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Spectres In The Dark


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#1 Mike_The_Barbarian

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 03:59 AM

I just finished reading Spectres in the Dark and I had to jump right on here for more information!

I found it to be different from the other horror stories in the way that 'the bad stuff' (Haha, no spoilers from me) seemed to be affecting the whole town, rather than several isolated individuals. It's also note worthy, I think, that the main character didn't enter some kind of haunted house, the 'bad stuff' was trespassing was on his own turf, rather than the opposite.

I really enjoyed reading it, and couldn't believe when I turned the page and saw the text end short. It's got me so curious of how it could have gone. Did Howard ever leave any notes behind for this story, or write any letters concerning the plot? Or perhaps anyone have any theory of how it would have went? It didn't seem like the type to be a 'evil sorcerer' behind it all story.
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#2 Taranaich

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 06:43 PM

I said in another thread (can't remember where) that if we somehow find a "lost" REH manuscript, I'd hope for it to be not a new Conan, Kane or other heroic fantasy, but a completed "Spectres in the Dark." ("Golnor the Ape" and "The House" being the other two, though that's not to say I wouldn't be thrilled at finding ANY lost REH manuscripts!)

This story starts off really well, and in the hands of a lesser author like James Herbert, it could easily be the beginning of a doorstopper. Certainly there's enough material for an REH novella or longer short story.

I personally have lots of theories regarding the spectres themselves, and I think it had enormous implications in understanding Howard's Cthulhoid horrors, from the Heart of Ahriman to St Brandon's Cross, Thog, Thaug and the Scarlet Citadel, the Worms of the Earth and more. This story might give as a clue to a very unusual element in Howard's treatment of the eldritch dark: it all hinges on the interplay between light and shadow in a very physical manner.

I'll expand later, for I'm pressed for time, but I'll just say that the recently release Xbox360 game Alan Wake has a lot in common with "Spectres in the Dark."

Robert E. Howard, 1906 - 2006

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#3 Dark Mark

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 04:06 AM

Having just finished The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard(Del Rey) this alongside Golnor the Ape rank amongst the most tantalizing of Howard’s unfinished works for me. I feel I have too have seen shadowy glimpses of how this story may have developed in recent horror films and games but without a finished manuscript one can only wonder at the horrors Howard’s mercurial mind had in store.

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