George Zucco’s Fez

Ghost story writer Griffin Reed - the Dark Maestro - surrounded by horror icons. Featured characters include Barbara Steele, Orson Welles, HP Lovecraft, Peter Cushing, Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet, Children of the Damned, Werewolves of London, Vincent Price, Arthur Machen, Christopher Lee, Michael Redgrave in Dead of Night

Thursday – “An Evening of Terror” at the Mitchell Library: an appropriate setting, I thought, for the George Zucco fez I found at the St Andrews market. This was its first public appearance and will probably be its last: by the time I reached town, I’d been subjected to smirks, guffaws and a variety of passing remarks – some jocular, others irrationally irate (“Rag week arsehole!”)

Matters deteriorated as I approached Sauchiehall Street where I was targeted by a succession of drunks, the most persistent of whom followed me as far as Charing Cross, pointing out my idiocy to passers-by and sporadically pausing to perform what, I eventually realised, was his notion of an Egyptian sand dance.

Crossing the road to the Mitchell (and hoping my tormentor might be run-over in pursuit) I finally consigned the wretched fez to my bag where it remained for the rest of the night.


Ghost story author Griffin Reed surrounded by a Ouija Board, Rex cat and 1980's cultural icons. Featured characters include Smiley Culture, Genesis P. Orridge, Erkan Mustafa as Roland Browning from Grange Hill, Susan Tully from Grange Hill, Suggs from Madness, Keith Harris and Orville, TV Smith, Jilted John, Annie Lennox, Ian McCulloch from Echo and the Bunnymen

Wednesday – Calum Alexander joined me on the train home. He told a funny (if crude) story about a football pal who was surprised in an act of self-gratification by his girlfriend’s mother. Calum told the story well, but seemed oblivious, or indifferent, to the fact of being surrounded by potential eavesdroppers, at least one of whom regarded us with an expression of frank distaste. Later I realised that it was Mr Gibson, my dentist: I didn’t recognise him without his tunic – is it too much to hope that he might not have recognised me?

10.00 P.M. – Monica’s made me a tape of the Bad Seeds’ ‘From Her to Eternity’. I wonder if Nick Cave frets about offending his dentist.

Book Hunting in Glasgow

Ghost story writer Griffin Reed - the Dark Maestro - surrounded by horror icons. Featured characters include Barbara Steele, Vampira, Edgar Allan Poe, Children of the Damned, Vincent Price, Lon Chaney, Elsa Lanchester, Bride of Frankenstein, Pola Negri, Donald Pleasence Algernon Blackwood, Dave Vanian, Pennywise, Werewolves of London, Joan Crawford in Straitjacket, Bette Davis from Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, Ouija Board Cassettes, Rex Cat

Monday – Took yesterday’s proceeds to the West End where I made three purchases – Robert Aickman, Arthur Machen and Henry James. Passing the university, I bumped into Peter Baldock: naturally, he wanted to know what I was doing with myself and seemed disgruntled by my response. “These are hobbies,” he scowled. “You can’t expect tax-payers to support you while you sit around doodling.”

Returning home, I noticed that my right sock was sodden with blood: a nail hanging from one toe had chafed against the skin of another: it hardly seems conceivable that so much blood could emanate from such a slight wound.  Despite thirty minutes scrubbing with soap suds, the leather remains stained – I don’t suppose anyone will notice: it’s irksome, though.