Real Name: Unrevealed, if applicable
Identity/Class: Unrevealed (see comments) (1950s era)
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Billy, Jed
Enemies: Madigan, unidentified hobo
Known Relatives: None (see comments)
Aliases: "A phantom" (as called by Madigan); scarecrow; "The Phantom of the Farm" (in story title)
Base of Operations: Jed and Billy's farm, somewhere in America
First Appearance: World of Fantasy#9/6 (December, 1957)
Powers/Abilities: Composed of old garments stuffed with straw, "the Phantom of the Farm" appeared to be an ordinary scarecrow, but it was seemingly imbued with a semblance of life; because of the composition of its body, bullets passed harmlessly through it (...but it was probably vulnerable to fire). Although its form consisted only of a "head" and "torso" mounted on a post, the scarecrow was somehow able to move its location, despite having no lower limbs.
The scarecrow was apparently a benevolent entity, and it was highly protective of the farm it guarded--possibly it had the ability to generate fear in humans (see comments).
Height: 7' (by
Weight: 40 lbs. (by approximation)
(World of Fantasy#9/6 (fb) - BTS) - The origin of this scarecrow is unrevealed, but presumably it was built by Jed and/or Billy; the straw-man was put in the cornfield at the eastern end of their farm, where it guarded the crops.
(World of Fantasy#9/6) - One afternoon, following a harvest, Jed and Billy sold their entire crop to Mr. Carter for $5000 cash--unbeknownst to the farmers, they were secretly being watched from the distance by a pair of hobos who planned to rob them at nightfall.
After sundown, the hobos came prowling around the farm and headed for the house to steal Jed and Billy's money--unbeknownst to the robbers, they were being followed by a shadowy figure.
As they passed by the barn, one of the hobos became scared because he had the feeling that they were being watched, but his companion (Madigan) told him he was just getting jittery over nothing.
When they reached the corral, the hobos were confronted by an inhuman phantom--from the darkness, it seemed to come at them from every direction; the hobos fired their guns wildly, but the bullets only went right through the phantom menace.
Meanwhile, having heard the gunshots outside, Jed and Billy came out of their house with shotguns to investigate--the farmers saw the two terrified hobos running toward them in a panic, claiming they were being followed by a phantom. While Jed held the two would-be robbers at gunpoint, Billy went back in the house to phone the police.
Twenty minutes later, the police arrived and placed the hobos under arrest--one of the lawmen laughingly pointed out to them that the "phantom" they were so afraid of was only the scarecrow perched by the corral; but Jed was perplexed, and he could only wonder how the straw-man got moved from the cornfield.
As the moon came out from behind the clouds, a broad smile seemed to break out on the scowling scarecrow's face... as if it were enjoying a joke that nobody else could understand...
Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Bernie Krigstein (artist).
This 4-page story was done with a surprise-ending--the
"phantom's" presence was only seen by its shadow, and it was left to the
reader to infer that it was actually the scarecrow at the story's end.
The exact nature of this scarecrow was unrevealed, but I'd speculate that it was some sort of supernatural entity--maybe it had some connection to the Straw Man.
I mentioned that this scarecrow could possibly generate fear in humans only because the unidentified hobo told Madigan that he was scared while they were being stalked by the unseen "phantom"... however, this could simply be due to his own natural emotional reaction to the situation.
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
This scarecrow/"The Phantom of the Farm" has no known connections to:
Jed has no known connections to:
Billy has no known connections to:
Madigan has no known connections to:
Jed and Billy (last names unrevealed) were two farmers whose farm had been destroyed by a cyclone two years earlier--everything standing was smashed, and the roof of their house was gone. When their friends heard about their plight, every farmer from a fifty mile radius donated money to help them rebuild.
After repairing the damage, Jed and Billy toiled on their corn crop, then sold their entire harvest to Mr. Carter for $5000 cash--rather than putting the money in the bank, Jed planned to use the cash to pay back his benefactors for their help, so he put the money in his house. But unbeknownst to the farmers, they were being watched from afar by two armed hobos who planned to rob them at nightfall.
Later that night, Jed and Billy heard gunshots outside, so they grabbed their shotguns and went to investigate; they found the terrified hobos running in a panic, claiming they were being followed by a "phantom". While Jed held the hobos at bay with his shotgun, Billy went to phone the police.
The police arrived and arrested the hobos, and one of the lawmen laughingly pointed out to the would-be robbers that the "phantom" that had frightened them was only a scarecrow perched by the corral--but Jed was perplexed, because the straw-man was supposed to be out in the cornfield...
--World of Fantasy#9/6
(Note: The exact relationship between Jed and Billy was never specified--I'm guessing Billy was Jed's son.)
Two vagrants, Madigan (first name unrevealed; blue hat) and his unidentified companion (green hat) were armed with revolver handguns; Madigan also had binoculars.
One afternoon, while they were on the outskirts of Jed and Billy's farm, Madigan used his binoculars to watch Jed being paid $5000 cash after selling his corn crop. The two hobos made a plan to rob the farmers later that night.
When darkness fell, Madigan and his friend went prowling around the farm; but the hobos soon found themselves stalked by a shadowy "phantom". Although they wildly fired their guns at their mysterious pursuer multiple times, the bullets only passed through the "phantom".
The hobos fled in a panic, but they were soon captured by Jed and Billy, who held them at gunpoint until the police arrived.
As they were being arrested, one of the policemen laughingly pointed out to the would-be robbers that the "phantom" that had frightened them had only been a scarecrow perched by the corral... but Jed insisted that the straw-man was supposed to be out in the cornfield...
--World of Fantasy#9/6
images: (without ads)
World of Fantasy#9/6, p4, pan10 (Main Image - scowling scarecrow at new location by corral, as Jed wonders how it got there)
World of Fantasy#9/6, p4, pan11 (scarecrow smiles)
World of Fantasy#9/6, p2, pan6 (scarecrow's shadow following unidentified hobo and Madigan)
World of Fantasy#9/6, p4, pan9 (scarecrow (background); policemen arresting Madigan and unidentified hobo, Billy, Jed (foreground))
World of Fantasy#9/6, p1, pan2 (Jed and Billy (right) selling their crop to Mr. Carter)
World of Fantasy#9/6, p1, pan4 (Jed and Billy)
World of Fantasy#9/6, p1, pan5 (Jed holding cash)
World of Fantasy#9/6, p4, pan7 (Jed and Billy see unidentified hobo and Madigan running in panic)
World of Fantasy#9/6, p2, pan1 (Madigan (left, holding binoculars) and unidentified hobo on outskirts of Jed and Billy's farm)
World of Fantasy#9/6, p2, pan8 (Madigan and unidentified hobo)
World of Fantasy#9/6, p3, pan16 (Madigan and unidentified hobo)
World of Fantasy#9/6, p4, pan5 (unidentified hobo and Madigan discover their guns are useless against "phantom")
World of Fantasy#9/6 (December, 1957) - unidentified writer, Bernie Krigstein (pencils and inks), Stan Lee (editor)
First Posted: 01/30/2020
Last updated: 01/30/2020
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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