Since its publication in 1933 as part of the Creeps series, Vivian Meik's short story collection Devils' Drums has long been an especially desirable book for collectors of weird literature. When one considers the scarcity of the title and the fact that it hasn't been reprinted for nearly eighty years, it's easy to see why sellers ask for very high prices for worn copies.
This wouldn't mean much if the stories were not as enjoyable and as thrilling as they prove to be. Vivian Meik's best horror fiction is unconventional, and it is probably for this quality that his work will be remembered.
Devils' Drums contains his very best work.
With this book Meik found his métier. Set in and around Portuguese East Africa (now Mozambique and Malawi), the ten chilling stories in Devils' Drums provide an abundance of zombies, curses, vengeful ghosts, and arcane witch doctors to appease the most pulp-hungry reader, and are a refreshing contrast to much of the British horror fiction of the early part of the twentieth century.
For this long-overdue reprint, the original contents have been augmented by two uncollected tales, and an episode from one of his autobiographical books that reads remarkably like his stories.
Douglas A. Anderson has also written a thorough, well-researched introduction to Vivian Meik's colorful career and adventurous life, with many anecdotes revealed here for the first time.
Medusa Press is proud to reissue Vivian Meik's Devils' Drums after decades of silence for a new generation to enjoy.
Hardcover...214 pages + xxx
Limited to 300 copies
Author Frank Chigas brings you ten spellbinding tales of terror that will make you question the illusion of a sane world and the very fabric of reality.
What menacing stranger awaits in "Ms. Trent's Dark Holiday"? Why does "The Missing Voussair" hold such inexorable tragedy? What is the cryptic nature of "The Pocket Watch"? Who are the "Demons" that haunt a man through the streets of Paris? And what blasphemous rites are being practiced in the horrifying novella "Indian Pipes"? You may not want to know the unpleasant answers!
These stories and more lie ahead for the brave soul willing to lower the lights and explore these sinister sketches of death.
The safety of daylight may save you, the reader, from the cold grip of horror, but first . . . the dark.
"Six years after the appearance of his stunning debut collection The Damp Chamber, Frank Chigas is finally back with a couple of volumes of new short stories. But First The Dark collects ten "tales of the uncanny" which certainly make up for the long wait . . . Once again Chigas exhibits a knack for crafting well told dark tales apt to provide many pleasant shivers to genre lovers."
-- Mario Guslandi, The Zone
"Mr. Chigas grabs you from the first story and drags you into the depths of darkness. I could not put down the book once I picked it up . . . This book is riveting, terrifying, and haunting from beginning to end. Mr. Chigas leads you down many dark and twisted paths, and you follow willingly. The storytelling is nothing short of masterful. 5 out of 5."
-- Sarah Covert, She Never Slept
"[Chigas] builds a solid plot and develops strong atmosphere and imagery for each of the entries . . . A lot of the stories remind me style-wise of some of the older masters like Lovecraft, M.R. James, Algernon Blackwood, Arthur Machen and so on, but Chigas definitely has his own voice."
-- James Beach, Dark Discoveries
"This is a great book to read where stories read smoothly and slowly build up to the ending that delivers every time."
-- D.W. Jones, Blood Moon Rising
"I was highly impressed by this collection of short, personal horror tales. This two book set (available separately) is comprised of twenty tales of the macabre (ten per book) in a stylistic yet easily read style, something that I would liken to tales told by old gentlemen in smoking jackets as they sat in their armchairs by a roaring fire . . . Chigas masterfully draws you into his world; the stories are all set in the early part of the twentieth century, and his poise with the ambiance and vernacular of that era are spot-on. He mixes elements that hearken back to the works of Lovecraft and even Poe in his narrative style, but it's clearly done in his own voice, and that voice evokes some hair-raising moments of dread . . . Each story in these two volumes reaches deep into the abyss of darkness, taking average people and seemingly innocuous, easily relatable situations and plunging them into a maelstrom of terror and hopeless despair. While the protagonists typically survive their experiences, they are always scarred, and we, the readers, along with them; worse the wear for our glimpse into the unknown. The tales are short, but that is not to say they are lacking in any literary sense; Chigas presents his characters in such a way as you immediately feel drawn to them, and share in their plights convincingly; indeed, I would venture that for tales of terror, they are all the perfect length. The reader is given all that they need to enjoy the ride . . . For purveyors of truly dark, primordially frightening tales, I highly recommend these works."
