My parents were generous enough to buy records for me and my two older brothers. I don’t know why we got this record, but I can imagine it was for Halloween purposes: “Disney’s Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House.”
The cover alone is enough to scare any kid. Side One is a bunch of scary stories with effects which were OK but not traumatizing. It’s Side Two that terrorized me – it’s a collection of really fucking scary effects made by the top Foley artists and effects people at Disney – OF COURSE it’s going to be scary! There were human voice, animal sounds, wood creaks, wind, water drips, crashes – and they all seemed EVIL. ORSON WELLES would have been jealous. The fact that there’s no narration or anything made it even worse. Your imagination could fill in ANYTHING and in my case, it always did. The back cover has a warning that reads “Not intended for young, impressionable children from three to eight” – that was exactly my age range, and my brothers quickly learned that playing track one on side two (“Screams and Groans“) was the quickest way to send me running screaming to my room to hide under the covers with my fingers in my ears. My parents, of course, did nothing to stop this.
The trauma followed me to high school, when a friend of mine produced the same album from her collection. I couldn’t hide my reaction and she insisted on playing it, just to freak me out. I went outside where I couldn’t hear it and wouldn’t come back in till she turned it off. Later in life I needed to use the sounds on side two track ten (“Things in Space“, less scary Forbidden Planet-type noises) for a radio show but had to make everyone promise not to “accidentally” play any of the other tracks.
In Googling the album, I found a SITE where someone has uploaded the tracks. I turned the sound off on my computer before I clicked on the link in Google, just in case they’d set a track to play automatically. Will I click on any of the links, just to see if they still scare me? HELL NO.
By the way, I still have the original album in my collection, safely tucked in the back. I hope it doesn’t crawl up the stairs one night to terrorize me again. It just might, y’know.
I’d be interested to know if any other readers were traumatized by those bastards at Disney.
AUNT JOHN SEZ: Thanks Lene for the great audio TRAUMAFESSION! To hear more from Lene, literally, be sure to check out the podcasts that abound on her site I Read Comics.