Monday, July 11, 2011

"It Happened to Me"

As I wrote a previous posting, Weird Tales, "The Unique Magazine," ran a feature called "It Happened to Me" in eleven installments between March 1940 and November 1941. The March 1940 issue was the last under the editorship of Farnsworth Wright. Dorothy McIlwraith took over in May and solicited submissions with the following blurb:
WEIRD TALES will pay ten dollars apiece for true psychic experiences. Have you ever slept in a haunted house, or been chased by a ghost? Have you ever dreamed a dream that came true? Has your life been changed by a vision? Let the other readers of WEIRD TALES know about your weird experience. Your story must be briefly told, in not more than a thousand words: the shorter the better. It must be true, interesting, and must deal with the supernatural. Write it down today and send it to WEIRD TALES, "It Happened to Me" department, 9 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, N.Y. We will pay ten dollars for every one used.
I have written about Jack Kytle and Ralph Rayburn Phillips, but I haven't been able to find information about the other nine writers for the series. If anyone knows anything about them, please send some information my way.

"It Happened to Me" in Weird Tales
"The Centurion's Prisoner" by Lindsay Nisbet (Mar. 1940)
"A Weird Prophecy" by Ken Gary (May 1940)
"Winter Night" by Alice Olsen (May 1940)
"San Francisco" by Caroline Evans (May 1940)
"Three Flowers" by F.T. Compton (July 1940)
"The Cast-Away Slave" by Thomas Trafton (July 1940)
"Rabbit's Intuition" by Jim Price (July 1940)
"They Lynched Him, and Then--" by Jack Kytle (Sept. 1940)
"Ghost Farm" by Dulcie Brown (Nov. 1940)
"The Egyptian Cross" by Ralph Rayburn Phillips (Mar. 1941)
"The Guardian Angel" by Sigmond Miller (Nov. 1941)

Further Reading
"A Weird Prophecy," "Winter Night," and "San Francisco" were reprinted in Weird Tales, a facsimile collection edited by Peter Haining (Carroll and Graf Publishers, 1990).

Ken Gary's tale involves a premonition of the author's death by a gunshot wound. Weird Tales sent him a check in payment for it, but the check was returned. In "Calling Ken Gary," an article published soon afterward, the magazine wondered about his whereabouts and fate. Ken Gary was last known to have lived in Bradenton or Tampa, Florida. "Winter Night," by Alice Olsen, is a variation on a well known folk tale or urban legend, the "girl in white" story. Finally, "San Francisco" is a brief account of astral projection.

"Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl," by the American painter James Abbott McNeill Whistler, because a picture of a girl in white seems right for a story about a girl in white.
Text and captions copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

No comments:

Post a Comment