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The Fifth Pan Book of Horror Stories

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Which do you find the most horrible? '...a nauseous stench was in his nostrils. The great spider gave a sibilant rattle and then it was on his mouth, covering his face and eyes with its sticky, bloated carcass.' 'We three sat and watched that hideous, gibbering prodigy grow up out of Stone's flesh, till two horrid, spindling little black arms disengaged themselves.' 'The sev Which do you find the most horrible? '...a nauseous stench was in his nostrils. The great spider gave a sibilant rattle and then it was on his mouth, covering his face and eyes with its sticky, bloated carcass.' 'We three sat and watched that hideous, gibbering prodigy grow up out of Stone's flesh, till two horrid, spindling little black arms disengaged themselves.' 'The severed head lay in the dog's basket, fluff sticking to the lips, sightless eyes gazing up at the ceiling.' ...three aperitifs from this new collection of Horror Stories to whet your appetite!


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Which do you find the most horrible? '...a nauseous stench was in his nostrils. The great spider gave a sibilant rattle and then it was on his mouth, covering his face and eyes with its sticky, bloated carcass.' 'We three sat and watched that hideous, gibbering prodigy grow up out of Stone's flesh, till two horrid, spindling little black arms disengaged themselves.' 'The sev Which do you find the most horrible? '...a nauseous stench was in his nostrils. The great spider gave a sibilant rattle and then it was on his mouth, covering his face and eyes with its sticky, bloated carcass.' 'We three sat and watched that hideous, gibbering prodigy grow up out of Stone's flesh, till two horrid, spindling little black arms disengaged themselves.' 'The severed head lay in the dog's basket, fluff sticking to the lips, sightless eyes gazing up at the ceiling.' ...three aperitifs from this new collection of Horror Stories to whet your appetite!

30 review for The Fifth Pan Book of Horror Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    How to explain the shameful pleasures of the horror story? Well - there's a little bit of this [image error] which makes you go Probably one or two which is enough to make you But off course there are some things that are off limits. They're just too horrific to contemplate How to explain the shameful pleasures of the horror story? Well - there's a little bit of this [image error] which makes you go Probably one or two which is enough to make you But off course there are some things that are off limits. They're just too horrific to contemplate

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    I read many of this series, can't remember tham all, but this one had the William Sansom story in it 'Man with Moon in Him' which has always stayed with me ever since. The books mixed new writers with classics (Poe, HG Wells etc) and were a great way to get to know these writers and the new ones as well. I must have been 11 or 12 when I started reading them, and about 17 when I stopped - by then I was far too sophisticated... I read many of this series, can't remember tham all, but this one had the William Sansom story in it 'Man with Moon in Him' which has always stayed with me ever since. The books mixed new writers with classics (Poe, HG Wells etc) and were a great way to get to know these writers and the new ones as well. I must have been 11 or 12 when I started reading them, and about 17 when I stopped - by then I was far too sophisticated...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Graham

