Ripley's Believe It or Not! (comic)

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Issue #16.
It's fun to pretend
Icon ghost.svg
Fails from the crypt

Ripley's Believe It or Not! was a comic book published by Gold Key and Whitman from 1965 to 1980.[1][2][note 1]

While the comic claimed to have the same authenticity as the newspaper comic strip, the overly dramatic way that many of the stories were told leaves much doubt in the reader's mind. Many stories read like fictional trope stories or have information so vague that there is effectively no way to figure where the story came from.[note 2]

Some stories have factual flaws and yet are claimed to be entirely true.[note 3] From the first issue in June 1965 to the ninth issue in May 1968, it used relevant material from the newspaper strip to add to the authenticity of the other stories.[1]

"The Sentry Who Was Saved By A Ghost" from Issue #1 (June 1965)

While most issues would have "True Ghost Stories" as an additional part of the title "True War Stories" and "True Demons and Monsters" were sometimes used instead.


  • "The Ghost Ship" (June 1965) tells the story of how, in 1872, the crew of the Charletteille are saved by The North Star which had disappeared years ago and was captained by the father of one of the Charletteille 's crew[3]
  • "The Woman in the Tomb" (June 1965) tells how two grave robbers discover their target is the victim of premature burial and how the woman would go on to become the mother of Sir Walter Scott.Wikipedia[4]
  • "The General Was a Spy" (June 1967) tells the story of Alexander Scotland,Wikipedia who was supposedly known as General Schottlandt by German General Staff.[5] This story was told in the film The Two-Headed Spy (1958).[6]
  • Issue #7 (November 1967) includes the stories of the Golem of Prague, Arnold PaoleWikipedia (called Arnold Paul in the story), and the Werewolves of Poligny.[7]
  • "Demon in the Glass Cage" (August 1968) claims the display of Jeremy Bentham'sWikipedia body manifested a ghost when it was put into a storeroom rather than being on display.[8] Bentham's body now sits at Student Centre at University College London.[9]
  • "Spawn of the Wolf Pack" (December 1969) claims that KamalaWikipedia answered the call of her wolf pack and ran off with them, though other reports have her dying of either tuberculosis or typhoid fever.[10] Current scholarship suggests that the entire raised by wolves story was a hoax.
  • "Vampire of the Schloss" (August 1968) claims in 1961 a man buys a Schloss supposedly haunted by a vampire. When attacked by the vampire the man is told that driving an alpenstock into the grave will destroy it. The man is found dead of a heart attack having driven the alpenstock through his coat.[11] The story has two major problems — man and the Schloss are unnamed (preventing research) and the story might as well be The Twilight Zone episode "The Grave" without the twist.[12]
  • "The Sea Hags" (April 1970) tells a story regarding the Women of Moher (Sea Harpies that supposedly live in the Castle of Drumnacrogha).[13] A similar story ("The Ghostly Catch") appears in the book Ghosts in Irish Houses (1947):

Out of the livid clouds, with such deadening impact that the corpse-white, glutinous mass of fish bodies sank beneath the surface, came dark, winged shapes. Streaming out behind them, tangling together, were rags or dank feathers. Were these birds? Were they Harpies? Like a flash, I realized that they were the Dread Women of Moher feeding upon the Ghostly Catch at Drumnacrogh.[14]

  • "The Devils Staff" (April 1973) claims that Major Thomas Weir'sWikipedia ghost haunted his home until a priest exorcised the spirit of the Devil from his soul.[15] The cover hearkens back to The fiery coach of Major Weir.[16]
  • "What the Mirror Saw" (April 1973) tells of a mirror that reflected events that happened in front of it.[15] Something similar to this story was told in Dead of Night (1945).[17]
  • "Music Hath Charms" (October 1973) claims that in 1967 Edgecombe, the American architect Alan Barlow was saved by the ghost of a woman who played music on a non-functional organ so he could escape a black mamba. One of the guides tells him that the ghost was that of a Miss Dennis who had died using the organ to pacify a black mamba some 20 years previously.[18] A key problem with the story is the fact snakes are deaf!
Kids encounter the ghosts of King Arthur's court in "They Came Alive!"
  • "They Came Alive!" (June 1977) tells the story of two children who wake up the ghost of King Arthur, his wife, and several knights, but fail to blow the hunting horn and cannot find the way back to the passage they found the room the group was in, leaving them as awakened spirits.[19]


  1. Not to be confused with the 1953 Harvey Comic, 2002 Dark Horse Comics comic, or the two-issue comic of the same name published by Zenescope in 2018. The Zenescope book took liberties with the stories told in the newspaper strip, giving a similar "off" feel to them, told a fictional story ("Mother Nature"), and a legend ("Stingy Jack").
  2. "Vampire of the Schloss" (August 1968) suffers from both these problems.
  3. For example, "Music Hath Charms" (October 1973) doesn't seem to know that snakes are deaf.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Ripley's Believe It or Not! (1965 series), Grand Comics Database.
  2. Ripley's Believe It or Not! Zenescope Entertainment, 2018 Series Grand Comics Database.
  3. Ripley's Believe It or Not! (1965 series) #1, Grand Comics Database.
  4. Ripley's Believe It or Not! (1965 series) #1, Grand Comics Database.
  5. Ripley's Believe It or Not! (1965 series) #5 Grand Comics Database.
  6. The Two-Headed Spy (1958). Internet Movie Database.
  7. Ripley's Believe It or Not! (1965 series) #7, Grand Comics Database.
  8. Ripley's Believe It or Not! (1965 series) #10 Grand Comics Database.
  9. Corey, Alex (2021). "Where To See Jeremy Bentham's Body At UCL". londonist. 
  10. Ripley's Believe It or Not! (1965 series) #17 Grand Comics Database.
  11. Ripley's Believe It or Not! (1965 series) #10 Grand Comics Database.
  12. The Twilight Zone: The Grave (October 27, 1961) Internet Movie Database.
  13. Ripley's Believe It or Not! (1965 series) #19 Grand Comics Database.
  14. Reynolds, James (1947). Ghosts in Irish Houses. New York , Creative Age Press Press. ISBN 0517014343.  Available for 1 hour check out at internet archive
  15. 15.0 15.1 Ripley's Believe It or Not! (1965 series) #39, Grand Comics Database.
  16. Major Weir ScotClans.
  17. Dead of Night (1945) Internet Movie Database.
  18. Ripley's Believe It or Not! (1965 series) #43 Grand Comics Database.
  19. Ripley's Believe It or Not! (1965 series) #70 Grand Comics Database.