Children of the Night

John F. Blackburn


The old Yorkshire village of Dunstonholme hasn’t changed much since the time of the “troubles” some six-hundred and sixty-six years ago, when the bizarre cult, the Children of Paul, had tried to make it their own. The stories handed down told of brutal battles and gruesome slaughter, first the villagers; and then the sacking of Castle Dunstonholme, with the survivors put to the sword. All of this had been the result of the residents refusing to ferry the Children of Paul to the nearby Feyne Islands. After the battle, the cult had set out for what was to be their new settlement, but whether due to unruly seas or maritime inexperience, in a perfect turn of the karmic wheel the boats were all scuttled the crew and passengers all presumed lost at sea. Still, rumors persisted that some of the cultists had survived deep in the wooded areas of the Feynes. Despite the improbability of such things, the residents of Dunstonholme had long been in the habit of locking their doors at night.
      And now an unsettling chain of events had occurred that caused the residents to re-think and re-evaluate the level of safety that they enjoyed. A ship explodes and sinks in mid-ocean taking all hands with it to a watery grave, with the eerie last-transmitted words of the radio operator: “There’s something down there…”; a long-time faithful servant rolls his charge’s wheelchair off the Dunstonholme cliffs, saying merely that “God told him to”; a farmer’s prize bull suddenly goes berserk, goring and trampling his master into an unrecognizable pulp; and an experienced caver spelunking in a very familiar locale is found dead, impaled on a stalagmite. Are these ominous events related? Indicative of the presence of a genius loci, or has a much worse ancient evil been awakened? If so, where does the carnage end?
      Not since the 1930s & 1940s, when thriller masters Mark Hansom and Walter S. Masterman plied their trade, has there been an author so gifted at seamlessly bending genres as John Blackburn. This 1966 novel marks the beginning of his most productive period, a decade wherein he produced a series of classic thrillers which included Our Lady of Pain, For Fear of Little Men, Bury Him Darkly, and others.
       Centipede Press is proud to release this fourth volume in our series of John Blackburn’s greatest works. Limited to 200 copies, signed by both introducer Brian Evenson and legendary cover artist Gahan Wilson, you can order this and the third volume, Devil Daddy and receive matching numbers!

edition information

  • Limited to 200 copies, each signed by Brian Evenson and Gahan Wilson.
  • Family-approved facsimile signature by John Blackburn.
  • New introduction by Brian Evenson.
  • Full Dutch cloth with blind stamp on front board.
  • Ribbon marker, head and tail bands.
  • Bonus short story, “Drink to Me Only.”
  • Original book price: $45.
  • Published February 2018.
  • ISBN 978-1-61347-191-3.