Limited to 250 copies
Collected here are ten chilling tales from Frank Chigas, author of the acclaimed collection, The Damp Chamber and Other Bad Places.
Take a turn down any of these corridors . . . From here, one can view the horrible occupant of "The Other Flat." And evil is just around the next corner in "The Cloaking Glass." Every turn of the page uncovers a new chill for the reader: An idyllic hike in the Italian Alps leads to horror in "Mephisto's Clay," and "The Eavesdropper" gets more than she ever bargained for.
Dare to walk these corridors, each path revealing a new horror, a dark doorway into the uncanny, a view of nightmare vistas.
But tread carefully, dear reader, for each step taken will draw you further into the unknown
"Years after his first, extraordinary collection The Damp Chamber [Chigas] is back with a book of new horror stories entitled Strange Corridors. Once again he's leading the reader across the peculiar geography of horror created by his powerful imagination, apt to disquiet and frighten his fellow travelers . . . Chigas' tales have a classical flavor (not fortuitously, most of the stories are set decades ago) and are solidly built according to the rules of good storytelling and are imbued with a deep sense of dread that will suit any fan of savory but stylish horror fiction."
-- Mario Guslandi, Hell Notes
"Once again Mr. Chigas has thrilled and chilled me with his eloquent and passionate prose. It is writers like him that give me hope for genre recognition in the "literary" ranks. Frank Chigas skillfully crafts his stories in such a way that they reach inside the deep recesses of your mind and pull out your darkest hidden fears . . . Frank Chigas is a master of the short story. He has a way of reaching the depths of your soul, touching on fears you did not even know you had . . . I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Horror, Strange Tales, or Paranormal stories -- or anyone who simply enjoys intricately and well written short stories. 5 out of 5."
-- Sarah Covert, She Never Slept
Limited to 250 copies
Each book is signed by author Frank Chigas and set inside an attractive slipcase with wrap-around band and wax seal. $100
Limited to only 100 boxsets!
Oliver Sherry's Mandrake is one of the most bizarre and exciting supernatural horror novels of the 1920s, a chilling tour de force unworthy of its obscure status.
The story centers around the investigations of an American occult detective, Tom Annesley (following in the great literary tradition of earlier psychic sleuths Carnacki, John Silence, Flaxman Low and Abraham Van Helsing), in two remote English villages. This area is terrorized by the immortal Baron Habdymos, malevolent sorcerer and last surviving of seven ancient adepts of black magic, and his evil bestial familiar or "mandrake," which feeds on blood -- a memorable creation worthy of M.R. James at his darkest.
Malignant ghosts and demons haunt nearly every chapter of this extremely fast-paced novel, all steadily leading up to a thrilling climax.
Medusa Press is pleased to reissue this lost supernatural classic for the first time since its original publication over eighty years ago.
In addition, researcher Richard Dalby provides an informative intro-duction to the work and its equally obscure author.
"Medusa Press has picked a strong story from almost a century ago to bring back to modern readers . . . The story is well-written and holds up to the test of time. Both the Baron and his familiar, the "Mandrake" demon are quite memorable and creepy as well."
-- James Beach, Dark Discoveries
"A centuries-old sorcerer, ghosts, and a murderous familiar populate the pages of an action-packed, fast-paced story that doesn't let up until the very end. The descriptive writing is fantastic, allowing the reader to really use their imagination . . . Mandrake will make a beautiful addition to any horror fan's library."
-- Colleeen Wanglund, Horror Fiction Review
"Oliver Sherry is a forgotten master of the gothic macabre. His description of Habdymos' background reveals him also to have been a well-versed student of the occult, in the Irish tradition of Bram Stoker and W.B. Yeats. It is a pity that "Mandrake" was his only gothic novel, but Medusa has done us a service through its resurrection."
-- James Guy Roberts, Suspense Magazine
"It's hard to believe Mandrake managed to slip through the cracks for so long . . . Medusa Press has done an inarguably good deed to the horror community by bringing an heretofore unknown piece of literary history to a group of readers who may be jaded by some of the 'dark fiction' coming out of the modern literary machine. The book itself, limited to 350 copies, will look great on any reader's shelf with its hardcover wrapped in a matte dustcover decorated with a stark rendering of Habdymos threatening his victims."
