Down Memory Lane (Authors & Events)

Memories Revisited: We Remember Peter Haining (1940-2007)

Peter HainingFor those of us who are rooted in and sustained by an unforgivable passion for horror, terror, and black magic, the name Peter Alexander Haining carries a lot of weight.  This versatile dude (writer, journalist, and anthologist) delivered one after another knockout stuff — The Necromancers, The Black Magic Omnibus, Weird Tales anthologies, The Fantastic Pulps and lots more. If someone ever conducted a poll on the best editor of fantasy and occult books, Mr. Haining would simply whitewash his pals.

The Ghouls Peter HainingAs a kid, our favorite editor was deeply influenced by pulp magazines of his day, magazines that were replete with illustrations of brutal action and mesmerizing dames. His feverish imagination threw him into an intriguing maze of fantasy and horror, which affected him profoundly.

Haining began his career as a journalist in Essex and subsequently joined New English Library. At NEL he worked with Ian Fleming on a biography of James Bond. Perhaps, Fleming inspired him to come up with crime driven anthologies that he published for NEL. Haining went on to become the Editorial Director of the publishing house, but left NEL to pursue the career of a full-time writer and editor.

The editor launched NEL young writer of the year award, which was a big hit. Do you know it was Haining who spotted Philip Pullman and gave him a break? The Haunted Storm, Pullman’s first venture, was issued by Pete.

Weird tales Peter HainingWhy did Haining move into editing horror anthologies? Well, he thought that horror collections of his time were all blood and gore; the stories missed the ingredients of a good adventure novel. So he started with the idea of adding a new dimension to the concept of horror anthology. Also, he started the trend of adding a short author bio with all the stories he selected for his books.

Haining used some particular stories over and over in his books — this is one common allegation against the editor. He never denied it but pointed out that he re-used the stories years apart, which made sense because he was talking to an entirely new generation. I would like to add here that I’ve found plenty of rare and new treasures in Haining’s books. So he might be forgiven for being a bit repetitive.

People who knew Haining unanimously agree that he was an agreeable and friendly fella. He was the owner of a massive library of mystery fiction, and his knowledge of the genre was encyclopaedic. Haining admired Charles Dickens, whose contribution to crime fiction, he thought, is highly underrated.

The editor won The British Fantasy Award in 2001.

Peter Haining passed away on November 19 2007. He was a firm believer in ghosts. Let him be the Tsar of all pulp spirits.

Selected Bibliography:

