Make horrid scars and gashes.


Wade Denning & Kay Lande "Halloween: Games, Songs and Stories" (Golden Records, LP-242, 1969)

Hands down this was my most played Halloween record as a little kid. My family can all still sing the title track (which rather brilliantly spells out "H-A-LL-O-W-EE-N" to the tune of Saint-Saëns' "Dance Macabre" (or "Danse Macabre" if you prefer). Listen to it once and you'll never forget it), and it's no real exaggeration to say that I nearly played "Guess What I Am?" 'til the grooves were bald.

Wade Denning's career in spooky records (primarily through Pickwick) has been fairly well documented on Scar Stuff before (click here, here & here for more info), and he's joined on this album by Kay Lande who had a pretty long running career with kids records herself (she and Denning had also worked together before on "ABC, 1-2-3: Counting Rhymes, Alphabet Songs, Riddles and Tongue Twisters" for MGM Records in 1966). The overall vibe here is pretty playful, upbeat and active (the original pressing was aimed at educators and came with a booklet outlining the games described in the songs), but there's also an undercurrent of creepiness that seems more tied in to childhood to me than with many Halloween records. By that I guess I mean that a lot of times the vignettes that are being told in this genre revolve around adults, and as a kid you had to visualize them more abstractly (6 year olds aren't likely to be driving around picking up hitchhikers for example), but on this record there are stories much more related to the age group they're being directed at; a child takes a shortcut through the woods on the way back from Trick-or-Treating and encounters a spook, there's an eerie telling of the James Whitcomb Riley classic Little Orphan Annie poem, and so on. Of course I don't know if that's the sole reason why this album clicked in my tiny head (I think I also just liked the '60's surf beat on a lot of the songs), but at the age of 5 it certainly all worked for me and (perhaps not so surprisingly) it really still does.

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2011 Update

Direct YouTube link

Psst! Visit the official Golden Records Facebook Page for a free download of the "Halloween" MP3! It's a "Limited Time Only" type deal so act fast!


BBC Records - Mike Harding "Sound Effects Vol 13: Death And Horror" (1977), "Sound Effects Vol 21: More Death And Horror" (1978)

Spurred on by the fine folks in my comments section, I'm throwing up a pair of late '70's BBC Records releases focusing on good ol' "Death and Horror". The album jackets for both of these records made me vaguely uneasy when I was a kid; the classic British fixation on torture devices is certainly front and center and the gruesome collection of track titles ("Branding Iron On Flesh!", "Red Hot Poker Into Eye!", "Neck Twisted And Broken!") more than promised to deliver the goods (turns out though that the most grueling thing for me was breaking the albums down into separate tracks -- "Sound Effects Vol 13" has 91! That task aside, I'd like to extend a special thanks to my pal Dennis for loaning me his copy). By the way, there's a third LP in this series that I've never come across, anyone out there have it laying around?

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Famous Monsters "Famous Monsters Speak!" (Wonderland/ AA Records, AR-3, 1963)

Issued first in 1963 & then reissued over the years through a few different labels (and possibly still available on CD, though most retailers claim it as being out of stock), this two story LP was amazingly evocative to me when I was little. Ex-Dead End kid Gabriel Dell's vocal interpretations of Frankenstein's Monster and Dracula never struck me as comical as many others (like that weird leap from Lugosi imitation to Jackie Mason sound-alike you hear a lot with Dracula), and the stories were totally creepy cool. Cherney Berg's conceits for the (non-Universal adaptation) plots -- a reporter has been ushered into Dracula's lair and runs over the events as he types/ primitive recording devices allow us to hear the thoughts of Frankenstein's Monster -- did the trick as far as I was concerned, and the sound effects were unique enough to these recordings that I never felt jolted out of the atmosphere being conjured up. Of course after 30+ years of owning it I still have no idea what the Wolf Man, Mummy & Creature from the Black Lagoon are hanging around on the cover for, but getting to gaze at the early '60's Aurora Model-esque art more than makes up for any confusion.

Available now on iTunes from Golden Records!


Harvey Records/ The Comix "Harvey Singles" (HR-1001, HR-1002, HR-1003, HR-1004, 1972)

Amazingly only a few days after posting an ad for the 1972 Harvey Comics singles (here's a link to that ad, another ad, a label, a bag with a single in it, and an "enhanced CD" comp that the songs were re-released on in 1997), a supercool member of the Richie Rich Yahoo group has sent me 8 of the 10 tunes (the two Sad Sack songs have seen no re-release since the character is owned by Lorne-Harvey rather than Harvey Entertainment). Turns out that the singles were issued under the band name "The Comix", and they were all written by the songwriting team of (Harvey editor) Sid Jacobson & Jimmy Krondes, probably most famously responsible for penning "The End (At The End Of A Rainbow)" in the late '50's.

