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The Seventh Pan Book of Horror Stories

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  • Paperback
  • null
  • The Seventh Pan Book of Horror Stories
  • Herbert van Thal
  • English
  • 16 February 2019
  • 9780330105552

About the Author: Herbert van Thal

Herbert Maurice van Thal 1904 1983 known as Bertie van Thal was a British bookseller publisher agent biographer and anthologist

7 thoughts on “The Seventh Pan Book of Horror Stories

  1. says:

    PLACEHOLDER REVIEWAs I'm working through a list of short fiction authors in the early W's Karl Edward Wagner through Ian Watson if you must know I'm currently reading some Elizabeth Walter pieces and pulled this off the shelf to read The Isle of RegretsAn engaged couple she a bit controlling he a bit miluetoast and regretting the engagement stop in a remote Breton town while on holiday and hear legends about the small island in the bay that the first wish one has on landing there will be fulfilled but in an unexpected and negative way and that the island houses a madman always houses a madman who is periodically replaced And of course despite the wishes of the husband and the superstitious town folk they rent a boat and go to the island where unconscious wishes are made and a madman is met This is essentially a curse story with the second half featuring a desperate trip to attempt to undue it While perhaps a bit too long in the set up and some moments of the desperate trip pay off and despite the fact that you know where it's going this has atmospheric moments the exploration of the island the finding of the dilapidated house and a clear straight ahead story title The floating leering faces of the final dash are a nice touch Again nothing to write home about but a solid story

  2. says:

    Contains one of PB's All Time Greats The Monkey's Paw by WW Jacobs 1902The ending is so poignant not a uality often found in a horror story The monkey's paw grants wishes The old woman makes the old man use it and wish for their son back alive after he was mangled in a gruesome industrial accident And thennothing And then a loud knock on the cottage door What are you holding me for? Let go I must open the doorFor God's sake don't let it in cried the old man trembingYou're afraid of your own son she cried struggling Let me go I'm coming Herbert I'm comingMore knocks on the door a fusillade of them The old woman gets to the door and climbs on a chair to unbolt it She draws the bolt and the old man frantically scrabbling around in the bedroom finally finds the monkey's paw again He breathed his third and last wishThe knocking ceased suddenly although echoes of it were still in the house He heard the chair drawn back and the loud wail of disappointment and misery from his wife gave him courage to run down to her side and then to the gate beyond The street lamp flickering opposite shone on a uiet and deserted roadThere I spoiled it now but you should have read it already I bet Stephen King stole this idea and used it somewhere

  3. says:

    The seventh of this endless anthology series This one's noticeably weaker than the first instalments of the Pan Books of Horror but there are still plenty of interesting stories to attract the attention; just that they're padded with average fare Contents are as followsTHE MAN WHO HATED FLIES by Charles J Benfleet A man asks his friend to prove to him the existence of reincarnation with unexpected results A very slight and comic story but written in a style that's designed to entertain 35THE THING by R Chetwynd Hayes A man enters a pub with the Grim Reaper behind him much to the consternation of the patrons Not a bad idea behind this one but there's too much waffle and the humour is decidedly iffy 25THE RETURN by G M Glaskin A 17 year old girl dozing in the grass is assailed by a horrible sight Verbose purple prose thought a chore to read 15THE BATS by David Grant A young boy breeds some unusual pets in the garden shed There's a bleak EC Comics style atmosphere to this one but Grant shies away from the expected grue 35THE FUR BROOCH by Dulcie Gray A young woman is desperate to get rid of her slimeball suitor but he has other ideas Written in a very genteel and decidedly old fashioned style but this somehow works; a gore story written by a prim and proper old lady at least that's what it feels like 35DREAM HOUSE by Dulcie Gray A married couple rent their dream home but their relationship is troubled A mundane feeling tale without much to recommend it aside from the very funny letter at the end 35THE STREETS OF ASHKELON by Harry Harrison A man's existence on a remote alien planet is disturbed by Christian missionaries The first great story in the book I'm not a huge sci fi fan but this one hits the nail right on the head and is a delight to read 55THE SNAIL WATCHER by Patricia Highsmith A man's obsession with collecting snails has a dark outcome An early companion piece to Hutson's SLUGS and as slimy ghoulish and nasty as you'd expect 55THE MONKEY'S PAW by W W Jacobs No need to go over this much anthologised classic again only to say it's a classic for a reason; it's brilliant 55THE LAST EXPERIEMENT by John D Keefauver A man is locked in a room without sensory input as part of an experiment A study of psychological terror and entertaining with it 35MARETA by John D Keefauver A man uncovers his wife's dark past The story of a femme fatale with a strong psychological angle topped off by a climax straight out of Hammer Horror 45I'LL NEVER LEAVE YOU EVER by Rene Morris A woman's terminally ill husband refuses to die getting in the way of her life with her new lover The most unpleasant story in the book and the first sign of the way these anthologies would go cold hard and merciless gore 25A SMELL OF FEAR by William Sansom A woman is followed through the streets of London by a limping stranger A great study of psychological horror with some great frights the 'fleas in the bath' scene is my favourite 45THE LITTLE ROOM by William Sansom A nun is walled up alive in a room and begins to suffer the effects of suffocation Unsurprisingly this is an utterfly depressing effort and the nastiest yet from this author 35STREET OF THE BLIND DONKEY by Rosemary Timperley A woman escapes her unhappy marriage and ends up in Bruges but has her husband followed her? No ghostly stuff here just psychology gone wrong with hallucinations and abuse A great setting and a disturbing story 35CANNIBALS by Martin Waddell A young put upon man decides to get revenge on everybody in his life A grand and gory offering that'll have you reaching for the sick bag 35THE OLD ADAM by Martin Waddell In a futuristic world an entity called Adam exists inside a bottle The author's best effort yet a sci fi romance with an unexpectedly macabre climax Very weird but it works somehow 45THE ISLAND OF REGRETS by Elizabeth Walter A newly engaged couple's holiday to Brittany turns sour Tons of atmosphere and suspense in this old fashioned ghost story which is up there with the best of M R James It sits out of place in this anthology almost as if it's too good for it 55NEVER TALK TO STRANGERS by Alex White In which a woman finds herself assailed by a hulking man at a train station Viciously nasty serial killer thrills on offer here It's a story that benefits from heightened realism if you can handle it 35

