Tag Archives: mystery

My Brilliant Friend (1990)

Published: Bunty Picture Story Library #324

Artist: Unknown

Writer: Unknown

Special thanks to Lorrsadmin for helping me find a copy.


Josie Manton is a brilliant girl who excels at everything. By contrast, Josie’s best friend Debrah King seems to be a born loser and never shines at anything. Debrah keeps hearing the remarks from other girls. Some say Josie must be jolly decent to hang about with such a loser, while others say she could do better than Debrah and hanging around with such a loser is holding her back. Even Debrah wonders why Josie bothers with a loser like her for a friend instead of girls more like herself.

Athletic Mary invites Josie to her athletic club and artistic Lisa to her art class, to sharpen her edge with more fitting competitors. Josie declines both times, saying she wants to stay with Debrah. Debrah assumes they’re just trying to split her and Josie up, but she still thinks these remarks must be so disparaging for Josie.

Debrah speaks to her gran, who recently came to live with the family, about it. Gran prompts Debrah to try harder, and instead of putting herself down and compare herself unfavourably with Josie, encourage herself with a positive attitude. So Debrah tells Josie that she has decided to make something of herself and be a friend Josie would be proud to have. Gran encourages Debrah in every way and helps her with her defeatist attitude. But not surprisingly, Debrah still has problems with confidence and breaking away from comparing herself to her brilliant friend.

Both Debrah and Josie go for an art contest, but Debrah throws her effort in the bin, thinking it’s not good enough compared to Josie’s. Unbeknown to her, gran rescues it and enters it in the contest.

The school craft fair comes up. Instead of helping Josie with her stall as she did before, Debrah decides to run one of her own. Gran helps Debrah makes lucky mascots out of pom poms to sell, but just as things are about to start, the mascots go missing. Debrah eventually finds them in a rubbish sack and accuses Lisa, the girl in charge of the sack and was always harshly comparing her artwork to Josie’s, of taking them. Lisa is upset at the accusation, but Debrah is impressed at how Josie smooths things over. She’s such a good friend. Then, at the fair, Debrah’s cash box is stolen and people think she stole the money for herself. Debrah finds herself an outcast, with only Josie sticking by her and more comments from the other girls at how Josie could be so loyal to a girl like Debrah, who doesn’t deserve it.

The maths teacher sets a homework test paper on decimals, but while Josie is a breeze on it, Debrah struggles with it, thinking she’s a duffer on the subject. At home, when gran explains decimals to Debrah, she suddenly finds it easy and gets the test done in no time flat. But at school, Debrah’s maths book with the test in it goes mysteriously missing after she hands it in. She is forced to do the paper again, but her new confidence falls to pieces and she struggles with the decimals once more.

School Sports Day is coming up, and there are more remarks from Mary about how Josie could do much better at the sports club instead of training beside a loser like Debrah. Josie sticks up for Debrah, saying she’s her friend. Gran determines that Debrah’s athletic skills lie in jumping, not running, so Debrah enters those events. However, on the day, she hears Josie calling for help from the gardener’s shed. When she goes there to help, someone locks her in. This causes her to miss her events and her explanations are not believed. Debrah surmises someone must have been mimicking Josie’s voice to play a dirty trick on her, but Mary has an alibi. Josie, however, does not. In fact, she went missing for a while after competing in her own event…

The following day, Debrah receives a letter that she made it to the final of the art show, and finds out what gran did for her. Josie made it too, but Debrah doesn’t tell her she is also in the final because she wants it to be a surprise. At the final, Debrah wins the landscape section. The judges say they liked the spontaneous impressionism of Debrah’s work over Josie’s “chocolate box” effort. Debrah is concerned at how Josie must be feeling about this, but Josie’s reaction is both a shock and surprise: she claims the picture is a preliminary sketch she did and Debrah stole it from her! As the girls were together when they painted the pictures, Josie must know that can’t be true, but when Debrah confronts her about it, her only response is “Just leave me alone.” The prize-giving is put on hold while Josie’s claim is investigated.

