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The Ninth Pan Book of Horror Stories

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Inhuman humans... The Jolly Uncle and the dummy that sucked blood. The Unmarried Mother and the torture mask. The Film Director who flayed his girl alive. The Wife who turned into an insect. The Mother and Sister who emasculate a rapist. Spawned from Horror and Fear come the familiars of Terror - 23 awesome tales to haunt your days and chill your dreams - every one now publ Inhuman humans... The Jolly Uncle and the dummy that sucked blood. The Unmarried Mother and the torture mask. The Film Director who flayed his girl alive. The Wife who turned into an insect. The Mother and Sister who emasculate a rapist. Spawned from Horror and Fear come the familiars of Terror - 23 awesome tales to haunt your days and chill your dreams - every one now published for the first time.


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Inhuman humans... The Jolly Uncle and the dummy that sucked blood. The Unmarried Mother and the torture mask. The Film Director who flayed his girl alive. The Wife who turned into an insect. The Mother and Sister who emasculate a rapist. Spawned from Horror and Fear come the familiars of Terror - 23 awesome tales to haunt your days and chill your dreams - every one now publ Inhuman humans... The Jolly Uncle and the dummy that sucked blood. The Unmarried Mother and the torture mask. The Film Director who flayed his girl alive. The Wife who turned into an insect. The Mother and Sister who emasculate a rapist. Spawned from Horror and Fear come the familiars of Terror - 23 awesome tales to haunt your days and chill your dreams - every one now published for the first time.

49 review for The Ninth Pan Book of Horror Stories

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    I love the slightly tipsy green mummy on the cover. He's saying "Er...yeah...ah...what was the question?" I would like to write a whole thing on the Pan Books of Horror Stories, all of them, which thrilled and gurgled my very brains and spinal fluids when I was the merest of boys. But certain people may find the material a little distasteful. What a glorious gallimaufry of Grand Guignol it all was though. They just don't maim like they used to. I love the slightly tipsy green mummy on the cover. He's saying "Er...yeah...ah...what was the question?" I would like to write a whole thing on the Pan Books of Horror Stories, all of them, which thrilled and gurgled my very brains and spinal fluids when I was the merest of boys. But certain people may find the material a little distasteful. What a glorious gallimaufry of Grand Guignol it all was though. They just don't maim like they used to.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Aussiescribbler Aussiescribbler

