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The New Groundskeeper

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"The New Groundskeeper" is the fifth story featured in Haunted Mansion #1. It was written and illustrated by D.W. Frydendall.

SynopsisEdit

Horace Fusslebottom is called into his boss's office and informed that he's been fired from his duty as caretaker of Gracey Manor. He's told that the owners have complained that his work hasn't been good. He ponders aloud that there's no one there that would complain, but the boss's nephew steps in and claims the firm's been getting negative reports for months, and that he'll be taking Horace's shift. Horace leaves, but smiles as he says he doesn't think they will like having a stranger on the job.

Later that light, the new groundskeeper drives to Gracey Manor with a set of tools, a map, and collection of lockpicks. It turns out the reports have all been forgeries, and getting Horace replaced was simply a means to let the boss and his nephew search the grounds for rumored hidden treasure. The groundskeeper talks big about Horace being a coward, but becomes apprehensive as he approaches the mansion.

As the groundskeeper enters the house and moves through its halls, ghostly voice begin to whisper and wonder to themselves who he is and what he's doing there. The groundskeeper tries to make his way to the library - where he's heard there's a secret door - but is gradually unnerved and then confronted by a multitude of ghosts, who start demanding to know what happened to Horace. The man flees, slamming a door between himself and the ghosts, only to have one stick its head through the wood and say "Seriously buddy, where's Horace?" Screaming, the grounskeeper smashes through a window and runs to his car, where after a few false starts, it lurches to life. He looks up with relief, only to catch sight of the Hitchhiking Ghosts seated in the back of his car. The car careens away into the night while the man shrieks in terror.

The next day, Horace walks through the mansion gates with a smile on his face, hoping that they will be quiet tonight.

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