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"The Peppermint Girl" is the third story in Haunted Mansion #3. It was written by John Habermas and drawn by D.W. Frydendall.

Synopsis Edit

Two boys, Hawley and Winslow, hop over a stone wall onto the grounds of Gracey Manor, following the sound of music. Winslow tells Hawley that there's always a party going on, an eternal party, and Hawley says he believes in ghosts more than he believes that Winslow apparently has a girlfriend here. As they creep up to one of the windows, Winslow claims that he is seeing a girl, not that he has a girlfriend.

The room the boys peer into is the ballroom, and Winslow points out the girl among the merrymaking ghosts, sitting by the wall all alone. He explains that he comes every night to see her; she looks like she wants to join in on the fun, but she seems all alone. Hawley accuses Winslow of stalking a ghost, but Winslow says he's just admiring her, and is afraid she'll disappear if she notices him and he'll never see her again. Hawley apologizes for doubting and admits she's the prettiest girl he's ever seen.

Their conversation catches the girl's attention, and she comes to the window to talk to them. Introducing herself as Mirabelle after Hawley and Winslow say they're late for the party, she jokes that "it's the party that's late for you," as a headless waiter ghost passes with his head on a tray. Mirabelle assures them the ghosts are harmless, and Hawley asks Mirabelle to dance, much to Winslow's annoyance.

Mirabelle is delighted, but her arm passes through Hawley's and she laments they cannot dance together, being from "different worlds" and that she is destined to be alone. Winslow hisses at Hawley to back off from his love interest, but Hawley is distracted by the fact that when Mirabelle passed through him, he tasted peppermint; Mirabelle says she died while eating peppermint candy, and Hawley says it's his new favorite flavor.

When Winslow inquires why Mirabelle feels destined to loneliness, she explains that many of the ghosts continue to party in death as they did in life, and since she came to the gala unescorted, she is stuck that way. As the ballroom dancers swoop by saying corny, mushy euphemisms to each other, Mirabelle says she does not mind simply watching the happy couples so much, though sighs that it feels like ages since she's been touched; Hawley immediately promises he'll find a way to touch her, Winslow quickly correcting the statement to how they'll both "help" her.

Hawley marches off determinedly, with Winslow in pursuit as they argue about who is going to get the girl. They enter a study, and Hawley manages to find a revolver in a desk drawer. Winslow realizes that Hawley is thinking of offing himself so that his ghost can be with Mirabelle, and pushes the gun away from his friend's head before he can pull the trigger, the only bullet going wild. Winslow tells Hawley to stop and think about the fact that he nearly blew his own head off, and Hawley drops the gun. They both sit down at the desk, chuckling at the absurdity as they sample some candy from a bowl. Hawley admits he would have ended up a headless ghost... and realizes that if he's going to impress Mirabelle, he needs to die handsome. He runs off as Winslow coughs and falls back off the desk, yelling after him: "I'll kill you! I mean, I WON'T kill you! Do you hear me, Hawley? You're live-meat!"

What follows is a series of sabotaged suicide attempts by the two friends-turned-rivals: Hawley attempts to hang himself from a balcony rail, but instead falls onto a sofa when Winslow cuts the rope with an axe as Hawley jumps; Winslow immerses himself in a filling bathtub, only to be foiled by Hawley pulling the pipe away and draining to tub onto the floor; Hawley finds a vial of poison in the kitchen, which Winslow points out expired October 13th, 1913; later, Hawley sticks his head in a stove where the gas is shut off, while Hawley tries vainly to slit his wrists with dull knives.

Later still, Mirabelle sees the two boys run past her in the Endless Hallway, Winslow with a plastic bag over his head and Hawley giving chase with a fork. As they disappear into the darkness, Mirabelle sighs and muses to herself that after all these years, the boys don't realize they are dead: they rushed off before she could warn them not to eat the tainted candy, and now their ghosts carry on in an endless cycle of useless self-annihilation.

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