    The early Pan Books of Horror Stories contained a mixture of literary classics, stories reprinted from old pulp magazines and newly written material, but later volumes, such as this one, contained all new material. It sometimes seems as if writers would try to outdo each other in how sadistic and gruesome and tasteless they could make their stories. Not that some of the reprints from Weird Tales in earlier volumes weren’t pretty extreme. You still get some tales that go more for the spooky than The early Pan Books of Horror Stories contained a mixture of literary classics, stories reprinted from old pulp magazines and newly written material, but later volumes, such as this one, contained all new material. It sometimes seems as if writers would try to outdo each other in how sadistic and gruesome and tasteless they could make their stories. Not that some of the reprints from Weird Tales in earlier volumes weren’t pretty extreme. You still get some tales that go more for the spooky than the gross though. The effectiveness and inventiveness of the stories varies wildly. Some held me gripped and transported, some left me shrugging my shoulders and saying, “Yeah, I don’t know.” But these collections are all special to me. Like a gruesome grab bag just waiting to be unwrapped. Raymond Williams - Man-Hunt This tale of an escaped rapist plays out in an unsurprising way. Would it be less predictable if it hadn’t been spoiled by the blurb on the back cover? Only perhaps because we don’t expect the author to expect us to swallow a ridiculously unlikely coincidence. Still it is short and an appropriately lurid way to kick things off. Raymond Henry Williams (1921-1988) was a Welsh Marxist theorist, academic, critic, novelist and short story writer. He had two stories in the previous volume in this series, including that volume’s opener. Dulcie Gray - The Fly This author seems to have had a particular fondness for stories in which men act on a murderous contempt for women. Here we have a tale of a marriage in which the violent hatred goes in both directions. As usual she also delivers on the gruesome imagery and deliciously vicious sense of irony. Dulcie Gray (1915-2011) was a very prominent British singer and actress, on the stage, in movies and on television, who also wrote mystery novels, radio plays and short stories. She was a frequent contributor to this series, with some of her stories also appearing under the pseudonym Alex White. Dorothy K. Haynes - Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Witch… This story depicts the paranoia of life in a time when women were put on trial and executed as witches. Or is it more than paranoia? A fine example of the type of story which takes us inside the thinking of a troubled central character. Dorothy K. Haynes (1918-1987) was a Scottish horror writer who spent her childhood in Aberlour Orphanage, Banffshire, along with her twin bother Leonard. Thou Shat Not Suffer a Witch was the title of a 1997 collection of her short fiction. Lindsay Stewart - Strictly for the Birds This one does a great job of building up anticipation for some extreme horror. Where it goes is a bit too unbelievable and unexplained to really deliver on that. The central concept is wild enough, and a powerful enough symbol for mortality, that one wishes there had been a way to make it really work. I couldn’t find out anything about Lindsay Stewart. Martin Waddell - Bloodthirsty A playful take on the brain transplant tale. Martin Waddell (1914- ) is an Irish writer best-known for his children’s books, especially the Little Bear picture books he began writing in the 1980s. In the 60s he wrote a series of horror stories often notable for their very sick sense of humour. Adobe James - An Apparition at Noon This is the kind of story I love from these books - a lurid tale with a cynical and unexpected twist. A burnt-out ex-colonial has a deadly encounter with something strange beneath the blistering African sun. James Moss Cardwell (aka Adobe James) (1926-1990) was an American writer and educator, and a member of the Diogenes Club, a Sherlock Holmes appreciation society. He wrote a musical Sherlock Holmes play called “Mrs. Hudson?… Mrs. Hudson!!” Rene Morris - The Baby Machine This tale of a mechanical nanny goes in an unsurprising but satisfying direction. I couldn’t find out anything about Rene Morris Colin Graham - The Best Teacher This one is particularly gruelling. A horror writer meets up with someone who wants to teach him, and other horror writers, a lesson. Very unpleasant, but it has a neat finish. Colin Graham is another mystery. Walter Winward - Stick With Me, Kid, and You’ll Wear Diamonds A man can only take so much before he decides to deliver on his promises in an unconventional manner. Not exceptional, but neatly handled. Walter Windward was a British-born novelist, who living in the United States, North Africa, France, Malta, Mexico, Turkey, and Sweden, and worked at a variety of different occupations ranging from Royal Marine Commando to professional gambler. Dulcie Gray - The Happy Return This story revolves around an incredibly sadistic act, but I think it would have worked better as a story if the horrifying final visual were more explicitly