|Monster #1: Mushroom Person|
Back in 1907, William Hope Hodgson had a short story called "A Voice in the Night" published by Blue Book Magazine. It was reprinted 1977 years later in an anthology called Creepies, Creepies, Creepies* edited by Helen Hoke. And said anthology ended up in the Point Arena Elementary School library, where I promptly checked it out, read it, and became frightened by the fact that, apparently, eating fungus would turn you INTO fungus.
And then, not long after that (or maybe it was a few years before... hard to keep track so far in the distant past) my dad and I stayed up late one Saturday night to watch a movie on Creature Features called Attack of the Mushroom People**. Lo and behold... it was an adaptation of "A Voice in the Night!" Seeing people eat mushrooms and turn INTO mushrooms there in full color and the fuzzy reception only an early 80s TV in the back woods of Northern California can provide was all the proof I needed that mushrooms should forevermore stay off the list.
- A Voice in the Night, by William Hope Hodgson
- Fruiting Bodies, by Brian Lumley
- Gray Matter, by Stephen King
*This book also contained the stories "The Moon Bog" by H. P. Lovecraft and "Notebook Found in a Deserted House" by Robert Bloch. It was the first time I'd read either of those authors. It's a pretty important book in my mind, in other words.
**Original title: Matango. Directed by Ishiro Honda, the guy who brought us Godzilla. Small world, eh?