Thursday, May 11, 2017

"Murderers Always Come Back, Mr. Harter, and There Was Murder in That Old House on Lonesome Hill"

"Ghost on Lonesome Hill."
By Theodore Roscoe (1906-92).
First appearance: Argosy, December 27, 1941.
Short story (9 pages, 3 illos).
Online at UNZ (HERE).
"Every town has its haunted house; but naturally the one in Four Corners was something super, infested as it was by a spectre who roved its fearsome interior in search of bottled ships and a flying fortune. It also had something new in the way of a ghost-breaker: a newspaper johnny who fished for peril at the bottom of a hidden well . . ."
For Johnny Harter a summer vacation fishing trip is just the thing to unwind after months of high-pressure big city life. Even the local legend of a house haunted by the spirit of an old miser hoarding a fortune murdered by his vicious brother fails to arouse much interest ("as an ace police-reporter, hardened to streamlined metropolitan homicides, he had little faith in spooks")—until, almost unconsciously, he notices some slightly odd behavior on the part of a fellow guest. Curiosity is supposed to be fatal to cats, but at least they have nine lives to play with; Johnny Harter, unfortunately, has only one, and before the night is over it'll be all he can do to hang on to it . . .

Typo: "Blackerry Ridge"

Resources:
- A concise article about Theodore Roscoe focusing on his association with Weird Tales is (HERE).
- Our latest encounter with Roscoe wasn't so long ago (HERE).

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