Make horrid scars and gashes.


Server Downtime

Heya folks. Well it looks like the server that's been so capably hosting the Scar Stuff files was getting hit kinda hard (or at least there was something hinky that was creating a bottleneck of sorts -- initial research points to someone hotlinking the files & everything going haywire), so for right now all of the files are temporarily inaccessible. A solution & some clarification is forthcoming I'm sure, but the main thing is that archives are totally safe. Just sit tight & we'll see what we can see (probably sometime on friday morning).




The Folktellers (Connie Regan & Barbara Freeman) "Chillers" (Mama T Artists, MTA-2, 1983)

Recorded live on Halloween by cousins Barbara Freeman and Connie Regan (now Connie Regan-Blake), this 1983 LP (an American Library Association "Notable Record") has some genuinely creepy moments to it. Through both the live audience format and their folksy skill, both Connie & Barbara end up weaving a vividly intimate spell with these tales (which are both traditional and penned by other authors; Molly Garrett Bang, Lee Pennington, Julia Ruth Richardson, Jack Prelutsky), and there's ultimately a more mature feel here than I'd initially expected. At turns funny, gruesome and grim, the longer pieces (Connie's mostly) might be particularly well suited to fireplace or candlelight listens should you find yourself being aurally seduced.

Note: Connie Regan-Blake also has a more recent CD of frightening tales that's worth checking out, and it includes studio re-tellings of two of these stories.

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Halloween Sound Effects - Jane Gipps and Ralph Harding "Music And Effects Of A Terrifying Nature" (Total Records, TRC931,1982)

Apparently reissued in the mid '90's on a now OOP CD, this Canadian-born Halloween sound effects LP might be exaggerating things a bit when it comes to that "Music and Effects of a Terrifying Nature" subtitle. Things get started off near the right foot with tracks like "Two Headed Monster Devouring Raw Flesh" and "Growling, Snarling, Slobbering Monster In Chains, Maniacal Laughter", but after a brief torture tangent ("Sharpening The Pendulum Axe", "Tightening The Thumbscrew", etc) you'll find that side two is completely taken up with the rather dubious theme of "Hallowe'en in Space" (even their liner notes seem apologetic on this point, claiming that "Since Hallowe'en is very difficult to define, we found that we were carried away by the space and fantasy feeling that now exists as side 2..."). Now maybe it was thanks to the post-Star Wars world we were all living in, or perhaps the Halloween traditions in Vancouver are more varied than those with which I'm familiar, but whatever the genesis, the end result is that when the listener drops the needle down here in search of scares, they're treated instead to sonic concepts like "Plutonian Ice Caves", "Cosmic Lunacy", and that ol' Halloween fave "Honing the Light Sabre".

"This is an absolutely horrible record album that no collection should be without"... "equally useful for professionals and sound and home movie buffs alike". Well hey, fair enough!

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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.

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Kraft "A Spooky Sounding Halloween Story" (Kraft Flexi, 1978)

A three and a half minute Kraft promotional flexidisc from the late 1970's which throws together a round of safety tips ("Don't go into a stranger's home, wear a bright reflective costume so that you can be seen at night", all also printed on the back of the flexi and included in the zip file) under the guise of a short and somewhat non-linear haunted house story (the "secret of Halloween" is revealed in an old trunk? Huh?). Waiting until the very end to sneak their commercial message in, a vampire's voice finally reminds all the kids listening to "wait 'til you get home to try Halloween treats, and eat Kraft wrapped candies". Interestingly enough, it was around the time of this flexi's release that I stopped getting homemade popcorn balls, cookies & cupcakes on my neighborhood Halloween rounds as a kid (still thankfully "pre-Tylenol Scare" on the Grand Halloween Timeline though, now there was a bleak year for Trick-or-Treaters.)

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Vincent Price "Tales Of Witches, Ghosts, And Goblins" (Caedmon, TC1393, 1972)

I've saved my favorite Caedmon/ Price LP for last. I honestly couldn't tell you how many times I checked this out from the Lawrence, KS public library as a kid (for the record, I checked out a great many of the Halloween albums on this blog from that library in the 1970's, and can place a good deal of my infatuation with this medium of spooky entertainment squarely upon the shoulders of whoever did the buying for the children's "holiday" vinyl section there). Side one of this album in particular was fascinating to me, as it contained recipes and incantations instructing the listener on how both "To Become A Werewolf" and how "To Raise The Dead"; rather highly desirable abilities to my nascent brain. "The Smoker" also caught my fancy, and I've never forgotten the advice about touching every tree in a forest so as to throw hunting dogs off one's scent -- you know, should the need ever arise. Give this fine album a download and perhaps you'll pick up a tip or two here as well.

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Vincent Price "A Coven Of Witches' Tales" (Caedmon, TC1338, 1973)

Another fine Caedmon/ Price collaboration, this one focuses solely on stories (and incantations!) dealing with witches. To briefly quote the liners: "On this dangerous record, best listened to on a moonless night in a dark room with the hand of someone you trust close by to hold, you'll encounter witches of several sorts from several lands." Great stuff.

Oh, and a word about the sound quality here: my copy of this record is a fairly static-laden affair, so for side one I've opted to use an earlier rip in my collection that was encoded (by someone else) at a lower bit rate than what I usually try to share. In an effort to somewhat improve upon that rip however, I've separated the tracks out with the proper titles and included the album art in the tag files. For side two I used my LP copy as the source, as the files in the other rip were incorrectly labeled (they were actually from side two of the Caedmon/ Price "Graveyard of Ghost Tales" record shared earlier here), so please consider this fair warning for some of the pops & clicks which you'll surely encounter. quote the liners once more: "Caution: the stories and recipes in this package may be hazardous to the weak-minded! Use only as directed, and keep away from fire, an element fatal to witches."

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Vincent Price "Ligeia" (Caedmon, TC1483, 1977) "The Imp Of The Perverse" (Caedmon, TC1450, 1974)

..more sonorous storytelling from the Vincent Price/ Caedmon alliance, this time focusing on Edgar Allan Poe (with several of the tracks having recently been reissued on a comprehensive Poe CD, along with a great number of other excellent tales hypnotically recited by Mr. Basil Rathbone).

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Vincent Price "A Hornbook For Witches" (Caedmon, TC1497, 1976)

...and almost as if to magically reply to Bubblegumfink's request, here's the next volume in my Vincent Price Caedmon postings.

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Vincent Price "A Graveyard of Ghost Tales" (Caedmon, TC1429, 1973)

A number of requests for the classic Vincent Price Caedmon recordings have convinced me to begin posting them in dribs & drabs (I'd been kinda casually waiting out of respect for a few other folks who strike me as the real obsessives here). Anyway, the breakdown of this excellent series (and this excellent volume in particular) is well covered by the great site TheSoundOfVincentPrice, and a smattering of the stories (as well as many other fantastic readings from Caedmon's library) can be found scattered around on a few more modern CD collections; all of which I recommend for your late-night creepy-tale enjoyment.

And now on with the show...

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Milton DeLugg (The Vampires) "At The Monster Ball" (United Artists, UAL-3378, 1964)

This is some great 60's novelty R'n'B/ Surf Instro style music (the guitar tone on "The Four Monsters" sounds like Nokie Edwards!) with vocal snippets throughout each song centered around various classic monster themes (lots of Bela Lugosi & Peter Lorrie impersonations, natch). Every tune was composed by pop heavyweight Milton DeLugg (w/ aid from orchestrator George Brackman), and while they're technically more "advanced" compositions, are totally recommended for fans of the Frankie Stein & His Ghouls series. I'm also pretty sure this fellow has made the rounds on the ol' internet before so hopefully I'm not stepping on any toes here, this rip is from a cd-r so my sourcing info is limited.

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