The Other Pans People

Van Thal and Vampires

Herbert Van Thal – Pan Horror 7

Posted by demonik on September 2, 2007

Herbert Van Thal – The 7th Pan Book Of Horror Stories (1966)

Pan Horror 7

Charles J. Benfleet – The Man Who Hated Flies
R. Chetwynd-Hayes – The Thing
G. M. Glaskin – The Return
David Grant – The Bats
Dulcie Gray – The Fur Brooch
Dulcie Gray – Dream House
Harry Harrison – The Streets Of Ashkelon
Patricia Highsmith – The Snail Watcher
W. W. Jacobs – The Monkey’s Paw
John D Keefauver – The Last Experiment
John D Keefauver – Mareta
Rene Morris – I’ll Never Leave You – Ever
William Sansom – A Smell Of Fear
William Sansom – The Little Room
Rosemary Timperley – Street of the Blind Donkey
Martin Waddell – Cannibals
Martin Waddell – The Old Adam
Elizabeth Walter – The Island Of Regrets
Alex White – Never Talk To Strangers

Does that bat look pissed to you?

David Grant – The Bats: The Windrop’s eight-year-old son, Melvyn, is a neglected child whose one love is his strange assortment of pets. When he loses the use of a hand following an accident with a chisel while his parents are out partying, the shamed parents decide it is time for his menagerie to go …

Dulce Gray – The Fur Brooch: A spurned lover’s revenge. Eighteen-year-old beauty Shiela Francis is engaged to marry John, but reluctantly agrees to a parting date with Henry Mallory, a man she’s always found disagreeable. When she refuses to change her mind about wedding John, Henry tells her a little more about the origins of the brooch she’s wearing on her coat …

Elizabeth Walter – The Island Of Regrets: “We Bretons say it is a magic island. It grants the first wish you make when you set foot there, but grants it in such a way that you will wish it had not been granted. That is why it is called the Island of Regrets.”
Dora is having none of this “peasant superstition” and cons the locals into hiring a boat, dragging reluctant fiance Peter with her. The only living soul they encounter on the island is a madman, and the Hotelier later advises the pair that there is always one in residence although nobody knows how they get there. Back in England, the couples wishes are horribly granted.

Charles J. Benfleet – The Man Who Hated Flies: Hugo Laytimer, retired chemistry teacher, is the man with the aversion. He also has an unwavering belief in reincarnation and promises ex-pupil now close friend Charles he’ll find a way of demonstrating the truth of the matter when he dies. This he does, but at fatal cost to his new host body. An underwhelming choice for opener if ever there was.

R. Chetwynd-Hayes – The Thing: A dressy West End bar, a favourite with theatre goers, and there’s RCH, dapper in his roll neck jersey and corduroy trousers to impress upon the world that he is a writer and therefore, different. While he’s indulging in his regular scotch binge – he shouts up six shots at a time to save his and the barman’s legs – he’s joined by a prostitute and, figuratively speaking, proceeds to bore the arse off her, having no inclination to become her client. In walks Rodney, a young man who affects a cockney accent to sound like a pop singer, and the girl is terrified. RCH is more unsettled by the gloating phantom that dogs the youth’s every step and is clearly directing his actions. Rodney pulls out a gun.

I must admit, this is better than I remember it.

W. W. Jacobs – The Monkey’s Paw: The Whites are entertaining Sergeant Major Morris. Morris has recently returned from India and shows them the idol in question. An old fakir had cast a spell on it because “he wanted to show how fate ruled peoples lives, and that those who interfered with it did so at their sorrow.” Those who possess the idol are reputedly granted three wishes, but Morris isn’t for putting it to the test and lobs it in the fireplace. Mr. White retrieves it and jokingly wishes for £200. The following day his son, Herbert is mutilated at the factory. His firm accept responsibility for the tragedy and offer compensation to the tune of £200. But the distraught Mrs. White just wants her boy back …

Jacobs handles this story with remarkable economy, racing to a satisfying grim conclusion. Stephen King reworked this for his ace novel Pet Sematary and – of course – there’s that EC variation, Wish You Were Here which shows up in Tales From The Crypt.

Dulce Grey – The Dream House: Not one post back I admitted she wasn’t an author I considered to be one of the more exciting of Van Thal’s regulars, most likely because she’s very sparing with the gratuitous gore. Not that it matters a jot, but I’ve since warmed to her and The Dream House is another of her neat, frightfully British little gems. The insufferable, loudmouthed, tight-fisted Marjory Denchworth and her subdued, affable Aussie husband Henry take Lord Drummond’s magnificent Milton House on an 18 month lease. While Madge sets about making herself unpopular with the Blayddon villagers, Henry toils over renovations to the old house to the delight of Lord Drummond who recognises him as a highly skilled construction worker. Well, Henry’s had plenty of practice and there’s more than a touch of the Edgar Allen Poe’s about him …

Patricia Highsmith – The Snail-Watcher: Peter Knoppert learns the hard way that a man can have too many snails. Beginning with just a handful of specimens, he allows them to reproduce unchecked until they’ve taken over the study and sets himself up for a slimy doom. Highsmith in gross out mood.

Pan Horror 7 living dead

See also Vault of Evil Pan Horror 7 thread

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