Vintage Treasures: The Arbor House Treasury of Horror and the Supernatural compiled by Bill Pronzini, Barry N. Malzberg, and Martin H. Greenberg

Vintage Treasures: The Arbor House Treasury of Horror and the Supernatural compiled by Bill Pronzini, Barry N. Malzberg, and Martin H. Greenberg


The Arbor House Treasury of Horror and the Supernatural
(Arbor House, May 1981)

Back in February I surveyed all ten Arbor House Treasuries, calling them a “Hearty Library of Genre Fiction.” I wanted to take a closer look at a few (and I did crack open The Arbor House Treasury of Great Science Fiction Short Novels, edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Robert Silverberg), and this long Memorial Day weekend I’m settling down with The Arbor House Treasury of Horror and the Supernatural, a massive volume compiled by Bill Pronzini, Barry N. Malzberg, and Martin H. Greenberg.

This is a feast of a book, nearly 600 pages in hardcover, packed with 41 stories by Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, Winston Churchill, H. G. Wells, Ambrose Bierce, H. P. Lovecraft, Robert Bloch, Cornell Woolrich, William Faulkner, Theodore Sturgeon, Fritz Leiber, Fredric Brown, Karl Edward Wagner, Thomas M. Disch, Robert Silverberg, Ramsey Campbell, Jack Dann, C. M. Kornbluth, Robert Sheckley, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, and dozens of others. It’s a the kind of thing you build a month-long book club project around.

[Click the images for Arbor-sized versions.]


A few of the many repackaged versions of The Arbor House Treasury of Horror and the Supernatural

Most of the Arbor House anthologies were repackaged and retitled multiple times over the decades, but I’m not aware of any that were as popular — or had quite so many secret identities — as The Treasury of Horror and the Supernatural.

It was reissued numerous times, usually by discount book publishers like Galahad Books, Castle Books, Quill, Magpie Books, Bristol Park Books, and others. If you wandered into a bookstores in the English speaking world some time in the past 30 years, there’s an excellent chance you saw this book on the shelves in some form or another.

It was retitled as Great Tales of Horror & the Supernatural (with one story cut; Galahad Books, 1985, 1988, and 1994), Classic Tales of Horror and the Supernatural (complete reprint, Quill, 1991), Masters of Horror & the Supernatural: The Great Tales (Bristol Park Books, 2010), and in the UK as The Giant Book of Horror Stories (one story cut again, Magpie Books, 1991). among many others.

The book is divided into two sections, Grandmasters (covering Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ambrose Bierce, Cornell Woolrich, Frederic Brown, and many others) and Modern Masters (including Karl Edward Wagner, Thomas M. Disch, Robert Silverberg, Ramsey Campbell, Arthur Porges, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, and others.)

The book lacks longer tales, which is a shame, since some of the best horror tales of the last century (like Stephen King’s The Mist) have been novella length. But other than that, I have no complaints. It contains a nice selection or modern classics and overlooked gems.

Here’s the complete Table of Contents.

Introduction by Stephen King

Grandmasters

“Hop Frog” by Edgar Allan Poe (Flag of Our Union, March 7, 1849)
“Rappaccini’s Daughter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne (United States Magazine and Democratic Review, December 1844)
“Squire Toby’s Will” by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (Temple Bar, January 1868)
“The Squaw” by Bram Stoker (Holly Leaves, Dec 2, 1893)
“The Jolly Corner” by Henry James (The English Review, December 1908)
“Man Overboard!” by Winston S. Churchill (The Harmsworth Magazine, January 1899)
“The Hand” by Theodore Dreiser (Munsey’s, May 1919)
“The Valley of Spiders” by H. G. Wells (Pearson’s Magazine, March 1903)
“The Middle Toe of the Right Foot” by Ambrose Bierce (San Francisco Examiner, Aug 17, 1890)
“Pickman’s Model” by H. P. Lovecraft (Weird Tales, October 1927)
“Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper” by Robert Bloch (Weird Tales, July 1943)
“The Screaming Laugh” by Cornell Woolrich (Clues Detective Stories, November 1938)
“A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner (The Forum, April 30, 1930)
“Bianca’s Hands” by Theodore Sturgeon (Argosy (UK), May 1947)
“The Girl with the Hungry Eyes” by Fritz Leiber (The Girl with the Hungry Eyes, and Other Stories, 1949)
“Shut a Final Door” by Truman Capote (The Atlantic Monthly, August 1947)
“Come and Go Mad” by Fredric Brown (Weird Tales, July 1949)

