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The Ninth Pan Book of Horror Stories

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Inhuman humans... The Jolly Uncle and the dummy that sucked blood. The Unmarried Mother and the torture mask. The Film Director who flayed his girl alive. The Wife who turned into an insect. The Mother and Sister who emasculate a rapist. Spawned from Horror and Fear come the familiars of Terror - 23 awesome tales to haunt your days and chill your dreams - every one now publ Inhuman humans... The Jolly Uncle and the dummy that sucked blood. The Unmarried Mother and the torture mask. The Film Director who flayed his girl alive. The Wife who turned into an insect. The Mother and Sister who emasculate a rapist. Spawned from Horror and Fear come the familiars of Terror - 23 awesome tales to haunt your days and chill your dreams - every one now published for the first time.


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Inhuman humans... The Jolly Uncle and the dummy that sucked blood. The Unmarried Mother and the torture mask. The Film Director who flayed his girl alive. The Wife who turned into an insect. The Mother and Sister who emasculate a rapist. Spawned from Horror and Fear come the familiars of Terror - 23 awesome tales to haunt your days and chill your dreams - every one now publ Inhuman humans... The Jolly Uncle and the dummy that sucked blood. The Unmarried Mother and the torture mask. The Film Director who flayed his girl alive. The Wife who turned into an insect. The Mother and Sister who emasculate a rapist. Spawned from Horror and Fear come the familiars of Terror - 23 awesome tales to haunt your days and chill your dreams - every one now published for the first time.

30 review for The Ninth Pan Book of Horror Stories

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    I love the slightly tipsy green mummy on the cover. He's saying "Er...yeah...ah...what was the question?" I would like to write a whole thing on the Pan Books of Horror Stories, all of them, which thrilled and gurgled my very brains and spinal fluids when I was the merest of boys. But certain people may find the material a little distasteful. What a glorious gallimaufry of Grand Guignol it all was though. They just don't maim like they used to.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Graham

