Maureen Swanson is the scourge of the neighborhood. At age nine, she already has a reputation as a hard slapper, a loud laugher, a liar, and a stay-after-schooler. The other kids call her Stinky. So sometimes when Maureen passes the crumbling (and haunted?) Messerman mansion, she imagines that she is Maureen Messerman–rich, privileged, and powerful. Then she finds a way into the forbidden, boarded-up house. In the hall are portraits of seven young women wearing elaborate gowns and haughty expressions. Maureen has something scathing to say to each one, but then she notices that the figures seem to have shifted in their frames. So she reaches out her finger to touch the paint–just to make sure–and touches . . . silk! These seven daughters of privilege are colder and meaner than Maureen ever thought to be. They are wicked, wicked ladies, and Maureen has something they want. . . .
A much spookier fantasy can be found in Mary Chase's The Wicked Wicked Ladies in the Haunted House, illus. by Peter Sis, first published in 1968 under the title The Wicked Pigeon Ladies in the Garden. Maureen Swanson, known in her neighborhood as Old Stinky, finds herself unnaturally attracted to the boarded-up, crumbling Messerman mansion. When she sneaks inside, Maureen falls into the clutches of seven truly demonic sisters who can twist time. Can an old leprechaun help Maureen find her way home?