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Demons of Snake Swamp by Anthony Pelcher
Supernatural

Demons of Snake Swamp

by Anthony Pelcher

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What evil power ruled over the dank depths of Snake Swamp, striking death to bird, beast and man? Whence came the beautiful spectral maiden who roamed its paths by night?


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Table of Contents
  1. That Murky Hole of Hell
  2. Mail-Carrier's Long Walk
  3. An Almost Unbelievable Account
  4. A Toll of Forty-Two Human Lives
  5. A Scientific Exploration
  6. A Beautiful Spook

Chapter 1

That Murky Hole of Hell

“I’ve been pretty much all over the world. For the last twelve years I’ve traveled about the United States and I’ve learned a few things,” remarked Jim Chamberlin, structural engineer and my closest friend and co-worker.

“Yeah?” I answered. “What, for instance?”

“Well,” drawled Chamberlin, a husky Westerner, “the most beautiful natural park within a city is Glen Oak in Peoria; the most beautiful city is St. Joseph, Missouri, in summer; the most gorgeous and breath-taking scenery is among the Colorado Rockies, and the backdoor to Hell is this same Snake Swamp.”

“No doubt about that,” I agreed, “but I am not going to swallow any old ladies’ yarns about spooks. I am of the opinion that we will find a perfectly sane cause for every one of the many deaths in that devilish morass. They certainly cannot claim that ghosts are responsible for those who died by bullets.”

“They can claim most anything. There is no reason to believe that gunmen don’t have spooks, the same as medieval maiden ladies, is there?” he replied jocularly.

“Oh, go to the devil, with your spooks!” I exploded, but nevertheless I was forced to confess defeat in the next breath. I said:

“But to be frank I must admit the local lore about that Snake Swamp has got me plumb cuckoo, and I’m no chicken-hearted parlor pet, either. It all sounds like a damned joke, but you can’t fake bullet-riddled and fume-poisoned cadavers and that’s that.”

“The place must be crowded with spooks,” ventured Jim.

“It’s crowded with snakes, but all I’ve seen so far are harmless and they surely don’t account for the fatalities. There is something mighty uncanny about that swamp. Anyway you look at it,” I gazed off into the murky depths of the forbidding morass as Jim emptied his pipe by knocking it against the log on which we were sitting. He put the pipe in its case with a snap, and arose to his full six feet.

“Well then, what do you say?” queried my pal Jim.

“You’re on.” I agreed finally as we started to walk back along the trail. “I’ll stay here with you and hunt spooks. It will be a change and a chance for some excitement, anyway.”

Had I known the fate that awaited me in the dank depths of that murky hole of Hell, there is little doubt that I would have taken the first train back to New York, instead of walking to our backwoods lodgings and preparing to stalk phantoms in an almost impassable bog.

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Table of Contents
  1. That Murky Hole of Hell
  2. Mail-Carrier's Long Walk
  3. An Almost Unbelievable Account
  4. A Toll of Forty-Two Human Lives
  5. A Scientific Exploration
  6. A Beautiful Spook

Additional Info

  • MBIN No: 55ccf75fb3901011515aef0b
  • Length: ~ 18 pages (depending on ereader font and font size)
  • Original Publication: All Star Detective | Dec. 1930
  • Republication Date: Oct 11, 2018