In the early 1980s my friends and I used to get our hands on a plethora of VHS horror movies that we’d secretly watch, outside our parent’s knowledge, in our basements through summer holidays and through the spookier weekends of the Halloween season.
That’s when we first watched a host of B-list horror classics like Sleepaway Camp (1983), The Prey (1983), The Hills Have Eyes (1977) and the classic A-listers, An American Werewolf In London (1981), Dawn of the Dead (1978), Jaws (1975), Friday The Thirteenth (1980), The Exorcist (1973), The Thing (1982) and, of course, Halloween (1978) among many others.
But there’s a heritage to horror films that certainly predates my childhood experiences and goes back decades earlier, to the time of burgeoning cinema during the first half of the twenty-first century. And that’s where Night of the Ghoul, a brand new four-issue miniseries from some of comicdom’s greatest creators, begins its sordid story.
Created and written by the Eisner, Eagle and Inkpot Award winner, Scott Snyder (Batman, American Vampire, Wytches, We have Demons, Severed) alongside fan-favourite Eisner and Eagle Award winning artist, Francesco Francavilla (Detective Comics, The Black Beetle, Afterlife With Archie, Zorro) and originally released via the online comiXology platform, Night Of The Ghoul embraces those early celluloid horror flicks and uses them as both an origin and inspiration into its own, more modern and wholly terrifying, tale.
Night of the Ghoul was originally filmed in 1936 by writer/director T.F. Merritt. The flick was meant to sit fiendishly proud right next to Frankenstein and Dracula, the original high watermarks of the horror film genre. But a mysterious studio fire meant that all original footage was destroyed, just before a final edited version could be finished, killing the cast and crew who were celebrating at the film’s wrap party.
The occurrence has been a long-standing mysterious, captivating and sorrowful footnote in cinema history, living on, many years later, in near infamy.
This is especially true for Forest Inman, an obsessive horror film restorer, who may have discovered a cannister of original Night of the Ghoul footage. But tracking down long-buried secrets on this dark road of mysterious discovery can unleash more than mere answers to long-standing questions.
Night of the Ghoul is more than just fiction. And its monster is more than just studio effects.
Some secrets are better left as forgotten ash.
Make the run to your local comic shop and pick up Night of the Ghoul #1 today. Whether you’re a horror comic book or horror film fanatic, this story will hit close to home and will make for perfect nighttime reading while you hurriedly chomp down on those extra Halloween treats this October season.
You can catch an ominous sneak peek at Night of the Ghoul #1 right here as well as in the comic book trailer below!