    The fifth of the Pan Horror anthologies. The series shows no signs of flagging down at this stage with more collected stories than ever and once again a mix of old and new. Contents are as follows: THE MAN WITH THE MOON IN HIM, by William Sansom: A down-and-out stalks the London Underground, looking for meaning in his life. A study of social alienation in this non-mainstream effort. 3/5 I'LL LOVE YOU - ALWAYS, by Adobe James: A man buys an old Civil War mansion meaning to renovate it but soon fall The fifth of the Pan Horror anthologies. The series shows no signs of flagging down at this stage with more collected stories than ever and once again a mix of old and new. Contents are as follows: THE MAN WITH THE MOON IN HIM, by William Sansom: A down-and-out stalks the London Underground, looking for meaning in his life. A study of social alienation in this non-mainstream effort. 3/5 I'LL LOVE YOU - ALWAYS, by Adobe James: A man buys an old Civil War mansion meaning to renovate it but soon falls foul of a succubus. James seemed to have a thing for sexy horror stories and this tale of a nymphomaniac ghost is no different. Contains a spectacularly politically incorrect ending. 3/5 COMMAND PERFORMANCE, by C. A. Cooper: A little old man falls in love with a young girl. A whimsical, old-fashioned ghost story with and a neat narrative if you can get through the philosophical waffle. 3/5 THE TREAT, by M. S. Waddell: A husband tries to keep the truth about his job hidden from his wife. Another gleefully sadistic slice of horror from this author. 3/5 CLAIR DE LUNE, by Seabury Quinn: Jules de Grandin investigates the case of a young girl who's dying from hunger. A bit of a routine adventure for the detective, with a weak villain and stolid writing; not up to Quinn's usual standard. 3/5 THE SINS OF THE FATHERS, by Christianna Brand: A young sin eater must taken on his first job to help out his struggling family. A great old-fashioned story, full of stormy nights and lonely farmhouses. Quite tragic with it. 4/5 MESSAGE FOR MARGIE, by Christine Campbell Thomson: A medium becomes involved with a young girl waiting for a message from beyond. Spicy supernatural shenanigans from the respected editor with some gore thrown in. 4/5 THE OTHER PASSENGER, by John Keir Cross: A man is haunted by his doppelganger. Very atypical and unusually written, but engaging with it. 3/5 THE SPIDER, by Basil Copper: A man stays in a hotel infested with weird spiders. Absolutely terrifying if you're an arachnophobe, and short and atmospheric if you're not. 4/5 LUKUNDOO, by Edward Lucas White: The African jungle holds mutating physical horror. Reads like a cross between Henry Whitehead and Donald Wandrei. The pulp era is brought to vivid and intense life in a truly ghastly effort. 4/5 THE WORDS OF THE DUMB, by Alex Hamilton: A man discovers his ability to talk to the animals. Whimsical, funny and disturbing all at the same time, this one. 4/5 THE REVENGE, by Adobe James: A seaside holiday turns sour when a woman is attacked in the night. Rape and mutilation are the order of the day in a thoroughly sickening effort. 3/5 THE CONFESSION OF CHARLES LINKWORTH: In which a shop owner murders his mother and buries her in the back garden, setting off a chain of sinister events. Benson was master of the sensational ghost story and this is another commendable effort. 5/5 KALI, by John D. Keefauver: A man holidaying in India becomes involved with a thuggee cult. Psychological horror and possession are the order of the day in this one, which is not bad for its time. 3/5 MEN WITHOUT BONES, by Gerald Kersh: Explorers in the South American jungle come across a crashed spaceship. Horror and sci-fi are ably mixed in this exceptionally surprising and finely crafted pulp outing. 4/5 THE SMALL WORLD OF LEWIS STILLMAN, by William F. Nolan: After an alien invasion, a sole survivor hides out in the sewers, away from the monsters in the city above. Nolan does I AM LEGEND and it's a brilliant little outing with an excellent twist at the end. 5/5 THE LIVING SHADOW, by Rene Morris: A murder on a country lane leads to retribution from beyond the grave. A matter of fact sickener with brains sliding out of skulls and the like; a precursor to the 'nasty novels' of the 1970s by Guy N. Smith and the like. 3/5 BONFIRE, by C. A. Cooper: A headmaster is offended by a new teacher at his school and so begins an odyssey of revenge. Written in the first person, this is an ultra-graphic tale of madness and murder, surprisingly decent thanks to the calibre of the writing. 4/5 HAND IN HAND, by M. S. Waddell: A murderer busy cutting up his victim's body is interrupted halfway through. Ghoulishly comic and throughly unpleasant, although there's plenty of suspense to make it more than readable. 4/5

