I'm trying to track down a horror anthology book from the early 80s. I'm fairly sure it was called something like '50 tales of horror and suspense' and definitely had a cover painting consisting of a human skull with snakes wrapped around it.

The one story I remember, which I believe was the first one, was about a family in, I believe, Mexico, who move into an old house. The young boy explores the upstairs and discovers a large and somewhat threatening spider. Believing the spider is his friend, he continues to visit it, unknowingly endangering himself, until his father discovers the spider and kills it.

Kind of a long shot, I know, but maybe someone will remember this one. Thanks!

1 Answer 1


Maybe 50 Great Horror Stories edited by John Canning? At least one edition had a skull-and-snakes cover,

Cover of 50 Great Horror Stories

and the table of contents lists a story titled "A Date with a Spider" by Vida Derry starting on p. 211. That story was previously published in John Creasey Mystery Magazine [v 2 # 2, October 1958] according to The FictionMags Index. All this is from browsing the web; I've never seen the story myself, so I don't know if it bears any resemblance to your description.

  • 1
    This is indeed the exact book! I don't know how my Google-fu failed me so badly; I searched many times but couldn't find it for some reason. Thanks!
    – Raven13
    Aug 4, 2013 at 19:46

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