Make horrid scars and gashes.


Dean Gitter "Ghost Ballads" (Riverside, RLP 12-636, 1957)

Perhaps most famous for his production work on Odetta's debut album "Sings Ballads And Blues" (a primary influence on a young Bob Dylan), Dean Gitter involved himself in the 1950's folk scene under a variety of guises. Producing records mostly for Riverside (though the jacket claims "various record companies" as his clients) and working his hand in folk publishing to boot, this looks to be his lone solo album. Luckily for us it's a cool collection of mostly traditional (and sometimes just trad sounding) folk numbers with supernatural themes that run the gamut from spookily evocative to playful, all housed under a perfect 1953 Charles Addams illustration. The music itself is composed of nothing more than Mr. Gitter's voice and his acoustic guitar, and along with the zipped song files I've included a large scan of the back cover liner notes, which (in the folk tradition) are extra informative about each song's history. Taken as a whole the package does a nice job of providing the backdrop not only for the tunes being sung & played, but also for the time (a half century ago!) that this LP was produced.

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MAD Magazine "It's A Super-Spectacular Day/ Mad Super Special Summer 1980" (MAD, 1979)

Yanked from the comments section, a totally cool anonymous reader has uploaded ALL EIGHT ENDINGS to the "MAD Mystery Sound" flexi "It's A Super-Spectacular Day"! Copywritten to 1979 but released with the 1980 Summer "Super Special", this marvel of engineering would play a random ending with every spin of your turntable thanks to the multiple grooves that it had allsmashedalongsideeachother. Like tons of other looney kids, when this came out I was obsessively driven to hear (and in my case, record) all eight endings, resulting in the song being lodged v-e-r-y d-i-s-t-i-n-c-t-l-y in my head, no doubt for life. Playing all 8 MP3s in a row can really only minimally replicate that experience (maybe if you do it about 70 times at random before you allow the final version to complete you'll get close), but I guess since time is so much more valuable these days than it was 26 years ago it's all for the best.

Thanks again to the reader who added the files!

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Various Ghouls "Spook Party" (Scar Stuff, 2000), Various Spooks "Ghoul-Arama" (Scar Stuff, 2001)

What we have here are rips of some discs that I made about 5-6 years ago and gave away as free Halloween presents. As I've mentioned in the comments section before, both were heavily based on an annual Halloween radio show I used to do, and though I'd kinda intended on making them a yearly event I've never fully fleshed out any real followups.

So why am I sharing a pair of homemade music comps? Well even though song-wise there's a bit of crossover with some of the other fine collections that have come along since then (& before), the main difference here is that in addition to programming a bunch of, you know, bitchin' Halloween tunes, I was also trying to create a spooky "seamless whole". What this means is that in addition to the music (for better or worse), I also stitched together a non-stop stream of effects, sound bites and audio samples that run over/ under/ alongside the songs, to kinda create my twisted ideal of an evocative "Halloween vibe" (vinyl pops & crackles included). Whether or not I succeeded is debatable, but I certainly did throw a lot of crap into the blender (and since sometimes there are at least 8 audio tracks playing at once it's probably safe to say that my audio sensibilities are as cluttered as my visual ones). Prior to this post it had actually been a while since I'd last listened to these, but in checking them out again I think that despite the occasional clunker, I managed a few really cool segues here and there. There's also some, *koff koff*, truly horrible audio quality on a few of the samples (plenty of this was sourced from crummy old VHS tapes & worse), but that just contributes to the intended low-budget feel, right? Oh and there's a LOT of wind & rain. A LOT.

Now believe it or not, over the years at least 3 or 4 other folks have actually duped these off themselves (heh, after changing the credits on my covers to make it look like they'd personally cooked 'em up) to sell on ebay and at horror cons. I guess they were successful (you don't want to know how much I saw some copies going for) but hopefully this post will get 'em back out there for free like they oughtta be. Hey, I've even included CD sized jpegs in the zip files so you can print out your own covers if you're so inclined. Happy Halloween, pal!


