Israel Skelton has baked his last pie

Leading spookologist and pie maker Israel Skelton has sadly departed from this life. We wait with interest to see if he will return as one of the ghosts, either to continue his ghostly mapping, or his pie making. Either seems possible.

Regulars at The Black Swann Bakery will of course know that for the last seventeen years, Israel Skelton has faithfully kept the shop stocked with tasty, largely edible pies. The secret of his crust goes with him to the grave, having been the subject of great speculation for those seventeen years. What was he making the pastry out of? We will never know. What made the gravy so tasty? The mystery remains. These two factors transformed otherwise normal Hopeless pie fillings into something one could almost feel enthusiasm for eating. It is rare praise to heap upon a person.

Israel Skelton leaves behind him a lifetime’s study of spookology – a patient mapping of ghostly activity around the town and beyond. His work established beyond any doubt that ghosts do disappear sometimes. His extensive interviews with ghostly residents shed almost no light on the issue of life after death – but we have come to know that ghosts have no more idea how being a ghost works than the living have insight into what that’s all about.

His was a life lived fully, and shaped by his twin passions for pies and ghosts. It’s not often one can say this of a person – that they lived their dream to the full, right up to the end.

Mithra Stubbs tells us that she shut the pie machine down very quickly but that there was a considerable amount of her colleague missing at this point. Food waste is a terrible thing, of course, and so she did the decent thing and baked the remaining pies. Some of you are, in effect, Israel Skelton’s final resting place, but comfort yourself in the knowledge that it might have been exactly what he wanted.

Speculation is already rife that the pie machine was in some way possessed by a malevolent and hungry force. Mithra told me this is nonsense and that the pie machine clearly loved Israel and always seemed excited when he came into the room.

Based on Israel’s own work, we understand that haunting tend to follow the bones or stay at the death site, except in the rare cases of strong willed individuals like Miss Calder. If Israel returns, will it be to haunt the machine that ate him, to haunt what remains of his remains, or to haunt those of you who ate his last pies? I can only feel it’s a question that would have greatly interested him.


You can find the rest of Israel Skelton over here –  with comics related goodies, including Hopeless Maine pins.

This death was brought to you by the Hopeless Maine kickstarter. If you feel cheated of your death because you missed the early bird pledges, just let us know when you pledge and we’ll slide you gently into the mass grave we have planned.

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