described. Sometimes leaving something to our imagination makes it more powerful, but sometimes it throws a softening haze over what should be starkly grotesque. Raymond Harvey - Father Forgive Me A village priest tries to provide guidance to his parishioners, but finds himself being led by circumstance and weakness down the road to his own personal hell. This was another one of my favourites from this volume. It’s a powerful surprising story. Who was Raymond Harvey? Your guess is as good as mine. John Burke - A Comedy of Terrors A particularly grisly tale set in the world of horror movie makers. What if those gruesome special effects were informed by some real life experimentation? There is a certain dry humour to the way the cynical business of entertaining a jaded public is depicted, but there is nothing lighthearted about the horrific acts at the heart of the story. John Frederick Burke (1922-2011) was an English novelist and short story writer, who was particularly active in the field of novelisations. He novelised John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger, as well as such films as A Hard Day's Night (1964), Dr Terror's House of Horrors (1965) and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968). Tim Stout - The Boy Who Neglected His Grass Snake We are told at the beginning of the story that the boy who neglected his grass snake died as a result. I was curious to see how this would take place. I wasn’t expecting it to go as supernatural as it does, but it is kind of neat, and the boy did deserve it. No info on Mr. Stout. Lindsay Stewart - Jolly Uncle If you happen to be a character in a horror story it is usually bad luck to try to arrange a relative’s death in order to receive an inheritance. Not an exceptional story, but jolly enough. W.H. Carr - Mrs. Anstey’s Scarecrow Justice is handed out via a supernatural curse. This story works really well at conjuring up a sense of dread. It relies more on skilful writing than cheap shock. Nothing on Carr. Alex Hamilton - Not Enough Poison A lazy summer’s afternoon turns into an unexpected nightmare as nature behaves inconveniently. It seems a little bit exaggerated perhaps, but takes an enjoyable poke at the upper class. Alex Hamilton (1930-????) was an English novelist and short story writer who also edited several collections of macabre and horror fiction. Martin Waddell - Old Feet This is a very peculiar humorous story about a man who finds a decaying foot in the tea urn at his work and decides to give it to his girlfriend as a present. Gross and silly and very amusing. Peter Richey - Don’t Avoid the Rush Hour Imagine waking up in the pitch blackness of a deserted subway station after it has been locked up for the night. Now imagine you are not alone. When you go looking for a way out, footsteps follow you in the dark. This is a very good horror story of the non-supernatural variety. I’m in the dark about Peter Richey. Eddy C. Bertin - The Whispering Horror A couple of nine-year-old boys make the mistake of investigating the cellar of an old ruin they find in the forest. A spooky tale of innocence seduced by evil. Eddy C. Bertin (1944-2018) was a Belgian author of adult and children’s fiction. He first became known for his science fiction stories in the late 1960s. Raymond Williams - Smile Please This tale of a world-weary stripper working for low wages in a grimy club who is offered thousands of pounds by a wealthy man to put on a show for a special audience had me in suspense. Though the ending is a little far-fetched, and kind of like a cross between what happens in two other stories in this collection, it’s amusingly outrageous. A.G.J. Rough - Compulsion “I would like you to know that I have sent this story to the publisher anonymously,” the villain of this story tells us. Given that there is, in fact, no copyright information for the story in the front of the book, you might begin to suspect that this really is a true confession which got mistaken for more conventional horror paperback fodder, except that A.G.J. Rough contributed two of the more sick and twisted tales in the previous volume. Those also had no copyright information. Maybe A.G.J. Rough was editor Herbert van Thal. It’s morbidly entertaining whoever wrote it. Mary R. Sullivan - Crocodile Way This story of a crocodile hunt gone badly wrong in Malaysia is well described but there isn’t really very much to it. Mary R. Sullivan is another unknown. Jamie McArdwell - The Green Umbilical Cord This is an example of the botanical horror sub-genre. A very specific form of plant food is responsible for a remarkable growth of ivy. Enjoyable for its cheeky sense of black humour. Jamie McArdwell doesn’t seem to be known for anything else but this story. Tanith Lee - Eustace The final story in the book is remarkable for being only ninety words long. It’s a freakish love story. A neat little sad story with a punchline. Tanith Lee (1947-2015) was a prolific British science fiction and fantasy author. She wrote more than 90 novels and 300 short strories, as well as episodes of the BBC television series Blake’s Seven. Eustace was the first piece of writing she sold, at the age of 21.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Graham

