Ghost Stories "2 Complete Halloween Ghost Stories" (Ball Records, CAM1313, 1963)
Representing a real throwback to glorious hucksterism, there are at least two records in this cut-rate series from Ball which combined inept storytelling on the vinyl and cheap novelty toy giveaways on the packaging. This volume featured a Free! Magic WITCHES WAND that GLOWS in the DARK attached to the front, and a slew of liner notes on the back which the content of the grooves could never live up to:
"A HALLOWE'EN HIT that puts life into your party. This 12 inch, long playing, 'SPOOKTACULAR' album gives you a 'haunting' 44 minutes of scary, spooky, Hallowe'en Stories. Mysterious things happen when a Hallowe'en party scavenger hunt ends up inside 'THE EMPTY HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL'. Even more spine tingling is the dramatization of the most famous monster story of them all 'FRANKENSTEIN'. In addition to these two exciting stories, you get a sensational series of frightening, spine-chilling sounds: weird groans, moaning winds, clanking chains, creaking stairs, were-wolf howl. . . all kinds of spooky sounds for special effects and party fun. This high fidelity album provides fun and entertainment for all ages the whole year 'round. At Hallowe'en time or at any time of the year, guests can, for example, participate in ghost-story telling using pre-selected ghostly sounds to make their story more effective. Party contests can be built around the telling of the best spooky story based on the two stories dramatized in this album. Variations of party fun from this album are endless and entertaining. Buy it now, and enjoy it all year around."
Naturally then, what you actually get is one of the most hilariously inept intros I've ever heard (they manage to tie in the "magic witches wand" though, which I thought was impressive), a poorly acted "Scooby Doo" type haunted house story with the voice actors regularly stumbling over their lines, and a barely audible transcription of a "Frankenstein" radio dramatization that must date back at least 20 years before this record was pressed.
So: cheapo crap designed to quickly rake in as much money from the kiddie market as possible? Yes! With a little dime-store "home-made feel" sprinkled on top to boot! Personally speaking, I could probably spend an hour or two just listening to "intro guy" as he tries to be menacing (as long as he has his pal make a "were-wolf howl" in the background now and then that is). Just great.