Fiction is stranger than Fact, but also father and mother to it.
From the archives of the Ghost Hunters Library, here a classic tale of an amateur paranormal enthusiast who happens on a solution to nagging ghost infestations.
This tale of his runaway success, the perils of being too effective, and exacting revenge against a greedy sanitarium owner for non-payment of services rendered.
Exciting and humorous, sit back and enjoy this short tale of ghoulish entrepreneurship.
Ghost Exterminators Inc. Fiction Writing by S. H. Marpel
The next problem to solve was getting a fresh supply of ghosts. In the last few years, I had almost exhausted the entire database of the American Psychical Research Society. And my requests for ghost exterminating had decreased markedly, so I had next to no leads coming in.
But I wasn’t going to get anywhere if I didn’t think really big ideas. Getting ghosts by the ones and twos would simply eat up the finances necessary to acquire them. A zero-sum game, no profit in it.
I needed a mass capture operation.
Days of research in the libraries around San Francisco didn’t result in any stories of massive ghost infestations. However, one day looking through back magazine articles in their archives, I found an old volume of Blackwood’s Magazine. It contained an interesting article about the battle of Waterloo. The report stated that every year, on the anniversary of the celebrated victory, spectral squadrons were seen by the peasants charging battalions of ghostly grenadiers. Here was my opportunity.
I had a month before the date occurred again.
Applying for project funds based on my earlier success wasn’t successful through conventional banks. However I did find private investors who were willing to take near-majority interest in my company in return for financing.
Calling in my best machinists and chemists, I converted and shipped large containers to Belgium. These large tanks were calculated to hold the massive amount of specters that recurred each year like clockwork.
Shipping the equipment by air was facilitated by my Navy contacts, who had large transports available. Once in Belgium, local trucks were hired to get all this equipment to the remote location.
We were ready just in time for the annual event.
Close to the fatal ditch which engulfed Napoleon’s cavalry I stationed a corps of hired locals provided with portable ghost exterminator spray systems, ready to enfilade the famous sunken road from both sides to prevent escape.
I stationed myself with a with a four-inch nozzle and a quick releasing shut-off valve much the same as used by firemen, directly in the path the advancing squadron took. All our tanks were pressurized and ready.
We waited for the exact moment to creep slowly toward us..
It was a fine, clear night, lit at first by a slice of new moon. As the hour approached, that moon turned dark and the sky was black except for the pale illumination of the stars.
I have seen many ghosts in my time—ghosts in garden and garret, at noon, at dusk, at dawn. I’ve seen phantoms fanciful, and specters sad and spectacular—but I’ve never seen such an impressive sight as this nighttime charge of cuirassiers, galloping in goblin glory to their time-honored doom.
From a distance, the French reserves presented the appearance of a nebulous mass, like a low-lying cloud or fog-bank. Faintly luminous, shot with fluorescent gleams. As the squadron came nearer in its desperate charge, the separate forms of the troopers shaped themselves, and the galloping guardsmen grew ghastly with supernatural splendor.
Although I knew them to be immaterial and without mass or weight, I became terrified at their approach. They were so realistic, I was afraid of being to be swept under the hoofs of the nightmares they rode.
I started to run, but in another instant they were upon me, my reaction and only defense was to turn on my stream of formaldybrom, shut my eyes, and pray.
Right then I was overwhelmed in a cloud-burst of wild warlike wraiths…
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