Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Witch's Vengeful Return

As we quickly approach Halloween, it's time to drag out a 300 year old witch for some THOIA black magic! This one from the July 1953 issue of Baffling Mysteries #16 features some attractive art from Louis Zansky, and a most welcome body count too! What witchy movie am I thinking of?



Mr. Cavin said...

Sometimes I like to think that my own lips are lifelike.

I love witch revenge stories. I really dig the splash here, and that all those weird bird and reptile familiars also make an appearance in the narrative as well. The hansome cab chase is particularly cinematic and harrowing because of them.

It amazes me the number of spooky precode stories that start with some hapless city woman being dragged out to the broken-down and undersupervised family farm only to endure horror and atrocity because of it. Man, New Yorkers musta been terrified of white flight, yet throughout the post war years they colonized and gentrified the rural landscape all the same. An occasional bewitched bride or reconstituted cursed demon vampire ancestor must have seemed like a pretty steep price to pay for creating suburbia all over New Jersey and Connecticut--and so the haunted developments they created have made a lasting, and chilling, legacy to this day. Then, of course, those intrepid victim-pioneers sent a whole generation of haunted neighborhood children to summer camps like Crystal Lake and Stonewater and Sleepaway--and to further horror and atrocity. Some people never give up. Heroes, I say.

JMR777 said...

Ancestress, now there is a term that has gone out of style.

A neat revenge on the descendants tale, though it is kind of unfair on the descendants, they didn't do the evil but they are getting punished anyway.

All in all a neat tale.

Guy Callaway said...

Well, Nora didn't hesitate to get her witch on, did she.
I liked "Good heavens! It's Nora..and a spectre!".
Good art on this one.

Brian Barnes said...

So, if Hepzibah was burned at the stake before she could marry Crane, than how did she have a descendant? Yes, I know, out of wedlock, but you think the villagers would have taken care of that, too!

The fun in these tales is the revenge plot; the beginning and ending are normally just there to bookend the plot and make it work, and I just love how quick a study on witchcraft, specters, haunted painting, possession, etc, etc, the husband is. And how OK he is with that ending. "Oops, burned my wife alive. Luckily, in my head, I know that was the only way to save her!"

Grant said...

It's always funny to me that even people with the most SKETCHY knowledge of those New England witch trials know that they were hanged instead of burned at the stake, and yet that's the thing that countless horror stories about the subject decide to CHANGE. Is hanging just not "colorful" enough?

I couldn't help noticing that lizard familiar too. Even though I couldn't give the name, it looks like one of those halfway bipedal lizards that you see in the first pages of the dinosaur books. (Maybe the artist liked paleontology?)

Glowworm said...

"This is my ancestor, Raymond Crane, who originally built the house! A handsome but stern chap, eh?" No, Edward, your ancestor is downright creepy looking!
Nora takes the fact that she has the soul of a witch trapped inside of her rather well.
I also like the art in this one--especially the panel of the Mayor being hung from the bell in the bell tower.
Sadly, this is one of those tales where the possessed witch wife cannot be saved. A rather solemn conclusion to a rather grim tale.

Guy Callaway said...

"It amazes me the number of spooky precode stories that start with some hapless city woman being dragged out to the broken-down and undersupervised family farm, only to endure horror and atrocity because of it."

Excellent observation, Mr.Cavin!
The same theme was very popular in '70's Asian/Indian horror films as well.

Grrrrrrrace said...