Tales of Magic and Mystery (magazine)

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This article is about the 1920s pulp magazine. For the 1985 anthology, see Tales of Magic and Mystery.
Cover of the December 1927 issue

Tales of Magic and Mystery was a pulp magazine which published five monthly issues from December 1927 to April 1928. The publisher was Personal Arts, which was owned by International Correspondence Schools (ICS). In 1927 ICS had had success with a mailing titled "Secrets of the Ages". Bill Kofoed and Walter Gibson suggested a magazine to appeal to the same audience as the mailing, and Haddon Press, also owned by ICS, provided cost estimates that seemed very positive. Kofoed checked the numbers with Haddon Press and was convinced they were accurate, and the magazine was launched in December of that year with Gibson as editor.[1]

Among the contributors was H. P. Lovecraft, with "Cool Air", and Frank Owen, with three stories: "The Yellow Pool", "The Black Well of Wadi", and "The Lure of the Shrivelled Hand". A story by Miriam Allen deFord, "Ghostly Hands", also appeared, though it later became apparent that it had been printed without permission or payment. The magazine is now extremely rare, and has become a collectors' item because of the connection to H. P. Lovecraft. In addition to fiction the magazine published articles about magic, all of which were written by Gibson, some under pen-names. The articles included one on bullet-catching (illustrated by Earle K. Bergey), one on mysterious people, and a series on Harry Houdini.[1]

After the fifth issue, it became apparent that the reason the cost estimates had appeared so strong was that Haddon Press had forgotten to include the cost of the paper. This made it apparent that the magazine was losing money rapidly, and Tales of Magic and Mystery was immediately shut down.[1]

Bibliographic details[edit]

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1927 1/1
1928 1/2 1/3 1/4 1/5
Issues of Tales of Magic and Mystery from 1927 to 1928, showing volume and
issue numbers. Walter Gibson was editor throughout.[1]

Walter B. Gibson was the editor of all five issues of Tales of Magic and Mystery, which remained in saddle-stapled pulp format throughout its run. It was priced at 25 cents, and each issue was 64 pages long.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Ashley (1985), p. 644−647.


  • Ashley, Mike (1985). "Tales of Magic and Mystery". In Tymn, Marshall B.; Ashley, Mike. Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Weird Fiction Magazines. Westport CT: Greenwood Press. pp. 644–647. ISBN 0-313-21221-X.