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Monday, March 16, 2009

EC - A Little Stranger! (Ingels)

Haven't done one of these in a while...

A Little Stranger!
art by Graham Ingels, story by Al Feldstein
Haunt of Fear #14 (1952)

A nice little bit of horror narrated by the Old Witch, and appropriately (you'll see why by the end of the story) Ingels really goes to town with her opening half-page portrait. In this story some violent deaths show signs of both vampire and werewolf attack, vexing the villagers until they realize that this must be the ultimate horror, the two creatures stalking the night together. And right they are, as we see the couple, Elicia and Zorgo, and we see Zorgo's dreams of their first meeting.

Of course, things can't last forever for the star cross'd lovers, and they're soon captured by the villagers and buried in the Devil's Graveyard. Unfortunately, I guess the villagers weren't up on their monster killer lore, since the creatures are alive as they ever were, and attended by the various ghouls and corpses of the graveyard they wed, and a year later arrives their daughter, who of course would grow up to be the Old Witch.

In 1953 we would find out that the Crypt-Keeper is the child of a mummy and a two-headed corpse who fell in love in a side show. I don't think the Vault-Keeper ever got an origin, did he?

Anyway, a couple of great images by Ingels in this one, in addition to the Witch's portrait opening the story, the wedding scene in the ruined old cemetery is just loaded with atmosphere.

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