DR. TERENCE THIRTEEN
Real Name: Terence Thirteen (possibly)
Occupation: Parapsychologist, Paranormal Investigator
Other Aliases: Doctor Thirteen, Dr. 13, Ghost Breaker,
Place of Birth: Unrevealed
Marital Status: Married
Known Relatives: father (name unrevealed, deceased), mother (name unrevealed, possibly deceased), Marie (wife, deceased), Teresa ("Terri"), Tracy (daughters), Raphael, Daniel, Rachel (ancestors, deceased),
Group Affiliation: Team 13
Base Of Operations: Gotham City, New Jersey, formerly Boston, Massachusetts
First Appearance: Star Spangled Comics #122
History: Not much is known about the man named Terrence Thirteen or of the reasons for his passion and interest in paranormal research. It is not known if Thirteen is his real name or a pseudonym. By his own accounts, his family was a line of scientists and inventors going back several generations whose beliefs were so radical and contrary to the times they lived in that they were considered witches and radicals by the superstitious people of the time. Several of his ancestors reportedly died prematurely in suspicious accidents connected to an alleged family curse. As an adult, Thirteen pursued doctorates in psychology, anthropology and medicine, and in addition to his regular practice, he worked as a paranormal investigator and expert on the occult determined to debunk rumors of supernatural activity. This earned him a reputation as a "ghost breaker," a term coined by radio celebrity Larry Lawrence for scientists that researched paranormal activity. In recent years, the term has been replaced by "ghost buster" in both tabloid and media accounts.
Following the death of his father in a car crash, Thirteen closed up the family mansion, Doomesbury Mansion, and moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where he based the majority of his paranormal research. Through the course of his cases, he frequently encountered a mysterious figure who called himself the Phantom Stranger, who acted as his guide and authority on the paranormal, but Thirteen never believed that the Phantom was anything more than an illusionist con-man. Thirteen was also assisted by a woman named Maria Leeds who handled his financial and travel needs, but after realizing their feelings for each other, they eventually married, and she began following him in his investigations. Thirteen also briefly encountered demonologist John Constantine and theatrical magician Tim Hunter during a drive to San Francisco though he was aware of either of their identities.
Dr. Thirteen is a parapsychologist who investigates reports of possible supernatural activity with the goal of proving them to be hoaxes. Endowed with a skepticism of the paranormal that allegedly renders him resistant to curses and mystical energies, he was recruited to explore the briefly abandoned home of millionaire Bruce Wayne near Gotham City, New Jersey for evidence of a cryptid called the Man-Bat and help businessman Rupert Thorne, who believed he was being haunted by the ghost of psychologist Dr. Hugo Strange. In the course of their investigations, Thirteen and Constantine have had several arguments on the existence of magic and paranormal activity. Thirteen is frustrated in Constantine's belief that such forces exist, while Constantine has been consistently annoyed by Thirteen's adherence to science. To much consternation, Thirteen's daughter, Tracy, considers herself a witch and sorceress of the Wiccan belief.
Dr. Thirteen's devotion to paranormal research has been largely encouraged by stage magician, Zatanna Giovanni, a woman who considers herself a pure sorceress. She believes that eventually Thirteen will be forced to admit to proof of magic and an afterlife due to his credentials, Thirteen considers her just a devoted eccentric with possibly delusional aspirations.
Thirteen eventually re-opened his family home, Doomesbury Manor, and moved back into it with his family. By now, Maria was becoming increasingly annoyed by the strange and odd characters he was allowing to enter his home. In Paris, Tracy had to rescue him during a terrorist attack when he blacked out during the destruction. Due to the on-going stress in the family, Marie encouraged Terence to go attend marriage counseling. Becoming increasingly alienated from him due to his overbearing behavior, she eventually discovered that he refused to take payment for his services and had been billing his investigations off their bank account. He has since been placed in a mental institution, having apparently suffered a mental breakdown during the visit to the marriage counselor where he hallucinates himself to have been part of a virtual reality.
Case Files: Wayne Manor (11-10-81), Thorne Hall (12-11-82), et al.
Source/Comments: Dr. Thirteen is a character from the DC Universe. References for this biography include "Adventure Heroes" by Jeff Rovin, Who's Who in the DC Universe #7 and the DC Database web-site.