  4. 5 out of 5

    Aussiescribbler Aussiescribbler

    Another tremendously enjoyable collection of horror tales with plenty of variety and no shortage of gooeyness. William Sansom - The Man With the Moon in Him William Sansom (1912-1976) led off the previous volume and he does the same here. This is the first of two stories in this collection to make reference to a supposed connection between the phases of the moon and the incidence of rape. Sansom gives as an unsettling look inside the mind of a sociopath. A story which doesn't go where we might exp Another tremendously enjoyable collection of horror tales with plenty of variety and no shortage of gooeyness. William Sansom - The Man With the Moon in Him William Sansom (1912-1976) led off the previous volume and he does the same here. This is the first of two stories in this collection to make reference to a supposed connection between the phases of the moon and the incidence of rape. Sansom gives as an unsettling look inside the mind of a sociopath. A story which doesn't go where we might expect it to. Adobe James - I'll Love You - Always Adobe James has become one of my favourites of the writers I know only from these collections. He favours lurid subject matter and a very dark sense of irony. This is the tale of a nymphomaniac ghost and the only man who might be able to handle her. C. A. Cooper - Command Performance I don't know anything about C. A. Cooper, but he has two stories in this anthology. This one is a particularly creepy and suspenseful ghost story. M. S. Waddell - The Treat Waddell provided a couple of the most memorable contributions to the previous volume. Here he lets us walk in the shoes of an especially cold-blooded killer. Seabury Quinn - Clair de Lune Jules de Gradin and his friend Trowbridge were the Holmes and Watson of the supernatural realm. Creations of pulp magazine author Seabury Grandin Quinn (1889-1969), they made a previous appearance in the story The House of Horror in the first volume in this series. Here they have a memorable encounter with a women who is as beautiful as she is deadly. Christianna Brand - The Sins of the Fathers Christianna Brand (1907-1988) was a popular author of mystery stories and children's books. Her most famous novel Green for Danger (1944) was filmed in 1946. And her children's book series Nurse Matilda (1964-74) provided the inspiration for the movie Nanny McPhee(2005). Her story here is something very different. It deals with "sin-eaters", people who were paid to take on the sins of the dying and thus allow them to go to heaven. According to an editor's note this was a common practice in Wales up until the end of the seventeenth century. And it provides the basis for a very clever tale. Christine Campbell Thomson - Message for Margie Christine Campbell Thomson (1897-1985) was a British horror author and editor of the Not at Night series of horror anthologies which were published between 1925-37. Many of the stories contained in these anthologies first appeared in Weird Tales and many would reappear in the Pan books. For a while she was married to Oscar Cook, the author of some particularly gruesome stories which appeared in the first and second of the Pan books. This suspenseful tale illustrates one of the potential dangers of being a spiritualist. John Keir Cross - The Other Passenger John Keir Cross (1914-1967) was a British author of young adult science fiction novels, adult horror stories and television adaptations of literary classics. This is a particularly unusual story, told from the point of view of someone who appears to be losing his mind. It suggests more than it really makes clear, but it has a poetry and a sense of probing into profound and forbidden thoughts that makes it quite unsettling. Basil Copper - The Spider Some of the stories published in these books were old. This was not the case here. This volume marks the first appearance in print of Basil Frederick Albert Copper (1924-2013). He would only become a full-time writer in 1970, and is perhaps best known for his Solar Pons detective books which continue the adventures of the character created by August Derleth as a tribute to Sherlock Holmes. Copper was also one of England's leading film collectors with a private archive containing almost one thousand titles in 1977. What would a book of horror stories be without at least one creepy crawly. This one won't be an easy read for arachnophobes. Edward Lucas White - Lukundoo Edward Lucas White (1866-1934) was an American author and poet. Although he wrote a number of historical novels, he is better known for his horror stories, which he based on his own nightmares. This is a really disgusting piece of jungle-set body horror. If you're a fan of David Cronenberg's early movies, you'll love it. Alex Hamilton - The Words of the Dumb Alex Hamilton (1930- ) is a British author. The Attic Express which was included in the previous volume of this series appears to have been his first published story, and this is his second. It presents the flip-side to Doctor Doolittle. Maybe talking to the animals could have a downside. The beauty of these books is that you never quite know what you'll be reading next. Amidst the stories which deal with tried and true horror subject matter there are ones like this which artfully achieve something more subtle and eccentric. Adobe James - The Revenge Another lurid shocker from Adobe James, this time about a man's attempt to revenge his wife's rape. E. F. Benson - The Confession of Charles Linkworth E. F. Benson (1867-1940) was a prolific English author of novels, short stories and non-fiction. He wrote the novels on which the British television series Mapp and Lucia (1985-6) was based. One of his most famous creepy stories was The Bus Conductor (1906) which was the basis for one of the segments in the classic horror film Dead of Night (1944) and was also adapted as a Twilight Zone episode in 1961. Here we have another of his ghost stories, this time dealing with an executed prisoner. It's a pretty straight forward spook story, but told with plenty of flair. John D. Keefauver - Kali This was another new story. On the streets of Calcutta a man meets a beautiful woman named Kali who takes him to visit the shrine of the Hindu goddess who shares her name. A story which will hook you in with its first line and hold you until its grisly conclusion. You kind of know where you are going but, like the hero, you are held in that spell. Gerald Kersh - Men Without Bones Gerald Kersh (1911-1968) was a British-born American writer of novels and short stories. His most famous novel is Night and the City (1938) which was the basis for the 1950 film directed by Jules Dassin. This is another story of something unspeakable lurking in the jungle, but with a difference. William F. Nolan - The Small World of Lewis Stillman This would be my pick for best story in this volume. William F. Nolan is an American science fiction author perhaps most famous for co-writing Logan's Run (with George Clayton Johnston) (1967), which would become a film in 1976 and a television series in 1977. He also wrote the screenplays for cult horror films The Norliss Tapes (1973) and Burnt Offerings (1976) as well as the less scary first two stories in Trilogy of Terror (1975) (the last story Prey was by Richard Matheson). And this story is reminiscent of Matheson's novel I Am Legend which was written three years earlier in 1954. Here again we have a man who finds himself the last man on earth. He lives in the storm drains of LA and can only venture out into the world above if heavily armed against the creatures now in possession of the planet. When not scavenging for food he discusses his plight with an imaginary Ernest Hemingway. Nolan is a powerful writer and he does something special with this variation on Matheson's theme. Rene Morris - The Living Shadow Here's another new story - a tale of vengeance from beyond the grave. This would have been perfect for EC comics or one of those Amicus horror anthology movies. A terrific final image. C. A. Cooper - Bonfire C. A. Cooper's second entry in this volume is unusual in that it deals with a murder plot which is virtually identical to that used in Richard Davis' story Guy Fawkes Night in the previous volume. But don't worry - the structure, point-of-view and tone of the stories are very different. He does a great job of portraying the inner thoughts of a paranoid psychopath. M. S. Waddell - Hand in Hand M. S. Waddell's second entry in this volume is a blackly comic tale which asks the question : "What do you do when visitors arrive before you've had a chance to fully dispose of the dismembered corpse of their best friend?" A question I'm sure that Emily Post never had to tackle.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Holger Haase

