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!

Link Removed


Blogger Cisne Negro said...

Happy Halloween, Jason, and congratulations for your excellent work in this blog from a reader from Spain. I have discovered some very nice stuff in your blog.

Regards from the Mediterranean Sea!

10/31/2006 9:58 AM

Blogger Dave said...

Thanks and Happy halloween Jason. I love Edward Gorey art. I first saw his stuff when he did the opening for PBS' Mystery. I'm like you as a kid, and even now for that matter, I used to stare at hallowen pictures and imagine being in them.

10/31/2006 12:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Halloween to you too Jason. Your blog has made it a much fun year this year, as I sit in my work cubical playing sound effects from your postings! : )


10/31/2006 12:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jason, also a Happy Halloween from Germany ! Thanks for giving so much cool stuff to us. You are incredible!! >>THANXXX<<

10/31/2006 3:05 PM

Blogger Alice Bag said...

Happy Halloween, Jason!! Hope yours was just grand. You provided much of the soundtrack to the passing out of candy (and just the plain ol' passing out) at my house this year.

10/31/2006 8:47 PM

Blogger Trenton said...

Thank you so much for all the excellent posts. I have really appreciated the work you put in and I share your love for a lot of this stuff! Enjoy your hiatus!

10/31/2006 9:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! Thank you for this simply AWESOME page! And that is an understatememt! It brought back a lot of memories! I sure hope you continue this. Thank you so much and have a Happy Halloween!

10/31/2006 11:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a note in case you are not looking at the older comments, Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark still has corrupy files :(

11/01/2006 8:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right... files 3 and 8 are bad. It's better than nothing though. :)

11/01/2006 11:58 PM

Blogger Dave said...

Hm. 3 and 8 work for me.


11/02/2006 12:04 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm this is odd... The first time I downloaded it, 2 files were bad. The second time, 4 files were bad. Now the 3rd time, 6 files are bad. I'll keep trying until maybe I get all of them. :) This is the only zip file I've had trouble with. What a great place! Thank you!

11/02/2006 2:45 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a FYI. No offence is intended. This is message I get for files 1, 3, 5, 6, 8 and 16...

"CRC failed in George S. Irving\Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark by Alvin Schwartz (Caedmon, TC1794, 1986)\01 Intro Side One.mp3. The file is corrupt"

11/02/2006 3:24 AM

Blogger Jason said...

I downloaded it & everything was fine, but clearly something's up for most people & I think I know the deal -- it's a file name issue. I encode on a Mac & the Mac OS allows for much longer file names as well as what Windows calls "special characters" (say, question marks or slashes or colons or the like). My home computer is screwy right now, but when I get to work today I'll try & rename the files to see if it works okay. Sorry!

11/02/2006 7:12 AM

Blogger zombie said...

Thanks for the great posts...the records brought back a lot of memories, but all the links to the zip files lead to "page cannot be found" as well as this post.

Hoping you are going to get them back up.

Keep up the great posts.

11/02/2006 9:41 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I stumbled across your site and cannot WAIT to dig through all this great stuff. A lot of this brings back a ton of great memories and I look forward to wading through the massive amount of work that you've done here.

Not sure if there is a FAQ somewhere about this, but all the ZIP files for the audio lead to "page cannot be found" pages. The artwork is stellar and I'll enjoy that for now, but would love to listen to some of these gems.

Keep up the great work!

11/02/2006 1:08 PM

Blogger Jason said...

Yeah, I believe that the audio files should indeed be back up soon -- sorry for the 404 stuff everyone.

Heh, for now I guess you'll all just have to simply enjoy my semi-coherant ramblings accompanying each entry w/o the benefit of double-checking my assertions w/ your own ears.

11/02/2006 2:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is one I found. Sorry if this has already been posted to the blog. It's D*sney Halloween Spooky N*ght In Haunted Mans*on. Enjoy!


Password is: s6n6a6k6e6

11/03/2006 12:18 AM

Blogger HarveyMidnight said...

Hey, Jason, did you know there's a font called 'Gorey font'?

Ooohh, the idea of 'tweaking' things, whether audio or image-- just adding a LITTLE twist or change gere & there... well, it just gets addictive.

So, of course, my first thought upon seeing this great image is, "As cool as it is, how much cooler would it be, if the poem was typed with the 'Gorey' font?"

Here ya go-- hope ya like.

11/04/2006 3:11 PM

Blogger Phillip said...

I love John Ciardi. I used to listen to his segments on All Things Considered, and I was sad when he died. Thanks!

11/12/2006 8:03 PM

Blogger Turk said...


thanks for all your effort!!

I gathered all :) ready for halloween then the hard drive gremlin visited..

Will you be reposting this amazing collection again?
Then my daughter can hear them for next halloween :))
She'll be 6 .. maybe a better age than 5?

Thanks again...

btw i know its way past H i just started researching for them elsewhere... (and became bored)

Happy eh Xmas :) (no need for santa records though hehe)

12/07/2006 7:01 AM

Anonymous pumpkinjoe said...

wow... just wow.... this blog blows me away ! i am, however, terribly saddened to see so many of the links removed ! is there any way for me to be able to download these gory gems ?!!!!! i beg you, good sir !!!! email me at

8/10/2009 4:29 PM


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