Saturday, September 15, 2018

If I Should Die--

When you've read through enough of these pre code horror stories, you'll come to the predictable realization that if a character at any point in the story reveals what they are most afraid of, then 9 times out of 10 they will most likely die in that exact same manner. If being embalmed and buried alive is one of those fears, the odds change to 10 out of 10. And let's toss in millions of piranha worms just to make things even more hauntingly thrilling. From the November 1954 issue of Haunted Thrills #18.


Brian Barnes said...

I never expected Tony Stark to go out this way!

I love this blog, I love all the entertainment you put up for us, and I love this tale but boy is it one strange problem after another. From the bizarre figure in the coffin at the beginning, to the completely baffling ending (if medical error was a mistake worth otherworldly vengeance I don't think we'd have a hospital left!) to the wacky pacing and finally completely convenient timing of events.


I love reading each and every one of these but this one ... wow!

Mr. Cavin said...

Excellent. I totally dig the writing here (especially the the fact that all the side characters, even the ones Cravens dreams up during his nightmare, are pretty realistically fleshed-out. I also think the color design in this one was pretty brilliant. Cool stuff.

Mr. Cavin said...

P.S., I especially love Henry's jammies.

Mestiere said...

It's almost like the writer forgot he had five pages to fill and had to improvise to fill the last one.

It's not imposible for someone to have been embalmed while alive, especially in the past. In fact,
if it happened at all it probably would have happened most often to Americans. They are unique in
embalming a large percentage of their dead
. In the UK, for example, over 90 percent choose
cremation. The practice of embalming became popular probably during the Civil War and is pretty
much the same process it was back then. In the 19th century if a body seemed to be dead because of
catalepsy or shock the family might have rushed to embalm before decomposition set in. What would
that feel like?
This Russian woman was accidentally embalmed during an operation when she was given formaline
instead of saline. She lived for fourteen hours (not days as the article mistakenly says) feeling how her organs
died one by one.

The US's extraordinary geographical isolation—it's the only major world power separated from the rest of the world
by two oceans and has no powerful neighbors—explains the survival of obsolete practices and other eccentricities.
Apart of dealing with their dead like it was the 19th century they...

• Put doors in public bathrooms so you won't see the guy wiping but leave inch-wide gaps around the door so you'll see the guy wiping.

• Practice circumcision for reasons unrelated to religion (South Korea is doing that now).

• Still use a 12:00 hour clock. In most of the world 3:00 PM would just be 15:00.

• Won't use the metric system (scientist do).

• Use corn syrup instead of sugar. If you drink a Coca-Cola in Mexico it tastes the way it did in the 70s because they still use sugar.

• Sell eggs in the refrigerated aisle.

• Are the only country where dates are month/day/year.

• Are one of only two countries that elect judges. The other is Bolivia.

These are the tip of the iceberg. Can you think of other ways?

バーンズエリック said...

Sorry, but I live in Japan and lived in South Korea and have never seen a 24-hour clock.

I'm sure Canadians and Mexicans will love being implicitly dismissed as unimportant, too.

But, yeah, the American rabid hatred of the much easier metric system is pretty hilarious.

Mestiere said...

"I'm sure Canadians and Mexicans will love being implicitly dismissed as unimportant, too."

I wouldn't call them unimportant but they are satellites of the US. Each has about one tenth of the US GDP. In fact the US alone used to have most of the population of the Americas (North, Central and South) until the 1940s and still accounts for most of its economy. There is no other country in such a position.

This map shows Japan with a 24 hour clock and South Korea with a 12 hour clock. But I've never been to those countries so I defer to your knowledge.

Mestiere said...


translated to Eric Barnes. Are you related to somebody here? That would be cool.

Mr. Karswell said...

Let’s keep the comments on topic here, ok? Comic books and horror— thanks

Mestiere said...

"Let’s keep the comments on topic here..."


JMR777 said...

Back to the comic, Poe's "The Premature Burial" comes to mind while reading this story, though in Poe's tale the victim escapes such a horrible fate.

The idea of being conscious while deceased and buried has been touched on by other horror tales, it is one of those unconscious fears that still haunt mankind.

JBM said...

Hi Mr. K., That ending was out of the blue as are these poli-comments.
Thank you for posting!

glowworm2 said...

That last panel is frickin' hilarious to me! I knew this one was going to end with the reveal that nothing was actually wrong with Henry physically--but that last bit where Henry's ghost just starts flat up murdering the doctor just feels like a 360 head spin of his personality. He didn't really seem like the vengeful type--even beforehand. He understandingly wanted to live longer--but the ending comes out more comical than it was intended to be.

Guy Callaway said...

I like that the ghost is wearing Henry's awesome jammie-jams.
The splash is an EC cover swipe (TFTC #28).

Todd said...

Henry murdered his doctor because he was an American imperialist!

I am curious, though, how a ghost tears somebody's throat out.