Amicus Arcane, librarian of the haunted mansion from which this series issues, returns with more tales intended to terrify.
For years “up-and-coming writer” William Gaines has been searching for an authentic medium to help him contact his dead sister to ask her forgiveness. Along the way he’s debunked every medium he’s met. When a mysterious stranger offers to introduce him to the fabled (and dead) Madame Leota, William jumps at the chance—but he must first, for some unspecified reason, suffer through four tales from the mansion library: a nonsensical revenge tale set in a roving carnival, a tale of vampiric inheritance and remorse, a slightly more-sensical revenge tale of zombie love, and, the creepiest of the lot—though still unsatisfying—the story of an orphan’s suffocation by cockroaches. William’s portion ends with a connection to The Fearsome Foursome (2016), the first Haunted Mansion collection, but few spook seekers will make it to the close. This second in the series inspired by Disney’s Haunted Mansion ride regularly contradicts itself and is marred by clumsy writing. Intrusive narrator Arcane’s comments on his own comments are repetitive and never as amusing as their speaker believes them. Comic-book–artist Jones’ eerie, scratchy occasional illustrations are wasted here.
Ghost hunters best look elsewhere for their scares. (Horror. 9-12)