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House of Mystery Sales Figures

Circulation as Reported in Publishers' Statements of Ownership
Filed with the United States Postal Service


The longest-running horror series at DC, the House of Mystery provided a showcase for strange and macabre stories beginning with the first issue in late 1951. The issue set the tone with the series with stories with names such as "Wanda Was a Werewolf," "I Fell In Love with a Witch," "Man or Monster?" and "The Curse of Seabury Manor.") Cain, the caretaker, kept the horror stories flowing straight on through the early 1980s, logging an impressive run of 321 issues. A companion House of Secrets was built next door later in the 1950s for Cain's milder-mannered brother.

When the U.S. Postal Service began requiring sales data in comics in 1960, the series was selling 208,000 copies monthly; that number declined in the early 1960s and the title's frequency was cut to eight issues a year. That assisted sales, boosting them close to 200,000 copies per issue; the addition of superhero stories in 1964-66 may also have helped. Frequency reduction helped boost sales briefly again in the late 1960s as the title was cut to bimonthly and the horror focus returned.

Sales plummeted when the title went back to monthly in the late 1970s, with a new low set in the DC Implosion year of 1978; the title fell below 100,000 copies for the first time. Some recovery took place as the Direct Market continued to flourish, but the title finally went out at a low of just under 75,000 copies sold per issue.

Cain—and poor Abel—would find a home in Neil Gaiman's Sandman series in the 1990s, and DC would revive the title name for a Vertigo series that ran for 42 issues beginning in 2008. Sales for that title can be found in our monthly reports.

19601961196219631964
Issue Statement appearing in:#107 February#119 February#131 February#141 March#149 March
Date of filing:10/1/6010/1/6110/1/6210/1/6310/1/64
Issues published during year:12121288
Annual subscription price:$1.50$1.50$1.75$0.95$0.95
Cover price during year:$0.10$0.12$0.12$0.12$0.12
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):
Sales through DEALERS (avg):
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):
Total PAID circulation (avg):208,000225,000175,000 data omitted data omitted
Samples by MAIL (avg):
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):
Total FREE circulation (avg):
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:
Copies not distributed (office):
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):
Reported % Paid/Requested:
% of RUN RETURNED:
Copies existent:
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:
19651966196719681969
Issue Statement appearing in:#160 Jul#165 Mar#173 Mar#179 April#185 April
Date of filing:10/1/6510/1/6610/1/6710/1/6810/1/69
Issues published during year:88666
Annual subscription price:$0.95$0.95$0.88$0.88No subs
Cover price during year:$0.12$0.12$0.12$0.12$0.15
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):331,000326,000306,000295,000321,000
Sales through DEALERS (avg):196,000183,000157,000156,000173,000
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):6779341,500350206
Total PAID circulation (avg):196,677183,934158,500156,350173,206
Samples by MAIL (avg):142034000
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):00000
Total FREE circulation (avg):142034000
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:196,819183,934158,840156,350173,206
Copies not distributed (office):386346
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):134,181142,066147,160138,264147,448
Reported % Paid/Requested:
% of RUN RETURNED:40.5%43.6%48.1%46.9%45.9%
Copies existent:196,819183,934158,840156,736173,552
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:59.4%56.4%51.8%53.0%54.0%
19701971197219731974
Issue Statement appearing in:#191 April#200 March#212 March#224 April/May#231 May
Date of filing:10/1/7010/1/7110/1/7210/1/7310/1/74
Issues published during year:61212610
Annual subscription price:No subs$3.00$2.40$4.00$2.50
Cover price during year:$0.15$0.25$0.20$0.60$0.25
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):333,049331,166351,000364,187365,160
Sales through DEALERS (avg):180,514187,250174,697177,716173,900
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):128158437309604
Total PAID circulation (avg):180,642187,408175,134178,025174,504
Samples by MAIL (avg):00523100100
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):00000
Total FREE circulation (avg):00523100100
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:180,642187,408175,657178,125174,604
Copies not distributed (office):1226754081,3445,056
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):152,285143,083174,935184,598185,500
Reported % Paid/Requested:
% of RUN RETURNED:45.7%43.2%49.8%50.7%50.8%
Copies existent:180,764188,083176,065179,469179,660
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:54.2%56.6%49.9%48.9%47.8%
19751976197719781979
Issue Statement appearing in:#241 June#252 June#258 June#267 April#279 April
Date of filing:10/1/7510/1/7610/1/7710/1/7810/1/79
Issues published during year:101261212
Annual subscription price:$1.50$3.60$6.50$6.75$6.75
Cover price during year:$0.30$1.00$1.00$0.40$0.40
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):351,000325,000285,511286,482237,004
Sales through DEALERS (avg):145,000123,000108,57375,26985,383
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):1,0001,000618381186
Total PAID circulation (avg):146,000124,000109,19175,65085,569
Samples by MAIL (avg):1,0001,0004001090
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):00000
Total FREE circulation (avg):1,0001,0004001090
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:147,000125,000109,59175,75985,569
Copies not distributed (office):2,00003341,142121
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):202,000200,000175,586209,581151,314
Reported % Paid/Requested:
% of RUN RETURNED:57.5%61.5%61.5%73.2%63.8%
Copies existent:149,000125,000109,92576,90185,690
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:41.6%38.2%38.2%26.4%36.1%
198019811982  
Issue Statement appearing in:#292 May#304 May#316 May
Date of filing:10/1/8010/1/8110/1/82
Issues published during year:121212
Annual subscription price:$7.95$7.20$7.20
Cover price during year:$0.50$0.60$0.60
Total Copies PRINTED (avg):257,865259,942242,678
Sales through DEALERS (avg):88,21886,22774,105
Sales by SUBSCRIPTION (avg):658735638
Total PAID circulation (avg):88,87686,96274,743
Samples by MAIL (avg):127127677
Samples OUTSIDE mail (avg):000
Total FREE circulation (avg):127127677
TOTAL DISTRIBUTION:89,00387,08975,420
Copies not distributed (office):2,9323,5242,098
Copies not distributed (RETURNS):165,930169,329165,160
Reported % Paid/Requested:
% of RUN RETURNED:64.3%65.1%68.1%
Copies existent:91,93590,61377,518
SELL-THROUGH at RETAIL:34.5%33.5%30.8%






STATEMENT HISTORY

Statements of Ownership appeared for many years in the title before DC (or, rather, National Periodical Publications) was required to publish sales figures beginning in 1960. As with other DC titles, DC did not print sales figures in its Statements in 1963 and 1964.

DC stopped mailing subscription copies Second Class in 1987, putting an end to its need to publish circulation statements, so nothing appears in any later House of Mystery titles.