From The Library Of The Unsubscriber No.8, Horror And The Supernatural

Ever since I can remember I’ve loved a good horror story. I have fond memories as a teenager surreptitiously reading Lovecraft, Poe, M. R. James and Algernon Blackwood when I felt I should be concentrating on other more worthy tomes. How foolish we are in youth to deny that what we love for the sake of peer pressure or worse.

Over the years then, I have amassed a number of excellent Horror anthologies as well as other collections of supernatural fiction. Growing up, there was a good choice of horror anthology from the likes of Pan and Fontana books plus a number of other smaller publishers but it’s not from these I have sourced my selections as that would have been far too lazy a proposition.

I’ve long been a fan of weird, morbid literature though and particularly love the earlier writers as they relied on such realistically derived devices as the gloomy old house, half seen silhouette or tangled wood to create their tension rather than any tangible lurker. Nightmarish scenarios featuring black magic rites held at the midnight hour, impossibly ancient stone edifices and other seemingly historically accurate ritualistic happenings gave the proceedings more than a whiff of authenticity than mutant babies or killer crabs can ever hope to achieve. These were real terrors that gave you nightmares after reading them rather than lurid parodies of horror which forever lapped at the very edges of disbelief or even unintentional humour.

For the sake of both thoroughness and brevity I have decided to break my selection of books down into three easily digestible parts. This first part then is dedicated to one of the kings of the eerie anthology, Mr August Derleth and comes about due to a misunderstanding between myself and fellow horror aficionado, the esteemed Mr Nash who runs the excellent blog When Churchyards Yawn. He’d written a rather illuminating piece about a 1931 anthology edited by Lady Cynthia Asquith entitled ‘When Churchyards Yawn’ which he’d named his blog after and I mentioned a Derleth compilation of the same title to confuse matters. He was quick to point out that Derleth’s own anthology was in fact called ‘When Graveyards Yawn’ – a schoolboy error on my part and I duly went off to look for the volume in question. I discovered I had quite a number of August Derleth curated horror and supernatural anthologies on my shelves and so here are six titles complete with bone chilling covers plus my 1963 Arrow Books version of the Lady Cynthia Asquith collection.

I hope you find these books an intriguing diversion from my usual sci-fi offerings and enjoy the bizarre cover art as much as I do;

When Graveyards Yawn edited by August Derleth
This version was published in 1965 by Tandem Books
The cover artist is uncredited

Anthology - Derleth When Graveyards Yawn

The Unquiet Grave by edited by August Derleth
This version was published in 1963 by Four Square Books
The cover artist is Michel Atkinson

Anthology - Derleth The Unquiet Grave

Dark Mind Dark Heart by edited by August Derleth
This version was published in 1966 by Mayflower-Dell Books
The cover artist is uncredited

Anthology - Derleth Dark Mind Dark Heart

When Evil Wakes by edited by August Derleth
This version was published in 1965 by Corgi Books
The cover artist is uncredited

Anthology - Derleth When Evil Wakes

Sleep No More by edited by August Derleth
This version was published in 1964 by Panther Books
The cover artist is uncredited

Horror Anthology - Derleth, Sleep No More

Who Knocks by edited by August Derleth
This version was published in 1964 by Panther Books
The cover artist is uncredited

Anthology - Derleth Who Knocks

When Churchyards Yawn edited by Lady Cynthia Asquith
This version was published in 1963 by Arrow Books
The cover artist is uncredited

Asquith When Churchyards Yawn

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “From The Library Of The Unsubscriber No.8, Horror And The Supernatural

  1. johncnash 06/01/2015 / 10:07 pm

    I am, of course, insanely jealous of this post! Wonderful covers, especially those Panther editions. I can feel an ebay search coming on!

    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 06/01/2015 / 10:44 pm

      Thanks for the kind words and also for providing inspiration for this series of posts Mr Nash, I’m pleased greatly that you enjoyed these fine covers. Most of the books featured in this post were in fact procured via eBay so I’ll wish you good luck in your own searches. Keep your eyes peeled over the next fortnight for further instalments. All the best.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lestaret 06/01/2015 / 10:49 pm

    A great set. These are probably the most overlooked types of covers too. They make good sense in this retrospective context and show some real desire to create atmosphere rather than try to tell the story, lake many other similar books do. Good stuff Sir, good stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 06/01/2015 / 10:58 pm

      Many thanks for the appreciative comments Mr Lestaret, it’s good to hear you enjoyed this batch of covers. There are two more posts in this series to come over the next fortnight featuring more horror and supernatural books so stay on this frequency.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s