Festival of Fear
Award-winning horror writer and master of the macabre, Graham Masterton presents a blood-curdling array of treats: twelve stories of terror celebrating the bizarre and grotesque, guaranteed to quicken the pulse. Marvel at the mirror dug up in secret and better off buried . . . Thrill at a pair of lovers, whose promises to each other lead them down a disturbing path. Observe the haunted house . . . Come closer, dear reader â€“ the hour of the festival is upon us . . .
you doing?’ The screaming stopped for a second, but then the child let out a high, shrill shriek, almost inhuman, more like a bird than a child. I hurried out of the apartment and ran downstairs, three and four stairs at a time. When I got to the hallway I banged on Mr Szponder’s door. ‘Mr Szponder! Mr Szponder!’ He opened his door in his vest and suspenders with a half-eaten submarine sandwich in his hand. ‘Jimmy? Whatsa matter?’ ‘Call the cops! It’s next door, that side, there’s some mother
floor to floor, knocking on every door. I could hear them talking and people complaining. Eventually they came back down again. ‘Well?’ I said. ‘There’s no kid in this building, sir.’ ‘What? I heard him with my own ears.’ ‘Nobody has a kid in this building, sir. We’ve been through every apartment.’ ‘It was the top floor. I swear to God. He was screaming something like, “mommy, mommy, you can’t” – over and over.’ ‘The top floor apartment is vacant, sir. Has been for years. The landlord uses
1870s the illustrator Thomas Nast drew him as a white-bearded figure in a red suit with white fur trim. In the 1930s and 1940s, Haddon H. Sundblom, an advertising illustrator for Coca Cola, painted dozens of pictures of the grandfatherly Santa as we think of him today, with his red cap and his heavy belt and boots and his round, rosy cheeks. The gaunt, doomy Father Christmas – the real Father Christmas – was forgotten. Much more cheerful, I guess, to tell your kids that Christmas is the time for
hair growing out of his ears, and a Grateful Dead T-shirt with greasy finger-wipes on it. He screwed his jeweler’s eyeglass into his socket and turned the bullet this way and that. ‘Where’d you find this?’ he wanted to know. ‘Do I have to tell you?’ ‘No, you don’t, because I can tell you where you found it. You found it amongst the memorabilia of a Vietnam vet.’ ‘Did I?’ The gun store was small and poky and smelled of oil. There were all kinds of hunting rifles arranged in cabinets behind the
whirling into the bedroom, and melting as it touched the carpet. He was holding a large curved sickle, with a black handle and an oily blade. I stepped forward, lifting the box in my left hand. ‘Here,’ I said. ‘Everything’s in there, except for the powder I used on the grass.’ He smiled at me, and hooked his sickle into his belt, and took the box in both hands. ‘I’m sorry I took it,’ I told him. ‘I didn’t realize that it was yours . . . that you were still alive after all those years.’ Jenny