    This instalment of the popular long-running horror anthology series ditches the older reprints (curses!) in favour of all-new writing from modern authors. Worse luck for the reader, because the end result is generally an exercise in sadism with little in the way of imagination or supernatural intrigue involved. We get off to a bad start with Raymond Williams and MAN-HUNT, in which the reader is supposed to swallow the coincidence of a prisoner just happening to turn up at the family home of a pre This instalment of the popular long-running horror anthology series ditches the older reprints (curses!) in favour of all-new writing from modern authors. Worse luck for the reader, because the end result is generally an exercise in sadism with little in the way of imagination or supernatural intrigue involved. We get off to a bad start with Raymond Williams and MAN-HUNT, in which the reader is supposed to swallow the coincidence of a prisoner just happening to turn up at the family home of a previous victim. Yeah, right. Dulcie Gray's THE FLY is one of those stories about marital strife leading to murder, and it's a little more enjoyable thanks to some novel elements. Dorothy K. Haynes' THOU SHALT NOT SUFFER A WITCH... is a highly enjoyable tale and one which would go on to be reprinted elsewhere, such as in The Penguin Book of Horror Stories, while STRICTLY FOR THE BIRDS, by Lindsay Stewart, is a straightforward gore story detached from reality (ahtough it reminded me of the film SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN a little). BLOODTHIRSTY sees Martin Waddell tackling the 'detached brain' sub-genre of work with limited success, while Adobe James' AN APPARITION AT NOON is more fun, a modern slant on a classic science fiction trope. THE BABY MACHINE is by Rene Morris and goes for another science fiction element – a robot! - but turns out to be not very interesting at all, while Colin Graham's THE BEST TEACHER is a straightforward story of sadism and an unappetising 'torture porn' escapade. Walter Winward's STICK WITH ME, KID, AND YOU'LL WEAR DIAMONDS is another marital strife story, but the writing is a bit better than in the previous efforts and the psychology quite interesting. But THE HAPPY RETURN sees Dulcie Gray going back to pure unrealistic nastiness, plonking a medieval element rather unbelievably into the present. Raymond Harvey's FATHER FORGIVE ME is a bit better, a story of sex and intrigue in an Irish village, with interesting character motivations throughout. John Burke's A COMEDY OF TERRORS goes down the grue route again and is largely forgettable despite the horror theme running throughout. Things improve with Tim Stout's THE BOY WHO NEGLECTED HIS GRASS SNAKE, a delightful story of reptilian revenge with a realistic and loathsome titular character. It's matter-of-fact and works a treat. But the quality drops with Lindsay Stewart's JOLLY UNCLE, a boring tale of murder inspired by a lust for inheritance, with a silly twist ending. MRS ANSTEY'S SCARECROW, by W.H. Carr, is better, a lengthy story of jealous which leads to murder and eventually a supernatural revenge. Meanwhile, Alex Hamilton's NOT ENOUGH POISON is a kind of spiritual successor to the classic LEININGEN VERUS THE ANTS, in which a woman finds her home and garden invaded by pesky insects. Martin Waddell's OLD FEET is the worst story collected here – a waste-of-time spot of black humour apparently inspired by the phrase “this tea tastes like old feet”. Peter Richey's DON'T AVOID THE RUSH HOUR is much better, a spooky in the dark tale of a man who drops off in the London Underground and wakes to find himself pursued in a locked-down station. The best story in the anthology is Eddy C. Bertin's THE WHISPERING HORROR, which reminded me favourably of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. Two boys play in the woods and find an abandoned house complete with cellar and sinister inhabitant. It's hair-raising stuff that scares like no other here. SMILE PLEASE is by Raymond Williams and goes on an awfully long time, and has a rather boring climax too. But I did enjoy the stream-of-consciousness narration from the likeable stripper protagonist. A.G.J. Rough's COMPULSION, meanwhile, is the slight and insubstantial story of a serial killer, Mary R. Sullivan's CROCODILE WAY is a brief action set-piece in darkest Malaysia, and Jamie McArdwell's THE GREEN UMBILICAL CORD is another fun 'plant horror' about fast-growing ivy with a mysterious food source. Tanith Lee's EUSTACE, which closes the book, is only two paragraphs long and very silly.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Russell