Appalled at Josie’s conduct, Debrah decides to go over to her house and speak to her about it, but she gets no answer. After determining Josie is out, Debrah hides in the shed to catch her by surprise when she returns. In the shed, she finds her missing money box and maths book. At this, she realises her so-called best friend was wrecking her attempts at success the whole time.

When Josie returns, Debrah confronts her over it and demands an explanation. Josie replies that she wanted her to stay the way she was, not be good at things. But if it’s no longer the case, she’s through with Debrah.

So, the brilliant Josie hung around loser Debrah because she was a loser? And now she isn’t, she’s dumping her? What gives?

When gran hears about this, she surmises that Josie can’t face competition or anyone going one better than her. She declined the invitations to the art class and athletics club because she was afraid of the competition. The real reason she hung around Debrah, a girl who never shone at anything, was to make herself look better by comparison. It’s probably due to a confidence problem (gran’s theory) or a jealous streak (my theory).

Gran also informs Debrah that the judges have cleared her of Josie’s accusation. She is free to collect her prize, which she does in the final panel. Success for Debrah at last!


Stories about girls who try to prove themselves because they are ridiculed for not being good at anything, only to be constantly sabotaged by a spiteful person to keep them in the shadows have been a long-standing staple in girls’ comics. “Shani Must Shine”, “Sheena So Shy” and “Make Headlines, Hannah!” from Tammy are some examples. In stories like these, the story shows who the saboteur is and the tricks they are pulling, so we know what’s going on. In many cases, but not all, the protagonist realises it too, so what she has to do is finally get one step ahead of her spiteful saboteur.

The story takes a different take on the formula. In this case the identity of the saboteur is unknown, creating a mystery to be unravelled. And girls just love mystery. Equally mysterious is the motive for it all. It is indeed a puzzler, as there seems to be no reason why anyone would want to sabotage Debrah. The two suspects, Lisa and Mary, don’t seem to have any real motives for doing it. In fact, they would rather Debrah succeeded more against Josie, to give her more worthwhile competition. As far as we can tell, Debrah has no real enemies or bullies picking on her, nor has she upset anyone. Did she put someone’s nose out of joint? Is there some spiteful minx at work, doing it all for kicks? Or is it linked to some past grudge?

Josie is crafty in how she manages to keep herself well-hidden when she pulls her tricks. Her false show of loyalty and friendship and sticking up for Debrah further serve to pull the wool over our eyes as well as Debrah’s. However, Josie’s false accusation at the art show because there is no other way to sabotage Debrah is her undoing. Little did Debrah know what she had done in not telling Josie she was in the final: she caught the dirty trickster on the hop, with no time in advance to pull another sneaky trick to stop her winning.

There is more psychology and realism to Josie and her motives in wrecking Debrah’s efforts at glory than most, who don’t seem to do it for much more than pure spite. The story does a fine job of developing Josie’s motives, and it’s believable. It stems from some form of insecurity or jealousy in being unable to handle competition and challenges, so Josie avoids it where possible.

In a way, it’s sad for Josie. If she carries on with avoiding serious competition she will never achieve her full potential, as competition to improve herself is precisely what she needs to achieve it. The girls are right in saying Josie holds herself back. We won’t be seeing Josie at the Olympics in pursuit of medals or making her name in the art world because she is too afraid of being outdone.

Josie’s friendships won’t reach their full potential either. Choosing friends who won’t be competition rather than people she really likes severely limits her friendships. She will never be true a true friend to anyone, and her despicable treatment of her best friend, without any remorse or apology, is the ultimate proof of that. She was never a real friend for Debrah, and Debrah is well rid of her.

Debrah is a classic example in girls’ comics of how poor esteem and not believing in yourself can hold you back, especially when you are being compared to a more achieving person. Josie using Debrah to make herself look good serves the additional purpose of holding Debrah back because it makes Debrah feel she’s a failure and a loser in comparison. It’s a very crafty move. But along comes gran, who encourages Debrah to take an entirely different attitude. Even without Josie’s sabotage there will still be bumps in the road for Debrah as she strives to find her feet and what her strengths are (jumping events, impressionism, crafts, mastering maths, and more just waiting to be discovered). She discovers she had these talents all along, but it took a supportive relative, a more positive attitude and confidence, and achieving something at long last to bring them all out. We are far more likely to see Debrah making her name than the brilliant all-rounder Josie who keeps holding herself back because she can’t face competition. Debrah won’t be afraid to try the athletics club or the art class now she believes she has talent to offer there.