    Love those old PAN paperbacks. Great collection of horror stories. Most perfectly fine, one or two truly superb. The ones that stuck out for me were Seabury Quinn's CLAIR DE LUNE - I am now planning to explore more of his stories featuring occult detective Jules de Grandin - and William F. Nolan's THE SMALL WORLD OF LEWIS STILLMAN: For the most part this story by the author of LOGAN'S RUN felt like a carbon copy to Richard Matheson's I AM LEGEND.... until the last two or three paragraphs when it Love those old PAN paperbacks. Great collection of horror stories. Most perfectly fine, one or two truly superb. The ones that stuck out for me were Seabury Quinn's CLAIR DE LUNE - I am now planning to explore more of his stories featuring occult detective Jules de Grandin - and William F. Nolan's THE SMALL WORLD OF LEWIS STILLMAN: For the most part this story by the author of LOGAN'S RUN felt like a carbon copy to Richard Matheson's I AM LEGEND.... until the last two or three paragraphs when it took a crazy turn. This volume also features the first appearance of a short story by Solar Pons creator Basil Cooper within the PAN series of books.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rory Tregaskis

    Very enjoyable pulp fiction. If you like weird fiction, horror and science fiction and don't mind a bit of campness you'll like this collection. I've read a few Pan Books of Horror Stories and this is a better one. A few stories are a little politically incorrect but some are completely ruined by real racism, that I don't think would have been acceptable even when the collection was published. That aside, there are a some really enjoyable stories, some real spookers. Best read in mid winter unde Very enjoyable pulp fiction. If you like weird fiction, horror and science fiction and don't mind a bit of campness you'll like this collection. I've read a few Pan Books of Horror Stories and this is a better one. A few stories are a little politically incorrect but some are completely ruined by real racism, that I don't think would have been acceptable even when the collection was published. That aside, there are a some really enjoyable stories, some real spookers. Best read in mid winter under the ghastly light of the pallid moon. Hold on to your sanity.

  7. 4 out of 5

    chloe

    The Man with the Moon in him - 4 I’ll Love you - Always - 3.5 Command Performance - 4 The Treat - 3.5 Clair de Lune - 3 The Sins of the Fathers - 4 Message for Margie - 3 The Other Passenger - 3 The Spider - 3 Lukundoo - 3 The Words of the Dumb - 3.25 The Revenge - 4 The Confession of Charles Linkworth - 2 Kali - 2.5 Men without Bones - 3 The Small World of Lewis Stillman - 3 The Living Shadow - 2 Bonfire - 2.5 Hand in Hand - 3

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jeannie Sloan

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sysarch

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rob Wiltsher

  11. 5 out of 5

    Adele Geraghty

  12. 4 out of 5

    Petra-X Off having adventures

  13. 4 out of 5

    Irmina

  14. 5 out of 5

    Oliver Smith

  15. 4 out of 5

    Poudre

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gary Cupitt

  17. 4 out of 5

    OTIS

  18. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

  19. 4 out of 5

    Suki Smith

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lau3rie

  21. 5 out of 5

    Si

  22. 5 out of 5

    Richard Moule

  23. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

  24. 4 out of 5

    TEELOCK Mithilesh

  25. 4 out of 5

    Þórhallur

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kirk King

  28. 4 out of 5

    Abhishek

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rhebeka

  30. 5 out of 5

    Arthur Chappell

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