Thursday, March 17, 2016

Horror Fiction Help XIV

Here are some recent emails I've received from horror fans trying to find forgotten books! Any help much appreciated...

1. A vet gets involved with a black magic group including a man tattooed with the tree of life. UK paperback cover pictured the tattoo.

2. A man imports a hyena for his sick son which escapes and causes havoc in the city....I thought this was Graham Masterton but it does not fit any of his titles. Found!
3. A man who has grown up with magic and becomes of high flyer in a secret society... early on I remember that he goes to Sweden? for a meeting and takes a sauna, later he takes over the former mistress of another cultist.

4. 1970s novel (sci-fi/horror) has to do with some space arachnid. Cover shows a window washer (high up on a skyscraper) coming face to face with some sort of alien spider humanoid thing (presumably from outer space). I'm guessing it's from the late 60s or early 70s, because of when I read it and the sexual content (I got it out of our local library when I was a kid). Found!

5. It was 'satanic horror' but pretty mild. As best I can recall the main protagonist was a man who fell in love with a young woman with a mysterious past. There some lingering threat... something to do with her father and the place she'd grown up. The only solid memory I have is that there is a trunk that holds some key to the mysteries of the past. It isn't until the end of the book that the protagonist manages to open it and know the contents. They reveal that the father and daughter had had an incestuous relationship and that they'd worshiped Satan/devils/demons.  At the end of the book the girl has gone missing, as completion of some pact the father had made (I think). Found!


6. I never read the stories but heard them from a kid in my class at school way back around 1979, so don't know if they are from magazines, pulp comics or just urban legends/folklore.  
The first story may be called 'Night of the Black Weasel' or 'Black Night of the Weasel'. It's about a hiker travelling on foot along an isolated forest road who meets a traveller along the route. The hiker is alarmed to see the traveler has jet black eyes and weasel like features. My memory of what happens next is a little fuzzy but I think it culminates in a chase or fight, resulting in the hiker being decapitated by the demon traveler with an axe or hatchet. The missing hiker's head is eventually found with the hatchet/axe embedded in it and on closer scrutiny the words "beware the night of the black weasel" are found engraved on the blade. Does this ring any bells?  
The second story is set in an amusement park or carnival. A series of gruesome murders takes place inside a dark ride ghost train. Someone or something is beheading the passengers! When the ride is investigated nothing can be found to suggest what could have caused the deaths. Eventually it transpires a deranged circus trapeze artist has been hanging upside down from the rafters of the dark ride interior and dispatching the riders with a sword as their train passes underneath.
8. Trying to remember the author and title of a story I read in the late 70s which still has the best opening line of any short story I have ever encountered: "When Deidra came out of her grave, it was raining outside." Sound familiar to anyone? Its about a teeny-bopper ghoul.

13 comments:

Jack Tripper said...

#4 is THE SPINNER by Doris Piserchia https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1547130.The_Spinner?from_search=true&search_version=service

Jack Tripper said...

$5 is LOVERS LIVING, LOVERS DEAD by Richard Lortz, which I just read (and it's awesome). https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6218220-lovers-living-lovers-dead

toomuchhorrorfiction said...

Thanks so much Jack! But DAMMIT I've had LOVERS LIVING on my to-read list for like 2 years now!

Jack Tripper said...

No problem. And do check LOVERS LIVING... out. It's not overly "scary," but there's an eerie, almost sinister atmosphere underlying everything, which I loved. Definitely one of my favorite 70s horror reads of all-time. I think you may have actually tipped me off to it by posting a picture at one time, so I've been on the lookout for it for a while and finally scored a nice copy a couple weeks back. So thanks to you as well!

knobgobbler said...

Thanks so much for identifying LOVERS LIVING, LOVERS DEAD! I read it as a kid and it's been haunting me for the past decade trying to remember what it was. You're right that it's not 'scary' but does have that atmosphere. Somehow I associate it with warm summer and dry grass in secret places.
Now I need to read it again and see how it sits with modern me. I suspect there was a good bit that went over my head way back then.

thedarkman said...

#2 is Savaged, by Victoria Burgoyne, 1980. Her first, and possibly only book

Space-Badger13 said...

Yup Savaged is definitely number 2 - here is the copy from the back of the book:
Stark terror stalked the streets of London, its maniacal laughter an overture to death. His daughter lay dying. Her last wish, a present from her favourite nursery rhyme. He could deny her nothing. While a city slept, four footed death was smuggled in and soon the cries were heard - the spinechilling prelude to vile destruction. And within days a child's innocent dream became a terrifying nightmare of blood and violence, and a horror over the edge of madness.

Jack Tripper said...

@knobgobbler: You're welcome. I'm actually impressed that you were able to appreciate it at all as a kid. I suspect its subtle chills would have flown over my head back then.



Durtal1963 said...

Could no. 3 be 'Master of the Temple' by Eric Ericson?

Randy Money said...

Number 8 is "Disturb Not My Slumbering Fair" by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. Call it a precursor of "Buffy" and "iZombie," it's a personal favorite because it showed attitude at least a decade before Buffy came along.


Randy M.

Will Errickson said...

Thanks Randy! I'm adding her collection CAUTIONARY TALES to my to-read list.

Will Errickson said...

Might be. I'd never even heard of that; he's got a few interesting occult books I've learned.

Will Errickson said...

Thanks darkman