Make horrid scars and gashes.


John Ciardi "What Night Would It Be?"

Back when I was about 4 or 5 my parents introduced me to a really cool series of books written by John Ciardi and illustrated by Edward Gorey. They were just spilling over with imaginative stories and poems, and I would stare at the fantastic art for hours either while reading them or begging to hear them read. While many of the pieces were enjoyably creepy and otherworldly, a particular favorite of mine was entitled "What Night Would it Be?", which dealt directly with (surprise!) Halloween. Man, I could run that one over in my head forever.

Well as a short treat (since the great day is now upon us), here's a recording of Ciardi reading that very poem with his young son John. It comes excerpted from the album version of "You Read to Me, I'll Read to You" which was released by Spoken Arts back in 1962, and to complete the experience the perfectly creepy Edward Gorey art is bundled up with the zip file in a variety of sizes.

Happy Halloween everyone!

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Prologue to Siesta Redux

Well hello there everyone. Nice to see you, nice to see you. So since it's looking as though I'm probably not gonna have the time to adequately post much more before Halloween hits, this is probably as good a moment as any to thank everyone for all their amazing support & interest over the duration of this blog (the astoundingly cool & impressively rapid unearthing of an educational film I acted in back when I was 7 years old is only the most recent example of the great folks that are out there). I'll probably be pausing for a bit here as well but don't worry too much about the hiatus -- I'm not closing up shop or anything. I'll just be taking a short break in order to wrap up a few other things before I get back into the swing of it here.

I also figure that when I return I'll probably concentrate at least a little more on some of my other aural interests for a spell, if only to try & get some balance in place after my mad dash towards Halloween 2006 (okay, okay -- maybe it wasn't really a "mad dash", but you know what I mean). I've still got more creepy sounds to share though, and I sincerely hope that I've rekindled some old memories here as well as helped to provide fodder for new ones. Seeing this stuff pop up in various mixes and comps over the last few months has been amazingly cool (like right offa my turntable & into the spooky gestalt or something), as has the proliferation of all the other great blogs trading in a similar currency. There are a lot of dedicated people out there who are sharing half-forgotten and oddball stuff like there's no tomorrow, and it warms me to the depths of my little baboon heart. I love the internet.

Okay! If I get a spare moment or two in the next couple days I'll throw at least a few more things up but if not, I hope you enjoy spending time with what's already here. See ya real soon, and Happy Halloween!

(original pic swiped from the Halloween Make Up Kits page off of the endlessly excellent Tick Tock Toys archive)


A Request: "Halloween Safety" (Centron/ Coronet Films, 1977)

So far my film career has been pretty limited; in 1977 I was in an educational short called "Halloween Safety" made by Centron/ Coronet films (here's a still, though this isn't me):

and then 23 years later I was in a feature length porn film called "A Return to Boobsville" (more on this someday, but for now you can just click here if you wanna see a screen grab. It probably falls somewhere between kinda safe & kinda not safe for work, but don't worry; I kept my clothes on the whole time).

Now while these two appearances share a few similarities (I'd suggest that both try to inform and entertain the viewer for example), the main difference as I see it is that I can easily watch "A Return to Boobsville" all day and night on a variety of formats, but "Halloween Safety" vanished from me the day it was made and remains lost in my own mental limbo. I thought I'd catch a break when I was still living in Kansas and Centron threw out tons of their old film around 1992, but a friend of mine salvaged much of it from the dumpster behind their offices and nothing turned up. When "Carnival of Souls" came out in a hotshit double-disc Criterion Collection edition I hoped that, among the other Centron educationals, "Halloween Safety" might appear (there's a spooky thematic bridge there, right?), but no dice. Hey I even asked Something Weird Video to poke around when I was designing box covers for them, but they didn't find a thing.

These days I can barely remember anything about the experience, but here's what remains: in 1976 I was asked to be in the film by a scout who visited my grade school and picked me out of my 2nd grade class's outfit parade. My costume was a homemade Creature From The Black Lagoon getup with a thin rubber mask ordered out of a comic book for the head, and my previous year's Sears-bought "Planet of the Apes" suit turned inside out, dyed green and accented with darker green hanging cheesecloth (which was supposed to resemble seaweed) for the body. I'm pretty sure my screen time is totally minimal and all I really recall is that I told a "Halloween joke" in a party scene, I was scolded for being too rambunctious at one point, and I marched around a bit with the other kids -- that's pretty much it.

