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Bride of the Walking Dead (25 pages)

Dr. Spektor receives a letter from Anne Sara, a distant cousin in England, saying she is being held prisoner at a hotel in Ashdown County and that she believes she is going to be murdered. Spektor and his secretary, Lakota Rainflower, jet off to England. Despite being warned by a local that the Ashdown Hotel is haunted, Spektor and Lakota find the place, and a strangely silent servant lets them in to meet the owner, Frank Markos. At first, Markos is evasive, but finally admits that Anne had stayed there but had left a few days previous. Spektor and Lakota sign in to the hotel, and their bags are carried by a surprisingly strong servant.

In their room, Spektor explains to Lakota that he believes the servants at the hotel to be zombies, walking dead slaves to a voodoo priest. Seeing one of the servants carry Anne into an old shack nearby, Spektor tells Lakota to stay in the room, while he rushes to the shack. He finds Anne, tied up and unconscious but alive. Revived, Anne tells Spektor that she is slated to be sacrificed to somehow save Markos's wife Martha. Spektor sends Anne fleeing to the village to get help while he goes back for Lakota.

Meanwhile, Frank Markos recalls how he had become a powerful voodoo priest at the insistence of his wife, and had raised a voodoo god called Damballa. He sees Anne fleeing the hotel, and decides to turn his sights on Lakota instead. He sends his zombies to kill Spektor. After a scuffle, the Doctor is overpowered and buried alive.

Lakota meanwhile is the prisoner of Frank Markos, who reveals that his wife Martha has been transformed by Damballa into a half-snake creature, and that she can be cured only by a sacrificial bride being offered to the god. Using Islamic fakir techniques, Dr. Spektor has survived his premature burial and managed to escape. He goes to the hotel where he discovers Lakota under Markos's power. Spektor destroys the voodoo doll that enthralls Lakota, but is attacked by the chained Martha. Frank Markos calls his zombies to destroy Dr. Spektor, but Anne Sara returns and pushes Markos into the arms of his wife. The snake woman bites Markos, and the couple both die according to the terms of Damballa's curse. The zombies, now without a master, return to their graves, as Dr. Spektor philosophizes that Frank Markos had become as power-hungry as his wife.

Notes: The envelope of the letter Anne Sara sends to Dr. Spektor reveals the address of Spektor Manor to be 4150 Arch Drive, New York, NY.

This story contains elements similar to two Hammer horror films, The Plague of the Zombies and The Reptile.

First appearance: Anne Sara, Spektor's cousin.

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