A serious, thorough, and amusing survey of Western horror literature. This will, lamentably, keep many readers up until dawn--it's that likable. Daniels' familiarity with horror is staggering. Whether he's writing about Beowulf or The Exorcist, he isolates the chill factor. Nor does he scant television, comic books, or rock music. Perhaps Daniels has secret connections in Transylvania; he must have spent five lives just reading. Included are the ancient Greek monsters, Old and Middle English romances, Elizabethan blood-bath masters, the rise of the Gothic novel and its major and minor sub-genres, indigenously American frights beginning with Cotton Mather's witchcraft sermons and going on through Hawthorne, Poe, Melville, Bierce and James. Also covered are the first horror films, the occult masters of the Golden Dawn, German Expressionism, Universal Studios with Karloff and Lugosi, Weird Tales' ghastly moonmasons of cults Lovecraftian, The Munsters and The Addams Family, Tales from the Crypt, Rosemary's Baby, the Manson murders, and Tommy--the list is endless and every ghoul is on the receiving end of Daniels' personal touch. But even where he very obviously licks his lips (""Rich, immortal, irresistible, and nearly omnipotent. . . a lustful fiend. . ."") he manages to play on your susceptibilities.