  4. says:

    This volume is one which I read when I was about thirteen so in revisiting it it was interesting to see which stories I remembered and which I didn't Actually I think there were only three which I remembered vividly others had only a subliminal sense of familiarity Of course The Monkey's Paw was familiar but I didn't specifically remember having read it in one of these booksAs usual what makes this collection impressive is the high uality of the writing and the variety of approaches to the horror story from the subtly psychological to the viscerally gruesome Charles J Benfleet The Man Who Hated FliesI loved this story centring around two characters speculations about life after death Just the kind of neatly constructed story to leave a twisted smile on your faceBenfleet doesn’t seem to be known for anything but this story R Chetwynd Hayes The ThingA jaded character is given a stark vision of the self destructive side of the human psyche in this grim tale Not surprising that the description of “the thing” was excerpted as part of the blurb on the back of the book It makes an impactRonald Chetwynd Hayes 1919 2001 was a highly regarded British writer of creepy stories Some of his stories were adapted into the British horror film The Monster Club 1981 dir Roy Ward Baker in which John Carradine played a fictionalised version of him G M Glaskin The ReturnStories related by a character with an unreliable grip on reality are a standard in these anthologies This one is a beauty I was playing with a couple of ideas about what might be going on but where it ends up feels just rightGerald Marcus Glaskin 1923 2000 was a Western Australian author famous for the novel A Waltz Through The Hills 1961 which was filmed in 1988 No End To The Way which he published under the pseudonym Neville Jackson was banned in Australia for it’s depiction of homosexual love Glaskin claims that because it was illegal to ship copies to Australia the publisher flew them inDavid Grant The BatsThe problem with this story is that you are bound to know exactly what is coming from the title and the first two paragraphs It’s well enough written but no surprisesI couldn’t find any information on the author Dulcie Gray The Fur BroochThis nasty little story of male possessiveness is one which stayed with me from when I read the book as a teenager probably because of its grotesue and gruesome imagery Creepy stuffThis story was filmed under the title A Feast of Blood as part of Episode 16 of the second season of Night Gallery 12 January 1972Dulcie Gray 1915 2011 was a British singer and actress on the stage in movies and on television who also wrote mystery novels radio plays and short stories She was a lepidopterist and Vice President of the British Butterfly Conservation SocietyDulcie Gray Dream HouseThis is another story where the relationship between the sexes takes a decidedly brutal path with black humour make it all the deliciously poisonous Harry Harrison The Streets of AshkelonThis is a brilliant science fiction tale which explores the danger in trying to bring one’s own religion to an alien culture A priest comes as a missionary to a society of amphibious creatures on another planet who unfortunately have very practical minds A humanistic or should that be alienistic? story which is as sad as it is horrificHarry Harrison 1925 2012 began as a comic book artist working for EC Comics especially in Weird Science and Weird Fantasy before going on to become one of the great American science fiction authors famous for a series of novels about a character known as The Stainless Steel Rat beginning in 1961 and also Make Room Make Room 1966 which was the inspiration for the movie Soylent Green 1973 Patricia Highsmith The Snail WatcherThis story of an ordinary man who develops an obsessive fascination with the sensual breeding habits of snails is another which really made an impression on me as a teenager It seems to resonate with the human propensity for sexual fetishesPatricia Highsmith 1921 1995 was an American novelist and short story writer best known for Strangers on a Train 1950 filmed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951 The Price of Salt 1952 reputed to be the first lesbian novel with a happy ending basis of Todd Haynes’ film Carol 2015 and a series of novels about the charming sociopath Tom Ripley beginning in 1955 W W Jacobs The Monkey's PawThis is a classic fable that makes the point that you should be very careful what you wish for A man comes into the possession of a dried monkey’s paw which he is told will grant him three wishes He is warned not to use it He doesn’t heed that advice He ends up wishing he hadThis story was first filmed in 1915 and has been filmed many times sinceWilliam Wymark Jacobs 1863 1943 was an English author of short stories and novels Although most of his writing was humorous it is his horror stories particularly The Monkey’s Paw for which he is