Monday, October 20, 2008

Winchell's Donuts....

This one's been shared several times; at least once at the Mostly Ghostly Music Sharing Blaaaaaghhhh: the Winchell's Donut House Halloween Record.

I owned a copy of this record in 1976, when I was a kid-- though I haven't seen it literally in decades. It's cute... creepy enough to stir the Halloween gland, with a mild bit of safety advice for the kiddies before going out trick-or-treating.

This is one of those things that make me wonder what's happened to the Holiday I loved as a kid. I mean, nearly everybody was on the same page in those days.. here's a recent story for a California location of Winchell's, planning to set aside Halloween to give out treats to the kids-- only in MY day... the idea of a store planning to give out treats on Halloween wasn't considered news, it was a typical holiday occurrence!! Kudos to Winchell's for keeping up the tradition!!

Sadly... there isn't even a Winchell's Donut House within 3 states of me these days, so I cannot show my suppport by bringin' the kids by on OcT 31-- but I'll be there in spirit! I'll do something donut-related... maybe I'll go to a Krispy Kreme!

But I Digress....

This cute little record has some great features, as Halloween records go: Humor, a well-executed spooky story, and great spine-chilling sound effects.... The effects, in fact, are good enough to stand alone as isolated sfx-tracks. So, I pulled out the ol' audio editor, and chopped it to bits.


1. The full album
2. The scary story, isolated
3. The sound-effects sequence
"It looks like a pumpkin pie... with clothes on"
5. A deep ghost moan (yeah, yeah, same one from my 'essential scary sounds' entry. I know)
6. "Watch out for ghosts." (see above)
7. Pumpkin laugh turns to Witch Laugh
8. Bats
9. Witch laugh, isolated

10. Owl
11. Wind

All are taken from the original album, just edited & isolated for easy use...
Click Here for the Winchell's Donut House Halloween Record

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Count Morbida's Chamber of Horrors

Head on over right now to the Wonderful Wonderblog, and you'll get to see scans of a magazine put out by 'Dynamite' in the 1970's: "Count Morbida's Monster Quiz Book"

Count Morbida was apparently a vampire character who would have quizzes & brain-teases in the pages of a squeaky-clean teen-themed magazine called "Dynamite".. I remember reading several issues at the school library & at an Aunt's house, but I don;t think I ever had my own subscription.


Many Thanks to WFMU's "365 Days Project" for sharing this a number of years ago: Turns out, the magazine put out one of those little plastic records that you coudl pull out from the pages.. or maybe you had to send in for it, who knows. Whatever... this is a cute little mp3 -- audio of ol' Count Morbida leading the listener on a tour of his Chamber of Horrors.

Click Here for Count Morbida's Chamber Of Horrors.

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Now What?

I'll try to post a few more things here & there... but I am by & large out of any meaty, quality Halloween stuff I can share.


I kinda hopped into the countdown on a whim... Even so, I do think some of my posts will help enhance folks' Halloween experience this year.

This one, in particular.

I grew up in the 1970's.. so my ears are geared to the sound effects that ended up in movies, specials on tv, on the radio, and on loads of old Halloween records. There are certain sounds I immediately recognize & love, that put me immediately into a fun-lovin', retro Halloween mood.

Here are a bunch of them:

1. The "Barking Wolf" howl
2. "Castle Thunder"
3. Deep Ghost Moan
4. The 'Dinner With Drac' stalking monster intro
5. The 'Dragging Chain Limp'
-a la Monster Mash or 'Sounds to Make You Shiver'
6. Ghostly Wailing Theremin(
7. Witch's Laugh
-from the Winchell's Donut Halloween record
8. Monster Growls -
a la Sounds To Make You Shiver
9. The 'Lady Wilhelm'

-- This is a female voice screaming that I hear all the time in ads...almost as often as the 'Wilhelm' scream-- thus, I believe they are inextricably linked: 'Husband & wife', if you will.
10. The 'Triple Threat' scream--
yet another scream that seems to be used a lot on that old Halloween Vinyl!
11. "Watch Out For Ghosts" -
Winchell's scary donuts again...
12. "Whistling Wind"

13. The Wilhelm Scream..
one of the most famous, most used sound effects in modern movie history

Seriously... the Wilhelm Scream is used in loads of films. But I Digress....

Anyway, I love all these sound effects, and I hope they exist forever:

Click here for Essential Halloween Sound Effects.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

You Unlock This Door, BABY...

I had intended to do more exotica-style Halloween tunes this year; ran out of time, tho, before I could do more than just the one new tune. Most of my previous ones are still available; click below:

The Exotic Dark Shadows
Madame Leota's Temptation
Grim Grinning Ghostly Voodoo Dreams, Baxter Style
Grim Grinning Ghostly Voodoo Dreams, Denny Style
The Exotic Haunted Mansion

And, of course... this year's entry:

Click here for 'The Exotic Twilight Zone'

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

No Turning Back!

Quick post for the weekend..

House of 1,000 Corpses was a decent horror film-- gets a little criticism, tho.... You have to kind of approach it like a B-movie, and embrace some of the cheezy fun of it, along with the creepiness.

