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What is the name of the character created by Michael Gilbert which was 'influenced' by The Spirit ? (Answer at bottom of the page)
One of Will Eisner's more unusual experiments involving The Spirit was published in 1976 with the appearance of 'The Spirit Casebook of True Haunted Houses and Ghosts'.

The introductory piece to the book

In this 160 page paperback, The Spirit appeared only as a host (rather like one of the characters in one of the old EC stories, except The Spirit did not make a ghastly pun or crack at the end of each story!) to tell 'true' accounts of haunting or appearances of ghostly apparitions. In most cases the source of each case is given, the majority of these accounts being set in Great Britain over a hundred years ago.

Some interior art from the bookSome interior art from the book

The accounts in this book can be divided into three categories: revenge/warning stories, whereby a character is killed and then vows revenge on the killers or the place in which they were murdered (The Avenging Ghost of Johnny Daniel, The Ghostly Justice of Lancashire, The Curse of Chief Cornstalk) or give a warning of potential disaster (The Swimming Ghosts of the Pacific); helpful, whereby an unsuspecting party is helped out by someone whom they later find out to be an apparition (Good Ghost of Llanwellyn, The Messenger Ghost of Philadelphia); and just the plain unusual/unexplained (all the other stories).

The book features Eisner artwork on each page, with typeset mainly although if any of the characters are shown speaking then traditional comic book speech balloons are used (as shown above).

The title was released by Tempo Books and originally featured a wrap around cover by Eisner based on one of the more horrific stories, The Handless Ghost of Castle Rait (a panel of which is shown below):

A scene from the Handless Ghost

However, this cover was quickly replaced by one based on The Fair Ghost on the HMS Asp. Both covers are shown below (the cover with the pirate looks like it was not drawn by Eisner):

The less horrific coverThe more gruesome cover

(with thanks to Mikel Midnight for the scan of the more gruesome cover)

Eisner recently described the project as: "... an attempt to treat The Spirit in a more conventional format and an effort to find a place for a "comics" character in the paperback medium. It was a failed effort"

As is usual with Eisner's work, his failed efforts are usually of more interest than other artists successful efforts!

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If you are a fan of horror fiction, then check out the Robert Block Unofficial Homepage.

Click here to goto Will Eisner's site!

Trivia Answer: The Wraith.(For more information, click here)