before i talk about any individual stories, i have to say this anthology suffers under the same terrible naming convention that many of the hitchcock anthologies i have do: the title is just stupid. seven of the twelve stories are about witches (though i guess you could argue some background characters were probably warlocks in a few, and in one a guy seemed to become a warlock without realizing it and can look forward to a witch harem), three were about werewolves -- sort of, one was about vampires (?!) and then the last story isn't a story at all but rather an excerpt that debunked popular notions about the salem witch trials from charles mackay's 1841 history Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds - The Original Classic Edition. had the stories been better this perhaps wouldn't have riled me up so much but i kept muttering about three Ws my ass, when i was reading this puppy.
classics like "the mark of the beast" by rudyard kipling are always rewarding no matter how many times i've read them, and while young goodman brown by hawthorne might be a little on the nose, it's also a helluva story. of the others unfamiliar to me, i liked "the story of sidi nonman" by anonymous. i'd like to know more about the story itself but there's not much on the interweb. it is much like a tale in the arabian nights, or the decameron, and in tone it also reminded me of the golden ass by apuleius. i had had high hopes for the story by charles g. finney, "the black retriever" and while i liked it more than some of the other stories, the ending was a little flat for me. most of the stories seems trite and predictable to me. it could be that i've just read too much in this vein. perhaps 2.5 stars is generous but it seems too weird to give kipling and hawthorne anything less.