Friday, October 28, 2011

Horror Records for Halloween!


Here are over 180 covers of spooky, horrifying, terrifying, and in some cases ridiculous monster-related, science fiction related/ghost related/gothic-related and Halloween-related LP and singles vinyl album covers. Some are common, some rare and obscure, some great and some awful. You decide.

Arch Obler's DROP DEAD from Capitol was the gold standard of horror records. My brothers and I wore out several copies, always listening to it... in the dark.

Check out Leonard Maltin's essential new article "When Dracula Reigned on Halloween", which includes a link to the very blog you're looking at:

And click this link for more on a series of Horror LP records, not included here:

"Tales of the Frightened" volume one (cover art by renowned pinup artist Freeman Elliot)...
...and volume two. "Are YOU one of the frightened?" asks the soothing, sinister voice of the great Boris Karloff at the beginning of each tale. Great cover art and spooky readings of short, short horror stories. This was also used on a paperback cover with the same title.

This album consisted of audio clips from several Universal horror films, and a Don Post Frankenstein monster mask featured on the cover.

a later reissue

the back cover

"A George Garabedian Production".
Slightly misleading cover, as Dracula was no where to be found on this
old Suspense radio drama featuring Bela Lugosi.

Aurora Monster model art (by James Bama) on a record cover! Wow! This was a must-have, although it's basically former Dead End/Eastside kid, actor Gabriel Dell (excellently) imitating  Bela Lugosi as Dracula and the "voice" of the Frankenstein Monster. Another example of the cover art being far better than the actual record (written by Cherney Berg!).

More Jack Davis. Front Cover...

Back Cover...

enclosed Monster Fan Cards

various Halloween covers...

my entry into the Halloween Horror album covers

Thanks to Gary Meyer, Stephen Kroninger, John Wendler &


  1. Wow, what a great collection! Is that Kelly Freas art of the Karloff Tales of the Frightened?

  2. Replies
    1. And the stories were by my dad, Michael Avallone. It was going to be a radio show and a pulp magazine, but neither took off... so it became LPs and a paperback...

  3. What a pleasant stroll down the dark, thorn-filled Monster Memory Lane! Once again Drew has nimbly expressed the thoughts and impressions of those of us who experienced the wonders of a wondrous slice of time. We are reminded of what a tremendous market the monster craze created. This Halloween treat has left a sweeter taste than any candy I swipe from the give-away bowl ever could.

  4. Terrific stuff! And, yes, I owned a few of these myself. Only major item missed is STEREO DYNAMICS! TO SCARE THE HELL OUT OF YOUR NEIGHBORS... a classic jacket.

  5. This is a fantastic collection. I may have a few to add when I get home and dig through my LPs. I would save my money to buy these either from the local record store or through Famous Monsters or Castle of Frankenstein.

    LIGHTS OUT was truly great. I would insist friends come over and since we lived in the country, turning out the lights meant....really dark. I would show horror films in our barn at midnight and always started the evening with Lights Out or Nelson Olmstead record in total darkness. We had a house bat who flew through the projector beam during the film.

    Looking at my old LPS reminds me how much we have lost with CDs and now downloads. We don't have that large piece of art to enjoy while the record is playing. The linear notes are tiny now too.

  6. Also get a kick out of the KING KONG album claiming it to be "The Original 20th Century Fox Motion Picture Classic."

    It was actually RKO Radio Pictures and the remakes and hybrids were from Paramount, Universal, etc but never from Fox.

  7. I'm probably imagining this, but does Jack Davis' cover art on Conried's "Monster Rally" look like it might have a Wally Wood touch here and there?

  8. I have always loved that Arch Obler LP DROP DEAD, and I prize the copy I still have. I transferred it to a CD, and when I used to substitute teach, I would bring it in on Halloween and play "The Dark" with the lights out in the room and scare the bejesus out of 5th grade kids-loved it!

  9. TDavis,

    I'm sure JD was influenced by WW occasionally, and visa versa.

  10. Jeez, a "friend" "borrowed" all my cherished Jack Davis monster records 20 years ago, and I never saw them again. (At least I still have my Homer & Jethro and Spike Jones LPs.)

    Whatever you do, don't loan them out!!

  11. Great selection. I'm surprised at how many I have. We also loved "Drop Dead" as kids.

  12. Loved looking through this survey here. Surprised that I remember more that I would have guessed. Nice job here, Drew.

  13. where can i get some of these records, besides Ebay of course?

    1. Try Discogs. Much more reasonable than eBay, for the most part.

  14. "Bob and Ray Throw a Stereo Spectacular" (RCA 1958). A Various Artists sampler with a linking horror tale by the comedians. Bob does impressions of Karloff and Lorre. As a bonus, there's great (non-horror) cover art by Jack Davis.

  15. DREW , I'VE ENJOYED YOUR RECENT BOOKS A GREAT DEAL. THIS IS A REALLY COOL PAGE.....I've met Josh , twice. Once in Dallas , and once, here in Chicago.

  16. I'm guessing that spooky sound effects house is in the neighborhood of Angelino Heights in Los Angeles

  17. It's worth noting that on the Frankie Stein 'Monster Melodies' record, most of the selections are the backing tracks from Beatle rip-off lps, but with the vocals mixed out and swapped with haunted house sound effects. Genius!!

  18. I love that Transylvania cover. One of my favourite cartoons is by the late Michael Ffolkes; two vampires, in full evening dress of course, walking through a village just like that one, and passing a door with garlic on it one says to the other 'Actually, I rather like garlic, it's wine gums I hate'.

  19. This was my childhood favourite, Sounds to Make You Shiver from 1974. Eventually I learned how to take speakers apart, and I wired up a jack o'lantern to play this for trick or treaters coming up the front walk.

  20. Thank you for providing all these in one place. I had an old Halloween vinyl record In the 1970s that I’ve been trying for years to find. I can’t remember the album cover but the record have sound effects on one side and at least one story called “The Old Witch”—it was narrated (Read) by a man with a chilling voice that scared us to death. Hope someone remembers this story and knows where I can find it.

  21. Does anyone remember a story called “The Old Witch”? It was narrated by a man with a deep, chilling voice. Used to scare us to death. The album also had sound effects and other stories. I’ve been trying to locate a copy for years with no luck. Please help!