1940’s Horror Books

The first book I want to talk about was written in 1940 by Norman Berrow called Ghost House. Peter Somerset and his young wife are out for a drive in the country one night and get caught in a terrible storm. Not being able to drive in the horrible rain, they take refuge in a dire old mansion on the end of a cliff. When they get inside they are terrorized by a laughing ghost they can’t escape and they may not survive the night in the Ghost House.

I also found a graphic novel called War of the Undead set in 1945, written by Bryan Johnson and illustrated by Walter Flanagan. In this book, Hitler has committed suicide and things generally look bad for the Germans. In a desperate attempt to win World War 2, the Nazis get help from Dr. Jekyll, Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula, The Wolfman and The Mummy. With the monsters on their side, the allies may not stand a chance.

Bryan Johnson and Walter Flanagan actually have their own podcast  as part of Director Kevin Smith’s (Clerks, Chasing Amy, Dogma) Smodcast network called Tell ‘Em Steve Dave.  They have worked on a couple of different comic books and have ran a comic store together. I have not read this graphic novel yet but I thought the alternate history of World War 2 including Universal Monsters sounded pretty good. One thing I’ve read about this comic though is if you can’t handle a lot of gore you probably want to avoid it.

Another book I found was The Wolf’s Hour by Robert R. McCammon. The story takes place in 1944 and stars a man named Michael Gallatin who is a spy for the Russians and also happens to be a werewolf. Michael uses his unique abilities to help the allies and put an end to Hitler and the Nazis.

Another novel that is set in the 1940’s and in the 1300’s is A Coming Evil by Vivian Vande Velde. 13 year old Lisette has been sent to live with her aunt in rural France in 1940. When she gets there she finds that her aunt is hiding Jewish and gypsy children from the Nazis.  While practicing with the children on what to do if the Nazis storm the house, she begins to understand the danger she lives in. Lisette then meets a ghost who was a member of the Knights Templar named Gerald  who was murdered by King Phillip IV in the 1300’s. Gerald wants to help Lisette protect the children from the Nazis because he feels the invasion is very similar to the one that he was fighting against in the 1300’s. This book combines history and the supernatural and raises some interesting questions about the holocaust as well.

Also set during World War 2 is Night of the Nazi Zombies by Michael G. Thomas. The Nazis are starting to loose the war to the allies in 1944 but they have a secret weapon that will change the tide of the war because the nazis have zombies on their side. Another book that has the same premise is World War of the Dead by Eric S. Brown.

One more book having to do with monsters fighting in World War 2 is Blood Reich by Brian Jackson. Instead of zombies in this story we have vampires. The year is 1945 and the Nazis are loosing the war, in a desperate attempt to win the war they have made a deal with an ancient Yugoslavian count to give them the blood of a vampire. The German army uses the blood to turn into vampires and now they are invincible. Not all the Germans are happy about becoming vampires though and they have enlisted the help of American spies to stop their people from being turned into the undead.