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: 


3.
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.

11 comments:

As79 said...

Childrens spooky story book, one of the stories was about the death of the king of cats, and the cats had a funeral and walked on hind legs, I believe the cover art was a boy in the forrest and a campfire

Unknown said...

The pig one sounds like it MIGHT be the cover of one of those "Year's Best Horror Stories" volumes, because I seem to remember something similar to that on one... but I can't find it online so I'm probably wrong.

Laramie Dean said...

The book about the kids with the lanterns, the little dead kid in the slicker, the kid whose cousin (?) is a werewolf, and the kids who gets nibbled on by a vampire is called IF YOU WANT TO SCARE YOURSELF by Angela Sommer-Bodenburg, who wrote THE LITTLE VAMPIRE series as well!

Will Errickson said...

Thanks Laramie, that's definitely the one! I am just no good with YA horror, so this is much appreciated. I sent the title to the searcher; you've made a horror fan very happy.

Unknown said...

Number 3 sounds like it might be "The Deadly Hoax" by Scott Corbett.

Hob said...

Unknown: THE DEADLY HOAX it is! Thanks! Wow, that one is a deep cut— I'm pretty sure I never heard of Scott Corbett before or after that book, and I'm sure it was not great, it just kept nagging at my memory because I liked the premise.

Also, I was wrong about the year, it's 1981; I guess I was thinking of the late '70s being the time for everyone to cash in on flying saucers.

Unknown said...

I'm willing to bet number 2 is the Penguin edition for Stanley Ellin's "Specialty of the House." There's some uncertainty because the cook with the knife isn't a pig, but otherwise the description is spot on.

Jack Tripper said...

Unknown: Well, you helped ME out at least, so thanks! Specialty of the House was what came to my mind as well, but for the life of me I couldn't think of the title.

Will Errickson said...

Oh *smacks forehead* I knew I recognized that description! I’ve seen that disturbing cover several times over the years. Thank you, I think it’s gotta be the one!

Dr. Caligari said...

"Specialty of the House" is a really creepy short story.

Will Errickson said...

I’ve heard about it for years—I need a copy of this book for my library!