A spooky little book, which I purchased new in 1976, and has since become somewhat of a collector's item. It's comprised of nine short stories by nine different authors, an introduction by science fiction author Andre Norton, and beautifully illustrated by Rod Ruth.
I'm constantly surprised at what trivial nonsense can be found on the Internet, and yet strangely I've found virtually nothing about illustrator Rod Ruth. I was already aware of this artist from his work on many of the "Album of..." books ("Album of Dinosaurs" being one of my favorites...to be featured in a future post.) Here he provides a full page, full color illustration for each story, plus a small black and white title graphic for each.
The interior cover spread, illustrating a scene from "The Spell of Spirit Stones" by Alice Wellman.
The contents of the book are as follows:
Introduction by Andre Norton
The Patchwork Monkey by Beverly Butler
The Yamadan by Lynne Gessner
Monster Blood by Charles Land
Tigger by A.M. Lightner
The Spell of Spirit Stones by Alice Wellman
The Night Creature by Richard R. Smith
To Face a Monster by Carl Henry Rathjen
You Are What You Eat by Wilma Bedmarz
Nightmare in A Box by Rita Ritchie
In a future post I'll get into more detail about individual stories. My favorite is the creepy The Patchwork Monkey. You can see the little guy on the cover image at top, sitting benignly on the tree branch just below the rooster-looking Basilisk monster.
The Patchwork Monkey apparently had an impact on quite a few readers... it was even translated into a short film in 2003, although I haven't seen it. There's an entry for it at IMDB here.
Stay tuned for more about "Baleful Beasts and Eerie Creatures"...
UPDATED: Subsequent posts related to this book can be found here, here, and here.