Nightmare Fuel / The Spectre

  • Put this way. In the Silver Age, his entire shtick was killing people WITHOUT ACTUALLY KILLING THEM.
  • Everything he does is this. Even the Lighter and Softer Batman: The Brave and the Bold series has him turning a Mad Scientist into cheese, but leaving him very much alive and conscious (and then releasing the scientist's hundreds of trained rats to eat the scientist.)
  • John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake loved combining this with Karmic Death during their '90s run on the character. Basically if you died horribly by fire or stabbing, you were getting off light with them.
    • A horrific example of their presentation of the kinds of punishment the Spectre can dish out is when the Spectre decided to burn every person within the entire country of Vlatava alive because he realized both sides involved in its civil war were guilty. It's shown in vivid detail and is every bit as terrifying as it sounds.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/NightmareFuel/TheSpectre