    This instalment of the popular long-running horror anthology series ditches the older reprints (curses!) in favour of all-new writing from modern authors. Worse luck for the reader, because the end result is generally an exercise in sadism with little in the way of imagination or supernatural intrigue involved. We get off to a bad start with Raymond Williams and MAN-HUNT, in which the reader is supposed to swallow the coincidence of a prisoner just happening to turn up at the family home of a pre This instalment of the popular long-running horror anthology series ditches the older reprints (curses!) in favour of all-new writing from modern authors. Worse luck for the reader, because the end result is generally an exercise in sadism with little in the way of imagination or supernatural intrigue involved. We get off to a bad start with Raymond Williams and MAN-HUNT, in which the reader is supposed to swallow the coincidence of a prisoner just happening to turn up at the family home of a previous victim. Yeah, right. Dulcie Gray's THE FLY is one of those stories about marital strife leading to murder, and it's a little more enjoyable thanks to some novel elements. Dorothy K. Haynes' THOU SHALT NOT SUFFER A WITCH... is a highly enjoyable tale and one which would go on to be reprinted elsewhere, such as in The Penguin Book of Horror Stories, while STRICTLY FOR THE BIRDS, by Lindsay Stewart, is a straightforward gore story detached from reality (ahtough it reminded me of the film SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN a little). BLOODTHIRSTY sees Martin Waddell tackling the 'detached brain' sub-genre of work with limited success, while Adobe James' AN APPARITION AT NOON is more fun, a modern slant on a classic science fiction trope. THE BABY MACHINE is by Rene Morris and goes for another science fiction element – a robot! - but turns out to be not very interesting at all, while Colin Graham's THE BEST TEACHER is a straightforward story of sadism and an unappetising 'torture porn' escapade. Walter Winward's STICK WITH ME, KID, AND YOU'LL WEAR DIAMONDS is another marital strife story, but the writing is a bit better than in the previous efforts and the psychology quite interesting. But THE HAPPY RETURN sees Dulcie Gray going back to pure unrealistic nastiness, plonking a medieval element rather unbelievably into the present. Raymond Harvey's FATHER FORGIVE ME is a bit better, a story of sex and intrigue in an Irish village, with interesting character motivations throughout. John Burke's A COMEDY OF TERRORS goes down the grue route again and is largely forgettable despite the horror theme running throughout. Things improve with Tim Stout's THE BOY WHO NEGLECTED HIS GRASS SNAKE, a delightful story of reptilian revenge with a realistic and loathsome titular character. It's matter-of-fact and works a treat. But the quality drops with Lindsay Stewart's JOLLY UNCLE, a boring tale of murder inspired by a lust for inheritance, with a silly twist ending. MRS ANSTEY'S SCARECROW, by W.H. Carr, is better, a lengthy story of jealous which leads to murder and eventually a supernatural revenge. Meanwhile, Alex Hamilton's NOT ENOUGH POISON is a kind of spiritual successor to the classic LEININGEN VERUS THE ANTS, in which a woman finds her home and garden invaded by pesky insects. Martin Waddell's OLD FEET is the worst story collected here – a waste-of-time spot of black humour apparently inspired by the phrase “this tea tastes like old feet”. Peter Richey's DON'T AVOID THE RUSH HOUR is much better, a spooky in the dark tale of a man who drops off in the London Underground and wakes to find himself pursued in a locked-down station. The best story in the anthology is Eddy C. Bertin's THE WHISPERING HORROR, which reminded me favourably of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. Two boys play in the woods and find an abandoned house complete with cellar and sinister inhabitant. It's hair-raising stuff that scares like no other here. SMILE PLEASE is by Raymond Williams and goes on an awfully long time, and has a rather boring climax too. But I did enjoy the stream-of-consciousness narration from the likeable stripper protagonist. A.G.J. Rough's COMPULSION, meanwhile, is the slight and insubstantial story of a serial killer, Mary R. Sullivan's CROCODILE WAY is a brief action set-piece in darkest Malaysia, and Jamie McArdwell's THE GREEN UMBILICAL CORD is another fun 'plant horror' about fast-growing ivy with a mysterious food source. Tanith Lee's EUSTACE, which closes the book, is only two paragraphs long and very silly.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    As expected, another mixed bag of horror tales from the Pan collection. The Ninth book at least benefits from being more varied in its offerings than the Eighth. The undisputed highlight of the anthology is the superb 'The Whispering Horror' by Eddy C Bertin, a tale of a malevolent entity that preys on and then ultimately destroys a child before desecrating the grave. Other highlights include 'Mrs Anstey's Scarecrow' by W H Carr, the highly entertaining 'The Boy Who Neglected His Grass Snake' by As expected, another mixed bag of horror tales from the Pan collection. The Ninth book at least benefits from being more varied in its offerings than the Eighth. The undisputed highlight of the anthology is the superb 'The Whispering Horror' by Eddy C Bertin, a tale of a malevolent entity that preys on and then ultimately destroys a child before desecrating the grave. Other highlights include 'Mrs Anstey's Scarecrow' by W H Carr, the highly entertaining 'The Boy Who Neglected His Grass Snake' by Tim Stout, and 'The Green Umbilical Cord' by Jamie McArdwell. Inevitably, there are those stories that really leave one wondering why they were ever selected for inclusion, notably the deeply unfunny though desperately trying to be 'Old Feet' by Martin Waddell, and the rather pointless 'Eustace' by Tanith Lee.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Russell

