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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

Weird Circle -- "The Ghost's Touch" by Wilkie Collins

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Weird Circle aired "The Ghost's Touch" on September 17, 1944. Very loosely adapted from the Wilkie Collins (1824-1889) story which first appeared in The Irish Fireside from September 30 - October 14, 1885, it tells the story of an inventor working on a drug to make living beings imprevious to pain. Sounds like a good idea because of its potential medical uses, but when he secretly introduces the drug--as yet untested on humans--into his niece's food she enters a dark, storm-tossed realm of death and disorder from which she hears the voice of her departed lover, warning her of the evil intent of his brother, her uncle. Eerie and creepy, with some decent sound effects, "The Ghost's Touch" is but one of the many supernatural excursions for which Wilkie Collins is justly renowned.

Collins was a contemporary of Charles Dickens, with whom he became dear friends until Dickens' death in 1870. Quite popular in his day, in 1873-74 he traveled from England to the United States giving readings of his work, during which time he was introduced to, among others, Mark Twain. Several of his novels have been made into films (The Woman in White--1948 and The Moonstone--1934), and speaking of his 1868 detective novel The Moonstone, according to no less than T. S. Eliot it was "the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels...in a genre invented by Collins and not by Poe," and Dorothy L. Sayers referred to it as "probably the very finest detective story ever written."

Play Time: 25:42

{Following a good case of the shivers after listening to "The Ghost's Touch" and having recovered sufficiently to delve once again into realms fantastic and strange, youngsters could turn to some of their favorite reading in September of 1944, several covers of which are presented below.}

[Amazing, Sept. 1944 -- Astounding, Sept. 1944 -- Planet Stories, Fall 1944 -- Weird Tales, Sept. 1944]

{Note that the September 1944 issue of Amazing--published at the height of WWII--had every story written by a soldier; certainly a first for any genre magazine.}