What's the name of this short story about a boy who buys a ship's figurehead?
August 14, 2012 12:05 AM   Subscribe

Please help me remember the name of a supernatural short story about a boy who buys a ship's figurehead at an auction. Plot summary inside.

I read this in a compilation of spooky short stories in the mid-80s, but the binding on the book was much older than that--maybe 50s or 60s.

Plot summary:

A twelve-year-old boy and his father go to an auction, where the boy sees a ship's figurehead for sale and his father agrees to buy it for him. They take it home and on successive nights, their house is beset by increasingly violent storms. The morning after one of the first of such nights, they find half-dead fish flopping about in their front yard. The last storm is so violent that they realize the sea is trying to take the figurehead back. They throw the figurehead in the ocean the next morning and the storms stop.
posted by homodachi to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I have a memory of this too! I think it was a Paul Jennings (who wrote Round the Twist and lots of awesomely odd and frightening short stories) story. Sorry, I can't track down which one.
posted by f3l1x at 2:38 AM on August 14, 2012

apologies, that doesn't seem to fit with the timescale you suggest.. these were published from the mid 80s. but i was pretty convinced to begin with.
posted by f3l1x at 2:48 AM on August 14, 2012

Best answer: Is it Ghostly Companions by Vivien Alcock? This summary on Amazon says, "A lad buys "The Sea Bride," a ship's figurehead, only to find out that an angry groom wants her back."
posted by zoetrope at 9:42 AM on August 14, 2012

Response by poster: Yes! Thank you! I remember that cover art. I'm surprised by the publication date; the cover art made me think the book was much older.
posted by homodachi at 11:06 AM on August 14, 2012

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