Ronald Chetwynd-Hayes (30 May 1919 – 20 March 2001) was a British author, best known for his ghost and horror stories.
His first published work was the science fiction novel The Man from the Bomb in 1959. He went on to publish many collections and ten other novels including The Grange, The Haunted Grange, And Love Survived and The Curse of the Snake God. Several of his short works were adapted into anthology-style movies in the United Kingdom, including The Monster Club and From Beyond the Grave. Chetwynd-Hayes' book The Monster Club contains references to a film-maker called Vinke Rocnnor, an anagram of Kevin Connor, the director of From Beyond the Grave. John Carradine played Chetwynd-Hayes in The Monster Club.
He also edited over 20 anthologies. Chetwynd-Hayes took over the editorship of the Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories after the departure of the previous editor, Robert Aickman. Chetwynd-Hayes also edited several other anthologies, including the Armada Monster Book series for children.
He won the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement for 1988, and the British Fantasy Society Special Award in 1989.
Chetwynd-Hayes died from bronchial pneumonia on 20 March 2001.
Tropes found in the works of R. Chetwynd-Hayes:
- Boy Meets Ghoul: The short story "Tomorrows Ghost" is based around a romance between a Regency-era woman and a modern-day (1980s) man, each of whom believes the other to be a ghost. It turns out that in a time paradox, back in the woman's own day, she killed herself because she could not be with the man from the future and was being forced into a marriage with someone else - thus is a ghost in the present.
- Dead All Along: In "The Ghost Who Limped", a family is haunted by said ghost. Of course it turns out that the family is dead and the "ghost" is the one who's alive.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: This is played with in The Monster Club, where the idea of humans being the real monsters is used to show how they are as capable and amazing as monsters rather than showing them to be inhumane and cruel when compared to what they perceive as monsters.
- Jack the Ripper: In "The Gatecrasher", Edward Charlton and his trendy friends hold an impromptu séance - and summon forth the spirit of Jack the Ripper. Saucy Jack soon has total dominion over Edward and together they prowl Soho, picking up working girls to butcher back at the flat off Edgware Road. When the downstairs neighbour grows suspicious that those stains on his ceiling are maybe not the result of spilt red wine after all, its time for the pair to part company.
- Monster Mash: The Monster Club. Hidden beneath the streets of London is a dark and dreadful establishment known as The Monster Club, where vampires indulge in a rather different kind of Bloody Mary and ghouls tear into their gruesome repasts. Here, along with the usual monsters - vampires, werewolves, ghouls, and some of Dr Frankenstein's more freakish creations - you'll find other, less familiar ones. You'll meet the frightening Fly-by-Night, the hideous shaddy, the horrible mock, and the dreaded shadmock, perhaps the most terrible of all.
- Non-Human Humanoid Hybrid: A "shadmock" is a third generation hybrid of vampire, werewolf and ghoul, all of which are distinctly nonhuman and hideous. The shadmock, however, looks like an innocent, angelic and perfectly human being.
- Significant Anagram: Combined with Tuckerization in The Monster Club . The name of film director Vinnke Rocnor is an anagram of Kevin Connor: the director of From Beyond the Grave, a film adaptation of several Chetwynd-Hayes short stories.
- Time-Travel Romance:" Tomorrow's Ghost" is based around a romance between a Regency-era woman and a 1980s man.
- Tuckerization: Combined with Significant Anagram in The Monster Club. The name of film director Vinnke Rocnor is an anagram of Kevin Connor: the director of From Beyond the Grave, a film adaptation of several Chetwynd-Hayes short stories.