Carole – the Clownmaker (1979)

Published: Bunty PSL #199

Artist: Carlos Laffond

Writer: Unknown

Reprints: None known

There was a request for this one, so here we go.


Orphan Carole Patton has been brought up by her grandfather in Antello’s Circus, where he works as a clown. Now he’s getting too old for it and needs to retire, but Antello won’t hear of it because grandfather’s the star attraction of the circus. As the story develops, we learn Antello doesn’t like anything that costs him money, which can be at the cost of the safety and wellbeing of his performers.

Grandfather is saving hard to buy a cottage where he and Carole can retire together. Unfortunately, he keeps the money in a cashbox in the caravan because he does not trust banks, despite Carole’s warnings that it’s not safe to keep his money like that.

One day, while setting up the circus in a new location, Carole discovers they’ve picked up a stowaway, Tim Newall, who says he’s run away to join the circus. One gets the impression he’s hiding something, but Carole agrees to help him, and grandfather takes him on as a trainee clown. They are surprised when Antello, who can’t afford to pay Tim a wage and still won’t let grandfather go, agrees to this. Tim does well in performance, but Antello isn’t full of praises; his mind is set on keeping grandpa in the circus and he still isn’t friendly to Tim.


Antello overhears Carole talking to Tim about the money stashed in Grandad’s caravan for the retirement cottage and tells Carole to watch it, as he doesn’t trust Tim. Soon after, grandad’s cashbox is stolen from his caravan. Well, that was just waiting to happen, wasn’t it? Antello puts the blame on Tim, and Tim becomes an outcast at the circus. Carole refuses to believe Tim took the money, but she did notice he looked a bit strange when Antello suggested calling the police.

Then, one night Satan the lion gets loose and Tim bravely tackles him with nothing but a balloon (as shown on the cover). Satan is so taken by surprise that he is stunned, giving the circus hands their chance to recapture him. Following this, Tim is the hero of the circus and the circus folk forget their doubts about him.

Tim and Carole notice how worn and dangerous the trapeze equipment is getting, but Antello is apathetic about replacing it because it costs money. The trapeze artists know about the situation, but they are aging and therefore afraid they won’t find other work if they leave the circus. Tim successfully stands up to Antello over the dangerous equipment, but is warned this has put him on Antello’s bad side, which can make him really nasty.

In town, Carole discovers two men shadowing Tim and he tries to avoid them. Back at the circus, she tackles Tim over whether he’s in some kind of trouble and is scared someone will recognise him, but he doesn’t front up over anything. They don’t realise they have discussed this with Antello in earshot.

The two men arrive at the circus. Tim again tries to dodge them, and later Carole sees them talking with Antello. She overhears them trying to get Antello to help them, but Antello has qualms about it. There is also something about them getting in touch “with the old man”, but they get alerted to Carole eavesdropping, so she has to run. She heads after Tim about this, but he disappears.

Next day, Tim is still missing and one of the men shows up at Antello’s again. Carole overhears him telling the jittery Antello everything’s going to plan, they’ve been in touch with the old man – and there’s something about a ransom. She realises the men must have kidnapped Tim for ransom, but doesn’t understand the point as Tim does not seem to have any money or family.

Carole hides in the man’s car, which he drives to a cottage. The man tells his accomplice that Antello was scared and he had to spend a lot of time talking him around. Carole finds Tim tied up in the cottage, releases him, and they run for it. As they do so, Tim explains that his father is the reclusive millionaire J. B. Willows. After two attempts were made to kidnap Tim for ransom he decided to run away. The two men, Leigh and Martin, were his bodyguards, but they turned kidnapper after Dad threatened to sack them, and they recruited Antello to help them.

