How not to kill a ghost | Arts Feature | Indy Week

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How not to kill a ghost

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It started innocently enough. The manager of the first comics convention I ever appeared in asked me to give him a call. He kindly explained which of my travel expenses would be covered, where my hotel was located, and that he needed my help assassinating a ghost on the convention floor at midnight.

I thought he was joking. He wasn't. He explained to me that the ghost in question had been haunting the town where the convention was held for years. Its modus operandi was assaulting the elderly. My eyes widened. The plan was to amass a "team of experts" who would help summon the geriatric-abusing creature before the manager himself banished it to Hell with a killshot. He said that he was a practicing warlock and felt pretty good about using a "mystical pistol" for the first time.

The ragtag group would be led by Bucky, "the world's youngest paranormal psychic" (who, it turned out, was 43). My cohort, Bo Fader, and I would function as "supernatural aficionados" (wait, why?). Being too naïve and full of wonder to say no, we met up in the hotel lobby. As the "team" began to trickle in, we realized we had made a dreadful mistake and were now surrounded by complete lunatics. Each new face looked upon us with the dreaded crazy-eye, a look you avoid even if it's only on one person. This was a legion of crazy-eye.

We tried to slip away, but the team was already in séance mode. They began humming loudly, while an occasional "OH-LA-NO!" would burst forth from the mouth of the seemingly possessed young Bucky. In the end, the only thing we summoned was the hotel manager, and he was very clear that he would not be letting the ghost-hunters onto the convention floor at midnight. As we dispersed, Bucky and the con manager swore that next year ... next year, things would be different. But I wouldn't know, as we made a point to never, ever return to that town again.

Chapel Hill based comic book writer Brockton McKinney is the author of Ehmm Theory and Zoe Dare and the co-owner of Lost Story Studios. Read another one of his comics convention stories, the legend of Old Zeekle.

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