Montag, 6. Februar 2012

Night Chills

 Hey Folks, it’s that time again!

This weeks book come to us from the long ago, but not forgotten year of (November) 1975! When a fat paperback only cost you $1.50! I was working after school back then at “Newark Bargain Shoes” down on the Square. We were the cheapest shoe store in Newark that still offered full service to the customer. “No Ma’am, we don’t have those in size 8, but have you seen these Pumps that just came in?”  It wasn’t a bad job and an hour's wages bought 2 books back then. Anyways, I digress. 

Night Chills
“A Treasury of Horror Masterworks never before in Paperback!
Edited by Kirby McCauley (He of “Dark Forces” fame and Stephen King’s Agent.)

This sure sounds promising! But did it live up to my expectations?
It sure as hell did!!!!

Check this list out!

"Introduction" by Kirby McCauley
"At Midnight, in the Month of June" by Ray Bradbury
"A: B: O." by Walter de la Mare
"Minnesota Gothic" by Thomas M. Disch
"The Jugular Man" by Joseph Payne Brennan
"Alice and the Allergy" by Fritz Leiber
"The Island" by L. P. Hartley
"Yesterday’s Witch" by Gahan Wilson
"Wet Season" by Dennis Etchison
"Innsmouth Clay" by H. P. Lovecraft & August Derleth
"People of the Black Coast " by Robert E. Howard
"Call First" by Ramsey Campbell
"From Beyond the Stars" by Richard L. Tierney
"The Funny Farm" by Robert Bloch
"The Face in the Wind" by Carl Jacobi
"Goodman’s Place" by Manly Wade Wellman
"Kellerman’s Eyepiece" by Mary Elizabeth Counselman
"Sticks" by Karl Edward Wagner
"The Sign-Painter and the Crystal Fishes"
by Marjorie Bowen

This is a true power house collection.

Every story here is a winner. I’m not exaggerating on this.

The volume starts out with one of those treacly slices of Ray Bradbury small town Americana called “At midnight in the month of June” which turns quickly into a wicked cat and mouse serial killer story.
“At midnight, in the month of June,
I stand beneath the mystic moon.
An opiate vapor, dewy, dim,
Exhales from out her golden rim…”
E.A. Poe
The list goes on and on.
Karl Edward Wagner’s “Sticks” is included here for the first time. It has since become
 Wagner’s most anthologized story. And this is for a good reason.
It’s a nice Lovecraftian Mythos type of tale which was inspired by a
 true story. You can read it here… 
I even have a copy of “Worse Things Waiting” which has lots of those “Lee Coye Brown” 
Stick drawings in it!

Now lets guess which film ripped off this idea of "Sticks" in the woods? 
The Story behind "Sticks", Wagner, Brown and the "Blair witch"! 
And even more about this! 
Another goody is “Call First” by Ramsey Campbell. I remember reading this later in one of
 Wagner’s “Year’s Best Horror Stories” anthologies. It’s a nice cautionary tale for potential
 home invaders. At least don’t break into the homes of people who borrow lots of black magic
 tomes from the library!
The Robert E. Howard story “People of the Black Coast is more or less a throw away story.
 It’s still chock full of that REH over the top insanity that we’ve all come to love and respect! 
Two Castaways and giant intelligent Crabs! Mix them all together and hilarity ensues!
 It’s a wonderfully wonky “AVENGE ME!!” kind of tale.
“Yesterdays Witch” by Gahan Wilson” is one of my all time favourite Halloween stories.
 And all I’ll say is that maybe you’ll get more trick than treat on Halloween. 
As Warren Zevon once said, “and it aint that pretty at all!”. This is a fun and creepy story.
Just look at all the names listed in the contents! This is a regular “Arkham House” 
or “Weird Tales” who’s who. 
You should definitely buy this if you can find a copy of it somewhere.
I want to mention the cover.
To me this looks like an “Osama bin Laden” zombie. 
And while I’m speaking of “Osama bin Laden” zombies, I’ll leave you with this……
Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I've featured this cover on my blog but not its contents - a real powerhouse roster!

  2. Hi Will,it's a great one isn't it? Just look at the spectrum of writers!
    Disch, Jacobi, Wilson Wellman,Bloch Wagner ect. At that time this was an amazing mix of old and new. And of course all with a wonderful eye catching cover!
    I noticed that you also did a post on "Harvest of Fear!! Which, as far as cover designs go, is the companion to "Night Chills"
    take care.

  3. Awesome. I remember buying tons of these when I was younger. I still have most of the volumes...Kirby McCauley's Night Chills, several volumes edited by Vic Ghidalia and Michel Parry. Great blog. Will be following avidly.

    1. Hi Moderan,
      Thanks for the kind words.
      It breaks my heart that most of these stories haven't been reprinted since then. They're basicaly gone and will be completely forgotten once the old paperbacks and original magazines fall to pieces. Sadly, I don't think that there's a large audience for this stuff these days.

      For good or bad, the world has moved on and lots of wonderful stuff has been left behind with the bad. But I dearly love this stuff anyways and maybe, just maybe others will become infected with my obsession also.

      Take care.