The songs themselves are both better and delightfully worse than I'd guessed they would be too; pretty much delicious cheapjack bubblegum in a variety of guises (kiddie style frat-rock, lite-psych, wuss-pop, etc) with off-the-top-of-our-heads lyrics sealing the sugarsweet deal ("Hiding from Spooky/ 'cause of the kooky/ booing of Spooky/ the Tuff Little Ghost/ If you are careless/ he'll boo you hairless/ he's never scareless/ the Tuff Little Ghost"), so I'm more than happy to pass along my good fortune. Now where are you at, Mr. Sad Sack?

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Power Records "A Story Of Dracula, The Wolfman And Frankenstein" (BR-508, 1975)

Kind of harkening back to the 1940's Universal "Monster Rallies", this all original story from Power Records (also released as "House of Terror" on Parade Records) seemed totally cool to me when I was a kid, and still comes off as one of the label's best efforts. Story-wise it's a fairly deft interweaving of the classic big three monsters, and the Neal Adams/ Dick Giordano artwork (some other nice examples of Adams' record cover work can be found here, and here) was a great compliment. From the liners:

"Frankenstein's monster, Count Dracula, and the Werewolf all meet under unusual and bizarre circumstances in this masterpiece of terror and suspense. Power Records is proud to present this magnificently illustrated original tale. Heightening the intense dramatic portrayal are sound effects and music that will keep you on the edge of your chair. This package is designed to be read and played -- and treasured for years to come."

Apropos of all that, I took pictures of the interior pages and included them in a folder with the audio; admittedly they're not hi-res scans so you probably won't be printing them out to be framed or anything, but it'll at least give a sense of the original Power Records "book and record" experience.

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UPDATE: The Parade Records edition ("House of Terror", which also comes bundled with an extra LP of sound effects that I'm forgetting the original name of) seems to have been very recently available as a closeout item! While most of the stores I checked are coming up as "out of stock", a simple google search will still turn up several retailers listing the title, so maybe you can still get lucky.


Casper The Friendly Ghost "Haunted House Tales" (Peter Pan, 8131, 1975), "Casper And The Demon Of Darkness - Book & Recording" (Peter Pan, 1976)

I've had a few requests for a non-rapidshare version of my rip that I circulated last October (the same file is being shared in my comments section), so here it is: Mr. Casper the Friendly Ghost as released on Peter Pan records in the mid-1970's. I had both the full LP and the book & record version of the first story as a kid (though for some reason "The Scariest Halloween Ever" off of Haunted House Tales became "Casper and the Demon of Darkness" when it was released as a stand alone single) and even given my propensity for "the scary stuff" I got a surprisingly large number of listens out of them. The Harvey world was such a strange mixup; characters based on devils, ghosts, and witches but all soaked to the core with edgeless cuteness. However much I liked this record though, I'm still kicking myself that I never ordered off for these:

(Click to expand)

Did anyone here buy them when they came out or (far better still) have them to pass around now? C'mon -- anyone?

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Columbia Playtime Records "Spooky Music For Spooky Occasions" (Playtime, 412, 1950)

3 minutes of spookiness off of one of the older Halloween records I have. The Columbia Playtime series of 78s date back to the 1920's; here's some info from an article on Kiddie Records putting them in context:

Little Tots' was joined by the Playtime label in the summer of 1924. Playtime discs originally carried ornate, multicolored labels and at 15¢ were obviously meant to compete with Cameo-Kid. [snip] Playtime would prove to be the longest-lived of any 78-rpm children's brand. The Columbia Broadcasting System inherited the label in 1938, with its acquisition of ARC, and continued to produce Playtime 78-rpms into the late 1950s.

Also check out Kiddie Record King who writes:

"Columbia's Playtime, a long running series of 6" and 7" records (originally 70 titles, then reissued in a series of 113 titles) began in the late 1930's and continued up to 1954".

That all having been said, I now present you with two tracks of simple organ for all your spooky occasion needs.

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Children Of The Night "Dinner With Drac!" (Pickwick, PIP-6822, 1976)

No relation to the 1958 John Zacherle hit, this collection of 1970's "Rock & Roll" songs tells the story of a big party at Count Dracula's house and comes across a bit like the plot of Mad Monster Party as done by imitators of The Hilarious House of Frightenstein in the process. The between song skits have a pretty cut-rate vibe throughout (Dracula sounds remarkably like Dan Ackroyd doing his SNL Yortuk Festrunk "Wild & Crazy Guy" character, The Mummy introduces himself with the lyrics to the Bob McFadden & Dor single "The Mummy"), and there's a period charm lurking under the music that makes me want to hear the story behind the band that was actually playing (I couldn't dig up much, but the album cover designer -- looks like he also wrote "Dracula's Undying Love" -- later did work for the likes of David Sanborn & Peter Tosh, and one arranger went on to become "Senior Vice-President, Marketing and Branch Operations for BMG Distribution"). The whole thing feels a bit more like a licensed pickup job rather than something developed in-house, and from my own consumer experience I'd say that this record never got the distribution of previous Pickwick horror albums (made by a completely different team; links here, here & here), but hey -- maybe I was just always looking in the little kid's section. This is clearly music for pre-teens.

UPDATE: Pulled from the comment section is this info from Hamhead

"I KNEW A GUY WHO WAS THEIR ROADIE!!!! Their manager lived across the street from him, no shite!! They were based in Hollywood, Florida in the early 80's.

From what I was told......
they were sued by Zacherly for using the "Children Of The Night" name since Zacherly somehow registered the phrase, the band changed their name to "The Monsters". This roadie guy (who used to come to my old job at a record store I managed and hang out insessivly) used to tell me about what a asshole the Dracula guy is and how he wanted to beat him up all the time, he used to burn reefer with the Wolfman. The Monsters were the house band at the Gold Coast roller rink in Pembroke Pines for years (which is now a furniture store), they also did kids birthday parties and Bar Mitzvahs. I used to joke about them playing Circus Playhouse, the kiddie pizzaria if the Gold Coast closed. I heard them once and that was enough. They broke up sometime in 1986 when the Gold Coast closed down. - M.A."

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William Castle "Ghost Story: Thrilling, Chilling Sounds of Fright & the Supernatural" (Peter Pan, 8114, 1972)

This LP was something of a tie-in to the NBC anthology show that William Castle produced from '72-'73 ("Peter Pan Records is delighted to have the opportunity to bring to the public its original recording production based on William Castle's Ghost Story"), but aside from the tracks on Side One being dubbed "The Horrors of Mansfield House" there's no real connection. There's certainly Castle-esque hype slathered all over the cover though; "This record should not be listened to by the very young or tender-hearted", it shouts. "This recording is definitely not recommended for children under eight years of age". Personally though, I can tell you that as children, my friends and I would roundly mock the first side of the LP across the board. Composed of an unscary narrator walking his way through vignettes featuring killer dogs, vampire waiters and murderous orchids (no, really), a lot of the "snap" endings sound almost as though they were made up on the spot. To this day only the oddness of the (Proto-Punk! Pre-Industrial!) "Lobotomy And The Shock Treatment" track from the Mansfield "Psychedelic Sounds Nightclub" stands out for me (as kids we'd play it and bounce around as though we were "insane"), but I guess I don't know how chilling I'd call it. In recent years though I've run in to several folks who have fond memories of the whole album, so maybe seven-year-old-me was being too harsh? You decide!

By the way, Side Two is largely a return to the same well of sounds that were heard on the two Power Records "Ghostly Sounds" albums (previously posted here, and here), so I hope you're not too sick of them yet.

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Power Records "The Monster Series" (1974)

The complete 4 record set from Power Records encompassing the "Monster Series" based on their Marvel Comics counterparts. These were mostly simplified stories that came from the early 1970's Marvel "Horror" line, and the Frankenstein, Dracula & Werewolf recordings were all re-released as 45s few times without the Marvel branding or comic book over the years (in fact I decided to included a Frankenstein rip from one of these records, so that's why it doesn't have the "turn the page" sound). As a kid I always preferred the full LP collections of all the stories that were parted out for 7" book & record sets, but sadly these recordings never came out in one fully compiled set (though the great "A Story of Dracula, The Wolfman and Frankenstein" kinda came close I guess). Check these out and tell me it's not a crying shame that they never made any Ghost Rider, Son of Satan, Simon Garth or Brother Voodoo records.

Click to Enlarge

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Power Records "Ghostly Sounds" (Power Records, 8145, 1974)

Here we have the second and more common issue of the Power Records "Ghostly Sounds" LP. Though the titles and back cover descriptions remain the same as the first pressing, the sequence of the tracks has been jumbled around from the original and the cuts themselves have been re-edited to varying degrees. In all cases the narration has been completely stripped out, and while some tracks have found their structure completely altered, there was probably some extra confusion thanks to the label for Side One showing the tracks in a different sequence from how they actually appear (I've fixed the errors in the MP3 tags). Oh, and the back cover, label art and catalog number are also different. Personally I liked the I'm-trying-to-be-spooky narrator guy from the first pressing, and I miss a lot of the cheesy drive-in movie sound elements too (like the "Blood Feast" drums that were dropped from "Walking Monster With Chains" and "The Vampire's Castle"), but I can see preferring either version really.

Okay! Now that you know the score, you can handily complete your collection of records named "Ghostly Sounds" by simply clicking on the (ahem) inaccurate label art here...

