Sunday, May 10, 2015

Horror Fiction Help XVI

All right guys: any ideas? Help some people who wanna find these long-forgotten horror stories!

1. The book was a black cloth hard-cover, and appeared to be a treatise or horror essay (not an anthology of stories). If ONLY I could remember the title or the author I'd find it fast enough online, but the only thing that stands out in my mind are parts of two sentences: ". . . frozen wagon wheel ruts" and "trees denuded of leaves . . ."    "The woods were gray with denuded trees, and the frozen wagon ruts in the mud of the road as cold and hard as iron." There was mention of vampires but also mention of werewolves as well. It might have been published in the early 40s or 50s, maybe earlier.

2. Back in the way back (1963-4) my dad gave me an anthology of one page horror stories that were so well written, I still, these many years later, will not eat a can of food sans wrapper--even if it's from my own pantry. There were also two stories about babies--one read as a prisoner escaping his cell, turning the bars, pretending to sleep when the guards came by, only to find its a toddler in his playpen. Found! It's:

3. Story begins when a man of American Indian heritage, living in a cabin in the woods alone, wakes up one morning in early autumn to find that a spider has spun a web across his porch. The man’s Indian heritage leads him to take this event as a sign of an early and harsh winter, and also as a possible omen of something much more dreadful. The man’s misgivings are then amplified into a sense of impending doom by a second incident on the same day: While walking in the woods, he is attacked by a savage, angry rabbit. This latter incident convinces the man that he is going to die that winter, and he does in fact die in the course of the book. I remember that these opening pages set a magnificent sense of dark impending fate in the midst of the bright colors of a beautiful autumn morning.     The only other things I remember about the book is that the latter part is set in a hunting lodge in the deep woods, and that the action culminates in a hunt in which a giant wolf—or maybe werewolf—is killed. The heroine is involved in the hunt, but I think that she might be something akin to a werewolf herself.

4. The book was a collection of stories - three in all, I think, and by the same author - intended for young readers. We read it when we were in third grade, which would have been 1998ish, and it was not a new book. My feeling is that is was published in the '80s or early '90s.  I don't remember much about the appearance of the book other than the fact that it was a paperback, but my sister says it was a dark background with lurid bright colors. She thinks it was a fairground setting with two children cowering in fear, and that there might have been a scary old man involved.   I remember two of the stories in the book with great clarity, which makes it all the more infuriating that I can't identify the book. One story was about two friends, a boy and a girl, who ran afoul of a man at a fairground/carnival who had special pencils that made whatever he drew with them real. Pretty sure he turned someone into a chicken thing (a la Freaks), and he messed with the kids by doing stuff like skipping from the afternoon to the next morning in order to deprive the kids of sleep. The kids ended up sending him to a tropical island somehow, and the story ended with him sending them a letter saying he would be back soon because the island had all the stuff he needed to make more magic pencils. Found! It's:

5. When I was in elementary school there was a 2- or 3-set anthology Horror/Sci Fi if I remember correctly. One of the stories was titled "Wendonai’s Child." Found! It's:"Wendigo's Child" from:

6. A man wants revenge against creatures that only come out at night, they killed his wife or lover. He finds them at an amusement park and he is going to blow them up. That is pretty much the sum of my memory regarding this book/story.

7. All I remember is on the cover it has a picture of a burnt doll's face. It was about a man who survived the crash and it was the doll he was going to take to his daughter.

8. I remember having an anthology back in the late 80's/early 90's. I remember parts of a particular story. The story was about the devil getting to come to earth on a particular Sunday. I believe Sunday may have been in the title. Also there were references/quotes from the kookaburra song. Found! It's from:


Jonathan Stover said...

#6 sounds like James Herbert's THE SURVIVOR, a novel featuring a plane crash a survivor, and, on some early American paperback covers, a creepy looking doll.

Will Errickson said...

Yep, that was my first response but apparently it is not the right book.

Jose Cruz said...

#4 is definitely the seventh "issue" of the FRIGHT TIME series from Baronet Books. Good to know that I'm not the only weirdo who found these things everywhere!

Goodreads link w/ cover scan:

Lou said...

#5 is "Wendigo's Child" by Thomas Monteleone. It was in this reader anthology:

Will Errickson said...

Jose--thanks, you just made that person very, very happy!

Lou--thanks, looks super-creepy too! I emailed the person back about it, that's gotta be the one.

Anonymous said...

No. 2 is most likely Alan Rife's Tales of Horror:


Zwolf said...

I'm not certain of this at all because it's been decades since I read it and I don't remember much, but could number 3 possibly be Crooked Tree by Robert Wilson? I know it had Native Americans and were-animals, although I think they were were-grizzly-bears instead of werewolves. Anyway, check that one out, see if it could be the one. Hope this helps.

the night watchman said...

#7 - The description could pass for a mis-remembering of Dean Koontz's "Twilight Eyes." The main character can see creatures he calls "goblins" who impersonate human beings and feed off suffering. In the beginning of the novel, he kills one goblin who is about to sabotage a bumper car ride. The rest of the novel takes place in and amongst a carnival.

The Fifth Dollanganger said...

The anthology mentioned in #8 is definitely Tales By Moonlight II, edited by Jessica Amanda Salmonson. I know this because I have a copy in my lap right now. :) The story about the day the Devil is allowed to roam the earth is "The Day" by David Madison; in it, the Devil is outsmarted by a particularly savvy modern virgin. The lyrics to the Kookaburra song are from another story called "Laugh Kookaburra, Laugh Kookaburra, Gay Your Life Must Be" by John Domini. This one is about a pair of demons who may have spent a little too much time in Hell together and are either in love or getting on each other's last nerve.

Will Errickson said...

Thanks for the help everybody! The readers in question were all very happy when I contacted them about the correct titles.