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Favorite Halloween Memories

Favorite Halloween Memories....I have so many. One Halloween back in the 1960s I was walking with my Grandmother Adams and a handful of cousins. We were headed down to watch the local Halloween parade (and hopefully catch some candy from one of the floats). On the slate sidewalks there were curling, crunchy leaves al...l around....and lots of bright yellow and amber ones.

I tripped and skinned my knee. We had to walk back for a cleaning and band-aid. Thankfully we didn't miss the parade in Grove City, PA. The main street (Broad Street) was only about six blocks from my Grandparent's Adams house. Cool air, marching witch's, Frankensteins, and devils in plastic masks.

Later that fun-filled evening, back at my Grandparent's house, my older cousin Johnny came in. He had just been to the theatre and described a horrifying Frankenstein movie to me! Thrilled, I listened to his description of this burned looking monster. Years later, I figured it must have been THE EVIL OF FRANKENSTEIN (the year matched).

Your Halloween memories.....?

-Ron at Bash

My favorite halloween was when the local ben franklin store got in masks
that you made yourself that were designed by a movie artist and didn't cost
alot. they were rubber like and had to cut out the eyes etc. and then
paint it with paints supplied. Then put the stick-em that came with it.
Was the best mask i ever had and held up for the next year. Never saw these
again anywhere.


Above is a scan of an image that always brings back good Halloween memories. Have a happy Halloween!
Downers Grave, IL

I remember the old wrinkled up bag at the end of the evening, and how all the mingled candy smells & colors were so exciting, dumping the bag in the middle of the floor to sort the good stuff from the not so good. Giving some of the bigger bars to mom & dad, and trading candies with my cousins. My favorite were the reese cups & least were the dreaded sweet tarts & smartees. and if Halloween fell on a Satuday..........the evening was made perfect by staying up late with Chilly Billy.

-Cathy Baker, Pittsburgh, PA

I, like most of you, love this time of year. Oddly enough though, a lot
of my memories and emotions are more melancholy. The days are getting
shorter, the air becomes chillier, the world begins to settle down for a
"long winter's nap". If there had been any doubt before, it's clear now
that summer has ended. This time of year has always had a reflective,
peaceful and sometimes sad feeling about it.

For me, the feeling is
captured perfectly in "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" when Snoopy
is roaming the countryside as his alter ego the flying ace and the
background music is that minor key flute with heavy reverb.
Birds flying south against grey cloudy skies, chilly winds and longer
nights all come together to create this wonderful and strange time.

can't honestly say I'm really excited about Halloween although I do love
seeing the neighborhood come alive with young prowlers on the last night
of the month, it's more like the time when it feels like nature is
supporting my already reflective tendencies.

-Kevin Slick, Colorado

Hi Ron,
I have to agree with Kevin Slick’s observation in a recent post about Halloween—I also have a feeling of melancholy this year in particular. Some of it comes from thinking about Halloweens past, but also…our son is back at school…the car was coated in heavy frost the other morning…the sky is gray, the wind is blowing more red-orange leaves from the trees, and it’s time for another log in the woodstove. Summer is definitely gone, and what’s left are fuzzy memories of warm days kayaking out on the Atlantic, lobster rolls, another road trip to Walt Disney World—and our first Bash!

I won’t forget walking, somewhat hesitantly, into that huge dealer’s room for the first time—monstrous sensory overload—the type of place you’d drift off in school dreaming about back in the 60’s, one big room filled with nothing but monster paraphernalia. I immediately got stuck at Mike Pierce’s magazines, etc. display, first finding FM #44, the issue I reported back to you that was hanging up at Chester and Hester’s in the Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World. That warmed me up and I kept going, picking up a number of Harryhausen-related FM and Cinefantastique issues. But I had to move on, as I was anxious to apologize to Cortlandt Hull for not making it over to the Witch’s Dungeon, even though I was living in Connecticut until 1981, and then Maine later on. Anyway, it was great to meet Cortlandt and hear about the new DVD, and grab a photo op with my son, Maleficent, and the Creature. Then we just had to move a few feet away to meet Dennis Druktenis and his son, manning the Scary Monsters station. Dennis later told me in an email that he was happy to finally have received an article about the 2010 Bash for an upcoming issue so he could, once again, read about what he misses on a yearly basis while working his table. And Ron, it was great to finally meet you, catching up with you momentarily in the Creepy Classics room. You had your hands full, and if I didn’t thank you then, I’ll take the opportunity now to thank you for your devotion in providing an outlet—and a home—for those of us inflicted with an undying love of all things fantastic—thank you so much!

Just so things wouldn’t get too scary for my wife and son, who naturally came along on the road trip from Maine to Butler, PA, we took the opportunity to check out Pittsburgh, which I’d recommend to anyone considering a trip to the Bash. My son’s interest in the avant garde led us to the Warhol Museum, which actually, given Andy’s interests and sensibilities, is a good afternoon companion to a morning at the Bash (and how could we forget his Frankenstein and Dracula…btw, my son found the soundtrack to Andy’s Frankenstein at Mike Pierce’s table). Getting back to the scary arena, I found some suitable shopping areas to interest my wife downtown and in the Shadyside area (scary, referring to subsequent credit card statements…). Next time (yes…next time…) I’d like to check out the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, which has a T. rex skeleton, actually the original T. rex specimen to which all subsequent species must be compared.

