Virginia Tech’s Special Collections and University Archives owns as part of the William J. Heron Speculative Fiction Collection roughly 4,500 issues from over 200 titles of British, Australian, and primarily American pulp magazines, dating from the 1910s through the 1980s.

In honor of the upcoming Halloween holiday, let’s take a look at a lucky thirteen spooky, suspenseful, or otherwise spine-tingling covers to be found in the collection.

Ghost Stories, October 1927.

Ghost Stories ran for 64 issues beginning in July 1926 and featured the writing of Frank Belknap Long, Robert E. Howard, Charles Dickens, H. G. Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, and others.

Artist: Uncredited
Digital image courtesy of Galactic Central.

Mystic, March 1954.

Mystic was one of several paranormal publications produced by Ray Palmer. While early issues featured a fair bit of fiction, later issues of the magazine prioritized non-fiction.

Artist: Malcolm Smith
Digital image courtesy of Galactic Central.

Tales of the Frightened, Spring 1957.

Produced as a tie-in for Boris Karloff’s syndicated radio show “The Frightened,” Tales of the Frightened would see its second and last issue published in August 1957.

Artist: Rudy Nappi
Digital image courtesy of the ISFDB.

Fear! May 1960.

A short-lived companion to the science-fiction magazine Fantastic Universe, this horror-themed pulp magazine would see its second and last issue published in July 1960.

Artist: Uncredited
Digital image courtesy of Galactic Central.

The Magazine of Horror, Winter 1965.

Primarily a “reprint magazine,” The Magazine of Horror reprinted stories from earlier pulps such as Strange Tales and Weird Tales.

Artist: Gray Morrow
Digital image courtesy of the ISFDB.

Coven 13, September 1969.

An attempt at a professional, nationally distributed magazine concerned primarily with the themes of witchcraft and horror, Coven 13 spanned ten issues from September 1969 through 1974, with the last six issues appearing under the title Witchcraft & Sorcery.

Arist: William Stout
Digital image courtesy of the ISFDB.

Weird Terror Tales, Fall 1970.

Weird Terror Tales was another short-lived, reprint-heavy series, with this featured third issue being its last. Many of the stories in Weird Terror Tales previously appeared in such magazines as Strange Tales of Mystery and Horror, Weird Tales, and Avon Fantasy Reader.

Artist: Richard Schmand
Digital image courtesy of the ISFDB.

Witchcraft & Sorcery, 1973.

After its first four issues, Coven 13 was revamped and renamed Witchcraft & Sorcery to emphasize a new era of dark, supernatural fiction. A gradual shift toward heroic fantasy characterized the last several issues before this series was cancelled in 1974.

Artist: Stephen E. Fabian
Digital image courtesy of the ISFDB.

The Haunt of Horror, June 1973.

A mix of leading authors and editors from both the prose fiction and comic book worlds contributed to this title published by Marvel Comics, which was cancelled after only two issues due to low sales. Marvel revived The Haunt of Horror in comic format a few months after cancelling the prose magazine.

Artist: Gray Morrow
Digital image courtesy of Galactic Central.

Weirdbook, March 1977.

Weirdbook is a fairly prestigious and World Fantasy Award winning semiprozine that is still published today. Typically published annually, issues of this series revolve around a thematic element – zombies, demons, vampires, etc. – and are comprised of reader submissions.

Artist: Roy G. Krenkel
Digital image courtesy of Galactic Central.

Whispers, October 1978.

A semiprozine published and edited by army dentist, Stuart David Schiff, Whispers was known for weird and fantasy fiction and its quirky design sense. The attractive illustrations found in most issues have made the series popular with collectors.

Artist: Lee Brown Coye
Digital image courtesy of the ISFDB.

Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone Magazine, November 1982.

Rod Serling died several years before the creation of the magazine that would bear his name for sixty issues from 1981 through 1989. Staying true to its roots, the magazine typically featured strange, unusual fiction, attempting to recreate the almost “detached” experience of watching the television series.

Artist: Bruce Heapps
Digital image courtesy of Galactic Central.

Night Cry, Fall 1986.

This spin-off from Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone Magazine began with a special issue of its parent title that featured reprints from its first several years. From the second issue on, however, Night Cry ran mostly new stories and features with an emphasis on horror.

Artist: J. K. Potter
Digital image courtesy of Galactic Central.

If you’re interested in speculative fiction, please don’t hesitate to stop by our department (right by the EspressOasis caf√© in Newman Library). Through mid-November 2019, you can visit an exhibit of stories by some of the most popular and important figures in speculative fiction – but if you miss it, don’t worry. You can come explore the amazing stories and artwork from these and many more pulp magazines any time we’re open!

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