January 1940: The Green Ghost Detective Debuts

The Green Ghost Detective made his debut with the January 1940 issue, of The Ghost Super-Detective 81 years ago.

The Green Ghost is one of the many hero pulps included in The Beginner’s Guide to Pulp Fiction, Volume 1.

The Green Ghost Detective magazine lasted just seven issues, but went through three name changes in its short life.

Better Publications (better known as Thrilling) launched the magazine in January 1940 as The Ghost Super-Detective. It held that name for just three issues before spending one issue as The Ghost Detective. The magazine was known as The Green Ghost Detective for its final three issues.

The Ghost/Green Ghost was George Chance, a magician who used his skills to fight crime. As The Ghost, he dons a mask with a pale white (or green) face, dead teeth and lifeless eyes. The early stories are recounted in first person, a rare choice for the hero pulps, and are credited to Chance as the author.

The Ghost was created by G.T. Fleming-Roberts, who wrote all of the novels and short stories. (There was also an unrelated “Green Ghost” written by Zorro creator Johnston McCulley in Thrilling Detective in 1934-35.)

After The Green Ghost Detective was cancelled in the summer of 1941, the character appeared in six additional stories in Thrilling Mystery.

Some of the stories have been reprinted by Altus Press and Adventure House, while Airship 27 has printed new adventures of George Chance.

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