The Living Ghost


Real Name
First Appearance
Adventures into the Unknown - Fall 1948 Comic Media
Frank Belknap Long, Fred Gardineer
Team Affiliations
Legion of the Condemned
Base of Operations
flight, height change, strength, incorporeal
Skills and Abilities

Origin Edit

The Living Ghost appears in to the railroad switchman at Oak Station. He strangles the switchman and switches the tracks. He watches with glee as a passenger train collides with a freight train.

The D.A.'s special investigator, Tony Brand, is assigned to investigate the crash. Gail Leslie, reporter of the Daily Bugle, is also sent to investigate. Tony examines the switchman's strangled body. He thinks the strangler must possess superhuman strength. Tony then brushes off Gail's abilities, saying the case isn't "woman's business".

Later, on lover's lane, a man and a woman named Jean are attacked by The Living Ghost, who turns their car over into a ditch. This kills both of the victims. At the scene of the accident, Gail says she smells gunpowder again. Tony again dismisses Gail's observation. Gail then suggests the motive is evil alone and that the scent might be brimstone. Tony suggests the notion that Gail might suggest the killer is the Devil himself. He then asks her on a date, to which she agrees.

Staying behind, Gail discovers the print of a cloven hoof. She follows the trail of hoofprints to a cave filled with bones, and decides she doesn't want to investigate further and leaves for home. The Living Ghost, who saw her at the site of the car crash, follows her there. He accosts her there, and flies off with her. Before he does so, however, Gail manages to write something on the wall with her lipstick.

Tony arrives for their date, but finds Gail gone and her apartment disheveled. He discovers the words "The Living Ghost" written in lipstick, and a piece of broken mirror with the face of The Living Ghost etched into it. He believes the case is supernatural, and takes the piece of the mirror to Dr. Vandyke of the Institute for Psychic Research. Vandyke reveals a legend about the fall of Satan. The Chief Lieutenant of Satan, named Malevo, was condemned to walk the Earth in human form. Men know the creature as The Living Ghost. He further states that once every century, The Living Ghost walks the world "sowing evil murder in his wake!"

To aid Tony, Dr. Vandyke gives him a holy relic of a petrified olive branch. This turns a ghost into a mortal.

Meanwhile, The Living Ghost reveals to the captive Gail that he wants to make her his queen. When she spurns his advances, he calls on the powers of Satan. This causes the Legion of the Condemned to arise and surround Gail. Discovering the cave. Coating himself with mud, he pretends to be one of the legion and tells Gail that if she plays along, The Living Ghost will get rid of the group of undead and demonic creatures. Gail does so, and The Living Ghost sends the Legion away.

The Living Ghost realizes he's been tricked when he sees that Tony hasn't gone away. Tony throws the olive branch talisman and turns The Living Ghost mortal, albeit still possessing superhuman strength. Tony battles The Living Ghost, when Gail hits the villain over the head with a large rock. This distracts the ghost, giving Tony a chance to deliver a kick to its face. Tony and Gail manage to roll a large boulder over The Living Ghost to capture him.

The Living Ghost is put on trial and condemned to death. When the switch is thrown on the electric chair, he fades and disappears. The olive branch was only temporary, and The Living Ghost is free to stalk innocents again.

Powers and abilities Edit

The Living Ghost can raise the dead, has prodigious strength, and can fly. He can turn incorporeal at will, and can become approximately 20-feet-tall.

Public Domain Appearances Edit

  • Adventures into the Unknown #1

Notes Edit

  • The Living Ghost's possesses a hated enemy in The Dark Phantom, who is an equal to The Living Ghost in power.
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