Thursday, January 27, 2022

Horror Fiction Help XXVI

Time once again in which I seek identification of these forgotten horrors for fellow blog readers. Thanks in advance!

1. In the late 1990s or 2000 I read a paperback about a married couple who move into a new house. The wife somehow disappears in a room or door in the attic that leads to another world or dimension. 

2. A horror/supernatural/ghost anthology published 1985-1993. One story was set in the last years of the 19th century/first years of the 20th century, probably 1890s. A young woman is involved with seances or psychic research in some way, and an older, unattractive man is pursuing her sexually. She's not interested. The older man dies, but she gets no respite : Now his GHOST is harassing her, and publicly covering her with "ectoplasm". It is not blatantly pointed out  that the "ectoplasm" is similar to semen, but that was sure the impression I was left with. The story ends with the young woman retreating back to her home, where her sister(s) lock her in her bedroom with a lock they had  surreptitiously  put on the OUTSIDE of the door... And the reader is left with the impression the girl might be locked up for the rest of her life, because the haunting is so embarrassing for her sister(s). Found! It's Lisa Tuttle's short story "Mr. Elphinstone's Hands," first published in 1990's Skin of the Soul.


3. Circa 1988-1993, probably more towards the end of that range. The cover painting showed a blonde woman using her fangs on the neck of a dark-haired man, who I realized looked a lot like Hitler. So I read the blurb on the back, confirmed the blonde was Eva Braun and her victim was Hitler, and I put it back as probably dumb and trashy. I've been regretting it ever since. No clue as to author or title, I just remember the cover painting.

4. A forty-something guy and teenage girl are harassed by an Aztec god's cult that want to sacrifice one of them,don't remember if they were father and daughter or  just neighbors, but I remember the girl's boyfriend is part of the cult.

5. Little girl is possessed by the soul of a pedophile serial killer that was executed in the electric chair, it follows the father of one of the little girl's friends.

6. A bizarre short story in some anthology long ago when I was a teen where a father is out for revenge over someone in a carnival raping or killing his daughter I think. He finds the guy and essentially turns him into an animal. Breaks his knees, cuts out his tongue, sews him into a be a suit and at the end the guy is a sideshow attraction crawling and grunting. Found! It's Robert Bloch's oft-anthologized short story "The Animal Fair," first published in the May 1971 issue of Playboy.

11 comments:

Durtal1963 said...

Could no. 4 be ‘Sacrifice’ by John Farris?

Ned said...

Could 6 be the story "Animal Fair" by RObert Bloch in YEARS BEST HORROR STORIES II?

Dominic said...

Is No. 1 "Specimens" by Fred Saberhagen?

Unknown said...

(Zwolf here)

This is probably wrong, but just in case... might #3 be The Bargain by Jon Ruddy? I haven't read it, but I know it's a "Hitler becomes a vampire" book, and it'd be amazing if there were TWO of those. The cover I've seen doesn't have a woman on it, but we all know how horror paperbacks are prone to variant covers.

Unknown said...

The story in 2. could be 'Mr Elphinstone's Hands' by Lisa Tuttle? If so, this was originally published in the anthology Skin of the Soul: New Horror Stories by Women (1990), edited by Tuttle.

Just Me said...

Number one is 'House of Leaves' by Mark Z. Danielewski.

Unknown said...

It's not house of leaves.
House of leaves is the husband finds a door that leads to a hallway which couldn't fit within the dimensions of his house.

Just Me said...

I haven't read it in 20+ years, but I believe there is a disappearance (wife? child?) into the other dimension. Of course that basic plot describes any number of horror fiction books so, yes, it could be something else.
If the questioner is thinking about the bigger-in-than-out house with the almost never ending staircase and that is written with font size and color changes, unusual formatting, and various other prop devices, this is likely it. I don't know of anything else (horror-wise) written in the unconventional style that it was.

Todd Mason said...

6 is indeed "The Animal Fair" by Robert Bloch, collected in his COLD CHILLS and the SELECTED STORIES: LAST RITES volumes of Bloch's stories (the heavily typo'd Citadel paperback is ridiculously retitled THE COMPLETE STORIES V. 3: LAST RITES...a complete Bloch stories would run about twenty volumes of the same size), first published in PLAYBOY in 1971 and included in both the US and UK versions of the second YEAR'S BEST HORROR STORIES, and Dennis Etchison's authors choose their own stories MASTER OF DARKNESS, and Joe Lansdale selected it for both MY FAVORITE HORROR STORY and ROBERT BLOCH: APPRECIATIONS OF THE MASTER, later on.

Peregrine the Parakeet said...

Hey Will, Is Number 1 THE VANISHMENT (1994) by British author Jonathan Aycliffe? I don't remember it very well, but I'm sure the married couple move to a country house for the summer to repair their marriage, and the wife just literally disappears one day inside the house. Greetings from the UK!

samarshall1967 said...

contender for number four "A Scattering of Jade" A man and a young girl I think they're father and daughter. The girl is partially covered with burn scars. There's a Cult of He Who Makes Things Grow who what to sacrifice the girl to bring their god back to life.