So by now I'm sure it's rather obvious that I, you know, need to see this again, right? Well I'm hoping that through the magic of the internet, I can finally close in. From what I can sleuth out through Google it seems that a number of schools claim the title in their collections, and for a while a company called "Magic Lantern" even stuck up a short clip (that's where the picture for this post came from) culled from the 1985 "Second Edition". To be honest I don't really know if the '85 release is a re-editing of the '77 version or if it's 100% unique, but seeing that clip was the closest I've gotten to this thing in years. My question now is: can anyone out there help? Perhaps some obsessive educational film collector or someone with access to a school film library? Anyone? C'mon now! Just hit me up!

Heh. Man, I sure hope that after all these years it turns out I'm actually IN this thing.

Woolworth & Woolco Halloween TV Commercial (1976)

...yanked from the comments because it's just too cool, here's a vintage Woolworths/ Woolco Halloween TV ad from 1976 that features the "Sounds to Make You Shiver" LP!

Thanks for spotting it Lochnar13, and thanks to Super 8 for uploading it in the first place; you both rule!

George S. Irving "Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark by Alvin Schwartz" (Caedmon, TC1794, 1986)

I could probably do with a cleaner copy of this record, but since it contains some great stories I decided to post it in time for Halloween rather than seek out an upgrade (and if one comes along I'll just swap out the zip file).

UPDATE: The ass-kickingly generous Dr. Terror was gracious enough to upload a totally great sounding rip in the comments section here, so I've separated out the tracks, re-tagged it & uploaded it w/ album art over the original zip. If you downloaded the earlier version (sourced from my static-laden LP) I think you'll find this new version to be a drastic improvement. Thanks again Dr. Terror!

UPDATE II: Some folks were having trouble extracting a few of the files, so hopefully the third time's the charm here

Sourced from folklore scholar Alvin Schwartz's 1981 collection of the same name, "Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark" features a familiar batch of concepts at work (opener "The Big Toe" is even mentioned in the liner notes as "having almost as many variants as storytellers"), but Irving is clearly having fun with the material and the addition of background music makes the LP almost seem more like an early '70's Troll record (click here and here for examples) than many of Caedmon's other offerings. Still it IS clearly Caedmon -- the literary angle is high, and the mix of jokey quick sketches and creepier bits work well together in conjuring up the intended sleep over/ campfire/ dark room vibe, making the album well suited for kids who like a few hackles.

"So put on the recording, sit back with a friend (or alone, if you dare), and let your flesh crawl. AND TURN OUT THOSE LIGHTS!"

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Eddie And The Monsters "Whatever Happened To Eddie?" (Rocshire Records, XR95041, 1983)

The mighty Butch Patrick's band! Direct instigators for the Mtv "Basement Tapes" series (which as a wee lad introduced me to the greatness of Lubbock, TX's New Wave finest, the Nelsons, but that's another story)! Creators of this great novelty Wave-O tune beloved by many a Dr. Demento listener! Fronted by the coolest kid in Munster-land (not to mention Lidsville)! Pointlessly tied up in rights-issue nonsense & shockingly nowhere to be found! He's the kid from Mockingbird Lane!

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The Haunted House Company "Halloween Party Planner Flexi" (Haunted House Company, 81081, 1981)

In the tradition of the Spearhead Marketing "Halloween Party Instructions & Story" single that I posted some time ago, comes this form and function flexi designed to be used in combination with your own live-action Halloween party. I doubt I could describe it any better than supercool sexploitation expert Terry Thome (who was kind enough to send it to me) did in his email, so let me just quote him here:

"The set had everything needed to throw a Halloween party. Part one of the record is called "NEEWOLLAH, The Witch Story" where "Neewollah the Witch" tells her story of how she became a witch. Part two (on the same side) is the "HAUNTED HOUSE TOUR"; the idea here is the host sets up a room in advance with fabric hanging from the ceiling (cobwebs) and peeled grapes in a bowl (eyeballs) and such. Then, during the party, kids are blindfolded and led through the room while the record plays and they feel the grapes and are basically hit with objects to simulate a haunted house. I never went through with the party, but I played the record enough. Actually, I'm surprised the record plays as well as it does considering it hasn't been treated with the best of dignity through the years."