Click here for the audio of the 'Murder ride' sequence.

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Theremin

The Theremin remains the ultimate in freaky, kooky instruments of all time! Nothing can imitate the spooky, spacey, bizarrely unusual, Halloween-esque voice of the theremin, one of the first electronic instruments ever made... using transistors & antennae it literally converts movement into sound, requiring its player to stand dead still & move only the hands ever so slightly to 'bend' the eerie notes...

When it first was invented, there were attempts to make it a marketable instrument for home use-- including songbooks and a release of albums like 'Music Out Of The Moon' and 'Perfume Set To Music' -- 'easy listening' style music composed by Les Baxter & Ray Anthony, which featured the theremin playing of Samuel J Hoffman, a world-famous Theremin virtuoso.

Check Amazon for the cd 'Waves in the Ether', the re-release of this early theremin music.

Two schools of thought on the Theremin.. that it can be beautiful & classical, such as the music of Clara Rockmore, or that it can be creepy & menacing, such as the groundbreaking soundtrack to the Day The Earth Stood Still-- both of which can still be purchased, see the links to buy them at Amazon.

I love the sound of the theremin.. but, as its not ever likely that I'll ever afford one, or have the time to learn to play one, I've had to fake it.

There's a freeware VSTi plug-in, for you music software users, that simulates some of the creepier elements of the theremin, called the 'Spook Keys' (click to download) -- as well as a lost program from the BBC, a desktop theremin that you play with your mouse-- click here for what is probably the LAST place to get it online!

Here now are a few tunes played on a real theremin, which were given away free from this site:

There are lots of songs of different styles there... I suggest you visit this cool site, and peruse their library yourself. For the Countdown, I pulled out just the ones that seemed to be the best Halloween-style tracks & put them together into a Zip file:

1. Freddie & the Hitchhikers - Sinners
2. Madam Absolut - Bruit Electronique
3. Roger Ballenger - oooOOOooo
4. Samuel J. Hoffman - Moonlight Sonata
5. Samuel J. Hoffman - So Attracted To You

6. Scott Marshall - Ghost Sonata

7. Ted Matson - Out

8. Welcome - Eviltech

Click to download ThereminVox Songs For Halloween

Bonus: In the early days of my electronic composing, I created this wacky, Halloween-related tune with a sample from the 'Rheem Kee Bass' and the aformentioned BBC Virtual Theremin.
Click here for 'That Was No Martian' in mp3, 192 kbps.

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Essential Halloween Tracks

Classic Creepy Tunes!

Here's a short-but-sweet offering of some Essential Halloween tracks, mostly from old t.v shows. You probably have some of these already, if you're a Halloween/sci fi freak like me. Heck, you probably have most of them.. but you may not have all of them-- and you should.

NO entire album here... just a few tracks-- A few of them aren't available for sale.... for the ones that are, I'm offering no more than 2 tracks from any one cd-- which I offer as samples; if you enjoy these songs, I heartily suggest you buy the available cd's they are from, and you'll get a lot more music.

Click Here for Essential Halloween Tracks

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Shiver, Shiver, Shiver....

"Sooooo.... You want to visit a haunted house, hmmmmmm?"

The Wonderful Wonderblog has posted Sounds To Make You Shiver, one of the best & most famous Halloween Records of all time, as today's entry in the Countdown. So, I thought I'd remind everyone of my old posts about this wonderful record:

Bloodcurdling Stereo

Time to Make You Shiver Some More

Just checked, and it looks like my old share of the Shiver Extras, a 'bonus' cd of sorts with some additional sound effects and variations on the tracks from the album, is still active on rapidshare...

Click To Download 'The Shiver Extras'

By the way, the font at the top of the album is sometimes known as Dracula, and it is available here at 'da font. com'

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More Shock!!!!

Here's a little treat, to go hand-in-hand with yesterday's entry. Remember yesterday?

I do.. vaguely... Creed Tayor's "Shock"; is a kool album of swingin' cocktail jazz, mixed with spooky, suspenseful sound effects....
...But I know what yer thinkin'.. "Harvey, what if I'm not in the mood for a Halloween cocktail, and I prefer my spooky, suspenseful sound effects straight, no chaser?"

Can do!

Here's a zipful of isolated sound effects, carefully taken from the Shock tracks, for your various Halloween purposes... I love the old-fashioned sounds best.. these have all the great retro feel of an old-timey sound-effects record. Word of warning: I didn't really go out of my way to "clean up" a lot of the noise these inherited from the source-- so they are as they are, a bit noisy but no less lovable. Hope you likee!

Click for the Shock Isolated SFX

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Monday, October 06, 2008


The classic album 'Shock' by the Creed Taylor Orchestra- ohh, how I love this album! Only a true genius would ever come up with the idea of merging some swingin' 'space-age cocktail' music with eerie sound effects. There are actually several albums in this series, 'Panic: The Son Of Shock', and 'Nightmare' being the other two .... but 'Shock' is my favorite of them.

A bit of trivia.. I believe I once heard the track 'Haunted House' being used as intro music for a comedic segment starring the cult favorite hororr-host 'Zacherley'. In fact, here it is on Youtube. :

But as for the entry of the day...

