October is here! To me, that means crisp air, a reprieve (hopefully) from the heat, fires in the fireplace and the changing of the leaves. And best of all, it means Halloween and all that entails: the horror movie marathons on television, the decorating of front yards, taking tours of haunted houses, and the fascination with the occult. For some it means parties and dressing up in costume. If that floats your boat, great. I'm perfectly happy watching Frankenstein on TCM.
To celebrate October, here are some covers from GHOST STORIES. But before we go there, let me tell you I have in my hand a copy of GHOST STORIES: THE MAGAZINE AND ITS MAKERS, VOLUME 1, edited by John Locke of Off-Trail Publications - the same fine person who brought us THE OCEAN and GANG PULP and PULPWOOD DAYS. John has released 2 volumes of GHOST STORIES, and now that my required reading is out of the way, I can dive into Volume 1.
Here's some info on GHOST STORIES, taken from the back of John's book:
In an era of odd magazines, Macfadden's GHOST STORIES (1926-31) was a standout of the strange. It tapped into occult interest by presenting haunted tales that may or may not have been true. If they were true, then GHOST STORIES was testament to the presence of spirits in every exciting arena, the Western Front, gangland, aviation, the Klondike, the circus, the theater: not coincidentally, all the varied settings that pulp stories employed.
The personnel that created GHOST STORIES, though not well remembered today in most cases, were an uncommonly talented and fascinating group. They include poets and scholars, war heroes and war correspondents, adventurers and Bohemians. A few were titans of magazine publishing and editing. A few developed into prolific pulpsters; a few became bestselling authors; a few went Hollywood; one garnered a Pulitzer Prize for fiction. And because it's GHOST STORIES, a few led haunted lives: within these pages are two murderers, a murder victim, a suicide, and several casualties of tragic accidents.
John is known for his excellent biographies, so the stories about the authors sound to be just as thrilling as the stories themselves.
If you want to get your own copy of GHOST STORIES: THE MAGAZINE AND ITS MAKERS, or any of the other anthologies they've done, you can go to Off-Trail's Publications web page here.
Here are some covers of GHOST STORIES, courtesy of Galactic Central. Happy October, everyone!