    I feel weird...like this is going to be one of those schizo reviews. Before I make like an amoeba and split, let's get some details down. The Ninth Pan Book of Horror Stories sits snugly between the eighth and tenth books. From the copyright page, this was originally released in 1968. The Pan Book of Horror Stories went on for many years, showcasing the talent of the time. Aaaargh! It's Pan vs Dan! Dan: This stands out from the other stuff on my shelf. While I like to read older stuff from time to I feel weird...like this is going to be one of those schizo reviews. Before I make like an amoeba and split, let's get some details down. The Ninth Pan Book of Horror Stories sits snugly between the eighth and tenth books. From the copyright page, this was originally released in 1968. The Pan Book of Horror Stories went on for many years, showcasing the talent of the time. Aaaargh! It's Pan vs Dan! Dan: This stands out from the other stuff on my shelf. While I like to read older stuff from time to time, my shelves are mostly filled with contemporary horror, usually friends' novels or firm favourites. This is by far the oldest book I own (in the Australian collection at least. Be fun to go through the English collection, currently boxed on the other side of the world). Pan: You go on about the age of the stories. Is this a good thing? Do you think the stories have aged like a fine wine? Dan: No. More like a cheese. The older it is, the more it stinks. Pan: Wait...you didn't like the Pan Horror? Dan: I read A LOT of short fiction, about 1000 stories a year what with the work I do with Necrotic Tissue. All these stories would have got a big fat rejection. But again, this might be the age thing. All the stories were predictable, and some quite a bit silly. In 1968, these might have been fresh and cutting edge. In this day and age, I think that readers desire more than simple 'bad guy gets what's coming to him' stories. There are contrived conveniences a plenty. The first story, Man-Hunt, is a prime example of this. The killer escaped from an asylum just so happens to seek refuge in the house of his victim's family. Yes, we saw this in the movie Last House on the Left. We've seen all of this before! Pan: But this came first! Dan: I know, and I suppose it does retain a little charm in this aspect. A bit like a collection of campfire urban myths. You know what's coming every time. A few stories I did enjoy though because they set themselves apart a little. The Baby Machine and Old Feet weren't of standard stock here and deserve a mention. The bite at the end, Eustace, was similar to a poem I wrote for Briefly Bizarre, so I can't exactly moan about it. Pan: I seem to have caught you in a positive thread. Any more you liked? Dan: The Best Teacher, A Comedy of Terrors and Smile Please all get a house point for gore scenes, despite highly telegraphed endings. Other points were the POV shifts and lack of scene breaks irritated me (but was this typical writing of the time?) and the mummy on the cover looks like a death ala papier mache. Pan: So...would you buy another Pan Book of Horror? Dan: I have this one should I need a sentimental look back. I think my money will be spent on newer short stories, just so the endings might go in unpredictable directions. I'm sure that in another 30 years, the NT and Shroud stories and the shorts by Laymon and Ketchum etc, will be outdated and I'll be clinging to them. While I appreciate history and feel for the time (and a bit in this collection made me laugh: a stripper is contemplating her secretive audience, and ponders that they might be women. She is shocked and sickened by this horrific and alien idea! Welcome to the 21st century, love) this book failed to grab me. No offense to the cult following, but no, not for me. Pan: Miserable bastard.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Josephine (Jo)

    This book has not withstood the test of time! I have had it for about forty-five years and what I found frightening then I now find just downright silly. Not one to recommend to any of my friends.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Liz Chell

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jeannie Sloan

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jack David

  9. 5 out of 5

    Omar Diaz

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nick

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tabatha

  12. 5 out of 5

    Peter Pinkney

  13. 5 out of 5

    Geraldine O'Hagan

  14. 4 out of 5

    David Evans

  15. 4 out of 5

    Julie Higgs

  16. 5 out of 5

    Craig Herbertson

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  18. 4 out of 5

    Carol

  19. 5 out of 5

    Frankie Roxx

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mahnoor

  21. 4 out of 5

    Demeter

  22. 4 out of 5

    Moby Marlow

  23. 4 out of 5

    Poudre

  24. 5 out of 5

    David Evans

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ian Munro

  26. 4 out of 5

    BOB RUST

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bill

  28. 4 out of 5

    Morgan Scorpion

  29. 5 out of 5

    Þórhallur

  30. 5 out of 5

    Owl

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