Published by Caedmon (TC 1574) in 1978, this vinyl record contains two tales of the supernatural. Goblins at the Bath House is an Estonian fairy tale collected by Ruth Manning-Sanders in A Book of Ghosts and Goblins (1968), recorded at Caedmon Studios, New York. The Calamander Chest is a short story by Joseph Payne Brennan which appeared in Weird Tales in January 1954 and in Nine Horrors and a Dream, published by Arkham House, in 1958. It was recorded at CBS Studios, London.
LISTEN TO BOTH TALES BELOW…
Goblins at the Bath House
If you believe in goblins, and many people do, you’ll be eager (but not too eager) to meet the goblins at the bathhouse. Before you put this record on your turntable, however, you would do well to wrap yourself in your security blanket. Vincent Price’s marvellously menacing voice is about to raise the hair on the nape of your neck and perhaps strike a bit of terror in your heart as he reads these tales of ghastly goblins and sinister spirits.
As the shadows lengthen at sundown, strange figures ofttimes slip from darkening alleyways and weird creatures seem to move through the woods and fields. This is the hour when hideous goblins emerge from their hiding places deep within the earth. At times the goblins search for lovely young girls to take as their brides and on one such night in a little town, a sweet and kind young girl was menaced by a whole coachful of goblins. Could the whispered advice of a little mouse save her? Or would she be carried away in the goblins’ golden coach and become the unwilling bride of the ugliest goblin of them all?
Ruth Manning-Sanders, the author of A Book of Ghosts and Goblins, has a seemingly endless fascination with mythical, magical and monstrous creatures. In the past she has written about dwarfs and giants, dragons and mermaids and witches and wizards. (*)
The Calamander Chest
What horrible secret is locked within the calamander chest? When Ernest Maax buys a chest of rare calamander wood for only $12, he is quite pleased with himself. It is truly a beautiful piece of furniture made of exotic dark brown wood with ebony stripes, though it does resemble a coffin somewhat. Maax’s pleasure turns rapidly into dread, loathing and sheer terror when a long white finger with a heavy knucklebone and a black nail protrudes from the lid of the chest. But when he opens the lid, there is nothing inside.
As the weeks go by the finger isn’t content to appear, hang motionless and then disappear. It begins to quiver slightly. And then it starts to scratch the lid. Maax tries in vain to rid himself of the calamander chest, for he is now convinced that the chest will somehow harm him. But try as he will, he cannot get anyone to take it away. Then one night his worst nightmares are realized when the sinister finger beckons to him… (*)
(*) These notes, written by Arlene Rosenblum (Good Housekeeping), originally appeared on the back cover of the vinyl record.