The Image In Wax/The Threat Of The Horrible Hex/And The Corpse Cried "Murder!" wiki last edited by chalkshark on 09/03/14 01:52PM View full history

Image In Wax

The Phantom Stranger teases the tale about to unfold. Two men break into Tallow's Museum of the Occult. They are confronted by the museum's curator, Judah Tallow. There are screams. Tallow sends two men out, into the night, in search of a woman. The two would-be robbers become permanent parts of Tallow's wax figure collection. In attendance at the grand opening of the museum is the Phantom Stranger, who has been drawn there by a palpable evil.

A young woman is accosted on the street by two men. The Phantom Stranger intervenes, and repels her attackers, despite their use of the mystical Ravenstone. The woman has no recollection of her identity. The Phantom Stranger takes her to a safe haven, where she can rest. The woman dreams that she is the queen of an ancient society of wizards and sorcerers. To endure the centuries, Lord Tallow transforms the populace into living wax figures. The Queen balks at spending eternity as a wax figure, and resists.

The Phantom Stranger appears, and wrenches the queen away from Lord Tallow. The woman awakens to find the Phantom Stranger standing vigil over her. The Phantom Stranger takes the woman for a walk. On the street, they are accosted by Ernest Drapper, who calls the woman "Dalia". The woman has no recollection of Drapper, quickly becoming upset over his attentions. The Phantom Stranger attempts to calm the situation, but Drapper, out of jealousy, attacks the Phantom Stranger.

As the two men struggle, they do not notice Tallow's men approaching. Both men are felled by the power of the Ravenstone. By the time both men regain consciousness, the woman is gone. The Phantom Stranger leads Drapper to the museum. Once inside, they are attacked, and taken prisoner by figures of living wax. The Phantom Stranger tells Drapper not to resist, so that they might be drawn to the very core of the museum's evil. The Phantom Stranger, and Drapper, are brought before Tallow.

On a throne behind Tallow, sits "Dalia", the Queen, in all her regalia. Tallow unveils a draped wax figure, that is the true queen. The ravages of the centuries have taken their toll on her. Drapper refuses to believe the true queen is "Dalia". In a rage, Drapper sets the museum on fire. The Phantom Stranger get Drapper, and "Dalia" out of the museum, before it collapses. The intense heat of the flames causes "Dalia" to melt. She, too, was merely a figure of living wax. The Phantom Stranger offers solace to Drapper

The Threat Of The Horrible Hex

This story was originally published in House Of Secrets #64 (February, 1964). A plot synopsis for this story can be found at the link.

And The Corpse Cried "Murder!"

A young couple witness a vehicular suicide. The ghost of the suicide victim, Paul Williams, appears to Doctor Terrance Thirteen, the famed Ghost Breaker. Willims' ghost claims that he was murdered, and that he wishes for Thirteen to solve the crime. Thirteen agrees to take the case, while planning on debunking the very existence of Paul Williams' ghost, Thirteen begins his investigation with Williams widow. She gives Thirteen the name of one of Williams' associates, Ross Curran. Williams fired Curran, which may have been a possible motivation for murder. Thirteen pays a visit to Curran, arriving just in time to see Curran commit suicide.

Strangely, Curran's body is already ice-cold, as if he had been dead for quite some time. Thirteen notices an iridescent dust swirling about the room. The same dust appeared in his office, when he was visited by Williams' ghost. Thirteen phones Williams' widow, and tells her he's broken the case. Then, Thirteen waits. Williams, very much alive, arrives. Williams had faked his death for the insurance money, but the witnesses erroneously described it as a suicide. As the insurance company wouldn't pay for a suicide, Williams hired Thirteen to prove his death was a murder, so that he could collect. Using technology invented by Curran, Willims was able to project a pre-filmed, three dimensional hologram of himself, as the ghost.

Thirteen throws a packet of iridescent dust against the floor, flooding the room. Suddenly, multiple images of Thirteen appear before Williams. Firing wildly, Williams shoots the images of Thirteen, but misses the man himself. Thirteen subdues Williams. Suddenly, Williams' "widow" enters the room, and collapses. Hearing the gunshots, she had come in to investigate, when she was hit by stray gunfire. Williams' wife dies in his arms, shortly before hes taken away by the authorities.

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