Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween 2010!

To all those who viewed my blog this year, and especially to followers of my blog: thank you for visiting The Ghosts of Halloweens Past, and I hope these posts have added to your enjoyment of the holiday.

I realized that even though there are enough TV episodes and specials to keep one entertained throughout the month of October, there is nothing you can find on the big or small screen that beats spending a fun Halloween evening in the company of family and friends. Had a wonderful time tonight, donning an impromptu costume courtesy of my brother-in-law (who came at me with a makeup pencil, beret, and flowery shirt), eating chili and bread pudding, sampling candy and cookies, admiring the glow of jack-o-lanterns on the front porch, and engaging in joyful conversation, all backed by a spooky soundtrack of Halloween favorites.

Hope you all had a great night!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Today Show: Star Wars Halloween (2006)

Aired Halloween 2006. A big-budget, Star Wars-themed Today Show goes downhill very quickly when the drunk Ewoks show up.

The Story and Song from the Haunted Mansion (1969)

In 1969, this Disneyland Records Storyteller album was released to commemorate the opening of Haunted Mansion. Intended as a simple promotional album, this recording has become a cherished childhood memory for many a Disneyland guest. "The Story and Song from The Haunted Mansion" includes original scenes and effects that never made it into the final attraction as it follows the story of two teenagers (voiced by Robie Lester and a young Ron Howard) who take refuge inside the eerie mansion during a rainstorm. (Synopsis from The picture above shows Ron Howard in the Happy Days episode "Haunted", made about 5 years after the album.

See a film of this Disneyland attraction here and here.

Laverne and Shirley: The Haunted House (1977)

The gang heads to an old abandoned house in which Carmine informs the girls they could pick up a couch for free. But their friends seem to disappear one by one while inside the haunted mansion. (Synopsis from Originally aired March 22, 1977.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Andy Griffith Show: The Haunted House (1963)

After Opie and his friend Arnold hit a baseball into the window of the old Rimshaw house, they hear noises and run to Andy and Barney for help. Andy sends Barney up to the house to get the ball with Gomer. They also hear noises and run away. Andy decides for all three of them to go together. The ghosts turn out to be Otis and his moonshiner friend. (Synopsis from Originally aired October 7, 1963.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Screaming Skull (1958)

A newlywed couple arrives at the home of the husband's late wife, where the gardens have been maintained by a gardener faithful to the dead woman's memory. Soon eerie events lead the new wife to think she is going out of her mind. (Synopsis from

Ozzie and Harriet: Halloween Party (1952)

On Halloween night, Ozzie and Thorny make plans to attend a non-costume party as Satan and a Scotsman. Meanwhile Ricky and David attend a Halloween Party at school and the Nelson household is besieged by children demanding candy - or else. (Synopsis from Originally aired October 31, 1952.

Drive-In Theater Doomsday Promo

Here is another vintage drive-in promo film.

Drive-In Theater Spookathon Promo

Here is a vintage promo film that drive-in theater owners would use to advertise a marathon of horror movies. I am not sure when this was produced, but it was likely from the early 60s.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Tales From The Far Side I and II (1994, 1997)

Bizarre TV specials based on the "Far Side" comic strip by Gary Larson.

Tales From The Far Side I:
Tales From The Far Side II

Friday, September 24, 2010

Walgreens Weekly Advertisement

When I was a kid, I really enjoyed thumbing through the newspaper in October to see Halloween candy and costumes advertised in weekly flyers for drug and grocery stores. Though these weekly ads would ordinarily be of no interest to me, it gave me great pleasure seeing how the usual, mundane printings were "dressed up" for the holiday.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Little Rascals: Spooky Hooky (1936)

As school lets out, Spanky and Alfalfa send Buckwheat and Porky back into the building to deposit a phony doctor's note on the teacher's desk, so that they can skip school the next day and go to the circus. As the teacher's leaving, she tells the boys that she's taking the whole class to the circus. When they run back to the building to retrieve the notes, the little kids are just closing the doors, which are now locked. They show up that night to break into the school and get the note back. Stormy weather, a power outage, and various other spooky happenings, send all four boys - and the janitor - running for their lives. (Synopsis from

Monday, September 6, 2010

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)

Originally aired October 27, 1966. The Peanuts gang celebrates by trick-or-treating and attending the big Halloween party, while Linus and Sally spend the evening in the pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive. "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" is, without a doubt, the most cherished Halloween special of all time. It was a special occasion to catch this on TV every year. While TV commercials tend to annoy me, I actually looked forward to those that accompanied this Halloween special: candy ads for Mounds and Almond Joy, Caramello, Peppermint Patties, and others. Enjoy watching the famous CBS spinning logo, a couple of 80s sponsor announcements, and then a link to the TV special itself.