The family road trip is a forgotten American past time—I highly recommend dropping by Butler/Pittsburgh, PA, if a scary drive in June sounds like summer fun…

Happy Haunts to all,
Mike Zielski

P.S. We spoke of Ray Harryhausen’s 90th birthday this past summer—in case some didn’t realize it, his good buddy, Ray Bradbury also turned 90 in August—may they live forever!



Hey Ron! Just wanted to drop off a few memories of childhood Halloweens! The
first one I can recall is around 1970-71 and my Mom taking me to Woolworths
to pick out a costume. That first costume was 'Casper' and it was either a
Collegeville, or Ben Cooper. I kept with the boxed costumes in the years
that followed, sporting The Mummy, Frankenstein Monster, and Adventure Team
GI Joe. When I was about 10, I started putting together my own costumes. I
couldn't wait for the local Standard Drug to start putting out their
Halloween stuff. It was there I would pick up the famous plastic vampire
fangs, and the tube of fake blood. Standard Drug was also my main supplier
of Famous Monsters of Filmland mag. I recall one year, one of my older
brothers built a casket out of produce crates from the supermarket, and
spray painted it black. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world! It
was this brother who got me into the Monster craze, calling me in to watch
shows with him like 'The Night Stalker,' 'The Magician,' and 'Night

I remember my brother helping me count out my saved allowance money and
thumbing through the latest Famous Monster's Captain Company pages and
drooling over all the stuff I wanted! I was so excited when I knew I had
enough to order the whole set (6) of the Famous Monsters 3 inch Elwar
buttons! I bugged poor Mom every day I got home from school
asking, "Did the mail come??" day.....there it sat on
the table. The yellow padded envelope with my name on it. Oh the
glory.....only to find out, they were out of the Frankenstein button, and
had to send me an extra Dracula. But I was the happiest kid on my block that
day anyway.......

-John P.
Miami, FL

One year I went as a hunchback, but the pillow kept falling out and the fake black eye I bought fell off, so I went as a sweater wearing kid. Then one year I went as a zombie with a bullet hole on my forehead, and it fell off, so I was a sweater wearing kid again. Them were the days!

San Luis, Mexico

Growing up my best friend and rival was Steve Medflick (last name changed to
protect the guilty). He was a redhead with a temper, and found it necessary to
come out ahead in all things. He wasn't above a little stretching of the truth
when it came to games like Battleship (what do you mean miss? it has to be
there, Steve!) or illegally moving his flag when you got to close to it in

When it came to Halloween his costume had to be better than mine, and kept
secret for as long as possible, so on this one particular October day he showed
up at my house with a plastic cigar.

Now I have lusted after many things in my life, but I can't remember wanting any
of those things half as much as I wanted a plastic cigar like that one. When I
asked my mother to buy me one she only said "Why do you have to have everything
Steve has?" How could I answer that? It was just one of the rules of Kid-dom. She might as
well have asked me why I had to breathe in and out.

So it turned out that Steve was going to be a Hobo for Halloween. And then of
course so was I. I'm sure I thought of it first and mentioned it back around the
4th of July. Or so the argument went.

And so for all of October whenever he came over my house he had that cigar with
him. He'd knock at our back door and I'd open it and there he'd be with a grin
on his face and that stogey dangling out of the side of his mouth. He must have
always kept it close at hand because even when I went over to his house he'd
answer the door with it. He lorded it over me as if he'd found the Holy Grail
buried in his back yard and was parading it around for all to see. I burned with
envy and even tried to make one out of a tree branch, but that only brought
scorn and derision down upon me.

When Halloween night finally came we all set out in a group with my dad bringing
up the rear with a 4 D Cell flashlight. I had a good hobo costume (though
lacking cigar) as my mom was very good at putting homemade costumes together for
us and flatly refused to buy the Collegeville ones from the local Woolworths.
Steve's cigar was the envy of the neighborhood eliciting oohs and aahs from
miles around (as I recall. My memory may be a litte foggy here) but he was forced
to wear his school dress shoes because his play shoes had ripped a couple of
days ago. (Yes, in the old days we had to wear hard shoes to school and sneakers
were only for gym class. Made it a little difficult to outrun the dinosaurs but
somehow we managed.)

Now Steve's new shoes had leather soles which made them a tad slippery
especially in the hilly terrain of western Pennsylvania and on more than one
occasion he had to grab on to something to keep from falling. Finally at one of
our last stops he accepted his treat and did a hard right turn sliding off the
side of a porch. He went one way, and his bag and cigar went the other. My dad
picked him up out of the Hydrangea bush and we all helped pick up his candy, but
the cigar was nowhere to be found. My dad's explanation was "Spooks" and said he
wasn't going to wait around any longer to look for it.

The next day after school me and Steve went back to that house and searched in
vain till darkness fell. The cigar had disappeared. Did it blow away? Did some
other kid find it? Or was it as my father suggested in his own laconic way,
absconded by otherworldly spirits out for a mischievious romp on Halloween

M. Oleman, Pittsburgh, PA

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