Pan Book of Horror Stories

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The Pan Book of Horror Stories was a paperback series of short horror story anthologies published by Pan Books Ltd. The series ran to thirty volumes, the first published in 1959.

The series was initially collected and edited by Herbert Van Thal. On Van Thal's death Clarence Paget edited the series, from volume twenty-six until its demise with volume thirty in 1989.

The early editions of the Pan Book of Horror Stories were notable for their lurid cover art[1] and Van Thal's introduction of stories by new authors alongside classics of the genre. The first edition included works by Peter Fleming, Muriel Spark, Bram Stoker and C. S. Forester. Later volumes feature Ray Bradbury and Lord Dunsany among others. After volume nine, Van Thal placed a heavier reliance on new authors. The series grew in popularity and was the stepping stone for much new talent. However in the early eighties a slow decline in standards was observed. Popularity rose again in the late eighties but a multitude of reprint stories from Stephen King and a severe slide in quality ended the iconic series in 1989. The last book is now a rare collectors item, due to the small print run it received.

A U.S Edition of the first Pan book was released by Gold Medal, an imprint of Fawcett Publications and books 3 - 5 were released by Berkley Medallion. While the first book was complete in its contents - the other three books gave only a small selection of its UK counterparts. There is no evidence to support PBoH #2 ever having a US release.

Screaming Terror published under the Arthur Baker imprint is a collection from the first three Pan Book of Horror Stories and is also edited by Herbert Van Thal.

The Pan Book of Horror Stories maintains a cult following with many tribute and informational sites available.[2][3]

A reprint of the initial Pan Book of Horror was published in October 2010, with an introduction by Pan expert Johnny Mains.

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