art by Graham Ingels, story by Al Feldstein
Shock SuspenStories #2 (1952)
Of course just about all the EC artists did horror well, and pushed the gore level as far as they could. But Ingels is the one who seemed to completely revel in the gore and darkness (down to signing his work "Ghastly"). His look was very much the signature of the EC horror line, and is seen in most issues of CRYPT, VAULT and HAUNT. He was also hugely influential on the next generation of horror comics artists, most evident in Wrightson's classic 1970s work.
In this story, which has a delightfully gruesume splash page, a woman is hired as a matron to the kids at an orphanage run by a stingy owner, finding the kids hungry and poorly cared for. She does her best with the meagre resources she's allowed, only to find her funds constantly cut. Finally Halloween roles around, and the owner refuses to even let the kids have a jack-o-lantern. That night the matron finds out that the owner has been lying about how much money he's given to care for the orphans and pocketing the difference. He threatens her and she collapses, hearing the children, and when she wakes finds out about the gory poetic justice the kids have dished out. This is the kind of story that led to Senate hearings on comic books not long after...