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I live in the UK and in '80s I used to take out books from the library and ruin all chances of sleep as I scared myself witless. I remember a book of horror stories that seemed like they might have been gothic horror. I remember one story about a camera obscura on top of a house on a hill. Another was called "The lunatic" about a crazy girl. I'd love to visit these and see if they were as scary as my young impressionable mind thought they were.

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    The first sounds like it may be "Camera Obscura" by Basil Cooper, but I haven't found a book that pairs it with "the lunatic".
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jan 31, 2022 at 19:04

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The first story could well be Camera Obscura by Basil Copper as FuzzyBoots suggests. In that story the old man Mr. Gingold lives in a house at the top of a hill and he is being threatened by the moneylender Sharsted, to whom he is in debt. Gingold takes Sharstead up to the top of the house to see his camera obscura and ... but no spoilers!

Camera Obscura was published in the Sixth Pan Book of Horror Stories. I too was reading these books in the UK, through in the 70s not 80s, and they seemed to be the leading horror anthologies and widely available, so it seems reasonable this is where you read Camera Obscura. However there is no story called The Lunatic in the sixth book. In case you were mixing it up with a different volume in the series I checked books one to twelve and none have a story called The Lunatic. Unfortunately I cannot find my copy of the sixth book to see if there is a story about a crazy girl under a different title.

Skimming back through those books reminded me how many great stories they published, or at least they seemed great to the teenage me. The story The Janisseries of Emilion, also by Basil Copper, made me afraid to go to sleep for ages.

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    ISFDb lists only 1 work titled "The Lunatic" published in or before the 1980s; it was published in F&SF and lists no reprints. (I also did a broader search on any title including "lunatic" and didn't find any likely suspects.)
    – DavidW
    Feb 1, 2022 at 17:59
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    @DavidW Is ISFDB necessarily going to list pure horror stories?
    – Spencer
    Feb 1, 2022 at 21:34
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    The Sixth Pan Book of Horror Stories contains a story called "The Inmate". Perhaps that's what OP is referring to as "The Lunatic"?
    – Spencer
    Feb 1, 2022 at 21:37
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    @Spencer ISFDb will list all the works in an anthology even if not all of them are properly SF. And it will list non-genre works by SF authors, so in this case the answer is "probably."
    – DavidW
    Feb 1, 2022 at 21:37
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    @Law Please consider merging your accounts and accepting this answer by clicking the checkmark to the left of it. This tells the system that your question has been answered to your satisfaction.
    – Null
    Mar 22, 2022 at 21:32

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