Tut-tut, I say, tut-tut!
Three cultivated men of the upper classes have to deal with a hateful estate owner, Edgar Caswell, who seems to literally mesmerize the pretty innocent young women of the town. The men are also busy being outraged by a mysterious, sinuous aristocratic, Lady Arabella March, who slinks about haughtily. Don't even get them started on the estate owner's black African servant. So there's this whole thing about ancient Roman pagans on British soil, and snake worship, and worms not being worms but serpents or dragons from time immemorial. Lady March is undeniable, cool, sensuous, and incalculable, with "diabolical cunning," and so an affront to Victorian decency - of course a modern heroine.
You can see how the book was co-opted by the Gothic romance fad in the 1960s (at top, Paperback Library 1966): retitled, one light on in the castle, subtle hint of predatory lesbianism, and a gorgeously rendered "garden of evil." The 1970s Zebra edition is more prosaic and features "Dracula" in much larger print that title or author, and a woman in a really unflattering nightgown and feathered hair. Oddly, the Zebra version rewrites some of the prose, switching from passive to active voice in a handful of passages, even the very first sentence! Pulpy, overdone, sexist, classist, and racist to the extreme, Lair of the White Worm presents the night-side of a morality intent on insisting, with utmost hypocrisy, it's the very purest ray of light in a world gone to the savages. Kind of a fun read, though.