Leigh and Martin are catching up in the car, but Carole and Tim fall into an old pit shaft, which helps them to elude their pursuers. After climbing out they grab the kidnappers’ car and find their way back to the circus, calling the police along the way. Tim’s dad, who had hired a private detective to find him and traced him to the circus, arrives as well. When the police search Antello’s caravan they find grandad’s cashbox; it was another of Antello’s ploys to keep grandad at the circus. Antello and the kidnappers are soon dealt with. Dad owns a place in Devon with several empty cottages and tells Carole and grandad they can have any one they like as a reward. The cottage will be close to where Tim goes to school, so they can continue their friendship.


In circus serials, it was a common setup to have a newcomer at the circus with a mystery about them that shapes the entire story, including whether the mystery makes them good news or bad. As we have an antagonist circus boss, we know it has to be good, but the villainy of the circus boss is going to help shape the mystery, including why Tim has run away. Was it just to join the circus, or is there more to it? We sense it is the latter and Tim is hiding something. Whatever he is hiding, girls love mystery, so the mystery is an instant hook for this story. So too are the plot threads of grandad’s cashbox (we know something bad is going to happen there) and what the mean circus boss is going to do about the newcomer he perceives as a threat to keeping his star attraction clown where he is. What is he going to do to get rid of Tim?

Having a boy as one of the main protagonists arouses the readers’ interest even further. We can just imagine what would develop between Carole and Tim if they were closer in age (and height), but these were still the days before Bunty allowed boyfriends in her stories.

There’s a lot in this story to keep things engaging: a strong plot with plenty of tantalising threads, circus theme, mystery, a mean circus boss who doesn’t consider his performers more, sinister men, an unsolved theft and kidnapping. Antello gets a strong moment to heighten the story when the kidnappers try to get him to help them. He is clearly tempted because he doesn’t like Tim, but is he evil enough to get involved in real crime, will he prove the weak link in the chain because he’s scared, or will he actually find his better half and do something to help the situation? As it is, he made himself complicit enough in the kidnapping plot to get arrested for it. Plus it unmasked him as the one who stole grandad’s cashbox.

One of the biggest selling points of the story is the character arc of Tim, which is perhaps developed even more than Carole. Tim really earns his place as a protagonist. He almost became a recluse like his father after the first two kidnap attempts, but has instead turned to using his wits more. His best moment has to be tackling the lion with nothing but a balloon. This astounding scene puts the rest of the drama in the shade and grabs the cover to boot.

As Tim settles into the circus he shows he really has what it takes to be a clown and a performer. So it is a shame Tim doesn’t stay at the circus at the end of the story. He’s back to school, but we never know how his circus experience will shape his choice of career once he leaves school.

Carole is pretty much what we expect her to be: loyal, courageous, does her best to help, acts fast when needed, and is the one to save the day. Some things could have been explained a bit more about Carole’s circus life and how she feels about the retirement. Carole begs grandad to train her up as a clown, but is it to take his place and give him a break, or is it because she wants a circus career as well? Grandad says he wants her to have a normal life and education as her mother wanted, and she seems okay with retiring from the circus with grandad to a cottage. After all, Carole doesn’t seem to do any performing and only came to the circus after she was orphaned. As it is, Carole regards everything as a happy ending and is so glad she can still see Tim, sparking readers’ imaginations as to what might ensue from that.



Josie Phillips was very unhappy as a new girl at Highmeadow Boarding School until she heard a mysterious whispering voice from behind a wall in the school library. The voice had promised to help Josie and soon after the bullies who had picked on her were expelled. Josie believed the voice belonged to the ghost who was supposed to haunt the old tower next to the library.


  • Art: Don Walker


  • Whispers – Judy: #1599 (1 September 1990) – #1609 (10 November 1990)

The Secret Spring


Josie and Emma Redford had travelled to Tibet with their father on the track of a mysterious flock of birds that had attacked people near their home in England — birds thought to have been extinct for three million  years. In Tibet they befriended Lo-Ching, a Tibetan boy educated in England. He had travelled with them on their journey to the mountain city of Ganzing.



  • The Secret Spring – Judy: #1434 (4 July 1987) – #1442 (29 August 1987)

The Lost Days of Deleth


Deleth who had lost her memory was given a foster home with Josie Grant and her mother. They intended to give Deleth all the help and understanding she needed in order to re-shape her life. But Daleth behaved very strangely and made it plain she was living with people below her social level. Josie realised Deleth could never be happy not knowing anything about her past.