-- Lincoln Crisier, Shroud Magazine
Hardcover...251 + x
Since his first novel, The Giant Under the Snow, was published in 1968 to critical acclaim, John Gordon has always written about that misunderstood frontier between adolescence and adulthood -- and the sometimes dark borderlands that reside there as well. With a knack for choosing the perfect word, the right balance of plot and character, and the appropriate amount of shudders, Mr. Gordon continues to be one of the most celebrated fantasists working in the field today.
For the first time, thirty of Mr. Gordon's superlative tales have been gathered for this career-spanning collection. From the creeping menace of "Grandmother's Footsteps" and the squirming horror of the "Eels" to the searing touch of "The Burning Baby," these excursions into the darker corners of life and death will send a proper chill up the spine. In addition to the twenty-nine previously-released stories, a chilling new tale, "The Night Watch," has been written expressly for this volume.
Although Mr. Gordon has been writing supernatural and fantasy tales for over four decades, receiving the highest praise in his home country, there hasn't been a definitive collection of his best twilight tales . . . until now.
"Gordon is a superb storyteller, capable of easily producing suspense and dread thanks to a steady, masterful narrative style, a great command of the language and an uncanny ability to credibly draw his characters. Besides, he manages to elicit shivers and disquiet without ever resorting to violence, gore or splatter . . . Needless to say, the book is so good that each story would deserve to be praised and commented upon . . . In other words he's a great writer whose best short fiction is at last gathered in this volume, a treat for anyone and a pleasant surprise for those readers who may not be familiar with the work of this gifted author."
-- Mario Guslandi, Infinity Plus
"Any lover of ghost stories should move heaven and earth to get their hands on Left in the Dark: The Supernatural Tales of John Gordon. This is a marvelous example of the form done right, done with grace and delicacy and almost unbearable tension . . . Such is the quality of Gordon's writing that you don't miss it. There's no need for headless phantoms or shootouts here, just slowly dawning realizations and emotional inevitability that sweep up the reader and carry you along to elegant, satisfying conclusions. Of the 30 stories in the book, not a one is a clunker . . . These, simply, are ghost stories done right, equally accessible to the connoisseur and to the newcomer, and equally appealing to both. Go, find, read -- the stories are waiting for you."
-- Richard Dansky, Green Man Review
"[In this collection] you'll find story after story rich in mood and subtlety, nearly impossible to put down, and always rewarding at the end. Although, Gordon's work is primarily written around the awkward and uncomfortable time between adolescence and adulthood, these are stories for everyone . . . Karl Edward Wagner once wrote, "John Gordon's precise control of his fiction and his mastery of the English language are unequalled since the death of Robert Aikman." That truly says it all."
"Based upon the quality of the thirty stories collected in this book, he should be far better known to those of us readers of supernatural fiction here in the USA. Each story is a gem and they are all truly among the finest, most atmospheric, shudder-some tales I've read in many a year. These are the type of stories well suited to being read upon a winter's night, curled up by a fire, if possible, and with a beverage of choice close by. For any readers who like ghost stories and scary supernatural tales written with style and real talent, Left In The Dark will be a real "find" and a cause for genuine celebration."
-- Norm Rubenstein, Horror World
Limited to 500 copies (50 signed editions)
$40 (unsigned) / $60 (signed author signature plate with wraparound band and wax seal)
Medusa Press is also offering a special signed edition, with wraparound band and wax seal, limited to 50 copies. The price is $60, and they are available through any of our booksellers listed on the above tab.
Conversely, should you prefer to order the signed edition through us, please email the request at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will send you a Paypal money request.
"John Gordon's precise control of his fiction and his mastery of the English language are unequalled since the death of Robert Aikman."
-- Karl Edward Wagner
"[John Gordon's tales] will leave readers shivering -- and eager for more."
-- Kirkus Reviews
"John Gordon has fine gifts: sharp visual perception, a taut, precise style, a remarkable feeling for adolescent relationships, an ability to make the supernatural piercingly real. Satisfying, strong, and varied ghost stories for the older reader."
-- The Guardian
"John Gordon -- a master of suspense."