Anthologies edited
The Hell of Mirrors (1965)
Everyman’s Book of Classic Horror Stories (1965)
Where Nightmares Are (1966)
The Craft of Terror (1966)
Beyond the Curtain of Dark (1966)
Guaranteed Rest in Peace: And Other Macabre Tales (1966)
Gentlewomen of Evil: An Anthology of Rare Supernatural Stories from the Pens of Victorian Ladies(1967)
Anyone for Murder?: And Other Tales of Crime (1967)
This Day’s Evil (1967)
Dr. Caligari’s Black Book (1968)
The Evil People (1968)
The Future Makers (1968)
The Midnight Penthouse (1968)
The Midnight People (1968)
Legends for the Dark (1968)
The Satanists (1969)
The Unspeakable People (1969)
The Witchcraft Reader (1969)
The Hollywood Nightmare (1970)
The Freak Show (1970)
A Circle of Witches: An Anthology of Victorian Witchcraft Stories (1971)
The Necromancers (1971)
The Clans of Darkness: Scottish Stories of Fantasy and Horror (1971)
The Ghouls Book 2 (1971)
The Wild Night Company (1971)
The Ghouls Book 1 (1971)
The Dream Machines (1972)
Lucifer Society (1972)
Great British Tales of Terror: Gothic Stories of Horror and Romance 1765-1840 (1972)
The Magicians: The Occult in Fact and Fiction (1972)
Nightfrights (1972)
Great Tales of Terror from Europe and America Volume 2 (1972)
The Nightmare Reader (1973)
The Nightmare Reader Volume 1 (1973)
Summoned from the Tomb (1973)
The Nightmare Reader Volume 2 (1973)
Christopher Lee’s New Chamber of Horrors (1974)
The Magic Valley Travellers: Welsh Stories of Fantasy and Horror (1974)
The Ghouls (1974)
More of Christopher Lee’s New Chamber of Horrors (1974)
The Fantastic Pulps (1975)
The Penny Dreadful: or Strange Horrid and Sensational Tales (1975)
The Ghost’s Companion (1975)
The Black Magic Omnibus Volume 2 (1976)
The Black Magic Omnibus Volume 1 (1976)
Tales of Unknown Horror (1976)
Weird Tales Volume 2 (1976)
The Frankenstein File (1977)
Deadly Nightshade (1978)
More Weird Tales (1978)
Irish Leprechaun’s Kingdom (1979)
The Leprechaun’s Kingdom (1979)
More Tales of Unknown Horror (1979)
The Shilling Shockers (1979)
Buried Passions (1980)
The Final Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1981)
Vampire Terror and Other Stories (1981)
The Book of Ghost Stories (1983)
Zombie (1985)
The Ghost Ship: Stories of the Phantom ‘Flying Dutchman’ (1985)
Tales of Dungeons and Dragons (1986)
Dead of Night (1986)
The Television Sherlock Holmes (1986)
The Dracula Centenary Book (1987)
Werewolf: Horror Stories of the Man Beast (1987)
LBW – Laughter Before Wicket: 100 Years of Humorous Cricket Short Stories (1987)
Poltergeist: Tales of Deadly Ghosts (1987)
Movie Monsters: Great Horror Film Stories (1988)
Irish Tales of Terror: Twenty-Two Bewitching Tales of Irish Mystery and Magic (1988)
Scottish Stories of Fantasy and Horror (1988)
Doctor Who : 25 Glorious Years (1988)
Mummy Stories of the Living Corpse (1988)
Hook, Line and Laughter: A Haul of 18 Humorous Fishing Stories (1989)
Stories of the Walking Dead (1990)
Murder On the Menu: A Gourmet Guide to Death (1991)
The Armchair Detective: Great Tales of Crime and Detection (1992)
Great Irish Stories of the Supernatural (1992)
The Television Detectives’ Omnibus (1992)
Great Tales of Horror (1993)
Masters of the Macabre (1993)
Vampires at Midnight (1993)
TV Late Night Horror Omnibus (1993)
The Armchair Horror Collection (1994)
Great Irish Tales of the Unimaginable (1994)
Great Tales of Crime and Detection (1994)
On Call with Doctor Finlay (1994)
The Flesh Eaters (1994)
The Frankenstein Omnibus (1994)
Peter Cushing’s Monster Movies (1994)
Murder by the Glass (1994)
The Television Crimebusters Omnibus (1994)
Armchair Horror Omnibus (1994)
Murder at the Races (1995)
The Vampire Omnibus (1995)
Great Irish Tales of Horror (1995)
Space Movies: Classic Science Fiction Films (1995)
Tales from the Gothic Bluebooks (1995)
Ghost Movies: Famous Supernatural Films (1995)
Ghost Movies II (1996)
London After Midnight (1996)
Murder on the Railways (1996)
Tales from the Rogues’ Gallery (1996)
The Vampire Hunters’ Casebook (1996)
Space Movies II (1996)
The Wizards of Odd: Comic Tales of Fantasy (1996)
Pulp Frictions (1996)
On the Case with Agatha Christie’s “Poirot” (1996)
Great Irish Tales Of Fantasy And Myth (1996)
Time Travelers: Fiction in the Fourth Dimension (1997)
Cyber-Killers (1997) (writing as Ric Alexander)
The Flying Sorcerers (1997)
Timescapes (1997)
Classic Science Fiction (1998)
Classic Westerns (1998)
Classics of the Supernatural (1998)
Great Irish Humorous Stories: An Anthology of Laughter and Wit (1998)
Scary!: Stories That Will Make You Scream (1998)
The Unexplained: Stories of the Paranormal (1998) (writing as Ric Alexander)
Knights of Madness: Further Comic Tales of Fantasy (1998)
Great Irish Stories of Murder and Mystery (1999)
Vintage Science Fiction (1999)
Great Irish Tales of Fantasy (1999)
Laws and Disorders (1999)
Great Welsh Fantasy Stories (2001)
Scary!: More Stories to Make You Scream!: Vol 2 (2002)
Great Irish Drinking Stories (2002)
Magician’s Circle: More Spellbinding Stories of Wizards and Wizardry (2003)
The Wizard’s Den: Spellbinding Tales of Magic and Magicians (2003)
Scottish Ghost Stories (2004)
The Mysterious Novice: Tales of Terror from the Gothic Bluebooks (2007)

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