Please help me figure out this late 70's YA horror story collection
March 17, 2017 7:53 PM   Subscribe

My memory is fading but I really want to find it again. It was a horror short story collection probably targeted to 8-12 year olds. I've been trying for a while to figure out the name of this collection that I read as a youngster. I've reviewed some of the Scary Stories series but none of them seem to be the book I recall. The horror in this one was particularly suffocating (literally, at times) and I really would like to find it again and see if it still chills my bones.

Here are the two details that I recall (which I THINK were both in the same book)
1) there was a story about a magician or fortune teller, and it is revealed that he has a dwarf that is operating some of the tricks/devices in his show. He neglects to get the dwarf out of his apparatus and he dies (I believe by suffocation). However, (if I recall correctly) the device the dwarf was controlling still becomes active and possibly kills the negligent master.
2) There were two boys that go play hide-and-seek or something of that nature in an abandoned amusement park - one or both end up trapped in the equipment possibly by a ghost and, again, IIRC, the ending is essentially that the one(s) trapped are not yet dead but will never be found.
If the book had any pictures, it had one or two per story, not many.
I don't recall the length.
I think I read this book around the same time as I read The Plant People by Dale Carlson which was published in 1979.

ANY ideas, suggestions, etc would be greatly appreciated!

posted by maldrin to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This sounds familiar. Could it be one of the (many!) anthologies released under the Alfred Hitchcock presents series? I remember those books, even the YA aimed titles, as horrifically frightenening.
posted by Malla at 6:24 AM on March 18

The first possibility that occurred to me was this: Read if you dare : twelve twisted tales from the editors of Read magazine: Clotho, spinner of lives. Skater / by Catherine Gourley ; Night Burial / by Ken Siebert ; Snow cancellations / by Donald R. Burleson ; The ruum / by Arthur Porges --
Lachesis, weaver of good and evil. A meeting with death / by Geoffrey Chaucer ; The birthmark / by Nathaniel Hawthorne ; Arrested / by Ambrose Bierce ; The right kind of house / by Henry Slesar ; Battleground / by Stephen King --Atropos, trimmer of threads. The bargain: a retelling of the Greek myth of Admetus and the shadow of death ; Reverse insomnia / by Jonathon Blake ; Deadline / by Richard Matheson.

But I second the juvenile Hitchcock anthologies as a possibility. Here's a list of ‘Hitchcock for children’ to get you started. You can see the cover of and images from Monster Museum here; maybe it will ring a bell for style? Alfred Hitchcock's Witches' Brew includes "Gone as by Magic" by Richard Hardwick. Maybe?
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:21 AM on March 18

Thanks for these links I'll dig in. I've reviewed a lot of the Hitchcock collections but usually they were slightly more advanced than I remember this being. That said, there's a lot more of them than I remembered so maybe some of them are more suited for the age I'm thinking these are targeted to. I know that the stories were usually about kids, not adults, so some of these that include more adult themes like romance and such were either not present, or so over my head I didn't realize it. :)
posted by maldrin at 10:09 AM on March 18

Tales of Terror (1975, Ida Chittum) ?

Maybe one of the books in this series of photos will ring a bell?
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:39 PM on March 18

« Older Two nights in Amsterdam vs Amsterdam and Brussels?   |   Name that movie! Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments