Old Witch Costume

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In 1950, publisher Gaines and his editor, Al Feldstein, discovered they shared similar tastes in horror. They first began experimenting with horror tales as features in their existing titles, such as Crime Patrol, which was briefly retitled The Crypt of Terror and finally Tales from the Crypt, by which point the horror genre had become predominant. (In the early 1950s, comic book publishers, seeking to save money on second-class postage permits, frequently changed the titles of their comics, rather than start new ones at "#1"). An EC Western comic book series called Gunfighter (which itself had originated with #5, having adopted the numbering from Fat & Slat) was similarly rechristened The Haunt of Fear with issue #15. The Haunt numbering was reset after #17 (3), as explained in the letter column of issue #4: "After publishing issues 15, 16 and 17, the United States Post Office requested that the fourth issue actually be numbered No. 4 rather than No. 18. . . Well, 'ya can't fight City Hall!'" (The EC war comic Two-Fisted Tales took over the old Haunt numbering, starting with issue #18, and itself never ended up resetting). For this reason, even within the same original 1950s series, there are actually two separate issues each of The Haunt of Fear #15, 16, 17.