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Vintage Treasures: Ghosts and Grisly Things by Ramsey Campbell

Sunday, September 24th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Weird Tales Summer 1991-small Dark Love-small Dark Terrors 2 The Gollancz Book of Horror-small
Fantasy Tales Summer 1985-small Night Visions 3-small Narrow Houses-small

We’re on the cusp of October, and you know what that means. Goth Chick will decorate the entire office with candles, pumpkins, and shrunken heads, and we’re about to get deluged with a fresh crop of horror books. It’s pretty exciting actually, and many of us look forward to this time of year (in addition to Goth Chick and her band of terrified interns, I mean). So to help kick off the season, I thought I’d showcase a classic horror collection as my latest Vintage Treasure.

Have a look at the assortment of magazines and anthologies above, and see if you notice a recurring theme. It’s not too hard to spot… the name Ramsey Campbell was ubiquitous in the market throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s, and for good reason. He’s one of the most accomplished horror writers in the business, and his name has graced many a magazine cover and Table of Contents. Campbell produced some 18 collections between 1964 and 2015, and the 80s and 90s were his most productive decades. The stories which appeared in the above volumes, and nearly a dozen more, were reprinted in Ghosts and Grisly Things, a collection from Pumpkin Books (UK, 1998) and Tor Books (US, 2000).

[Click the images for bigger versions.]

Ghosts and Grisly Things Ramsey Campbell-small Ghosts and Grisly Things Ramsey Campbell-back-small

Ramsey Campbell’s first novel was The Doll Who Ate His Mother (1976); his other novels include The Face That Must Die (1979), The Influence (1988), Ancient Images (1989), and The Searching Dead (2016). He has won the British Fantasy Award 13 times, and the World Fantasy Award four times, for “The Chimney” (1978), “Mackintosh Willy” (1980), Best New Horror (1991, co-edited with Stephen Jones), and the collection Alone with the Horrors (1994). In 2015 he received a Lifetime Achievement Awards at the World Fantasy Awards in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Ghosts and Grisly Things collects 19 stories published between 1978 and 1997, and one original novelette, “Ra*e.” The stories originally appeared in magazines like Shayol, Weird Tales, and Fantasy Tales, and anthologies like Darklands 2, Destination Unknown, and Borderlands 4.

The collection also reprints all four tales from Night Visions 3 (1986), edited by George R.R. Martin, part of the excellent horror anthology series from Dark Harvest that ran for a dozen volumes, showcasing three authors per book.

Here’s the complete Table of Contents.

Introduction by Ramsey Campbell
“The Same in Any Language” (Weird Tales, Summer 1991)
“Going Under” (Dark Love, 1995)
“The Alternative” (Darklands 2, 1994)
“Out of the Woods” (Dark Terrors 2: The Gollancz Book of Horror, 1996)
“A Street Was Chosen” (Weird Tales, Summer 1991, 1991)
“McGonagall in the Head” (Uncanny Banquet, 1992)
“Through the Walls” (Through the Walls, 1978)
“This Time” (Night Visions 3, 1986)
“The Sneering” (Fantasy Tales, Summer 1985)
“Between the Floors” (Destination Unknown, 1997)
“Where They Lived” (Phantasm #1, 1994)
“Root Cause” (Night Visions 3, 1986)
“Looking Out” (Night Visions 3, 1986)
“The Dead Must Die” (Narrow Houses, 1992)
“A Side of the Sea” (Borderlands 4, 1994)
“Missed Connection” (Night Visions 3, 1986)
“The Change” (Shayol #4 Winter 1980)
“Welcomeland” (Words International #4, February 1988)
“See How They Run” (Monsters in Our Midst, 1993)
“Ra*e” (original to this volume)

Ghosts and Grisly Things is the perfect collection to kick off the spooky month of October, and I plan to dig into it this week (as soon as I finish Jonathan Stroud’s The Whispering Skull.)

Our previous coverage of Ramsey Campbell includes:

Swords & Sorcery Gold from a Master of Horror: Far Away & Never by Fletcher Vredenburgh
New Treasures: Ghosts Know

Ghosts and Grisly Things was published in hardcover by Tor Books in October 2000, and reprinted in trade paperback in October 2001. The trade edition is 300 pages, priced at $14.95. The cover is by Barry Appell. The hardcover and trade paperback editions are both still in print and available online. I bought a brand new trade edition from Gateways books in August for $3.98.

See all our recent Vintage Treasures here.

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