CBS Special Presentation logo:

TV sponsors:

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966):

Saturday, September 4, 2010

B.J. and the Bear: A Coffin with a View (1979)

Originally aired March 10, 1979. B.J. is contracted to haul two coffins that will be in a vampire movie. (Synopsis from

Gilligan's Island: Up at Bat (1966)

Originally aired September 12, 1966. Gilligan is bitten in the neck by a bat and fears he will transform into a vampire as a result. Gilligan's troubled sleep is haunted by a dream that he is indeed a vampire living in a European castle in 1895 where unsuspecting travelers and a famous detective and his doctor assistant appear at his doorstep. (Synopsis from

Perfect Strangers: Fright Night (1991)

From Season 7, this episode originally aired October 25, 1991. Balki is excited when he finds out he has a ghost named Chester living in his room, but Larry is skeptical until the ghost makes its presence known!

Little House on the Prairie: The Halloween Dream (1979)

Originally aired October 29, 1979. Laura and Albert are very excited about dressing up as Indians for Nellie Oleson's Halloween party, but Caroline won't let them pull this late-nighter without taking a nap first. After falling asleep with a Native American book in his hands, Albert's imagination gets the better of him as he slips into quite an intense dream. All of a sudden, he and Laura have been captured by Indians, and with the tribe in possession of some threatening weapons, these two kids must become part of a very dangerous game. (Synopsis from

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Super Password Halloween Episode (1985)

Aired October 31, 1985. With celebrity guests Lauri Hendler and Fred Grandy.

Super Password Halloween Episode (1986)

Aired October 31, 1986. With celebrity guests Lindsay Bloom and Tom Poston.

Super Password Halloween Episode (1988)

Aired October 31, 1988. With celebrity guests Edie McClurg and Christopher Hewitt, and Halloween-themed passwords.

Bug (1975)

If you enjoy scary movies about killer insects, then you'll love Bug, from 1975. An earthquake releases a strain of mutant cockroaches with the ability to start fires. Eventually most of the bugs die because they cannot survive in the low air pressure on the Earth's surface, but a scientist keeps one alive in a pressure chamber. He successfully breeds the cockroach with a modern bug creating a breed of intelligent, flying super-bugs. This particular scene is interesting, because it was filmed using the living room and kitchen set from The Brady Bunch, which had ended its run the previous year.

Full movie:

Punky Brewster: Love Thy Neighbor (1985)

Originally aired November 17, 1985. On Halloween night, a woman named Isabelle Peavy behaves rudely to the children in Punky's building and refuses to give them candy. Punky and Cherie enter her apartment to play a joke on her, but their plans go awry when Brandon accidentally gets left behind. The next day, Henry goes over to retrieve the dog, and he ends up learning some interesting information about Isabelle. (Synopsis from

The Cosby Show: Cliff's Mistake (1987)

Originally aired October 15, 1987. Cliff's neighbor Jeffrey gets angry when Cliff can't find the drill that he borrowed. The Huxtable kids prepare for Halloween by building a haunted house in the basement. (Synopsis from

Friday, September 3, 2010

Happy Days: Fonsillectomy (1977)

Originally aired October 25, 1977. Fonzie is ill, and the doctor says he must go into hospital the next day to have his tonsils removed, meaning that he will miss the Cunningham's Halloween party. The Fonz does not take the news well. Worse still, the only spare place in the hospital is on the children's ward. (Synopsis from Wikipedia)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Happy Days: The Spirit is Willing (1984)

Originally aired April 24, 1984. While not a Halloween episode, it begins to feel like one halfway through. Fonzie gets more than he bargained for in the purchase of a junked 55 Chevy. A beautiful and mysterious woman appears. Fonzie's attraction to her intensifies, but so does his shocked reaction when he learns that she had died in a car accident a decade earlier.

