Courtesy DC Comics

Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” is one of the most influential horror-themed comic books. It never shied away from presenting truly terrifying ideas.

Halloween Countdown – 31 Scary Moments – Oct. 13

Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" takes a break from its mythology to produce one of the scariest comic book stories of all-time.

October officially marks the beginning of Scary Season. With this in mind, the Pepper Bough is celebrating with a daily dose of creepy moments sure to make your hairs stand on end. Come celebrate with us . . . if you dare.

“Sandman,” written by Neil Gaiman and a number of artists, was a comic book published by DC Comics that ran for 75 issues from 1989 to 1996. The series, despite its age, has been a significant inspiration to writers, artists, and audiences for its blend of mythology, history, horror, and allegory.

Early issues of “Sandman” really embraced the horror aspect of the comics, harking back to the old days of E.C.’s pulp horror comic titles like “Tales from the Crypt” and “Vault of Horror.” In issue #6, entitled “24 Hours,” Gaiman and artist Mike Dringenberg take a break from the series’ overall narrative to tell a story about a group of customers at a roadside diner who find themselves under the twisted mind-control of Doctor Destiny.

The evil Doctor uses his powers to destroy these diners, turning them into his puppets, and forcing them to do absolutely terrifying things to themselves and each other. It’s a potent reminder about how our belief in the power of destiny can drive us to destroy ourselves.

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