Friday, 21 July 2017

The 2ndth Pan Book of Horror Stories (1973)

[click to enlarge]

While many of Pan's horror collections dealt with typical horror fare – the supernatural, the black arts, and murder – The 2ndth Pan Book of Horror Stories, published in Scarfolk in 1973, collected stories about the most fearful abomination in all of creation: mankind.

Mankind was the only organism to top both the government's list of greatest threats and its list of most endangered species and it's very likely there was a correlation.

Scarfolk Council was particularly keen to emphasise the potential rarity, thus value, of humans. It had bred thousands of useless people in a secret eugenics experiment, which had run out of funds, and needed to sell off the surplus to recoup some of its losses.

Unfortunately, the council flooded the market. By 1975, a small group of nondescript humans could be picked up for as little as £25 and as the decade drew to a close charity shops were full of them. Eventually, a landfill site was opened and the council gave all the unwanted people the bus fare that would take them to their final resting place.


  1. I still recall the Christmas morning 1979 when the council man rang and presented our Nan with both bus fare and an apple for the ride though she no longer had any teeth.

    Very generous and just in time as she was quite gnarled and smelly in her advanced age.

  2. I dunno, Scarfolk worked when it was surreal nightmare slightly beyond the borders of sense and safety, but as yet another poorly-disguised social satire it can't really distinguish itself. Love, the ghost of Michael Winner.

  3. That's it. If these postings have to have an end, I think you could stop here.

  4. These times are not easy for anyone.