Cover to Ghosts #6 (July–August 1972). Art by Nick Cardy.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
Schedule Monthly
Format Ongoing series
Genre Horror
Publication date September–October 1971 to May 1982
Number of issues 112
Main character(s) Dr. 13 - The Ghost-Breaker (1980–1981)
Creative team
Writer(s) Leo Dorfman, Jack C. Harris, Paul Kupperberg, Sheldon Mayer
Penciller(s) Nick Cardy, Steve Ditko, Mike Gustovich
Inker(s) Tex Blaisdell, Tony DeZuniga
Creator(s) Leo Dorfman

Ghosts is a horror comic book series published by DC Comics for 112 issues from September–October 1971 to May 1982. Its tagline was "True Tales of the Weird and Supernatural" (December 1978), changed to "New Tales of the Weird and Supernatural," as of #75 (April 1979), and dropped after #104 (September 1981).

Publication history

The first issue was written entirely by Leo Dorfman. To avoid having it seem that a single writer was monopolizing the comic, editor Murray Boltinoff had Dorfman use the pseudonyms "Geoff Brown" (Dorfman's son was named "Geoff" and his wife's maiden name was "Brown") and "David George".[1]

Ghosts was one of several horror-mystery-suspense DC Comics series. Other notable DC horror titles include House of Secrets, House of Mystery, The Unexpected, The Witching Hour, Secrets of Sinister House, Secrets of Haunted House, Weird Mystery Tales, Doorway to Nightmare, and Tales of Ghost Castle. According to DC Comics writer and executive Paul Levitz, Ghosts "wasn’t a fan favorite (then or in retrospect), it was a disproportionately good seller."[2] Nick Cardy was the cover artist for Ghosts for issues #1-6, 8-15, and 17-36.[3]

Each issue of Ghosts carried multiple stories of the supernatural. The stories were prefaced by a short description introducing the premise and ended with a summation of how a mysterious justice was dealt to the evildoers of the tale.[4] The first issue of this series carried the singular title Ghost in its indicia, but everywhere else, including advance promotional house ads and even on its own cover, it was the plural Ghosts, as even the indicia would read from #2 on.[5] Limited Collectors' Edition #C-32 (December 1974-January 1975) reprinted stories from Ghosts #1, 3-6 and featured new material by Leo Dorfman and artists Gerry Talaoc, E.R. Cruz, and Frank Redondo.[6]

Starting with issue #37 (April 1975), a new regular feature was added. At the front of each book a page of single panel depictions of alleged ghost sightings were listed in the fashion of Robert L. Ripley's Believe it or Not! features. These one-page introductory spreads were usually titled "Ghosts and the Supernatural." Issue #95 (December 1980), introduced to the Ghosts readership its first continuing-character feature, "Dr. 13 - The Ghost-Breaker." The character encounted the Spectre in a three issue storyline.[7][8][9] The "Dr. Thirteen" feature last appeared in #102 (July 1981).

For the most part, Ghosts was not "hosted" by a recurring character used in a framing sequence. In issue #104 (September–October 1981), however, Squire Shade was introduced as the title's host. He lasted in that position until the book was cancelled with issue #112 (May 1982).

2012 one-shot

A Ghosts one-shot was published in October 2012 and featured a story by Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire.[10]

Collected editions

  • Showcase Presents: Ghosts collects Ghosts #1-18, 512 pages, February 2012, ISBN 1-4012-3317-1
  • The Steve Ditko Omnibus Volume 1 includes Ghosts #77: "Ghost, Where Do You Hide?" by Jack C. Harris and Steve Ditko and Ghosts #111: "Shrieeeeeek!" by Sheldon Mayer and Ditko, 480 pages, September 2011, ISBN 1-4012-3111-X


  1. Wells, John (October 2011). "Beyond Capes: You Will Believe In Ghosts". Back Issue (TwoMorrows Publishing) (52): 22. Archived from the original on November 3, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2012. 
  2. Evanier, Mark (May 29, 2009). "More on Leo Dorfman". News From Me. Archived from the original on November 3, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2012. 
  3. Coates, John (1999). "Art Index". The Art of Nick Cardy. Coates Publishing. p. 161. ISBN 1-887591-22-2. 
  4. McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 147. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "Each installment of the horror anthology series featured stories with surprise twist endings designed to send shivers down the spine." 
  5. Ghosts at the Grand Comics Database
  6. Limited Collectors' Edition #C-32 at the Grand Comics Database
  7. Kupperberg, Paul (w), Gustovich, Mike (p), Blaisdell, Tex (i). "Dr. 13 Ghost-Breaker and the Spectre" Ghosts 97 (February 1981)
  8. Kupperberg, Paul (w), Gustovich, Mike (p), Blaisdell, Tex (i). "The Haunted House and The Spectre!" Ghosts 98 (March 1981)
  9. Kupperberg, Paul (w), Gustovich, Mike (p), DeZuniga, Tony (i). "Death... and The Spectre" Ghosts 99 (April 1981)
  10. Truitt, Brian (October 29, 2012). "Johns, Lemire scare up a Ghosts story for Halloween". USA Today. Archived from the original on November 3, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2012. "Sometimes Geoff Johns just itches to tell a good ghost story for Halloween. DC Comics' A-list superhero scribe and chief creative officer moonlights for the company's Vertigo Comics imprint for the first time and teams with artist Jeff Lemire for the short tale "Ghost-for-Hire" in a special Ghosts one-shot out on Wednesday." 

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