Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Peter Haining's excellent anthology THE GHOULS has been printed in several editions since it was first published by W.H. Allen in 1971. It is noted for collecting many stories of horror and the supernatural that were later made into films. Included are such gems as the tale that turned into Tod Browning's FREAKS and a then hard to find copy of W. Somerset Maugham's THE MAGICIAN.

The example shown above is from a current sale at Weiser Antiquarian Books. Weiser specializes in metaphysical, spiritual, and occult books and ephemera, and I am presuming that Maugham's tale might be an attraction since his magician in this story is widely believed to be based on the notorious mage, Aleister Crowley.

I bought my American Pocket Books paperback edition off an spinner rack in April, 1972, the month it was released. I forthwith brought said tome home and proceeded to devour it, and have re-read it several times since. With an Introduction by Vincent Price, an Afterward by Christopher Lee, and a chewy monster center, how can you go wrong?

Following is the list of stories that I believe are found in all the editions with the exception of the Orbit paperbacks, which used two separate volumes to include all the stories.

- The Devil in a Nunnery (The Devil in a Convent)
- The Lunatics
- Feathertop (Puritan Passions)
- Phantom of the Opera (abridged and condensed)
- The Magician
- Spurs (Freaks)
- The Most Dangerous Game
- Dracula's Guest (Dracula's Daughter)
- The Devil and Daniel Webster (All That Money can Buy)
- The Body Snatcher
- The Beast With Five Fingers
- The Fog Horn (Beast Ftom 20,000 Fathoms)
- The Fly
- Viy (Black Sunday)
- An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (Incident at Owl Creek)
- The Colour Out of Space (Die,Monster,Die)
- The Skull of the Marquis De Sade (The Skull)
- The Oblong Box

From the Weiser Antiquarian Book Catalogue #108:

"Peter Haining, Editor, Introduction by Vincent Price, Afterword by Christopher Lee. The Ghouls. London: W. H. Allen, 1971. First UK Edition. Hardcover. Octavo. 384pp. Blue cloth gilt-lettered on spine.

The scarce UK edition of this anthology of classic horror stories which inspired some of the great horror films. Includes the Aleister Crowley-inspired story 'The Magician' by Somerset Maugham, as well as stories by Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, Ambrose Bierce, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Gaston Leroux, Bram Stoker, Robert Bloch and Ray Bradbury, among others.

ISBN: 491000278. From the collection of English bibliophile and Aleister Crowley scholar Nicholas Bishop-Culpeper, with his bookplate on the front pastedown. Slightest bumps to top-corners of boards, minor foxing to page-edges & endpapers, otherwise a clean VG+ copy in VG+ dust jacket. (43873) $45.00."

Interesting to note is that the cover of this version depicts the runespawn from NIGHT OF THE DEMON, a film based on the M.R. James story, Casting the Runes. It is not included in the book.

Here are some covers from other editions:

1st US Hardback Edition, Stein & Day, 1971

Bounty Books hardback edition 1994

Orbit Books UK paperback 1974 Book One

Orbit Books UK paperback 1974 Book Two

Pocket Books US paperback 1971

1 comment:

Dr. Theda said...

The Green and Red cover is the one that I read as a young teen... Never knew that the "Phantom of the Opera" was "condensed"... Cool post on an old favorite...


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