Name That Trauma :: Reader Llama on a Another Horrifying Halloween LP

There was a HORRIFYING record that I do not know the name of that was played in music class every Halloween at my elementary school in the late '70s. I dreaded music class in the weeks leading up to Halloween because I never knew when this record would be sprung on me. It involved an old woman, a parson, possibly a graveyard, and a terrifying woman's scream towards the end that would make everyone else in the class jump in joyful surprise and laughter.

It did not have the same effect on me.

I would literally be under a desk rocking with my eyes shut and my ears plugged, very close to a heart attack. I also would be "sick" and stay home from school on music day around this time if it was possible. I was totally serious about not hearing this song. I am curious about hearing it again to see if it is still as frightening to me. It had to have been off of some Halloween compilation from the '60s or early '70s I would guess.

I LOVE your website. I just came across it recently and I visit it every day now. Thanks!

AUNT JOHN SEZ: Llama, I'm not honestly sure the name of your LP, but I wonder if it is related to one Reader Adam N. was looking for this past October...

UPDATE: NAME THAT TRAUMA SOLVED! Special thanks to Kindertrauma DJ Propagatrix for putting the needle on the trauma with "There Was an Old Woman!"

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12 years ago

My grade-school music teacher used to torture us with this one too! It's called "There Was an Old Woman." Here's a little more about it:

12 years ago

Thanks! That has to be it! I still need to listen to a recording, but the words sound right. What kind of hideous song was that to play for little kids? Blech.

Jami JoAnne Russell
12 years ago

Gee, all we ever had was The Ghost Of Tom. It went like this –

Have you seen the ghost of Tom?
Long white bones and the rest all goOOOoOOOoOOne?
(Sung staccato like two bones striking each other) Wouldn't-it-be-chilly-with-no-skin-on?

It was sung as a round.