Name That Trauma:: Bud on a Santa Slaying, a Beheading Bed & a Traumafession on Aunt Ada

No one seems to have any recollection of two items from my childhood that have haunted me for years — I have a fairly strong memory, so I’m certain I was exposed to these things, but I had a very vivid imagination as a child, and now wonder if I made up these things, but I digress…

The first item is an old comic book story, probably a DC Comic from the 1970s, perhaps one of their “House of…” titles — “Mystery, Secrets,” or possibly their “It’s MidnightTHE WITCHING HOUR.” I doubt it was “GHOSTS,” but I read all of these titles. The story in question, if it ever existed, was probably printed around the time that the TV movie FRANKENSTEIN: THE TRUE STORY aired…

Anyway, the story I’m dying to re-acquire is set during Christmas-time. Seems like it’s about a thief who discovers Santa’s workshop on Christmas Eve, and decides to steal Santa’s sleigh with its loaded bag of goodies. It was played straight, and at the very end of the story, when the bad guy is about to steal the sleigh, something happens, and he ends up being strangled (I think by the rope around Santa’s bag), and as Santa takes off to deliver the toys, he flies past a full moon, completely unaware that the thief is dead and dangling from behind the sleigh. The last panel of the story, if memory serves, is of a silhouette of Santa’s sleigh, with the hanged man’s corpse dangling behind. DID I DREAM THIS THING UP or was it a real comic?

The other item is a clip from an old Horror movie I saw either in the late 60s or early 70s, when I was a really small kid. I was a Hammer Horror movie fiend back then, but I also loved European Horror movies, and I’d watch them on the late show with family and friends in Newport News, Virginia, and we’d all get scared to death.

Don’t know if this was the opening of the movie (seems like it was), or a later scene, but I have never stumbled onto this movie again, and I am a die-hard movie buff, and have been hunting this thing down forever. Anyway, this is what I remember:

A beautiful woman comes home late one night, and readies herself for bed; her room is shadowy, and seems like there’s a large vanity mirror atop a dresser that she primps in just before she retires. She lies down in the bed, and we see that there’s a mysterious figure underneath it who has tricked out her mattress in such a way that this mystery person is able to somehow saw this woman’s head off at the neck; the shadow figure then stuffs her head into, I think, a doctor’s bag, and as they flee the scene of the crime, a chambermaid or something walks in and screams — then we see a ferris wheel and hear carnival music…and that’s all I remember. DID IT EXIST, or did I dream it?

Oh, and for the record, I was horrified of CIRCLE OF FEAR and NIGHT GALLERY when I was a kid; the NIGHT GALLERY episode “Since Aunt Ada Came to Stay” REALLY traumatized me: if my sister said, “Aunt Ada,” I would be reduced to a mass of quivering, weeping jelly, begging for her to stop.

Love the site! Hope someone can help me out.


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
8 years ago

I know it’s not an exact match but the excellent Theatre of Blood has a scene where someone’s head is cut off during the night. The killer is inside a trunk, not under the bead, and they just saw off the head and leave it there (although if I recall they did take their tools away in a bag). But the maid does come in and scream whilst finding the body. May be way off but it’s the first thing that I thought of when reading it!

8 years ago

Fair certainty that the decapitation and head-into-the-bag is performed by Michael Gough in HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM.

8 years ago

Ha ha! Correction! It’s performed by the silly-looking but brutal man-monster created by Michael Gough, who drops a guillotine on Gough’s mistress. (See Eccentric Cinema’s review for more info and screencaps.) HOTBM is a delightfully goofball nasty from Herman Cohen, the man who gave us KONGA, BERSERK!, TROG, BLACK ZOO, and the original I WAS A TEENAGE (MONSTER) trilogy.

7 years ago

You guys hit a home run on every count. I’ve been meaning to let you know for months (I let our fearless leader know on FaceBook), but I couldn’t figure out how to log in until I created a new account this morning. Regardless, the movie in question was HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM, and that A SLAY RIDE WITH SANTA was absolutely the comic I remembered (although I don’t think I ever saw it; I think my cousins told me about it, and their descriptions burned themselves into my memory as we were too young to read at that time). You all have helped me so much…I thought I was going nuts! See my review of HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM at