Halloween Horrors


by Tony Maygarden

Famous Monsters Speak LP cover

Famous Monsters Speak!

Fans of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine are probably familiar with this LP. It was a tie-in with the magazine, and there are cover shots of two issues on the back of the LP cover. Also on the back are movie stills from Boris Karloff''s Frankenstein and Bela Lugosi's Dracula. However, this LP does not feature FM editor Forrest Ackerman, and neither does it feature the voices of Karloff or Lugosi, or any sound clips from any film. Rather, the LP consists of two radio style audio dramas, Frankenstein's Monster Speaks, and Dracula Returns. The first uses the odd conceit of playing"found" audio recordings of the monster's thoughts. The latter is the story of a person discovering the Count's crypt. Both are a little talky and slow going. Nicely recorded with good use of sound effects. Written by Cherney Berg, with the voices of Gabriel Dell (he does a good Lugosi style Dracula), sound effects by Hal Johnson. Released in 1963.


Inner Sanctum LP cover

Inner Sanctum, "The Vengeful Corpse"

"Bromo Seltzer invites you through the creaking door..." So begins the broadcast of "The Vengeful Corpse." "Come in, I'd like you to meet some new guests we just dug up" continues the narrator. "The Vengeful Corpse" is a typical radio thriller of its era. The show is interrupted midway for more Bromo Seltzer commercials. The second side features an episode of The Hermit's Cave, "Hanson's Ghost."


Tom O,Neil Strange Truths  LP cover

Strange Truths, Tom O'Neil

Eighteen supposedly true vignettes about supernatural and ghostly occurrences, told in a straightforward, reportorial style by Tom O'Neil. Stock background music and sound effects accompany most of them. The stories range from the mundane to the pretty weird. "The Hove Mansion," about ghost hunters, has lots of good haunted house sound effects.

No attempt is made to explain any of those seemingly inexplicable happenings. Released on Petal Records, which has a Southern Pines, NC address.


Strange Truths, Tom O'Neil

Despite the same title, this album by O'Neil features twelve different vignettes of supposedly true supernatural occurrences. Similar to the other album, stock music and sound effects are used, as well as some additional voices. O'Neil's own voice, with odd pronunciation and timing, adds to the overall weirdness.

A notarized statement on the back cover attests that the material has been "certified" for "truth and accuracy, in so far as it is possible for humans to judge the Supernatural." Also released on Petal Records, this one dated 1964.


Sounds of Terror! LP cover

Sounds of Terror!

The version of "The Monster Mash" that opens this record is not the original but a completely lame remake. What follows are 19 little horror vignettes. Though short they're pretty effective. Good vocal talent, loads of well-recorded sound effects. Produced by Wade Denning and written by Frank Daniel. Great if you have a short attention span.


Halloween at Home LP cover

Halloween at Home

Same material as Sounds of Terror! in a rearranged track order, with the wretched "Monster Mash" cover at the end of side two.