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Pulp Fiction Genres > Weird Menace

The October, 1933 issue of Dime Mystery Magazine kicked off a new era in the pulps where terror, horror, torture, murder, and other bizare and sadistic means were meant to strike fear in all but the most courageous of readers.

The Weird Menace phase, also referred to as the Horror Pulps or Shudder Pulps, lasted the better part of the 1930's. But their peak period was primarily 1934 through 1937.These stories often followed a well defined formula.

Usually, some horrible, devilish, and to some degree, supernatural being was threatening the well being of all, but in most cases caused a great deal of torture and sadistic attacks on women. The pulp covers usually captured the essence of the torture and showed girls in various stages of torture and nudity.

Our hero, usually after his girlfriend has been taken hostage, must now confront the evil villian. After saving the day, our hero then explains how the devilish villian is only human and was using the latest in high-tech science to scare the victims so that he may gain in worldly possesions.

In some respects, this genre spilled over into the hero pulps like the Spider and G-8 and His Battle Aces for certain aspects of this type of story.

But the weird menace phase as featured in such magazines as Dime Mystery, Terror Tales, and Horror Storieswas a unique era where the stories were meant to keep you on the edge of your seat with a mixture of page turning action plus the suspense and fear of the unknown.