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.
Wow! That is cool. I think that album is still at my parentâ€™s house. I remember it vividly. I am sure my older siblings bought it. Back in the day when people went all out for Halloween, I recall my dad playing this record for the trick-or-treaters. I think there was a track called â€œChinese Water Tortureâ€ that was really weird. The next time I visit my parents I plan to look for this record and take it home, so I can relive more frightening experiences from my childhood. Thanks Lene for reminding me about this record.
My brother also had this record http://www.rogersbasement.com/images/Frankie/FRANK3.JPG The cover really freaked me out. I don’t remember anything about the music though.
This album, coupled with the Disney “Trick or Treat” story with Witch Hazel, Donald Duck, and his nephews, as well a the Haunted Mansion narrated story with the voice talents of Ron Howard, bring back many pleasant childhood memories. If only I oculd find contemporary recorded horror that provided chills for me today. Thanks for sharing this.
Mickster, The one thing that really stuck in my mind about this record was “chinese water torture” I believe it inspired my older brother to torture me.
JWM, I remember the Haunted Mansion record but had no idea that was Ron Howard on it. Thanks for the info, I gotta track that down!
@lancifer: I think this, if I read it correctly, is the Ron Howard Haunted Mansion audio. And here’s some of the original artwork.
Aunty, that’s definitely Howard on the tapes on that first link but those pix on the second link are from yet another record, a 7″ “see hear read” record. I only know this because it’s in the comments below the second link and not because I’m smart or anything. I think you can find the audio for the “see hear read” one here: http://childrensrecordsandmore.blogspot.com/
“Drip drip drip drip drip …. ” (10 minutes later) ” … drip drip drip drip … (insanely nonsensical faux Chinese that would never fly in this day and age) What am I saying, I’m not even Chinese!” Classic. Side one was full of these, I also remember the “Timber” one. Thanks so much for the link, brings back so many memories of listening to this one.Â And yes, we used to play it for trick or treaters too. – kch
Oh man.Â Those two tracks were weird.Â There was something so off-kilter about some of the concepts on this album.Â (Like, why is there aÂ logging accidentÂ in a haunted house??)Â Somehow it added to the freakiness.Â Â “Cat Fight” was discomforting as hell.Â The only ‘good’ memory I have of this record is that my best friend would play the “Collection of Creeks” segment while imitating that he had gas problems.Â Haw haw!
I remember I was about 5 and my grandparents had this playing on their stereo when we went to visit – I guess it was around Halloween time – and it scared the ever living crap out of me.Â I’m pretty sure I had them turn it off because it freaked me out.
The very first sound on side two, that warbling ghost screech, I still kinda freak whenever I hear it (and it still pops out every now & then on TV sound FX). The tree falling, the Very Long Fuse (“You thought there was going to be a huge explosion didn’t you? BOOM!!!”), the Unsafe Bridge, Cats, Dogs, the Chinese ‘ching-chang-chow-chew’ Water Torture, I remember it all. Though I thought that the album cover had an orange background, not white. Just looking at the cover and imagining whatÂ was in that lighted room at the top, eeeek!
My copy had an orange background too.
The Chinese Water Torture also used to scare the hell out of my brother and I. You knew the crazy babbling at the end was coming, but you didn’t know when. It was the suspense and tension that kept building as the dripping went on and on that made the voice at the end so frightening. We would play that one track just to scare ourselves… it always worked.
My copy has an orange background as well, and a “Spooky Party Hints” insert.
The track with the screams (with or without the narration) still freaks me out to this day! I dearly love this album, but will never listen to it after dark.
Thanks for posting about this! This is one of the top 3 things from my childhood that traumatized me into adulthood. Those screams! That woman’s voice! The moans and chains! The urine running down my leg! Oh wait.
This was a fantastic album, and I still have it in storage, but no way to play it. Not that I’d want to since it still gives me the heebie jeebies.