    The Ninth Pan Book of Horror Stories sits snugly between the eighth and tenth books. From the copyright page, this was originally released in 1968. The Pan Book of Horror Stories went on for many years, showcasing the talent of the time. Aaaargh! It's Pan vs Dan! Dan: This stands out from the other stuff on my shelf. While I like to read older stuff from time to time, my shelves are mostly filled with contemporary horror, usually friends' novels or firm favourites. This is by far the oldest book I The Ninth Pan Book of Horror Stories sits snugly between the eighth and tenth books. From the copyright page, this was originally released in 1968. The Pan Book of Horror Stories went on for many years, showcasing the talent of the time. Aaaargh! It's Pan vs Dan! Dan: This stands out from the other stuff on my shelf. While I like to read older stuff from time to time, my shelves are mostly filled with contemporary horror, usually friends' novels or firm favourites. This is by far the oldest book I own (in the Australian collection at least. Be fun to go through the English collection, currently boxed on the other side of the world). Pan: You go on about the age of the stories. Is this a good thing? Do you think the stories have aged like a fine wine? Dan: No. More like a cheese. The older it is, the more it stinks. Pan: Wait...you didn't like the Pan Horror? Dan: I read A LOT of short fiction, about 1000 stories a year what with the work I do with Necrotic Tissue. All these stories would have got a big fat rejection. But again, this might be the age thing. All the stories were predictable, and some quite a bit silly. In 1968, these might have been fresh and cutting edge. In this day and age, I think that readers desire more than simple 'bad guy gets what's coming to him' stories. There are contrived conveniences a plenty. The first story, Man-Hunt, is a prime example of this. The killer escaped from an asylum just so happens to seek refuge in the house of his victim's family. Yes, we saw this in the movie Last House on the Left. We've seen all of this before! Pan: But this came first! Dan: I know, and I suppose it does retain a little charm in this aspect. A bit like a collection of campfire urban myths. You know what's coming every time. A few stories I did enjoy though because they set themselves apart a little. The Baby Machine and Old Feet weren't of standard stock here and deserve a mention. The bite at the end, Eustace, was similar to a poem I wrote for Briefly Bizarre, so I can't exactly moan about it. Pan: I seem to have caught you in a positive thread. Any more you liked? Dan: The Best Teacher, A Comedy of Terrors and Smile Please all get a house point for gore scenes, despite highly telegraphed endings. Other points were the POV shifts and lack of scene breaks irritated me (but was this typical writing of the time?) and the mummy on the cover looks like a death ala papier mache. Pan: So...would you buy another Pan Book of Horror? Dan: I have this one should I need a sentimental look back. I think my money will be spent on newer short stories, just so the endings might go in unpredictable directions. I'm sure that in another 30 years, the NT and Shroud stories and the shorts by Laymon and Ketchum etc, will be outdated and I'll be clinging to them. While I appreciate history and feel for the time (and a bit in this collection made me laugh: a stripper is contemplating her secretive audience, and ponders that they might be women. She is shocked and sickened by this horrific and alien idea! Welcome to the 21st century, love) this book failed to grab me. No offense to the cult following, but no, not for me. Pan: Miserable bastard.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    As expected, another mixed bag of horror tales from the Pan collection. The Ninth book at least benefits from being more varied in its offerings than the Eighth. The undisputed highlight of the anthology is the superb 'The Whispering Horror' by Eddy C Bertin, a tale of a malevolent entity that preys on and then ultimately destroys a child before desecrating the grave. Other highlights include 'Mrs Anstey's Scarecrow' by W H Carr, the highly entertaining 'The Boy Who Neglected His Grass Snake' by As expected, another mixed bag of horror tales from the Pan collection. The Ninth book at least benefits from being more varied in its offerings than the Eighth. The undisputed highlight of the anthology is the superb 'The Whispering Horror' by Eddy C Bertin, a tale of a malevolent entity that preys on and then ultimately destroys a child before desecrating the grave. Other highlights include 'Mrs Anstey's Scarecrow' by W H Carr, the highly entertaining 'The Boy Who Neglected His Grass Snake' by Tim Stout, and 'The Green Umbilical Cord' by Jamie McArdwell. Inevitably, there are those stories that really leave one wondering why they were ever selected for inclusion, notably the deeply unfunny though desperately trying to be 'Old Feet' by Martin Waddell, and the rather pointless 'Eustace' by Tanith Lee.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Josephine (Jo)

