Misty Short Stories VIII: Ghosts

2: Moral Spirits

Not all the Misty ghosts inflicting comeuppances did so out of revenge for their deaths. Sometimes it was to punish for other reasons, though revenge could still come into it at times.

Skullduggery

Misty: #18

Artist: Jaume Rumeu

A highwayman, who disguises himself with a skull mask, forces Anna into becoming his accomplice. They go into an inn and are informed about the ghost of Jeb Realey, a cutpurse hanged at the gibbet near the heath where the highwayman operates. Anna seizes her chance to inform the innkeeper about the highwayman and have the law waiting at the heath. They are indeed waiting for him, which wrecks his latest robbery. Seeing a man at the gibbet, he decides to set him up for the crime. But when the highwayman approaches the man he suddenly runs away in terror – and right into the arms of the law. Anna finds out why when she urges the man to turn towards her. When he does, he reveals himself as a skeletal figure. Anna runs off in terror too, screaming that it was the ghost of the man who died on the gibbet.

The Haunting

Misty: #07

Artist: John Richardson

In the grounds of an old house with a reputation for hauntings, Val and Fi are hiding from Alice, a boring girl who keeps hanging around them and trying to join them all the time. A girl named Bess jumps out and scares them for a joke. Val and Fi decide to prank Alice by daring her to spend an hour at the house and play “ghost” on her. Everything is set up when Bess shows at the house and they explain their plan. Bess says they needn’t bother because the house really is haunted – by herself. After demonstrating that she really is a ghost, Val and Fi run away screaming. Alice hears the screams but assumes it’s just Val and Fi trying to scare her. She continues to read her book, saying ghosts don’t exist while the real ghost reaches out from behind….

A Stain on Her Character

Misty: #72

Artist: John Richardson

Alison cheats in exams because she can’t write fast enough. A strange teacher appears and gives her a pen to help her write faster, saying she will have no need to cheat if she uses it wisely. But Alison uses the pen to turn into an even bigger cheat, and she ignores the man’s repeated warning to use it wisely. The pen bursts and Alison gets covered in ink, which turns her completely blue. The man was the ghost of the school founder, who established a character-building reputation at the school and, “although long dead, would never allow that reputation to be tarnished by a cheat”.

When the Lights Go Out!

Misty: #18

Artist: Jose Ariza

Anne’s mother makes her to go to the annual staff kids’ party at the department store where she works although Anne says she is too old for a kids’ party. To get something out of it Anne sneaks off to the fashion floor to see what she can steal, ignoring warnings that strange things happen there at night. But she finds out the floor is haunted by four people who died in a department store accident and use the shop dummies as makeshift bodies. Anne gets turned into a shop dummy, modelling the very garment she tried to steal.

Mrs Grundy’s Guest House

Misty: #86

Artist: John Richardson

Reprint: Misty Souvenir Special 2009

Jilly Soper is a seasoned criminal. After a hard day’s work of pickpocketing, Jilly tries to find a B&B for the night, without success. A policeman tells her Mrs Grundy’s Guest House is always empty though Mrs Grundy always says it is full, and the old lady is very rich. So Jilly slips in there for the rich pickings, and tells Mrs Grundy she wants to stay for the night. But while trying to steal items she discovers the apparently empty place really is full of house guests – only they are all ghosts: “the only refuge these poor lost souls have ever had”. They attack Jilly for trying to rob Mrs Grundy. During the struggle Jilly accidentally starts a fire. Although that part was an accident, the ghosts turn on Jilly with even more fury because it will burn down the house, their only refuge. The ghosts make sure Jilly burns to death in the house, and then condemn her to stay at the remains of the house as a ghost forever, while they move on.

Country Churchyard

Misty: #101

Artist: Mario Capaldi

Kathleen (Kathy) Darnley and her family move to a village. Kathy befriends a girl named Jill but is not impressed when Jill tries to have her join in youth project to clean up the cemetery. Then, after finding she lost her watch in the cemetery she goes back and pulls weeds off a grave to find it. A ghostly lady appears and thanks Kathy for clearing the grave, it looks so much better. She points to the name on the tombstone and Kathy is stunned to see it is the same as hers. Dad tells Kathy it is her grandmother’s grave and she is named after her. Jill is very surprised when Kathy decides to join the project after all.

1 thought on “Misty Short Stories VIII: Ghosts

  1. Nice list. “The Disembodied” is a standout for me, helped of course with that great John Richardson art.

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