most famous today John D Keefauver The Last ExperimentA soldier volunteers to stay in a lightless soundless room for an extended period of time to test the psychological effects of isolation The efforts he makes to stay sane may have the opposite effect A clever portrait of a mind hunting for something to cling to and being undermined by what it findsJohn D Keefauver had a story each in the fifth and sixth volumes in this series He is also known for the bisexual themed pulp novel Tormented Virgin 1962John D Keefauver MaretaA man finds out that his wife killed her previous husband Understandably this makes him nervous but there is a gruesome discovery yet to be made The ending may not come as too much of a surprise when you get there but the story effectively conveys its sense of dread Rene Morris I'll Never Leave YouA young woman with a lover is impatient about the death of her sick husband She resorts to magic Always a bad idea Captures a sense of panic as a serious enough crime turns unexpectedly into something truly hellishThis story was filmed as part of Episode 20 of the second season of Night GalleryI can’t find any information about Morris William Sansom A Smell of FearThere is nothing supernatural or outlandish about this story It is a realistic tale of social isolation and the anxiety it elicits We are very effectively taken into the nervous world of the female protagonist and drawn along inexorably toward violence and tragedyWilliam Sansom 1912 1976 was a British novelist travel and short story writer Sansom spent time in banking advertising and as a firefighter before becoming a full time writer He has a number of stories included in the early books of this seriesWilliam Sansom The Little RoomThis is another realistic tale of a woman’s thoughts Realistic except that I don’t know of any orders of nuns which give the death penalty by suffocation in an air tight room as a punishment for the sins of the flesh I thought that this story might take a surprising direction but it is simply a depiction of the processes of the mind when confronted with imminent death Sensitive and perceptive as well as grim Rosemary Timperley Street of the Blind DonkeyA woman comes to Bruges in Belgium after escaping from her abusive husband But has she really escaped? Could he have followed her? A very clever psychological tale of human bondageRosemary Timperley 1920 1988 was a British novelist short story writer and screenwriter most famous for her ghost stories Martin Waddell Cannibals “It was not remarkable that he had killed his wife but he should not have cooked her” begins this gleefully gruesome tale of class conflictMartin Wadell is an Irish writer who is now best known for children’s books especially the Little Bear picture books he began writing in the late 80s Early volumes in Pan’s horror anthologies contain uite a few stories he wrote when he was youngMartin Waddell The Old AdamSpecimen 223367ltMZ is an artificial humanoid with blood made from pig urine who has been put into storage in a large bottle by his Soviet inventors following an incident which caused them public embarrassment in this bleak exercise in black humour Elizabeth Walter The Island of RegretsCuriosity tempts an engaged couple to visit a reputedly cursed island while travelling in France According to legend it grants the first wish of those who visit it in a way which they will regret While it plays out in a way that you might expect it is well told with plenty of atmosphereElizabeth Walter 1927 2006 was an English author known for her ghost stories often inspired by her travels in other countriesAlex White Never Talk to StrangersThis story about an innocent seventeen year old girl coming to live in London and anxious about a serial killer active in Paddington where she will be living is certainly very coldly gruesome and horrifying but in terms of plot it is exactly what you expectI couldn’t find out much about Alex White except that she’s a she Six of her stories would appear in later volumes in this series Fans appear to have been unable to track down anything else she has written

  5. says:

    I read this book when I was a kid back in the 70s I found some second hand copies and I am rereading as many of this series as I can They were one of my sources of inspiration to write horror storiesMy favorites areHarry Harrison ‘The Streets of Ashkelon’ WW Jacobs ‘The Monkey’s Paw’Rene Morris ‘I’ll Never Leave You – Ever’ Rosemary Timperley ‘Street of the Blind Donkey’

  6. says:

    I'm not usually a great reader of horror but this was a good anthology peppered with a bit of sci fi not everything was too my liking but there were enough good stories to outweigh the ones I didn't get on with so well

  7. says:

    I'm always drawn to these kinds of collections though they're usually completely rubbish There were a few decent ones in here alongside the duds

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