Modern Masters

“The Scarlet King” by Evan Hunter (Manhunt, Dec 25, 1954)
“Sticks” by Karl Edward Wagner (Whispers #3, March 1974)
“Sardonicus” by Ray Russell (Sardonicus and Other Stories, 1961)
“A Teacher’s Rewards” by Robert S. Phillips (The Land of Lost Content, 1979)
“The Roaches” by Thomas M. Disch (Escapade, October 1965)
“The Jam” by Henry Slesar (Playboy, November 1958)
“Black Wind” by Bill Pronzini (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, September 1979)
“The Road to Mictlantecutli” by Adobe James (The Sixth Pan Book of Horror Stories, 1965)
“Passengers” by Robert Silverberg (Orbit 4, 1968)
“The Explosives Expert” by John Lutz (Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, September 1967)
“Call First” by Ramsey Campbell (Night Chills, 1975)
“The Fly” by Arthur Porges (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, September 1952)
“Namesake” by Rosalind M. Greenberg (Amazing Stories, July 1981)
“Camps” by Jack Dann (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, May 1979)
“You Know Willie” by Theodore R. Cogswell (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, May 1957)
“The Mindworm” by C. M. Kornbluth (Worlds Beyond, December 1950)
“Warm” by Robert Sheckley (Galaxy Science Fiction, June 1953)
“Transfer” by Barry N. Malzberg (Fantastic, August 1975)
“The Doll” by Joyce Carol Oates (Epoch, 1980)
“If Damon Comes” by Charles L. Grant (The Year’s Best Horror Stories: Series VI, 1978)
“Mass Without Voices” by Arthur L. Samuels (Nightmares, 1979)
“The Oblong Room” by Edward D. Hoch (The Saint Magazine, July 1967)
“The Party” by William F. Nolan (The Playboy Book of Horror and the Supernatural, 1967)
“The Crate” by Stephen King (Gallery, July 1979)

Here’s a look the other nine Arbor House Treasuries.


The Arbor House
library. Cover designs by Antler & Baldwin, Inc.

Our previous Arbor House coverage includes:

A Hearty Library of Genre Fiction: The Arbor House Treasuries edited by Martin H. Greenberg, Bill Pronzini, Robert Silverberg, and Others
Vintage Treasures: The Arbor House Treasury of Short Science Fiction Novels edited by Robert Silverberg and Martin H. Greenberg

I’ll take a closer look at some of the other Arbor House Treasuries in upcoming articles. Here’s the complete list to keep you busy in the meantime.

The Arbor House Treasury of Modern Science Fiction (1980)
The Arbor House Treasury of Great Science Fiction Short Novels (1980)
The Arbor House Treasury of True Crime (1981)
The Arbor House Treasury of Horror and the Supernatural (1981)
The Arbor House Necropolis (1981)
The Arbor House Treasury of Mystery and Suspense (1982)
The Arbor House Celebrity Book of Horror Stories (1982)
The Arbor House Treasury of Nobel Prize Winners (1983)
The Arbor House Celebrity Book of the Greatest Stories Ever Told (1983)
The Arbor House Treasury of Science Fiction Masterpieces (1983)
Arbor House Treasury of Detective and Mystery Stories from the Great Pulps (1983)
The Arbor House Treasury of Great Western Stories (1985)

The Arbor House Treasury of Horror and the Supernatural was published by Arbor House in May 1981. It is 599 pages, priced at $9.95 in hardcover. The cover design is by Antler & Baldwin, Inc.

See all of our recent Vintage Treasures here.

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Mario Guslandi

You always make me feel nostalgic…Those were the times.

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