The Spirit World is a scary story about a professor and a university student who take part in a hypnotic experiment to separate body and sprit. It is based on an old horror comic that appeared in Creepy #9.
Late one night, a shambling figure made its way down a deserted city street. It arrived at an apartment building and went inside. The landlady caught a glimpse of the strange figure struggling up the stairs.
All of a sudden, she heard a crash and the sound of splintering wood. Then, there were terrified screams and the sound of a terrible struggle. She ran to the phone and called the police. When she came back, there was a fearful silence.
Cautiously, the landlady made her way up the stairs until she saw the broken door. It was the door to the apartment of one of her tenants… a university student named Michael Flynn.
Peering through the doorway, she saw Michael lying on the floor. He was mortally injured and his face had been beaten to a pulp. She helped him onto the bed and tried to make him comfortable, but it was clear that he was dying.
“What happened, Michael?” the landlady cried.
Michael let out an agonized groan.
“It all started with my lecturer at university,” he said. “His name was Professor Jerome. He was an old man with grey hair and he walked with a cane. He must have been 70 years old if he was a day.
He was doing research on hypnotism and I volunteered to be one of his test subjects. One evening, he invited me to his house. He wanted me to assist him with a hypnotic experiment. He told me he wanted to put me into a trance. I felt a little nervous, but I trusted him. After all, he was my professor.
He took out his pocket watch and held it in front of my eyes. I watched it swinging back and forth. I listened to the soothing sound of his voice and gradually, I felt myself falling into a trance.
All of a sudden, I felt as if I was separating from my body. I was a free spirit, cut loose from the flesh. I was floating up and up and when I looked down, I saw my body sitting in the chair and Professor Jerome standing over me.
The room started swirling around me and then, it simply vanished. I was moving through a new world… floating through a strange world of mist and shadow… drifting through an unearthly place of fog and darkness. I had no idea where I was or where I was going.
Eventually, I wanted to go back to my body. I floated back the way I had come. When I returned to the room, I was horrified to find my body was moving around on its own. Somebody had stolen it. I didn’t have to look far for the culprit.
Professor Jerome’s body sat slumped in a chair. He was dead. It didn’t take me long to work out what happened. While I was gone, he had left his body and taken over mine. His body was old and he knew he was going to die soon, so he stole a healthy young body… My body!
I watched helplessly as Professor Jerome walked away with my body and set about living my life. I was trapped in that world of mist and shadow, doomed to wander aimlessly for all eternity. Without a body, I was nothing but a free spirit. It was a fate worse than death.
I don’t know how long I lingered in that gloomy netherworld. Perhaps it was months or maybe it was years. Finally, something struck me. It was so simple and I wondered why I didn’t think of it before.
I searched and searched until eventually, I found what I was looking for… The cemetery where Professor Jerome’s body had been buried. I floated down through the earth and entered the coffin where I possessed the body. The rest of it was not easy, but I managed to claw my way out of that grave and pull myself up to the surface.
When I stood up and tried to walk, I realized that too much time had gone by. Professor Jerome’s body was now a rotting corpse. With every step I took, pieces of flesh were dropping off. I had to keep going. My spirit controlled the awful, decaying thing and forced it to move forward.
I made my way home… back to my apartment building… up the stairs… and I kicked the door down.
You can imagine the horror on Professor Jerome’s face… my face… when he turned around and saw his own rotting corpse standing in the doorway. His eyes grew wide, his jaw dropped open and he began trembling and shaking with fear.
I threw myself at him and my bony fingers wrapped around his throat, strangling him. I was trying to throttle the life out of him. It was a terrible struggle. Each time I smashed my fists into his face, bits of my body would drop off. Each time I stomped on his head, my body would crumble more and more. I was falling to pieces, but I kept on beating him.
Eventually, I accomplished what I had come to do. I had beaten him nearly to death. Professor Jerome’s spirit abandoned the dying body… my body… and floated up into the air. I was able to possess my own body again. I’m back… I’m back in my own body… Oh how glorious it feels to be back…”
And with that, the student breathed his last. His eyes closed and he finally died. There was a serene smile on his face.
The landlady had listened to the entire story, but she didn’t believe a word of it. However, when she turned on the lights, she was horrified to find the rotting corpse of an old man, lying in pieces on the floor.