    This book has not withstood the test of time! I have had it for about forty-five years and what I found frightening then I now find just downright silly. Not one to recommend to any of my friends.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Marc Rhodes-Taylor

    surprisingly good for a book some fifty years old; intensely readable, perverse and shocking, this goes to prove that there was never anything quite like the pan book of horror. favourite stories: the whispering horror 5/5, absolute genius this story would justify purchasing this collection all by itself, the perfect horror in fact and surprisingly short. thou shalt not suffer a witch 5/5, bleak, brutal genius overwhelming in it's hopelessness like a literary version of witchfinder general father surprisingly good for a book some fifty years old; intensely readable, perverse and shocking, this goes to prove that there was never anything quite like the pan book of horror. favourite stories: the whispering horror 5/5, absolute genius this story would justify purchasing this collection all by itself, the perfect horror in fact and surprisingly short. thou shalt not suffer a witch 5/5, bleak, brutal genius overwhelming in it's hopelessness like a literary version of witchfinder general father forgive me 5/5 depraved and brilliant, with a completely unexpected ending man hunt 5/5 short, sharp shocker, the unlikely last minute plot twist does nothing to spoil the impact which this story has, particularly the ending the best teacher 4.5/5 sadistic but effective, kind of postmodern in suggesting that it may have influenced other writers within the same volume smile please 4.5/5 unlikely outcome which requires some suspension of disbelief but works really well, really quite perverse and seedy many stories in pan are a bit like that the happy return 4/5 really unpleasant idea, although the ending did not spend long enough on it or on the consequences not enough poison 4/5 quite compelling thriller with some nasty ants, know exactly what it feels like to have too many ants around bloodthirsty 4/5 really quite funny, this came as something of a relief after the intensity of some of the other stories the jolly uncle 4/5 fairly effective with some creepy ideas compulsion 3.5/5 actually kind of creepy, again there is a bit of a postmodern hint here that it might have inspired some of the other writers don't avoid the rush hour 3.5/5 good thriller with a really nasty death scene on some electric rails a comedy of terrors 3.5/5 the boy who neglected his grass snake 3/5 old feet 3/5 not as much fun as bloodthirsty or fried man from volume 11, but not too bad The Green Umbilical Cord 3/5 not bad, kind of like the creeping ivy story in the film Tales From The Crypt only different mrs. anstey's scarecrow 3/5 moderately effective for me the baby machine 3/5 not bad the fly 2.5/5 gross murder scene at the end is its main reason for reading strictly for the birds 2.5/5 straightforward without any frills, except for one gross idea stick with me kid and you'll wear diamonds 2.5/5 average Crocodile Way 2.5/5 not bad but not really a horror story, more like boy's own adventure Eustace 2.5/5 not bad but really too short, i barely understood what was actually going on here an apparition at noon 2/5 extremely racist final statement might leave a bad taste in the mouth

  8. 4 out of 5

    Donna McCaul Thibodeau

    There is a whole series of Pan Book of Horror Stories. I read them when I was a child and they scared me to death. Unfortunately, rereading this one as an adult does not have the same effect. Most of the stories are simply meh. An average read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Liz Chell

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jeannie Sloan

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jack David

  12. 4 out of 5

    Omar Diaz

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nick

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tabatha

  15. 4 out of 5

    Geraldine O'Hagan

  16. 5 out of 5

    Julie Higgs

  17. 4 out of 5

    Craig Herbertson

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carol

  20. 4 out of 5

    Frankie Roxx

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mahnoor

  22. 5 out of 5

    Demeter

  23. 5 out of 5

    Moby Marlow

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mavis 69 420 666

  25. 4 out of 5

    Poudre

  26. 5 out of 5

    David Evans

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ian Munro

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bill

  29. 5 out of 5

    Morgan Scorpion

  30. 5 out of 5

    horror anthologies

  31. 5 out of 5

    Petra X has the munchies

  32. 4 out of 5

    P.S. Gifford

  33. 4 out of 5

    James

  34. 5 out of 5

    Bookowl1000

  35. 4 out of 5

    Vickie Thanapal

  36. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielledewolfe

  37. 4 out of 5

    Adele Geraghty

  38. 5 out of 5

    Nick Edwards

  39. 5 out of 5

    Ilana

  40. 4 out of 5

    Bryan R-W

  41. 5 out of 5

    Karen Metcalfe

  42. 5 out of 5

    Darren Phasey

  43. 4 out of 5

    Arjan Sidechop

  44. 5 out of 5

    Rafaela

  45. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Bishop

  46. 4 out of 5

    Cambria

  47. 5 out of 5

    Ron Lilley

  48. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Rousey

  49. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Reynolds

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