  • Art: Paddy Brennan


  • The Lost Days of Deleth – Judy: #1432 (20 June 1987) – #1444 (12 September 1987)

Skeleton Corner

  • Hallowe’en Story – Judy: #1555 (28 October 1989)
  • The Girl From Further Down – Judy: #1607 (27 October 1990)
  • Tales from Skeleton Corner – Judy: #1632 (20 April 1991) – #1635 (11 May 1991)
  • Tales from Skeleton Corner –  M&J: #11 (27 July 1991) – #41 (22 February 1992)
  • Skeleton Corner  – M&J:  #48 (11 April 1992) – #98 (27 March 1993) [not in every issue]
  • Skeleton Corner  – M&J:  #101 (17 April 1993) – #115 (25 July 1993) [no episode issue #102, #111, #112]
  • Skeleton Corner  – M&J: #129 (30 Oct. 1993)- #194 (28 Jan. 1995) [not in every issue]
  • Artist: Guy Peeters (Judy #1607, JudyAnn93)
  • Artist: Oliver Passingham (Judy: 1632-1635, M&J: 11-41, 48, 50, 52, 58-59,61-63, 65-66, 69, 72, 77, 85-86, 91-92, 98, 101, 103-110,113-115, 122, MandyAnn94)
  • Artist 2: Mike Dorey (M&J: 129-141, 143, 150, 153, 158, 163, 171, 173, 191-194, MandyAnn95)

This is an updated repost of a previous entry (10 years ago!), as I’ve re-read more stories and learned new information.


There wasn’t an ongoing plot, instead a skeleton, named Bones, introduces short scary stories, sometimes with a moral attached. It was usually 2 to 3 pages long. The stories varied from greedy girls getting what they deserved to innocent people being hassled by gremlins! A few stories focused on Bones and also had him interact with characters and influence outcomes.


The spooky storyteller was a common appearance in these comics, most famously the Man in Black in Diana and Damian Darke in Spellbound, this story would take the spookiness one step further with a skeleton narrating the tales. The story that would become known as Skeleton Corner, had a quieter beginning then others though, first appearing in a one-off story aptly called Hallowe’en Story in Judy issue 1555 (28 October 1989), a skeleton tells the tale of a poor girl in Victorian London, who gets a much needed job as a sculptor’s model. The sculptor emphasises the importance of being punctual and she is even when it is later discovered that before the last sitting, she was killed! This is a story that I believe was originally a Damian Darke story, though I can’t find the exact issue right now. The Skeleton returned again the following Halloween in issue 1607 with another story The Girl From Further Down. At this point the skeleton has not been named as Bones or there is not mention of Skeleton Corner. Then in issue 1631 (13 April 1991) there is an advertisement for the upcoming issue with the Skeleton saying “Hi girls – it’s me again” and talking about the story Flower Power that will appear in the next issue. From issue 1632 to Judy’s last issue  in 1635, the stories appeared with their own title with the caption “Tales from Skeleton Corner” beneath it. When the stories continued in the Mandy & Judy magazines it followed this format, until issue 59 when the individual titles were dropped and it just became known as Skeleton Corner.


Comics like Misty and Jinty were better known for their spooky stories, but there was still room for these kind of stories in other comics too.  Skeleton Corner was a bit of a softer approach, to the IPC comics but there were still some gems of stories featured. The storytelling skeleton, Bones, while he may appear scary he didn’t have a creepy personality, he was presented as a more as a friendly person who just happened to be a skeleton. He did set the tone well for the stories, as being a supernatural character that was possibly creepy but not overly disturbing!

There were two main artists for its run Oliver Passingham and Mike Dorey. Guy Peeters also did an early story and some of the annual stories. Whoever was on drawing duties always did a good job, I am a fan of both artists though I think Dorey had an edge on creating a darker tone.