I got this originally from a totally cool blog called 'Scar Stuff' -- which appears to be on sabbatical these days. The tracks are a 'rip' from an old vinyl record- so just sit back & enjoy the crisp ambience of the hiss & click, baby! But the version I've got is really quiet, for some reason. So I made a few edits, bumped up the volume a little, and I'm offering it today. Once again, I'm only in favor of sharity if the album in question is NOT available for sale... Shock is not currently in print. Darn shame, too... it's a lot of fun. It's one I'd happily buy as a new c.d., to hear it in high quality. That's what sharity should be about, really... not stealing established albums, but getting attention & popularity for old, forgotten stuff like this album... with the hope that maybe by sharity, we'll give these old guys some attention & make them popular enough to be offered for sale again. But I digress...

Click to Download Creed Taylor's 'Shock'

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Very Witching Hour...

It was the Very Witching Hour of night.

The sky grew darker & darker, as one-by-one the stars winked out their light.

Driving clouds obscured the moon from sight.

I'm always on a quest for the best version of a track. Performers often record several versions of a song, and usually there's one that is considered the best one. There are some that are downright dogs.

Drives me crazy to pick up an album of classics from the 60's or something, that says 'By the original artists!' in huge letters, only to find out yeah, it's the original artists allright.. only they re-recorded the songs in the '80's along with some horrid-quality synthesizer.

But I digress....

Bing Crosby, for instance, sang a version of 'The Headless Horseman'. Bing also provided the narration, and another version of that song, in Disney's classic animated film 'The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow.'

I've come to the conclusion that the version in the cartoon is Bing's best version of that song.

Click here for the version from the cartoon. mp3, 192kbps

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Friday, October 03, 2008

A Public Service Announcement

Why 'Trick Or Treat'?

I read this article: "Why Bother To Save Halloween" about Halloween & Trick-or-treating several years ago, and I couldn't agree more with it.
"What is Halloween anyway? It's just an excuse for big kids to make trouble, little kids to eat too much candy, and candy companies to peddle their wares. Bah, goblin-bug! Or so I thought until, despite all the warnings, I took my three children out last Halloween...."

Definite words of wisdom. Breaks my heart to take my kids around, only to have fewer & fewer houses each year participating in the vanishing holiday of Halloween.

No, Halloween isn't Satanic, it doesn't encourage kids to become pagans, serial-killers... lawyers... I happen to think it's open mockery of imaginary things our superstitious forbears once feared.
Plus, it's a LOT of fun!

I encourage all you kids, parents, teens, slightly creepy young adults.. get out there & Trick or Treat on October 31! Or else, get some candy & offer it up to others who do.
Click: Trick Or Treat, Trick Or Treat....

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Spooky Sounds

Wow, after those 4 types of Halloween CD's... I got one here that seems to break the code!

Spooky Sounds

I bought this cd a year before I bought Cd Creepies... blister-packed, no cd jewel-case. It's about 11 years old. Also out of print, far as I can tell. Sadly, most of the sounds on this one are the same sounds as my entry for yesterday. However-- Spooky Sounds has one advantage over Cd Creepies, which makes it unique & different.

Track # 1 "Music To Scare You By" -- most of this music also appears on the CD Creepies cd.. BUT, in this case a clever producer has mixed the music together, along with sound effects, to give you a full 23 minutes of dramatic, cinematic effects!! And it's a pretty good edit, too! This track is just a little more unique than the typical 'tour thru the haunted house' ambience track.

This cd and yesterday's are like two sides of the same spooky coin.

Click here to download Spooky Sounds! @ 192 kbps

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

CD Creepies

Welcome to day 1 of the countdown, October first... my second entry. Whhoops... Is this day 2? It's October First! I'm so confused!


There are actually 4 types of Halloween CD's:

1. Sound Effects

This type of cd could have 50 or more tracks, each track a single isolated sound-effect.

2. Spooky Music
These vary in quality... Most of the ones you see these days, are bad-quality re-recorded cover versions on a cheap synthesizer, of songs that were done much better on some other cd.

3. Halloween Atmosphere
These are the type that are usually one long track, or two, or else 6 or 7 tracks that are several minutes long-- a long sequence of sound effects that are linked together to create a specific mood. I.e there might be one track that is all swamp sounds, or outdoor sounds & digging to create a graveyard sequence. They tend to vary in quality-- the worst of them have about 10 minutes of a sequence, repeated 6 times in the same track.

4. Stories.
These fall into the heading of 'spoken word'; actual ghost stories, spoken aloud.. sometimes with music, other times not.

When you find a really, really good one at a bargain price, that's pretty cool... But hey, you gotta kiss a lot of frogs.

Here's one of my faves... just for utilitarian reasons, it's a useful one. 192 kbps.

Click to download: CD C

This cd appears to be out of print-- it's at least 10 years old, too. It's a mixed-type cd: the first few tracks are instrumental 'creepy' music selections ('Sinister Street' is the best of them), then there are some pretty solid sound effects-- then it ends with a 'monster story'. Personally, I could do without the 'monster story'.

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