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A Lurker Stalks the Swamp (22 pages)

Dr. Adam Spektor's friend, psychic Elliott Kane has been missing for more than a month. Searching Haunted Swamp, the Doctor, his secretary Lakota Rainflower, and Kane's girlfriend Cindy Bask find a human skeleton. Hoping the human remains do not belong to their friend, the trio see a monstrous muck-covered humanoid creature walking through the swamp. Spektor recounts to his companions the legend of the Lurker of the Swamp, a man who had fallen into a pool cursed by witches and emerged as a monstrous swamp creature. Pressing on into the swamp, they find more skeletons and finally come face to face with the terrifying Lurker.

Spektor shoots the creature several times to no effect. Finally, it tosses Spektor and Lakota aside and, with a surprising gentleness, carries Cindy off into the swamp. Recovering, Spektor and Lakota follow the slime trail of the creature, until they find it in the company of Cindy and the missing Elliott Kane. Kane tells them that the Lurker is not a killer, and it is friendly to humans. As if to prove the point, the Lurker fights and kills an alligator that attempts to attack the humans. Kane explains how he had been guided to the Lurker by its strong psychic impressions, and how it had healed him of a poisonous snake bite. The psychic then communicates with the Lurker to see if he can sort out the mystery of the human skeletons they had earlier found.

At the Lurker's direction, Spektor and Lakota venture into the swamp, where they find an enormous glowing blue rock guarded by a madman named Murks. Murks tells them that the rock is a meteorite containg an alien life form that feeds on human life forces, and that it will eventually become strong enough to call out to other members of its race to invade the earth. At gunpoint, Spektor approaches the meteor, which begins to drain him of life. Suddenly, the Lurker comes to the rescue, picking up Murks and hurling him onto the meteor, where the madman is instantly shriveled to a skeleton by the hungry alien. The Lurker then lifts the meteor itself and carries it into a deep pool of quicksand, where both sink completely away.

Spektor and his friends express regret at the fate of the Lurker, but then to their amazement, they see the creature emerge once more from the muck and disappear into the swamp.

Notes: In a one-page text feature, Dr. Spektor retells the origin and first appearance of the Lurker of the Swamp from Mystery Comics Digest #7 (September 1972). In the story, he also mentions the creature's appearance in effigy in The Occult Files of Dr. Spektor #18.

Spektor's cousin, Anne Sara, makes a cameo appearance in this issue, when Cindy Bask visits Spektor Manor to tell of Elliott Kane's disappearance. Lucky for Anne, she gets to sit out the adventure of trudging through the swamp when the Doctor asks her to house-sit while he and Lakota are gone.

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