The stories themselves varied and of course being short stories they were sometimes they were limited with the space to work with. Often the stories had a girl who was greedy, selfish or ignored the rules getting a fitting punishment. Other times the main character could be a nice person, who just had the bad luck to move into the wrong house or meet the wrong person. Some of the more effective scary stories were when the ending was left ambiguous with Bones only hinting at what may have happened. There are stories that could leave you quite unnerved, so it had a good mix, of the truly spooky and the stories that were lighter or had more happier endings.

Here’s a selection of some of my favourite stories in publication order rather than a ranking:


  1. Watching You! – Judy: #1635 (Art: Oliver Passingham)

Becky Brown keeps seeing a sad figure of a girl in her neighbour’s house which is currently being built. She finally goes to investigate and finds a paint splattered dungarees, which she figures flapping in the breeze was creating an illusion of a figure… but then she turns to see the figure in her own bedroom window. A nice build up as we see Becky get the courage to explore the other house and just when there seems to be a rational explanation, the twist of the figure now appearing in her own bedroom is well done.

  1. What’s in a Name?– M&J: #14 (Art: Oliver Passingham)

Sonia is writing a story for a competition, she decides to make it a romantic story and names the protagonist Pippa Gale. She is surprised when her brother starts dating a girl named Pippa Gale, even more surprising is Pippa has also entered the competition and named her protagonist Sonia Steel. While Sonia and her brother laugh at the coincidence, Sonia doesn’t tell them she is worried as her story is called “The Tragedy of Sonia Steel”

  1. The Longest Night – M&J: #38 (Art: Oliver Passingham)

Rachel’s brother Jon keeps having nightmares about it being dark forever, their gran says it reminds her of a legend of battle between light and dark. When the electricity goes out Jon lights a candle to keep away the dark but nearly starts a fire. They put the candle out, but in the morning it seems there was truth in the story as now darkness has won because there is no light!

  1. Wake Me Up! – M&J: #50

Lucy Kemp is determined to stay awake so she can greet her dad when he returns late from a long business trip away. She thinks keeping herself scared will help. She tries to read Skeleton Corner from her M&J mag to help, but then says Bones is not that scary. Bones shows up to try and prove her wrong but she only laughs at him! While Bones interacting with the characters, or having his own stories were not always the most compelling, this is a fun little meta story!

  1. Skeleton Corner – M&J: #108 (Art: Oliver Passingham)

Jo Johnson and her friend Emma are stuck waiting at a bus stop, so the begin playing a prize giving arcade game called Aladdin’s Cave. They win a brooch at first and are surprised when their money is also returned. They continue doing this for a while, but Emma begins to get nervous she worries that something is wrong that the goods might be stolen and that something’s not right with the game and leaves. Jo continues but then the machine starts to shake and all the prizes help form a large frightening genie. A case of greediness being punished!


  1. Bargain Basement! – Mandy Annual 1994 (Art: Oliver Passingham)

Carrie works part time at a department store Dinnegans. She is excited about the Christmas party, but it turns out to be quite boring with an old fashioned band. She is about to leave when she hears music coming from the basement. She finds a party much more to her liking and a good looking guy asks her to dance.  For some reason she isn’t put off by his enigmatic way of talking, even when she is the one that gives him his name Mark.

Mark is disappointed when Carrie leaves, but says they can meet at next years party. The next day Carrie mentions to another employee, that she joined the other Christmas party. She tells her there was no other party. Carrie investigates the basement and gets nervous when it is filled with dusty mannequins, she trips dropping her pen. She is jumpy the rest of the day, and is shocked to find Mark a mannequin set up for a new office display. She thinks she may have imagined it all, when she spots her pen beside Mark and a note “See you at the party next year”. Bones finishes the story by telling us readers that Carrie has decided to leave her job, so there’s a vacancy if anyone is interested, they have great Christmas parties! This is one of the stories that I always remembered, there can be something very creepy about mannequins and though they don’t threaten Carrie, it still has the right amount of scariness, to think of objects watching you and coming to life.


  1. Skeleton Corner – M&J #129 (Art: Mike Dorey)

Deanne and Emma are on school trip to a wood which has unusual branch sculptures. Emma is rude to the creator of the sculptures and when Emma and Deanne sneak away from the group they are horrified when Emma is turned into sculpture herself. This is one of the more horrific stories told in Skeleton Corner, with some body horror included, while Emma has not acted nicely the punishment hardly seems fitting to the crime and the art really captures it well.


