Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Hitch-Hiker / Room for the Night

Taking a queue from the English here in early December with a traditional ghost story double feature to get you ready for xmas-- and for obvious reasons you know perfectly well why Mr. Karswell approves! Also, you know both of these classic supernatural tales, each has been told countless times in countless variations and cultures, and in some ways both have slipped into the annals of "urban legend" terror-tory as well! From the 1960 issue of The World Around Us: The Illustrated Story of Ghosts #24 from Classics Illustrated, artwork by Georg Evans and Reed Crandall on "The Hitch-Hiker", Gray Morrow on "Room for the Night."





























6 comments:

Mr. Cavin said...

I guess it's not such a surprise that the work here is so stellar, given the heavyweight names attached to the art. I think Morrow's splash on the second story is particularly amazing, with a great use of positive / negative trickery and color.

There's something about rereading the hitchhiker story over and over. I see it a lot in ghost story and folklore books, referenced in television spookers and the like. Even in old newspaper stories. It feels very apropos to read this tale again and again. It's always presented from the motorist's point of view; but after studying Urban Legends for nearly two decades, I feel like I have the insight of the parents instead. Yes, yes, I think, reading the confused account of the driver on my doorstep in the rain. This happens all the time. Let me explain....

I'd love to see someone do a beautiful hardback compilation--including comics, fiction, News of the Weird columns--just retelling that same story over and over.

Gerard Gray said...

These are stories we will never get tired of.Thank's for all the great post's.

JMR777 said...

The artwork is tremendous, I guess this would count as the earliest attempt at a graphic novel in spite of the short stories.

“Room for the night’ was retold in the story ‘The Guests’ from Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz. From the source material in the book, this story has been told in many places and was a well known tale in the Albany, New York area. An account of this story was told to Dr. Louis C Jones who mentioned it in his book 'Things That Go Bump in the Night' 1959. He mentioned that the story dates back fifty years earlier, but as with any good ghost story, exact details are as hard to trace as spirits themselves.


I think one of the best versions of the Ghostly Hitchhiker tale was retold by the immortal Vincent Price from the recording 'A Graveyard of Ghost Tales' The Lavender Evening Dress.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i37lBW7N20Q

glowworm2 said...

I remember when I was still a kid, there was a commercial that ran using the hitchhiker tale in it where a guy picks up a girl and lends her his jacket. When he goes back to her house the next day to pick it up, the old woman there insists that it wasn't her daughter--she died years ago. I think the jacket may have been left for him on her tombstone, but my memories of it are a bit muddled.
Later on, I read a similar folktale called "A pretty girl in the road" in which a stranger picks up a girl and later on visits her family, but she never shows up to see him. It's not until the end of the tale that he discovers that the girl he met was a ghost.

The second tale is a lot more diverse than the first one. It could be a dead doctor who returns to help someone in need, or someone with a more sinister background. Regardless, usually the tale involves a place that no longer exists and a resident who once lived there as well.

Mr. Karswell said...

Glad you guys enjoyed this post-- I'll have more ghost stories coming up all this month, but up next is a preview from the new issue of HAUNTED HORROR-- in stores Dec 7th!

Stay tombed...

Brian Barnes said...

I can't add anymore good words for the art, that's been covered, it's a beautiful piece of work.

I can say one of the most well known versions of the phantom hitchhiker is Chicago's Resurrection Mary. Went on a ghost tour of Chicago and we went to the very spot she is supposed to appear. No show. Damn primadonna ghosts! You'd think she'd have the time to show up for a bus load of people!