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Rite of passage

As a teenager (many moons ago), I distinctly remember the Pan series of Horror stories. All with distinctive and extremely creepy covers, they were a bit of a rite of passage for the devoted reader. Pan even had a sort of entree to the series, via the Armada series of ghost stories for children edited by the brilliant Mary Danby. Some of the stories were every bit as eerie as the "grown-up" series. I never owned one of the Pan books (my Mum would have had a fit), but they were surreptitiously borrowed and often read under the covers, where I scared myself silly.

Recently on a satellite channel showing old horror films, I came across one of the portmanteau horrors beloved of British film studios from the '50s to the '70s - Dr. Terror's House of Horrors, which was very much in the spirit of the Pan books of horror stories of the same era. So, a quick look on Amazon, and I discovered that the first volume had recently been reprinted. A holiday in France, alone in a…

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