  1. Skeleton Corner – M&J:  #140 (Art: Mike Dorey)

Sally Townsand is a late comer to her new boarding school, so she is given a single room that isn’t normally used. Sally doesn’t like an old faded picture of gates hanging up and is going to take it down, but the housekeeper insists it must always stay there.

Sally takes it down later anyway, she notices a crack in the wall but figures her poster can hide it just as well. That night she is woken up by knocking and tearing noises coming from the wall. Bits of plaster start to fall off. She runs to get the housekeeper who place the picture back up and tells her as long as its there nothing can get through. Bones ends the story by explaining that gates are used to keep things in as well as out. A disturbing tale as the reader is let to wonder what is the gate keeping in, though luckily for Sally she doesn’t find out!



  1. Skeleton Corner – M&J:  #141 (Art: Mike Dorey)

Rachel Gunn and her family move into a new house, they are quite happy and she settles in quickly at her new school. Her younger brother tells her how the previous family disappeared. Soon after Gary starts disappearing and reappearing.

Rachel thinks its Gary playing tricks on her, until it happens with her parents as well. She wakes up one morning and there is no trace of her family, though the car is still in the driveway. Feeling scared she rings the police. The police arrive but there is no sign of Rachel and they discuss how its strange that the same thing happened to the previous family, but its not like people vanish into thin air! This has a nice bit of a build up for a short story and it’s made even creepier when these things are left unexplained.


  1. Skeleton Corner – #191

On a school trip Amy is not pleased to be roomed with wimpy Debra. She is kept awake all night by Debra claiming she hears noises and turning on a torch. The next night Amy hears the noise as well and asks Debra to pass the torch. She is handed the torch but as she turns on torch, Debra walks into room with teacher she had gone to fetch, so who handed Amy the torch! Again the right amount of creepiness while the presence in the room doesn’t seem malicious it is little disturbing to think there is some unknown entity in the dark!

Final Thoughts

It was not a new concept to have a spooky storyteller telling stories, The Man in Black (Diana), Damian Darke (Spellbound) and Gipsy Rose (Jinty) all scared readers and taught them lessons weekly. Skeleton Corner was the last of these type of stories that continued this tradition and was successful in having a long enjoyable run of stories.

The next page has a full list of stories that appeared.

The Girl With No Name


The girl with no name lived a life of drudgery a prisoner of Sir Clifford and Lady Manning, who kept a wild-life park. Her only friend was Tomb, a chimp. When Delia Greenwood, a newcomer to the area, had visited the house with her father, a blacksmith, to shoe the Mannings’ horses, the girl tried to pass her message which was intercepted by Sir Clifford.


  • Art: Bert Hill


  • The Girl With No Name – Judy: #1153 (13 February  1982) – #1166 (15 May 1982)

Terror of the Tennis Courts


Young Tennis Star Leila Broome had been compared to her dead stepmother, Alma Drew who had been a tennis champion and called the smiling star because she was so pleasant. Then outbreaks of vandalism during tournaments that Leila took part start happening, that upset Leila off the court as well and her fathers apparent hatred for the game made matters worse. Leila’s best friend Lynne, suspected a silver charm once belonging to Alma that Leila had started wearing, was having a strange effect on her. Some further investigation finds that Alma was not as sweet as everyone thought.



  • Terror of the Tennis Courts – Judy: #855 (29 May 1976) – #865 (7 August 1976)

Glyn of the Golden Voice


Glyn Quentin and er friend Hazel Brown both sang in the Hawfield Girl’s Choir run by Gyn’s uncle and guardian Paul Quentin. Glyn not the best of singers would much rather being playing tennis, but her uncle forbids her playing until after a big competition (Eisteddfod) is finished. Then he surprises everyone saying Glyn will sing solo, which also doesn’t make the previous soloist Esther happy. On the evening of the competition Glyn sings superbly much to Hazel’s surprise.


  • Art: Julio Bosch


  • Glyn of the Golden Voice – Judy: #507(27 September 1969) – #516 (29 November 1969)