The Origin of the Crabs

“The Origin of the Crabs” is a horror novel by Guy N. Smith, first published in 1979. It is part of Smith’s popular “Crabs” series, which is well-known for its blend of ecological horror and creature feature elements. The series began with “Night of the Crabs” in 1976 and has since become a cult favorite among horror fans.

Plot Summary

“The Origin of the Crabs” serves as a prequel to the earlier books in the series, providing the backstory of the monstrous, man-eating crabs that terrorize the British coastline. The novel delves into how these gigantic crabs came to be and the circumstances that led to their emergence.

Set in the early part of the 20th century, the story follows a scientist who discovers a new species of crab in the depths of the ocean. Driven by curiosity and scientific ambition, the scientist brings specimens back to his laboratory for study. However, these crabs are not ordinary creatures; they have a rapid growth rate, immense strength, and a predatory nature.

As the crabs grow larger and more aggressive, they break free from containment, leading to a series of gruesome attacks. The local population soon finds itself under siege by these monstrous crustaceans. The protagonist, often a heroic figure or another scientist, must find a way to stop the crabs before they multiply and devastate the coastal communities.

Themes and Style

  • Ecological Horror: The novel explores the theme of nature gone awry, with the giant crabs representing a terrifying force of nature that humanity cannot easily control.
  • Creature Feature: True to the genre, “The Origin of the Crabs” focuses on the horror and excitement of battling giant, monstrous creatures.
  • Scientific Hubris: The story often highlights the dangers of scientific overreach and the unintended consequences of meddling with nature.
  • Action and Suspense: Smith’s writing style keeps readers on the edge of their seats with fast-paced action scenes and a suspenseful narrative.


“The Origin of the Crabs” was well-received by fans of the “Crabs” series and horror enthusiasts. Readers appreciated the deeper insight into the backstory of the crabs and the continuity it provided within the series. The novel’s blend of scientific intrigue, horror, and action made it a compelling read for those who enjoy creature features.

Author Background

Guy N. Smith (1939-2020) was a British author famed for his horror fiction. Over his extensive career, he wrote more than 100 novels, many of which explored themes of the supernatural, the macabre, and the grotesque. Smith gained a dedicated following for his ability to craft thrilling and chilling horror stories, with the “Crabs” series being one of his most popular creations.


“The Origin of the Crabs” holds a significant place in the “Crabs” series, enriching the overall narrative by providing the origin story of the monstrous crabs. The novel continues to be appreciated by fans of the series and readers who enjoy horror stories featuring monstrous creatures and ecological disasters. Its contribution to the lore of the “Crabs” series ensures its lasting appeal in the realm of horror fiction.