Michael Sissons (ed.) – In The Dead Of Night (Panther, April 1962)
Charles Beaumont – The Hunger
J. B. Priestly – The Grey Ones
Nigel Balchin – The Master
John Gloag – Lady Without Appetite
Evelyn Waugh – Mr. Loveday’s little Outing
Ray Bradbury – The Small Assassin
John Collier – Little Memento
Wilbur Daniel Steele – Blue Murder
Margery Sharp – The Portrait
Marc Brandell – Cast The First Shadow
Gerald Bullett – Dearth’s Farm
James Webb – The Curt Little Mouth In The Brain
John Moore – The Proof
Richard Matheson – Crickets
V. C. Pritchett – A Story Of Don Juan
Margaret Irwin – The Book
C. S. Forester – The Turn Of The Tide
Great Sawney Beane cover illustration – uncredited, as per – and a neat selection including several lesser-known gems.
Charles Beaumont – The Hunger: Julie, plain, lonely, frustrated and 38 is obsessed with sex-killer Robert Oakes who’s struck three times in as many weeks at Burlington since his escape from an asylum. Julie sneaks out at night in her best dress, and it’s only when she’s confronted by the crazed rapist she realises the reason for her actions. Harrowing and maybe Beaumont’s finest horror story.
Richard Matheson – Crickets: “Listen’, he said. ‘They aren’t just making indiscriminate noises when they rub their wings together … They’re sending messages.”
John Morgan confides his fears to vacationing Hal and Jean Galloway who are too polite to send the paranoid old fool packing. Morgan is convinced that he’s deciphered the code of the crickets and far from going chirrup … chirrup for the Hell of it, they’re actually reciting the names of the dead – who are planning to return from the grave en masse! And now, they’re onto him!
John Gloag – Lady Without Appetite: The beautiful, gregarious Julia Hugo wreaks havoc among the passengers of the ocean liner Avalon. As the ship nears Trinidad, Dr. Youngman finally confronts her after a man is found to be suffering from pernicious anaemia – and she is seen to have bloodstains on her white silk wrap.
Gerald Bullett – Dearth’s Farm: ‘Bailey’, a down and out, visits his cousin Monica and her husband James Dearth at their isolated Norfolk farm. Dearth dotes on his white horse, Dandy and Bailey can’t help but notice the startling facial similarity between the pair. It soon becomes apparent that the Dearth’s despise each other and Monica confesses to being frightened of her husband’s uncanny power over Dandy who has recently tried to trample her. It transpires that Dearth is able to leave his body and take possession of the horse at will. And now he suspects Bailey and his wife of conducting an affair ….
Margaret Irwin – The Book: Mr. Corbett, a mild-mannered stockbroker, inherits his late uncle’s library. Among its contents, a hand-written Latin manuscript which, on translation, proves to be a DIY black magic manual. His career prospers even as he loses his grip, alienating his family and colleagues. As the book takes over, it demands more and more of him, to the point where it orders him to murder the baby.
Marc Brandel – Cast The First Shadow: Ernie and Christine are outcasts on account of them neither having a shadow. When they meet each other, their lives are complete … until the night Ernie, frustrated at always hiding for fear of being treated like a freak, insists they visit a nightclub. “Ernie was delighted by the loud, bad music and the tawdry glamour. It was just what he had longed for all his life.” Their relationship comes to an abrupt end when, gazing in the mirror, Ernie learns that his miserable two-bit, creepshow girlfriend also lacks a reflection.
Evelyn Waugh – Mr. Loveday’s little Outing: Despite a terrible crime in his youth – he throttled a woman cyclist – Mr. Loveday has been a model patient at the County Asylum, so much so that Angela takes him for a member of staff when first she meets him(he’s been acting as her father, Lord Moping’s secretary, his Lordship having attempted to hang himself with his braces rather than attend Lady Moping’s garden party). Angela campaigns on the old boy’s behalf and secures his release …