With Halloween upon us, my thoughts today strayed back to when my two sons were still small children. Halloween being my birthday, I always tried to make something special of the occasion – more for my kids’ sake than my own. Throughout their childhoods, we spent many hours together producing special homemade costumes for trick-or-treating, just as my own Dad had done for me when I was little.
For several years running, we even concocted a special Halloween “show” on my front porch. I dressed up as Dracula – complete with all-black garb, a high-collared cape, slicked-down hair, white face, blackened eyes, homemade wax fangs, and lots of “blood” dribbling down my chin. I would stand near a table topped with a big basket of candy, waiting for the evening’s onslaught of trick-or-treaters as Bach’s Toccata in D Minor and other organ pieces blared from a speaker in the nearest window. My boys – dressed up as zombies or other ghouls – took turns trick-or-treating, with one of them remaining as my “assistant.”
As the wide-eyed kids crept hesitantly up to the porch for their treats, I would give out a chilling, deep-bass “hoo-hoo-hah-hah-HAH-HAH-HAAAH” laugh, and then beckon them to come closer to get their goodies. In my best sinister Transylvanian accent, I asked them if they would like to come into my castle, or even let me “bite their necks.” Most kids stayed just long enough to get their treats before fleeing … some were too scared to even approach me. One mom even cussed me out later for giving her baby nightmares. My own kids LOVED it – for awhile there, they had the “baddest Dad” in the neighborhood! … Good memories …
But, in retrospect, I wonder how much scarier my show could’ve been, if – instead of straight Bach organ recordings – I’d had a better “soundtrack” – like Delos’ classic album, “the Horror Maze” (SI 4502). This ear-boggling “sonic spooktacular” duly offers Bach’s chilling Toccata, plus excerpts from many other classics on “evil” themes – like Mussorgsky’s devilish Night on Bald Mountain, Saint-Saens’ spooky Danse Macabre, Chopin’s deathly Funeral March, and Berlioz’s wickedly surreal Dream of the Witches’ Sabbath. But that’s not all: adroitly laid over the music is a horrific array of creepy seasonal sound effects – including eerie door-creaks, zombie-like groans, moaning wind-noises, spine-chilling cackles & shrieks, plus heart-stopping animal noises: crawly bug-sounds, owl-hoots, cat-cries, and werewolf howls … just to name a few. All is sequenced so as to convey the impression of a fearsome journey through the “Horror-maze” of the album’s title – where, once you’re inside, you can’t … get … back … OUT !!!
This masterpiece of sonic horror is guaranteed to add spooky oomph to whatever holiday affair you may be planning. Try downloading a few tracks to ramp up the fright factor of your Halloween costume party or haunted house event … or just to get you into the proper mood!
… Wishing you and yours a hauntingly horrific Halloween – Lindsay Koob