From the pages of Weird Tales—the world's greatest shudder pulp!
"Manly Wade Wellman is a treasure that should not be missed … should be in the collection of everyone who loves pulp fiction in the “Weird Tales” style." —Goodreads review
The first spellbinding novel in multi-fantasy award winner Manley Wade Wellman's classic horror trilogy about Judge Hilary Pursuivant, the jurist so deeply seeped in the lore of deviltry and supernatural evil—that no one or thing, not even the most powerful of dark forces, can stand against him.
"Mr. Wellman's Occult investigators are at the top of the genre. All of them would have felt right at home working side by side with either Karl Kolchak or Mulder-Scully. One has even worked with a certain Mr. Jules de Grandin." —Amazon review
Talbot Wills, a skeptic, gave up his career as a stage magician to study psychic phenomena—and once and for all prove or disprove its existence to himself. Learning this, his friend Doctor Otto Zoberg, an expert in occult subjects, brings him to an isolated hamlet to attend a séance at the home of a spirit medium whose powers are legendary. There Talbot meets Susan Gird, an intelligent and likable young woman, and after an afternoon together finds himself attracted to her. The séance is held that night—and though everyone is handcuffed to someone else, a strange wolf-like shape moves in the dark. When Susan Gird's father cries out some sort of accusation, the shape leaps upon him and slaughters him.
The town constable investigates and, since Wills is a magician and escape artist, arrests him for the crime. Later, while Talbot is locked in jail, an angry mob gathers to lynch him. With his knowledge of locks, Talbot breaks out his cell and in eluding his pursuers finds himself in the Devil's Croft, a mysterious grove which most locals are afraid to approach. As he enters it, Wills falls, exhausted. What happens next shatters his skepticism for good.
Fleeing, Talbot meets Judge Pursuivant, a giant of a man both physically and mentally, and a man with an almost uncanny knowledge of the occult who promises to help him and Susan.
Thus begins this classic novel of hideous, stark horror from Weird Tales, the magazine that gave birth to the works of H. P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu mythos. Soon Susan and Talbot find their only hope of saving themselves from sudden and frightful death is to battle side-by-side with Judge Pursuivant against the frightful thing that lives in the Devil's Croft.
"These stories are very well written, highly readable and immensely entertaining! A reader can't ask for more." —Amazon Review
"Heroic, horrifying, dark fantasy. Pursuivant is Rambo with the powers of Dr. Strange. For those who like/love/get a kick out of pulp, these stories are for you." —Goodreads Review
Judge Keith Hilary Pursuivant lives in a small New England town and is sufficiently wealthy to travel the world and befriend those threatened by dark arts and beings. A man of great height and girth, with a drooping blonde moustache, he is keenly intelligent and well-read in the occult, the psychic, and the magical. Born in 1891, he took degrees at Yale and Oxford, and worked for U.S. intelligence during the First World War.
Judge Pursuivant's battles against the darkness are recounted in three volumes (The Harry Ones Shall Dance, The Black Drama, and The Half-Haunted) penned by the World Fantasy, Phoenix, and British Fantasy Award winning author Manley Wade Wellman, famed for his Silver John series and his eerie stories of dark fantasy for Weird Tales.
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