Various Ghouls "Spook Party" (192 kbps)

Various Spooks "Ghoul-Arama" (192 kbps)


Martha Wentworth "Terror Tales by the Old Sea Hag" (Liberty, LST 7025, 1959)

Martha Wentworth had a long and varied acting career 'til her death in 1974, and she created the character of the Old Sea Hag specifically for this album (along with writer Robert P. Hamilton). The liner notes tell the story like this:

"...the Old Sea Hag, Mariah Halkins, [comes] from a combination of two unrelated and different personalities. One, a person of unknown age and origin, was encountered by Miss Wentworth on the Island of Nantucket in Massachusetts many years ago, the other was drawn from a study of William Shakespeare's immortal comedies. Her dedication to the plays and poetry of the incomparable bard prompted her to transpose many of his characters into the simpler terms of modern drama. The Old Sea Hag has now become a composite of all the electrifying eccentrics the world over... an ancient woman of the sea whose beginnings are relegated to the frothy oceans of conjecture."

Falling somewhere between an old radio drama and a one-woman show, the six stories here are heavily loaded with sound effects and are pretty evocative if not always overly terrifying. From "Mariah Halkins's" dedication on the cover:

" 'TERROR TALES!' is dedicated to all who seek a new thrill in entertainment... (And a new thrill in stereo sound). It is for all hosts and hostesses who seek a different pleasure for their guests... (And for themselves). It is dedicated to all persons whose bedrooms are inhabited by friendly ghosts... (And who can't sleep at night anyway). It is dedicated to the entertainment of people -- (To all who savor a frightening story uniquely told). 'TERROR TALES!', friend, is dedicated to you!!!"

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Bowmar/ Lucille Wood, Marni Nixon & William Schallert "Halloween: A Book-Recording Set" (Bowmar, B587, 1960's)

Bowmar educational records stretch at least from the 1950's into the 1970's, and covered a variety of subjects. They seem to have released a few Halloween albums over their lifespan, and this particular one is from a series dedicated to each month of the year that was clearly geared towards fairly young kids. Behind the scenes composer & Bowmar alumni (perhaps you enjoyed her work on "Rhythm Time #2"?) Lucille Wood wrote the music & lyrics, and well-accomplished singer Marni Nixon provides the narration (supposedly William Schallert is in there too).

So that you can get a sense of the original intent for the album, I've included scans of some of the interior booklet in with the zip file. Here are some excerpts:

"The narration and the easy-to-sing melodies on the recording make immediate and independent participation possible. Create a warm friendly atmosphere of acceptance where each child knows that his ideas and interpretations will be respected. Encourage children to 'feel like' rather than 'look like' whatever they may be imitating or interpreting. Before the recording begins invite the children to sit in a 'Halloween circle'.

TIPTOE: How would you tiptoe into a scary, haunted house? Suggest that the children tiptoe out of the circle to any place in room.
GOBLINS SONG: Will you be a funny goblin or a scary goblin? If the children dance in a circle, indicate the direction of movement to avoid collisions.
HALLOWEEN GHOSTS SONG: Dance as lightly as ghosts float through the air." you can see the whole thing is mainly geared towards fostering a sense of interaction and activity (rather than spooks and scares), but for obsessives like myself it still oughtta do a good job of "setting the mood". Okay, see you all in the "Halloween circle"!

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D. Records "Halloween Sounds & Music for Your Parties, Trick or Treaters & School Festivals" (D. Records, SR8001, 1960's)

Here's a 1960's Halloween sound effects album that came out of Texas on D Records, one of the many great labels spun from "Pappy" Daily's Glad Music publishing company (though this particular record was produced by his son Don, or "Dlanod Yliad" as he's credited on the back cover). While it's a cool little time capsule on its own, Spook Show fans should take extra note here since it's the opening track, "Haunting Melody: Screams, Creaky Ghost Voices, Spooky Sounds", that's memorably being played behind the Kara-Kum ad spiel ("You'll see blood curdling sadistic surgery! Someone's head will be cut off with a butcher knife and thrown to the audience! Don't loose YOUR head! Do you believe that the out-of-space monster who died -- yet alive, will come to seek the warm blood that he needs to keep himself alive? Don't treat this lightly! How are YOU fixed for blood? The dead will return from graves! Ghosts and skeletons will fly above you, and some may sit by your side and plant cold damp kisses upon your cheek!") found on Something Weird Video's Monsters Crash the Pajama Party (Spook Show Spectacular) DVD. (and hey, while I'm plugging SWV, you wanna see some design work I did for them? Click here).

Lots of these stock spooky sounds will at least be somewhat familiar to you if you've done time with Halloween records (sometimes you can even hear the tape spool power up/ off as the reel is queued up or stopped), though the bonus here is that there's generally a lot less cross fading and layering which allows you to, you know, really focus on those goblins laughing. The album definitely has a lot of original touches too, mostly in the music. The closer "Ghost Parade March" is actually a creepy version of "Mac the Knife" (or something with almost the same chord changes -- help my poor brain out here while I make a pot of coffee), and though I'm guessing that the carnival melody heard at the end of "Ghost From Outer Space" is probably library, the haunting out of tune "Ghost Combo play Spook Music" must be an original number. So check it all out, and hey -- then feel free to pick up the The Complete 'D' Singles Collection from Bear Family to send my way.

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Eric Weber "Picking Up Girls Made Easy" (Symphony Press, 1975)

Records advertised in the pages of comics and magazines really seemed to be endowed with magical powers to me when I was young; order these things and you could learn hypnosis, master kung-fu, or conjure up a haunted house simply by dropping the needle down. Why the hell weren't these records sold in stores? Well for me one of the most provocative mail-order record ads ads ran regularly in the National Lampoons I had scored from my older brother, and it promised a lot:

Click to Expand.

Narrated by 1970's Pick-Up guru Eric Weber and based on his "best selling" books, I suppose I assumed that this record was going to be my secret weapon when it came to approaching my 5th grade classmates on the playground at recess. Just wait 'til I threw down one of those "attention-getting opening lines" -- how could I fail? I just had to figure out how to get the record into my hands without anyone else knowing. Well it took a few more years to accomplish that goal than I'd counted on, but hopefully my patience can translate to your gain. A mere 31 years after it was pressed I'm giving you the complete 40 minute album broken down into 8 handy scenes; from the library to the ballet you're really going to score now. Hey, I even included a copy of the full page ad as well as the front and back LP cover scans in the zip file. That's how badly I want you to succeed.

From the liners:

PICKING UP GIRLS MADE EASY will teach you a whole new system for picking up girls -- a system that is so complete and so absolutely foolproof you'll soon be picking up girls automaticallly!!! Absolutely everything is spelled out for you... Picking up girls can be as easy as opening a beer! And the more you listen to the album, the better you'll get. It's INCREDIBLE!"

And by the way, Mr Weber is still in print.

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Don Hinson And The Rigamorticians "Monster Dance Party" (Capitol, 5314,1964)

In the post Bobby Pickett "Monster Mash" sweepstakes there were more entries than most people remember (many of them surprisingly cool), and one of the more briefly successful was Vegas radio deejay Don Hinson's "Monster Dance Party" album. Like the Mash it was produced by Gary Paxton, and while the album's don't-fuck-with-the-formula goal is mostly to be a collection of dance numbers (titles include "Monster Jerk", "Do the Rigormortis", "Werewolf Watusi", etc), it's probably best remembered these days for the single "Riboflavin Flavored, Non Carbonated, Poly-Unsaturated Blood" which was aptly covered by ghoulish punkers (and ex-Consumers) 45 Grave in the early '80's. While "Riboflavin..." is a standout, there's still no shortage of other tasty songs on here (in fact though he's referenced by name in the lyrics on Hinson's version, Bobby Pickett even covered the Paxton penned "Monster Swim" himself and released it a little later in '64), and like many other novelty sessions in the Capitol vaults the whole record is probably long overdue for a reissue. That's right Sundazed records, I'm looking at you.