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Power Records "Ghostly Sounds: A Haunting Experience" (Power Records, S343, 1974)

A completely different "Ghostly Sounds" lp than my last post, this one comes from Power Records & was released in at least two versions with the tracks jumbled into somewhat altered sequences (this rip is off the first pressing w/ the less familiar "Raised Fist" Power Records logo).

Since the contents here are loose stories-in-sound, to get yourself in the proper mood please feel free to click the image below for the enlarged back cover descriptions as penned by one "A. Ghost".

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Ghostly Sounds (Gershon Kingsley & Peter Waldron) "Ghostly Sounds" (Peter Pan, 8125, 1975)

An all-time fave of many 1970's kids, this has gotten some extra attention in recent years now that folks have figured out that the Moogtastic Mr. Gershon Kingsley ("Popcorn", "The In Sound From Way Out", etc) was involved. It's justified though, and Side One will probably give you more than ample reason to be interested; Peter Waldron's simple but evocative narration conjures up a spooky Halloween vibe and the (largely non-library) sound effects merge perfectly with the electronic underscore. I know that the "Goblin Dance" section in particular both enthralled and creeped me out when I was little and even today if it went on for 20 solid minutes I doubt I'd grow bored. Side Two's single story ("The Ghosts from Outer Space") might seem a tad goofy to anyone past childhood, but even if you can't get into the plot the curious use of human voices for most of the sound effects (to simulate working, a guy actually says "work") nicely expose the avant garde influences that were at play on a lot of children's records in the late '60's & early '70's.

Note: This rip is different from the one I circulated last October, and is from a previously unplayed copy of the LP.

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The Surfsiders "Sing The Beach Boys Songbook" (Design/ Pickwick, DLP-208, 1965)

Easily one of the most noteworthy attempts at ripping-kids-off-by-replicating-a-popular-group's-songs, the Surfsiders 1965 LP seems to have finally gained a kind of celebrity status over the last decade. Essentially a collection of hit Beach Boys singles as performed by atonal studio hacks with maybe a day to crank this damn record out, this baby manages to turn the (you know; heartbreaking, gorgeously sculpted and layered, etc etc -- you've heard it all before) original B. Wilson arrangements into simplified off-key bar band bleats loaded with dimestore barbershop quartet harmonies, all lovingly topped off by some frighteningly enthusiastic playing. Probably besting even the lamest Beatles ripoff records for both style and substance, this gem can go toe to toe with "Pet Sounds" any day of the week for me. The more you love (or hate) the originals the better this ought to get, and this rip is from the cleanest copy of the LP (of the, *koff koff*, four) that I've owned over the years. Fun, fun, fun!

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HRB Music "Horror Sounds of Terror - Terror 61 Sounds of Horror" (HRB Music, HRB5000HS, 1979)

This 1979 cheapo collection of sound effects came bundled in the same sleeve as HRB's "Goofy Gold" novelty song LP (pretty great in its own right), and seems to have been assembled from a combination of pretty common sound libraries, other people's existing sound effects records(!) & a quick day spent in the studio just to pad things out to 61 cuts. Aside from the intro (used to good effect on the Satan's Pilgrims "Play Ghoulash for You" single) my favorite two tracks are probably the under-a-minute-and-a-half condensed versions of the Dracula & Frankenstein stories from "Famous Monsters Speak", but by saying this I certainly don't mean to take away from the charm of good ol' "Wolf Cry #2" or "Chimes with Echo". As seen on TV 27 years ago, these 61 Horror Sounds of Terror are now a mere click away!

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Troll Records "Thrillers And Chillers" (Troll, 50-003, 1973), "Weird Tales Of The Unknown" (Troll, 50-004, 1973)

Thanks to highly cool reader Steve, I'm posting the final two albums in the 1973 Troll Records spooky LP series. These are 128 rips & they sound a-ok to me (the only difference from what he posted in the comment section here & these files is that I fixed the MP3 tags, added LP art and merged one story which had been split into two), so I invite you all to please have at 'em. Thanks again Steve!

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Six Million Dollar Man "4 Exciting Christmas Adventures" (PR-8208, 1978)

No, really -- this was green lit and released ("I've got it! We'll have Steve Austin attempt to decode an alien message sent originally with the Star of Bethlehem!"). While all the stories are at least a little surreal, maybe the most noteworthy is "Elves' Revolt": unionized elves protest their working conditions under Santa Claus (they want a livable wage and better hours but he won't even talk terms 'til the Christmas rush is over), and as a result they end up falling in with a terrorist planning to melt the polar ice caps (the fact that in 2006 the Six Million Dollar Man voice actor sounds more like George W Bush than Lee Majors probably raises the weirdness factor here). Not my LP rip, but a fairly clean one with only a few slight skips.

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