Thursday, November 4, 2010

Early Fears: Famous Ghost Stories

I thought I would begin a series of periodic posts which highlight the various works of Horror that moulded (re: knotted) my young psyche; creations that led me to become the writer that I am.

The first of these is Famous Ghost Stories.

This 1975 album was an object of childhood obsession with me. My mother bought me a copy for Hallowe'en when I was in kindergarten (and eager to unleash my custom-made Count Dracula costume on the neighbours). I spun this record on the portable turntable in our basement until the disc sounded like sandpaper. The readings were done by a voice actor named Wade Denning, who, as you can hear in the attached Youtube clip, really lets loose with these stories.

At the time I had no idea that this novelty album was actually giving me an education in classic Horror fiction: the tales of Poe, Maupassant, Washington Irving, etc.

This clip features Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Signal-Man" by Charles Dickens; two tracks I used to listen to while cowering behind the sofa. The power of the spoken word.

I still have my copy.