And where is Mr Hinson now? Well according to retired actor and musician Tom Nerdy, "Don is now in Branson, Missouri and he works occasionally as a stand up comic. He was a deejay in Los Angeles for more than 20 years". And so it would seem to be.

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Boris Karloff "An Evening With Boris Karloff And His Friends" (Decca, DL74833, 1967)

A cool merging of monster talent here; Forrest J. Ackerman writes a script that Boris Karloff reads with Verne Langdon & Milt Larsen producing! This LP is a collection of synopses for the classic Universal films that Karloff figured in so largely, and mixed in with his narration are sound bites and musical cues from Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Son of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, and The House of Frankenstein; all of which must've blown the collective minds of monster kids dwelling in the pre-video-on-demand days of 1967. Forrest J. Ackerman's script (famously written in one sitting) does a nice job of stitching together all the parts, and while the whole thing only lasts about 24 minutes it manages to give an appropriately grand sense of status to the initial Universal horror cycle that was then still setting the tone for most monster entertainment.

Now hopefully I just didn't go too overboard in designating the tracks on my rip -- I swear I was just trying to remain true to the banding on my LP!

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Butthole Surfers, Otto's Chemical Lounge, Frightwig "Live At The VFW#18 in KC, MO Oct 31, 1984"

Captured by my portable tape recorder in 1984 was one of my favorite Halloween nights to date: Frightwig out of San Francisco, Otto's Chemical Lounge from Minneapolis, and Austin Texas's own Butthole Surfers, right in the thick of their double drummer strobelight heyday (while Lawrence, KS champs the Mortal Micronotz are on one of the flyers shown below, sadly they didn't play).

There was already a weird vibe all evening with tons of cool costumes (my favorite being the guy who went as "Lou Reed in a Fishtank" -- he'd photocopied the cover of "Transformer" & built an aquarium-like apparatus around his head complete with dangling fish) and a sudden torrential rainstorm outside which effectively pinned the crowd inside all night. I didn't know Frightwig going in but they came up to me beforehand and fingered my mail-order KISS Army jacket (yeah, I was going as "a KISS fan" -- I swear this seemed a lot more novel 22 years ago) and once they started playing they easily won my 15 year old Flipper-fanatic heart. Next up Otto's Chemical Lounge pulled out a cover-heavy set full of Bluesy/ Bar-Bandish Acid Rock that went right over almost all of my (heavily Punk informed) cultural reference points at the time, and finally after some back and forth between the "Group Productions" promoters (Keith Patterson & Eric Schindling) and the local vice squad, the Butthole Surfers hit the stage. I didn't really know what to expect since only the "Brown Reason To Live" EP & the "PCPPEP" followup (which was almost all the same songs) had been released at this point, but I kinda doubt I would have been fully prepared no matter what. Gibby came out with 100 clothespins in his hair and rat-traps on his nipples while pushing a shopping cart full of paper and the megaphone he would later grab to sing the opener "Cherub" through. Teresa and King stood behind their drums with a constant strobe shooting up from below, and the rest of the band looked to me like they'd been living in a psychedelic garbage can or something. Just a crazy visual mess (by the end Gibby was nakedly twirling about as the rolls of toilet paper he'd covered himself in throughout the show had fully unraveled) that was equally matched by the music; though I'm not sure if you'll really be able to tell from this low-fi recording or not. Still these performances have never been shared (and I know how obsessive some of those Butthole Surfers fans get), so enjoy!

Boy, what a great night. I couldn't hear for the next 3 days.

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Click To Enlarge

Frightwig "Live At The VFW#18 in KC, MO Oct 31, 1984" (192 kbps)

Otto's Chemical Lounge "Live At The VFW#18 in KC, MO Oct 31, 1984" (192 kbps)

Butthole Surfers "Live At The VFW#18 in KC, MO Oct 31, 1984" (192 kbps)