Saturday, March 5, 2011

Fred Banbery's Haunted Houseful

It's actually Alfred Hitchcock's "Haunted Houseful" (Random House, 1961), featuring nine great, classic ghost stories from the likes of A. Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, Manly Wade Wellman, and others. But scattered throughout this 200+ page collection of bone chilling creeps are about two dozen examples of the exceptionally eerie, illustrative genius of Fred Banbery; a guy whose moody, atmospheric visuals provided this blogger many a sleepless night after viewing them as a kid! Amazing stuff, and it's fun to see Fred add Hitchcock's face into the artwork too, just as Hitch had added himself in split-second walk-on rolls into his own films! Don't blink or you might miss him!

















13 comments:

Mr. Cavin said...

A favorite of mine ever since my very first Paddington book....

KW said...

You are right, these drawings are masterfully creepy. I like the Hitchcock cameos.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant post! Is the Mark Twain story Tom Sawyer? The one illustration looks like Tom and Becky in the cave.

Karswell said...

>A favorite of mine ever since my very first Paddington book

I couldn't part with this book if I tried, Mr C... my copy is even an ex-library copy (I hope they don't want it back!)

>I like the Hitchcock cameos.

Well KW, he looks more like Uncle Fester in some of them (and Charles Laughton in others!) but indeed, no Hitchcock kid's book of short stories woud be complete without the cameos!

>Is the Mark Twain story Tom Sawyer?

Yes, it's called "The Treasure in the Cave" and from The Advs of Tom Sawyer. For anyone interested, the rest of the stories in this collection are:

Let's Haunt a House by Manly Wade Wellman

The Wastwych Secret by Constance Savery

Jimmy Takes Vanishing Lessons by Walter Brooks

Mystery of Rabbit Run by Jack Bechdolt

The Forgotten Island by Elizabeth Coatsworth

The Water Ghost of Harrowby Hall by John Kendrick Bangs

The Red-Headed League by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Mystery in Four-And-A-Half Street by Donald & Louise Peattie

Daniel LeMoal said...

Beautiful! I remember the Hitchcock anthologies being very popular in my school library, always a waiting list for every title...

Eric Orchard said...

This is amazing! I'm trying to track down a copy now. I wonder if they made a number of editions, I'd hate to order it and have an unillustrated version show up.

Karswell said...

>I remember the Hitchcock anthologies being very popular in my school library, always a waiting list for every title

Haha, same here Daniel... Book Mobile Day at my school was always a mad race to who could get to the illustrated horror books first!

>hate to order it and have an unillustrated version show up.

That would definitely be unfortunate, and alas I do not have an answer for you Eric--- but good luck! And just think, there are still a handful of additional illustrations in the book that you haven't even seen yet!

Thanks again for the comments...

Mykal said...

One more sterling example of the endless stream of cool stuff that came out with the Hitchcock imprint: movies, TV shows, Magazines, Books, Comics, Radio, etc. His only rival was Karloff for the King of all Media title.

Lord, this is pretty stuff. My favorite (by a slim margin) is the little boy with the key in his hand, looking at the house on the hill.

Karswell said...

>His only rival was Karloff for the King of all Media title.

Good point Mykal! Wait, you mention comics... was there an Alfred Hitchcock related comic series I'm unaware of?

Mykal said...

Karswell: I was thinking of the Psycho adaptation from Innovation Comics, but there may be more. It was pretty good, though. It was a 3 or 4 shot.

Eric Schonblom said...

Regarding reprints... The 1985 paperback from Random House is not illustrated. Neither is the German. The Italian reprint has the full-page illustrations, but not the smaller line drawings.
The original Savery title was The Secret of Grandmamma Wastwych and clicking on my name will take you to my website which shows the covers of the reprints.

Karswell said...

Cool, thanks for the info Eric!

Anonymous said...

Wow, this brings back great memories. I had all the Hitch collections and the Three Investigators books. I must have read them a hundred times and spent hours studying those illustrations. That one of the eerie little girl holding a doll, with the witch flying overhead, really creeped me out as a kid.