Haining, Peter Alexander
Haining, Peter Alexander (1940–)(pop culture)
Peter Alexander Haining, anthologist of vampire literature, was born April 2, 1940, at Enfield, England, and began his adult life as a journalist in Essex. He was assigned to investigate a graveyard desecration, which the local rector claimed had been done by Satanists. His work on the case generated within him an interest in the occult and black magic and led him to co-author Devil Worship in Britain with colleague A. V. Sellwood. This 1964 book became the first in a prolific line of books that Haining wrote or, in most cases, edited. Among his early anthologies was The Craft of Terror, a 1966 collection of extracts from gothic horror novels that set the stage for The Midnight People (1968; issued in the United States as Vampires at Midnight), a collection of vampire stories. Haining suggested that vampires were unique among evil monsters in that they were based on fact (i.e., the folklore and legends from countries around the world). Thus, he combined the fictional selections with several accounts of real vampires.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Haining edited a new anthology of occult and/or horror material once or twice a year, occasionally moving into the mystery realm. He returned to vampires in 1976 with The Dracula Scrapbook, an illustrated survey of Dracula in fact and fiction. In 1985 he compiled Vampire: Chilling Tales of the Undead, an anthology of vampire fiction. Among his most recent anthologies is one devoted to a celebration of vampire hunters.
In 1987, he compiled a second volume on Dracula, The Dracula Centenary Book. It was reissued in 1992 as The Dracula Scrapbook, though it is completely different from the 1976 volume with the same title. Behind The Dracula Centenary Book was Haining’s assumption that the unnamed year in which Bram Stoker set the novel Dracula (1897) was 1887. That year is at best questionable, as most Dracula scholars now agree that the year was 1893. Whatever the support for 1887 as the year of Dracula’s arrival in England, the assumption provided an excuse to publish one of the better Dracula anthologies.
In the new century, Haining compiled a very useful reference volume, A Dictionary of Vampires (2001), and assembled a collection of Bram Stoker’s short stories characterized by their not being in a previous anthology and their relating in some way to the novel Dracula.