Thursday, June 24, 2021

Horror Fiction Help XXIV

Some recent emails I’ve received from people hoping to find these forgotten horrors. Thanks in advance for helping to ID them! 

1. A children's horror book from the late 80s or early to mid 90s, a collection of short stories. One was about a party of kindergartners who make paper lanterns and march around, disappearing over a hill never to be seen again. Another about a child in a yellow raincoat getting hit by a car. It also included a story about a kid staying home from school "sick" but the sickness was actually that he was a werewolf or something. Found! It's a 1989 Scholastic collection:

2. Cover art: a man sitting down at a table, either with silverware in each hand or eating food, and a pig standing on two legs (possibly dressed in an apron or chef's outfit) holding a butcher's knife behind his back. (ed.—Argh! This one sounds sooo familiar!) Found! It's the 1968 Penguin edition of: 

1970s: Two boys are abducted by a flying saucer, controlled by what seem to be human-sized aliens with an insectoid look. But the kids figure out all's not as it seems: the "aliens" are really evolved ants who have been living underground for ages, and they're using the UFO as a cover story for whatever their real plans might be. I don't remember much else, except that 1. I learned the word "chitin" from this book, and 2. in the scene where the kids first discuss this theory, they know the ants are listening in, so they use a private code where you spell out words with the initials of made-up names (e.g. for "ants" it'd be something like "Remember when we hung out with Amy Nugent and Todd Smith"). Found! It's a 1981 kids' book:

4. Two or 3 young kids (a teen and one much younger I think) visiting an aunt or similar. They take a train, I think, and the woods surrounding the station are covered in nightshade/belladonna. The aunt lives in some kind of old mansion and has a weird man servant/sex demon named Jared or Jarad.