Chilling Tales #16 is the best of both worlds when it comes to Pre-Code Horror. It's got a wonderfully creepy cover, and some classic horror interiors to match. While we don't know who drew that cover, the contents here appear to have been assembled by Adolphe Barreaux's Majestic Studio. Barreaux was a longtime associate of DC Comics owner Harry Donenfeld, and worked with Donenfeld on everything from Police Gazette to his spicy pulp line, which made him an ideal candidate for editing a Pre-Code Horror title. That combination of cover, contents and scarcity in anything above low grade has made Chilling Tales #16 catch fire in recent times, and there's a Chilling Tales #16 (Youthful Magazines, 1953) CGC FN 6.0 Off-white pages up for auction in Thurday's 2021 November 4 The Black Cat Collection and Pre-Code Horror Showcase Auction #40183 at Heritage Auctions.
The story content of Chilling Tales #16 is surprisingly sophisticated. The lead story (though not the cover story as is implied here) is "The Mark of the Beast" by Rudyard Kipling. In this 1890 tale, An Englishman in India "is cursed by the bite of a leper priest after he desecrates a Hindu temple. The short story describes his transformation from a man into a wolf-like creature." The second story in this issue is the first Edgar Allan Poe ever published. "Metzengerstein: A Tale in Imitation of the German" was first published in Philadelphia's Saturday Courier magazine, in 1832, and is the saga of two rival families and the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy.
In the best PCH tradition, Chilling Tales #16 is devilishly difficult to get in anything above low grade, and this CGC 6.0 copy ties with the highest graded example that Heritage has ever offered. All of which means there's a rare chance to get this PCH classic in nice shape with the Chilling Tales #16 (Youthful Magazines, 1953) CGC FN 6.0 Off-white pages up for auction in Thurday's 2021 November 4 The Black Cat Collection and Pre-Code Horror Showcase Auction #40183 at Heritage Auctions.
Chilling Tales #16 (Youthful Magazines, 1953) CGC FN 6.0 Off-white pages. Adapts "Metzengerstein" by Edgar Allan Poe and "The Mark of the Beast" by Rudyard Kipling. Bondage cover. Henry Kiefer art. Overstreet 2021 FN 6.0 value = $387. CGC census 9/21: 4 in 6.0, 6 higher.