Published May 1938 in Weird Tales. The copyright has expired because the registration was filed by an incorrect entity and thus invalidated.
The oaken door sagged as it had before. The blackness of the interior was intensified by the beam of Buckner's light playing on the sill. That beam sliced through the darkness of the hallway and roved up the stair, and Griswell held his breath, clenching his fists. But no shape of lunacy leered down at them. Buckner went in, walking light as a cat, torch in one hand, gun in the other.
As he swung his light into the room across from the stairway, Griswell cried out - and cried out again, almost fainting with the intolerable sickness at what he saw. A trail of blood drops led across the floor, crossing the blankets Branner had occupied, which lay between the door and those in which Griswell had lain. And Griswell's blankets had a terrible occupant. John Branner lay there, face down, his cleft head revealed in merciless clarity in the steady light. His outstretched hand still gripped the haft of a hatchet, and the blade was imbedded deep in the blanket and the floor beneath, just where Griswell
Moody and engrossing short story with the worst title possible. Tense, with good characterization and a splash of gore where it was needed.
All the adjectives applied in previous reviews are dead on the money. Spellbinding and chilling tale that you simply can't put down.
This is a spell-binding story that chills the bones and keeps you awake at night. An absolute classic of short story writing. Highly recommended.
Highly recommended - scary and well written.
Good horror story. Fast-moving and with a twist in the tail.
A great story, and a good chill sets in your backbone as you read it. a fascinating read.
Quintessential pulp horror from the master.
Two traveling friends spend the night in a deserted southern mansion only to have the night end in murder, a walking corpse, and a terrified flight through dark woods in the middle of the night. Arrested on suspicion of murder, the lone survivor is forced to return to the mansion with a tough southern sheriff.
Though the detour to Jacob the voodoo man seems a rather contrived method of relating background information to the reader, the story is a delight for connoisseurs of the macabre.