If this were an ordinary book, and we were ordinary mortal editors, we would take our leave of you now, dear readers, and commend you to the text without further comment beyond our injunction to enjoy yourselves. But since neither of these things is true we are compelled to beg your leave to continue a while longer, in order that we may impart to you a smattering of knowledge of the curse that is our lot to carry in our withered hearts….
– From the introduction by Barnabus and Quentin Collins.
Paperback Library Gothic, first printing August 1970.
The Vampire by John Polidori
Mrs Amworth by E.F Benson
Wolves Don’t Cry by Bruce Elliott
The Vampire of Croglin Grange by Augustus Hare
Men-Wolves (From the Polish)
For The Blood is The Life by F. Marion Crawford
Count Magnus by M.R James
The Vampire Legend by Lewis Spence
The Vampire Nemesis by “Dolly”
I wanted to end this month’s posts with a gothic about werewolves but couldn’t find one, so I’ve decided to make do with a couple of quickie stories from my trusty supply of Dark Shadows paperbacks instead.
Following on from the fabulously flowery introduction, Barnabas has the lion’s share of this anthology with seven of the nine stories featuring vampires. Of the two werewolf tales, Men-Wolves (From the Polish) is a mere four pages long and isn’t really a story as such, reading more like an extract from a textbook on werewolf folklore.
That leaves Wolves Don’t Cry by Bruce Elliott. This is an interesting twist on the werewolf legend. An enjoyable read, funny and touching at times, it follows the adventures of a wolf in a zoo that wakes up to find itself transformed into a man and desperate to become wolf again.
A quick google reveals this story has also appeared in Rod Serling’s Triple W: Witches, Warlocks and Werewolves – an anthology edited by Twilight Zone’s Rod Serling and published by Bantam Books in 1963. Love that spooky cover, not sure what’s going on between the two gentlemen though…