Friday, January 20, 2012


After searching the Internet, I finally uncovered the source of a story called "On a Train with a Madman," which appeared in Weird Tales in July 1935. The author is the mysterious Pan-Appan. "On a Train with a Madman" was translated from the German by Roy Temple House from a book called Seltsame Geschichten: Grotesken und Phantasmagorien, published in Germany in 1927. There may have been an earlier edition, circa 1910. I found a description of the book, also in German. Rather than rely on a computer translation, I'm asking for help from a reader who knows German and can translate the description. You can leave your translation as a comment, or you can send it to me by email at:

If you know anything at all about the writer named Pan-Appan or von Pan-Appan, please send it along. I'm planning to write about weird tales from German writers soon. I hope I can include something more on Pan-Appan in my entry.


PAN-APPAN: SELTSAME GESCHICHTEN - Grotesken und Phantasmagorien aus dem Reiche der überirdischen Welt

Erfurt/Leipzig: H.Bartholomäus (1927) strukturiertes farbig geblümtes Halbleinen mit Leinen-Ecken und montiertem farbigen Deckel-Bild, 115 Seiten, illustriert Erste Ausgabe. Mit 35 Illustrationen von Kurt Wasser, Leipzig und Umschlagzeichnung von Joachim Claude. (Vermutlich privater Einband unter Verwendung des Deckel-Bildes der Original-Broschur, stellenweise etwas braunfleckig, gut). Äusserst selten [Schlagwörter: Utopie + Phantastik - SF /Science Fiction - Zukunftsromane - Horror Gruselromane - Gespenster - Spuk - Fantasy]

For an update and more information, see the comments below and a posting of November 1, 2013, here.

Original text copyright 2012 Terence E. Hanley


  1. I hope you share the findings to what the story is about, I love the cover art.

  2. The title, interestingly enough, can be translated as "Weird Tales - Grotesques and Phantasmagorias from the Realm of the Supernatural, by Pan-Appan." That short description text unfortunately does not give any information on the contents of the volume, but rather a description of this respective copy for sale. It says as follows:

    "Erfurt/Leipzig: H.Bartholomäus (1927) textured, half-linen with floral print, linen corners and mounted color cover, 115 pages, illustrated, first edition. Includes 35 illustrations by Kurt Wasser, Leipzig and cover design by Joachim Claude. (Presumably privately bound using cover image of original binding, brown stains in places, good condition)
    Extremely rare [keywords: utopia + fantasy - science fiction - horror - ghost stories - fantasy]"

    I wish I knew more about this, since it looks highly intriguing. Can't quite afford the 140 Euros this copy is being offered for, though. Hopefully someone with a little more insight can chime in!

  3. Dear Anonymous,

    Thanks for your translation. By this description, then, it would appear the book was originally published in about 1910 and that this particular item was not a reprint but a rebinding from 1927.

    I know what you mean about the intriguing nature of the book. I hope someone who studies German horror and fantasy fiction can shed some light on this unknown author.