-- Books for Your Children
"[John Gordon] has a well-developed ability to convey a sense of uncanny menace . . . [his] fine short supernatural stories feature a range of interesting and often strikingly memorable manifestations, hauntings and apparitions."
-- St. James Guide to Horror
"John Gordon has confidentially mastered the art of holding his reader in suspense . . . His stories demand concentrated attention to unravel intricacies and to catch the full flavor of his versatile prose."
-- The Junior Bookshelf
"John Gordon is a master storyteller."
-- Children's Books of the Year
"If you've yet to sample the talents of John Gordon, you have a real treat in store."
-- Ghosts & Scholars
Catch your Death (previously-issued) a recommended selection in Stephen Jones's and Kim Newman's Horror: 100 Best Books.
From a deserted research facility harboring monstrous secrets to portents of death found on the cold waves of the Atlantic, The Damp Chamber collects nineteen terrifying tales in an attractive hardcover, with original artwork by the author.
Besides the terrifying title novelette, there are many other stories to be found within these pages to jangle the nerves of the unprepared. The House of August opens its decaying doors to a nightmare trapped within its very frame, and evil is awakened with the tolling of The Copper Bell. A haunted inn on the sea-swept cliffs of Dover is the backdrop for horror in She Is a Picture In Black, while The Return of the One triggers a deadly resolution for the unwary. Frank Chigas stops at every sinister detour in-between, guiding the reader through these dark places with a sure hand.
With a penchant for building a palpable atmosphere, the author has created a lasting document of fright that will stay with the reader for some time to come.
Limited Edition of 500 copies
Frank really has his finger on the pulse of horror, particularly ghost stories, as evinced by this startling, often disturbing but wholly exciting and original collection of fiction. As I read The Damp Chamber, Frank drew me into each one with the clarity of his descriptiveness, the well formed and deftly honed characters, as well as the exceedingly well informed knowledge that went into making both characters and story locations totally real. From the content of each, a remarkable amount of research must have gone into creating and verifying the settings for them, and it visibly shows in each of their proceedings. Each story is a masterpiece of creativity . . . A very distinctive style is immediately apparent in this collection . . . Dread and tension abound . . . with a carefully crafted and powerful aura of malevolence in each tale. Oftimes gruesome, mainly bewildering at the horror depicted, yet satisfyingly refreshing with each of these nineteen tales . . . The book's dust-wrapper is like the fiction within, a masterpiece of understated menace. Frank Chigas is a name to be reckoned with in the horror fiction firmament, and one that I am sure will be appearing with more regularity and intensity in the future. If his short stories are this startling, I eagerly await his first full length novel with bated breath. Certainly a most deserving successor to the achievements and reputation of the likes of J S Le Fanu and Algernon Blackwood. A true masterpiece of the macabre. Click here for the full review.
-- Horror Express Magazine
Chigas is very much a traditionalist. His stories are extraordinarily well written in the style of classic pulp fiction. No reader would have trouble believing these tales were penned during the Golden Age of pulp fiction. Fans of Lovecraft, Derleth, Hodgeson, Cave, Quinn, and Jacobi will discover there actually is someone who writes 'em like they used to. Chigas' prose is steeped in chilling atmosphere . . . His strongest efforts are about as good as horror fiction gets . . . These are seriously creepy and supremely satisfying tales that come highly recommended. This volume is limited to 500 unsigned copies, so you're advised to scoop one up before the word spreads too far. Click here for the full review.
-- Garrett Peck,  Flesh & Blood Magazine
FIVE OUT OF FIVE STARS -- "The Damp Chamber and Other Bad Places by Frank Chigas is one of the best collections of horror stories I've ever read -- if not the very best. With the stylish storytelling prowess of Stephen King, the audacious gruesomeness of H.P. Lovecraft, the psychological intensity of Ramsey Campbell and the cerebral machinations of Algernon Blackwood, this masterful collection absolutely blew me away . . . The Damp Chamber and Other Bad Places is an artistic masterwork that should -- and will -- be cherished by horror aficionados for generations to come . . . The Damp Chamber and Other Bad Places will be a prized collector's item once the rest of the world finds out about Frank Chigas." Click here for the full review.
