have known it would be disappointing when I saw that it had two Birkin stories, his style of horror (i.e. non-supernatural, lacking in atmosphere, and completely reliant on shock value) is pretty much the oppo Nothing particularly notable in this anthology. Of the various stories, most of the interesting ones are easily available elsewhere. Only one story (Unburied Bane) which I had not previously read is of particular note, and it's not worth getting the whole book for just that story. I should have known it would be disappointing when I saw that it had two Birkin stories, his style of horror (i.e. non-supernatural, lacking in atmosphere, and completely reliant on shock value) is pretty much the opposite of what I'm looking for in a story. Maybe this was just a weak entry, but it would seem that most of the stories in the other volumes are in the same vein as these ones. I'm not ruling out trying other entries, but I don't have too high of hopes for the rest of the series, should I find them (although it would appear that several writers whose work I have been trying to collect have contributed to the series, namely Joan Aiken and Nigel Kneale, so I'll probably have to find those entries, if not the others). Incidentally, does anyone else think that the creature on the cover looks like the one from the movie Critters?

  7. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    Worth it just for Lord Dunsany's wonderfully twisted story "Two Bottles of Relish", an absolute classic. Worth it just for Lord Dunsany's wonderfully twisted story "Two Bottles of Relish", an absolute classic.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

    My favourite in the entire series. Must be the cover. ooooer

  9. 4 out of 5

    Faisal

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kirk King

  11. 4 out of 5

    Liz Chell

  12. 5 out of 5

    Moby Marlow

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kaci

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nick

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rodders

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joachim

  17. 4 out of 5

    Julie Higgs

  18. 4 out of 5

    P.S. Gifford

  19. 4 out of 5

    Steve Roberts

  20. 5 out of 5

    Poudre

  21. 4 out of 5

    A.S. McDermott

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Croker

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lainie Byatt

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mahnoor

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gary Cupitt

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rhebeka

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brian

  28. 5 out of 5

    Omar Diaz

  29. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

  30. 5 out of 5

    Pilot

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