...and that about sums it up. In fact the only thing he really left out is that it's a sure bet "Neewollah"'s voice is going to drive you to tear all of your hair out by the end, and that's probably just perfect.

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The Creed Taylor Orchestra/ Kenyon Hopkins "Shock" (1958), "Panic" (1959), "Nightmare!!" (1962)

From well known film composer Kenyon Hopkins came these 3 cool albums of stories-in-sound, released in 1958, 1959 & 1962 respectively. Well described by Tony Maygarden as "lots of spooky sound effects over tone poems with a jazz beat", the first two were recorded for ABC (while Hopkins was semi-moonlighting from Capitol under the "Creed Taylor Orchestra" moniker), and the third was released by MGM under his own name. Over the course of the three albums Hopkins mostly depicts the short tales utilizing his compositional skills, throwing in extra layers of library effects and the occasional voice-over to fully paint the picture. The end result, somewhat in the "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" tradition of the day, is both creepy & classy. Hey! Just like you!

"If you were expecting a little dinner music, perhaps you've come to the wrong place. Then, again, when was the last time you had us over?

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...and just to round things out, here's a pair of Famous Monsters ads:


Ugo Toppo "Tales of Horror and Suspense by Ambrose Bierce" (CMS, 513, 1969)

The Famous Monsters ad...

...and the horrifying tales from the past:

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Forrest J. Ackerman and Frank Coe "Music For Robots" (Science Fiction Records, MFR-1001A, 1964)

The Famous Monsters ad...

...and the amazing sounds of the future:

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Horrific Child "L'Étrange Monsieur Whinster" (Eurodisc, 913063, 1976)

This rare French Horror-Psych-Prog LP largely made the audio rounds about a year ago thanks to it's inclusion on the Nurse With Wound list; and assuming you're the kind of person who thinks they might enjoy a little French Horror-Psych-Prog in your life now & then, it's well worth the half an hour you'll need to invest in digesting it.

The work of Jean-Pierre Massiera (a guy behind an awful lot of interesting/ experimental audio), it can been seen as a pretty logical progression from the fantastic & spooky-themed Les Maledictus Sound project which he also helmed (and in fact was similar enough in vibe that the "Les Maledictus Sound" CD re-release even contains a "Horrific Child" excerpt). Weaving Krautrock-esque prog around a spacy horror-soundtrack atmosphere (complete with sound effects lifted from a variety of sources you'll probably recognize), it's a really hypnotizing and singular listen -- and the guy who gave me this file even included a few giant scans of the front & back cover along with the audio. Très bien!

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Mort Garson "Black Mass/ Lucifer" (UNI, 73111, 1971)

A great proto-prog (okay, okay -- I'm really just making terms up now) Moog album from 1971 that's been fairly well documented elsewhere on the web, this was the brainchild of Mr. Mort Garson, working under the conceptual name of "Lucifer". While I know it's mostly just hard to imagine a major label running with something this "out there" today (making it an excellent companion to Louise Huebner's "Seduction Through Witchcraft" LP from 1969), the real surprise for a lot of the folks I've played it for is the compositional tightness of the songs, and how enjoyably it all works as a whole. Not just a cultural artifact from the early 70's, it's got some genuine creepiness to it as well that could easily be seen as pre-figuring a lot of the sounds Goblin would employ only a few years later.

Note: As a bonus for folks who may already have this in their collection I've also included scans of the complete liner notes in with the zip file. Written by Michael Owen Jones Ph.D. (still a professor of History and Folklore at UCLA), they never seem to make the rounds when this record is shared, which is a shame as they're almost half the fun.

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The Spooky So Far.

Heya chums! To aid in your downloading as we get closer to Halloween, here's a clickable visual roundup of the spooky sounds posted so far on Scar Stuff. Collect 'em all!

Various Ghouls "Spook Party" (Scar Stuff, 2000)
Various Spooks "Ghoul-Arama" (Scar Stuff, 2001)
Wade Denning & Kay Lande "Halloween: Games, Songs and Stories" (Golden Records, LP-242, 1969)
Sounds of Terror! (Pickwick SPC-5104, 1974)
Wade Denning "Famous Ghost Stories With Scary Sounds" (Pickwick, SPC-5146, 1975)
Milton DeLugg (The Vampires) "At The Monster Ball" (United Artists, UAL-3378, 1964)
Bob McFadden And Dor "Songs Our Mummy Taught Us" (BL 754056, 1959)
Don Hinson And The Rigamorticians "Monster Dance Party" (Capitol, 5314,1964)
Frankie Stein And His Ghouls - introducing frankie stein
Frankie Stein And His Ghouls - shock! Terror! Fear!
Frankie Stein And His Ghouls - ghoul music
Frankie Stein And His Ghouls - monster melodies
Frankie Stein And His Ghouls - monster sounds
Famous Monsters "Famous Monsters Speak!" (Wonderland/ AA Records, AR-3, 1963)
Boris Karloff "An Evening With Boris Karloff And His Friends" (Decca, DL74833, 1967)
Ghost Stories "2 Complete Halloween Ghost Stories" (Ball Records, CAM1313, 1963)
Peanuts "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" (Charlie Brown Records, 2604, 1978)
Peter Pan Records "Fangface - 4 Exciting New Complete Stories" (Peter Pan, 1107, 1979)
Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids "Halloween" (Kid Stuff, 1980)
The Folktellers (Connie Regan & Barbara Freeman) "Chillers" (Mama T Artists, MTA-2, 1983)
Children Of The Night "Dinner With Drac!" (Pickwick, PIP-6822, 1976)
William Castle "Ghost Story: Thrilling, Chilling Sounds of Fright & the Supernatural" (Peter Pan, 8114, 1972)
D. Records "Halloween Sounds & Music for Your Parties, Trick or Treaters & School Festivals" (D. Records, SR8001, 1960's)
Bowmar/ Lucille Wood, Marni Nixon & William Schallert "Halloween: A Book-Recording Set" (Bowmar, B587, 1960's)
Scholastic Records "Georgie" (1968)
Scholastic Records "Georgie And The Noisy Ghost" (1980)
BBC Records - Mike Harding "Sound Effects Vol 13: Death And Horror" (1977)
BBC Records - Mike Harding "Sound Effects Vol 21: More Death And Horror" (1978)
Lionel Barrymore "Hallowe'en: A Musical Fantasy" (MGM, 10-A, 78 RPM, 1947)
Ghostly Sounds (Gershon Kingsley & Peter Waldron) "Ghostly Sounds" (Peter Pan, 8125, 1975)
Power Records "Ghostly Sounds: A Haunting Experience" (Power Records, S343, 1974)
Power Records "Ghostly Sounds" (Power Records, 8145, 1974)
Power Records "The Monster Series" (1974)
Power Records "A Story Of Dracula, The Wolfman And Frankenstein" (BR-508, 1975)
Kraft "A Spooky Sounding Halloween Story" (Kraft Flexi, 1978)
Carol Darr and Mark Masuoka - Spearhead Marketing "Halloween Party Instructions & Story" (Spearhead, SM-8267510, 1975)
Louise Huebner "Seduction Through Witchcraft" (Warner Bros.-Seven Arts, WS-1819, 1969)
Haunted House Music Company "Haunted House" (1985)
Haunted House Music Company "Night In a Graveyard" (1985)
Haunted House Music Company "The Ride of the Headless Horseman" (1985)
Alfred Hitchcock "Ghost Stories For Young People" (Golden, LP-89, 1960)
Alfred Hitchcock "Music To Be Murdered By" (Imperial, LP-9052, 1958)
HRB Music "Horror Sounds of Terror - Terror 61 Sounds of Horror" (HRB Music, HRB5000HS, 1979)
Halloween Sound Effects - Jane Gipps and Ralph Harding "Music And Effects Of A Terrifying Nature" (Total Records, TRC931,1982)
MP-TV "Spook Stuff For Hallowe'en"
Johnson Smith Novelty Company "Horror Record" (Johnson Smith Co, 32071, 1973)
Nelson Olmsted "Sleep No More! Famous Ghost and Horror Stories" (Vanguard, 9008, 1956)
Nelson Olmsted "Edgar Allan Poe: Tales of Terror" (Vanguard, 1956)
Casper The Friendly Ghost "Haunted House Tales" (Peter Pan, 8131, 1975)
Casper The Friendly Ghost "Casper And The Demon Of Darkness - Book & Recording" (Peter Pan, 1976)
Harvey Records/ The Comix "Harvey Singles" (HR-1001, HR-1002, HR-1003, HR-1004, 1972)
Count Chocula, Frankenberry & Boo Berry "Cereal Flexis" (General Mills, 1979)
Martha Wentworth "Terror Tales by the Old Sea Hag" (Liberty, LST 7025, 1959)
Dean Gitter "Ghost Ballads" (Riverside, RLP 12-636, 1957)
Columbia Playtime Records "Spooky Music For Spooky Occasions" (Playtime, 412, 1950)
The Munsters "The Munsters" (Decca DL 4588, 1964)
Sounds To Make You Shiver! "Sounds To Make You Shiver! Bloodcurdling! Terror! Horror!" (Pickwick, SPC-5101, 1974)
Sounds Records "Hallowe'en Spooky Sounds" (Sounds EP 501, 1962)
Sounds Records "Spooky Sounds" (Sounds 1205, 1962)
Sounds Records "Music for Monsters" (Sounds EP 503, 1962)
Erica Frost "I Can Read About Ghosts" (Troll Records, ICR1, 1977)
Wende and Harry Devlin "Old Witch Rescues Halloween" (Reader's Digest Services, 090, 1974)
Scholastic Records "The Haunted House..." (1970)
Scholastic Records "The Teeny Tiny Woman" (1968)
Voodoo Drums "Voodoo Drums In Hi-Fi" (Atlantic, 1296, 1958)
Al Zanino "The Vampire Speaks/ In The Vampire's Lair" (Al-Stan, Al-Stan 666, 1957/1997)
The Wonderland Singers And Accompaniment "Spooky Halloween" (Wonderland Records, LP-293, 1974)
Kid Stuff Repertory Company "Mostly Ghostly" (Kid Stuff, KS032, 1977)
Troll Records "Scary Spooky Stories" (Troll, 50-001, 1973)
Troll Records "Thrillers And Chillers" (Troll, 50-003, 1973)
Troll Records "Weird Tales Of The Unknown" (Troll, 50-004, 1973)
Troll Records "Great Ghost Stories (Troll, 50-002, 1973)
Boris Karloff "Tales of the Frightened Volume 1" (Mercury, MG 20815, 1963)
Boris Karloff "Tales of the Frightened Volume 2" (Mercury, MG 20816, 1963)
Richard Taylor: Nightmare (Major Records M-36, 1962)
Richard Taylor: Terror (Major Records M-38, 1962)
Vincent Price "Tales Of Witches, Ghosts, And Goblins" (Caedmon, TC1393, 1972)
Vincent Price "A Coven Of Witches' Tales" (Caedmon, TC1338, 1973)
Vincent Price "The Imp Of The Perverse" (Caedmon, TC1450, 1974)
Vincent Price "Ligeia" (Caedmon, TC1483, 1977)
Vincent Price "A Graveyard of Ghost Tales" (Caedmon, TC1429, 1973)
Vincent Price "A Hornbook For Witches" (Caedmon, TC1497, 1976)
Oscar Brand And His Young Friends "Trick or Treat: Hallowe'en Celebrated in Story & Song" (Caedmon, TC1624, 1979)
William Conrad "Spirits and Spooks For Hallowe'en Summoned Up by William Conrad" (Caedmon, TC1344, 1973)
Mike Warnke "A Christian Perspective On Halloween" (1979)

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