-- Paul Goat Allen,  SF Reader
Once in a while one happens to run into a previously unknown book, buy it on impulse and find it to be unexpectedly excellent. The Damp Chamber . . . is proof that sometimes impulsive acts provide delightful surprises . . . compelling, extremely entertaining and, what counts more to the horror fan, pleasantly disquieting . . . his writing style is firm and smooth, his ability as a storyteller is excellent, and his plots very imaginative . . . The narrative style is always straightforward, essential and simple, but never ordinary or sloppy. On the contrary Chigas's writing is quite elegant, I'd be tempted to say "classical", with a knack for choosing precisely the right word. The result is a very enjoyable experience for anyone who likes to read a well-told story. In a time when so much disposable fiction is immediately out of the reader's mind as soon as the last page is turned, stories like the ones included in this collection cannot be easily forgotten.Click here for the full review.
-- Mario Guslandi,  Agony Column
If I could sue somebody for scaring the wits out of me, Frank Chigas would be first on my list. His collection of short horror stories, The Damp Chamber and Other Bad Places, literally gave me nightmares and made me unable to go to sleep without a nightlight on . . . I found myself saying after each story, "He can't get any scarier," only to find myself wrong, DEAD WRONG! Frank Chigas is a new master of horror, as these stories and accompanying illustrations suggest. He not only knows how to scare you witless, but he knows how to turn on the inner devices of the imagination that only a great storyteller knows how to do. In fact, in Chigas's Damp Chambers, the power of the imagination to terrify is really all that exists . . . This book is a treasure, or maybe a Pandora's Box, depending on your capacity for dealing with terror. Click here for the full review.
-- Marie Jones, BookIdeas.com
I don't know where Frank Chigas emerged from. He's not a name you hear everyday in the horror genre, but neither his distinctive style nor his powerful voice are easy to forget, and after reading this fiction collection he is now one of only a handful of present-day horror writers I can honestly and gladly praise . . . Chigas's skill is what sets him and his stories apart from the bevy of others who attempt to achieve this level of quality in the genre. Simply stated: Go buy this book and see for yourself how good horror can be when in the right hands. Click here for the full review.
-- Sarah Arthur,   The Edge Tales of Suspense
"A frightening foray into places better left undisturbed. Chigas deftly maneuvers the reader through these 'bad places,' building tension and inspiring dread with a finely detailed and eloquent writing style. A menagerie of unearthly horrors lie in wait for those who dare to venture within The Damp Chamber."
-- Christine Filipak,   Dark Realms Magazine
The Damp Chamber And Other Bad Places showcases nineteen short stories by Frank Chigas, one of the newest and best authors in the field of horror fantasy. Chigas writes with flair, style, originality, and conjuring effectiveness. These are the kinds of tales that need to be read with all the lights on! Very highly recommended reading for the horror fantasy enthusiast.
-- Midwest Book Review
"Frank Chigas particularly loves a good ghost story, such as the very first in his collection . . . Chigas's writing has a strong literary bent to it, but that's not to say that what ultimately happens isn't satisfyingly gruesome. The Damp Chamber is not for the feint of heart. Bloody death and mayhem abound, but of course true fans of the genre wouldn't have it any other way."
-- Brian D. Rubendall,   Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine
"Frank Chigas has delivered 19 creepy tales that each scares and impresses on its own. These tales have an old-fashioned and pleasing Lovecraftian element to them -- a quaint restraint found too seldom in modern horror authors."
Like H.P. Lovecraft before him, Frank Chigas creates his own supernatural mythos, populated by denizens of the other world, determined to cross into this one . . . The overall effect of the book is a feeling of dread, a fear of the unknown. And that, of course, is the essential quality of a scary story . . . These stories, taken together, do what Lovecraft did, creating a dark mythos of creatures found under rocks or in dark corners, coming through from the netherworld . . . These psychological tales hearken back to the classic horror authors such as Lovecraft and Poe, and his adept storytelling and refreshing style make for an engaging read. Although probably not a book to read right before bedtime. Click here for the full review.
-- Alyce Wilson,   Wild Violet
"It's refreshing to find a writer who knows the value of atmosphere and imagery in a story. It's clear from the first tale onward that Chigas is comfortable with the English language. The prose is smooth, well-written, and reminds me of the horror stories from the old masters like Blackwood, Machen, and Lovecraft. Most of the stories are set in the past and could have easily been published alongside the likes of Poe and Ambrose Bierce."
-- Post Mortem Magazine