Horror Movies (Feghoot XX)

Ferdinand Feghoot is a character created by Reginald Bretnor writing under the name of Grendel Briarton. This particular tale was published as Feghoot XX with thanks to Laurence Gurney.

Ferdinand Feghoot produced the greatest horror movies of all time in the late 1970’s. He discovered the dreadful Karkas Gabor working as an obscure undertaker’s assistant in Budapest; and his werewolves, vampires, zombies, bakemono, and things that went bump in the night were so real that he was threatened with several exorcisms and a Congressional Investigation. Then Karkas Gabor was murdered.

The suspects were obvious: Basil Dripp-Grue, with his extralong eyeteeth and his corpse-like mistress, Evila de Kay; old, hairy-palmed Lou Garou; petite Liz Bathory, who seemed to have come out of nowhere, and her boy friend, the gibbering Orson J. Papaloi; and a great many creepy crawlies who starred in the worst sort of B pictures. All were fiendishly jealous of Gabor.

The police questioned one and another, and got nowhere. Then Dripp-Grue and Evila gave Feghoot the one clue he needed. They invited everyone in the vampire-werewolf set to a banquet and served up poor Gabor, whom they had murdered and cremated, disguised in a stew. At once, Feghoot had them arrested.

“It was simple,” he told the admiring audience. “If you had my experience with Transylvanian cuisine, you too would be able to recognize Hungarian ghoul ash.”

(Copyright © 1959 by Mercury Press. First published in THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, November 1959.)

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