by Stephen Vincent Benet. from Saturday Evening Post, September 1937. Wherever he goes, whatever he does, Johnny Pye hears the footsteps of the Foolkiller close behind. You don't hear so much about the Foolkiller these days, but when Johnny Pye was a boy there was a good deal of talk about him. Some said he was one kind of person, and some said another, but most people agreed that he came around fairly regular. Or, it seemed so to Johnny Pye. But then, Johnny was an adopted child, which is, maybe, why he took it so hard. The miller and his wife had offered to raise him, after his own folks Continue reading


by Emile C. Tepperman. Originally Published in The Shadow August 1, 1944. The Avenger is accused of murder, and only a dead man can clear him! Dick Benson turned into Chatham Street from Summer, and a woman in a window somewhere above him screamed, "Look out!" Reacting instinctively to that high-pitched shriek of warning, Benson threw himself forward and to the right, landing up against the building wall, just as something struck the pavement with a ghastly, sickening plop. Benson was on his feet instantly. A single glance was enough to tell him what it was that had come hurtling down from Continue reading


by Paul Chadwick. Originally Published in Ten Detective Aces April 1933. The night glowed purple! From the black vault of the heavens came a hissing ball of purple light. As if possessing uncanny human intelligence, it rocketed straight for the victim it had marked. The police were helpless before that sinister sphere of Doctor Zero's. And now, Wade Hammond, explorer and criminal investigator, had stepped into the eerie glow of the Purple Peril. CHAPTER I DEATH'S MESSENGER "WHAT'S that?" Detective O'Conner's voice was a nasal bleat. His eyes bulged under the brim of his soft felt hat. His Continue reading


by H. P. Lovecraft . Originally Published in Fantasy Fan Vol. 1, No. 10, June 1934. Trying to open the human mind to higher dimensions accidentally unlocks a forbidden doorway! Horrible beyond conception was the change which had taken place in my best friend, Crawford Tillinghast. I had not seen him since that day, two months and a half before, when he told me toward what goal his physical and metaphysical researches were leading; when he had answered my awed and almost frightened remonstrances by driving me from his laboratory and his house in a burst of fanatical rage. I had known that he Continue reading


by Manly Wade Wellman. Originally Published in Comet , July 1941. Fitshugh Parr, an Earthman unjustly convicted for the murder of a Martian, finds himself exiled to the prison asteroid! It was not very large, as asteroids go, but about it clung a silvery mist of atmosphere. Deeper flashes through the mist betokened water, and green patches hinted of rich vegetation. The space-patroller circled the little world knowledgeably, like a wasp buzzing around an apple. In the control room, by the forward ports, the Martian skipper addressed his Terrestrial companion. "I wissh you joy of yourr new Continue reading


by Stanley G. Weinbaum. Originally Published in Thriling Wonder Stories December, 1938. Amherst was one of the hundreds of collectors for the giant company, but collecting was never like this! Bob Amherst shivered a little despite the heated interior of the autobus, but grinned none the less as he made out the frosty towers of Hydropole. He was always glad to return to the polar city, if only for the pleasure of staring up at buildings piled story upon story like those of his native Syracuse on a gray planet some half a billion miles sunward. Hydropole, south polar city of Jupiter's third Continue reading


by Clark Ashton Smith . Originally Published in Weird Tales Vol. 21, No. 4, April, 1933. A trio of avaricious scalawags dares the ice for the jewels of a long-frozen King! Quanga the huntsman, with Hoom Feethos and Eibur Tsanth, two of the most enterprising jewelers of Iqqua, had crossed the borders of a region into which men went but seldom and wherefrom they returned even more rarely. Travelling north from Iqqua, they had passed into desolate Mhu Thulan, where the great glacier of Polarion had rolled like a frozen sea upon wealthy and far-famed cities, covering the broad isthmus from shore Continue reading


by Robert Louis Stevenson. from Pall Mall Christmas Extra, December 1884. Cemetery guards have trouble keeping grave robbers out and the dead in. EVERY night in the year, four of us sat in the small parlour of the George at Debenham - the undertaker, and the landlord, and Fettes, and myself. Sometimes there would be more; but blow high, blow low, come rain or snow or frost, we four would be each planted in his own particular arm-chair. Fettes was an old drunken Scotchman, a man of education obviously, and a man of some property, since he lived in idleness. He had come to Debenham years ago, Continue reading


by Roswell Brown. Originally Published as "Hit the Baby" in The Shadow, February 15, 1936. Grace "Redsie" Culver learns of love and murder under the dark menace of zombies and demon visitations! "Blue Monday?" The redhead yawned, stretched, looked up from her desk in the quiet office of the Noonan Detective Agency. "Who started that whoop-de-da about Mondays being blue? You got a whole new week's work ahead of you on a Monday morning. Saturdays, it's all over. Nothing but a picnic in the country or washing out your stockings to look forward to." Young, good-looking Jerry Riker straightened Continue reading


by Charles Dickens. from All The Year Round, December 1862. A man encounters an unearthly apparition in an unusual haunted house. CHAPTER I–THE MORTALS IN THE HOUSE Under none of the accredited ghostly circumstances, and environed by none of the conventional ghostly surroundings, did I first make acquaintance with the house which is the subject of this Christmas piece. I saw it in the daylight, with the sun upon it. There was no wind, no rain, no lightning, no thunder, no awful or unwonted circumstance, of any kind, to heighten its effect. More than that: I had come to it direct from a Continue reading