Proud Pumpkin (1953), by Nora Spicer Unwin

One fall afternoon in the mid-1980s, I sat with my classmates on the floor in the school library and listened to our librarian read this book. She had a British accent, and though I don't recall her name I can vaguely remember her face. There were many books I heard her read during my years as an elementary student, but "Proud Pumpkin" is the only one that has stayed in my memory. It tells the story of a certain pumpkin in the patch that has a very high opinion of himself. While his brother pumpkins are content to be used for pies, Proud Pumpkin boasts in being selected for display as a jack-o-lantern. Reality sets in, however, when he is quickly discarded the day after Halloween. The effects of decay begin to set in, and the pumpkin is knocked over and nibbled by mice. He feels lonely and empty. Maybe he wasn't as needed or special as he thought. As the coldness of winter arrives and it seems like all hope of being useful is lost, a chipmunk discovers the pumpkin in a heap and makes it his home.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Brady Bunch: Out of This World (1974)

From Season 5, this episode originally aired January 18, 1974. I have never really associated UFOs and space aliens with Halloween, but there are plenty of sci-fi movies shown on TV around the holiday and alien masks sold in costume shops. And UFOs will be forever linked to Halloween because of Orson Welles's October 30, 1938 radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds, which sent many people into a panic across the U.S. I would like to include this episode on my Halloween blog because I really enjoy The Brady Bunch, and because this episode has a similar feel to "Fright Night," a true Brady Bunch Halloween episode. Motivated by his younger brothers' interest in space exploration and stories of UFOs, Greg plays a trick on them by projecting a flying saucer image out of the attic window. The boys are able to capture pictures and develop them, with Mom's help, which leads to a government investigation. There is also a dream sequence in which the UFO lands in the back yard and Bobby talks with the pint-sized aliens.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Pepsi/Doritos Monster Match Commercial (1991)

National Safety Council PSA (1989)

Public service announcement about Halloween safety, featuring Garfield and Odie. Some of the animation from "Garfield's Halloween Adventure" was used for this commercial.

Little Rascals: Hide and Shriek (1938)

Here is a silent 8mm version of the 1938 Rascals short, "Hide and Shriek". It has been retitled "The Haunted House" for this version. Alfalfa is a private eye, and with the help of Buckwheat and Porky, tracks a couple of suspects, Leonard and Junior, who are accused of stealing Darla's box of candy. The two little kids get into the cab of a flatbed truck, so the three sleuths climb in back and hide in a box. Leonard and Junior, however, simply exit the opposite side, unknown to the older boys. It turns out the truck is taking supplies to a haunted house carnival ride, which is where the boys find themselves, but they think their encountering actual spooks. (Synopsis from

Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show: Great Pumpkin (1985)

Short from the "Snoopy's Brother Spike" episode that aired September 21, 1985. Linus, Sally and Snoopy await the Great Pumpkin's arrival, while Peppermint Patty and Charlie Brown play in the Halloween Bowling Tournament.

In Search Of: Amityville Horror (1979)

This episode of In Search Of, hosted by Leonard Nimoy, recounts the story of the Amityville Horror as reported by the Lutz family. It includes clips from the motion picture released that same year. Some of the footage from this episode was used the next year in the Amityville episode of That's Incredible, another sensationalistic 70s show.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Magical, Musical Halloween (1983)

TV special from Dick Clark Productions, hosted by Fred Travalena and included guests William Shatner (who hosted 1987's The Search for Houdini), Jermaine Jackson, magician Larry Wilson, and escape artist Steve Baker. These clips from YouTube are not necessarily in order.

Magical, Musical Halloween (1984)

The 2nd annual Halloween TV special from Dick Clark Productions that features a mix of magic and comedy. This year's guests included Mr. T and magician Harry Blackstone, Jr. (who also appeared in the 1987 Halloween special The Search for Houdini). These clips from YouTube are not necessarily in order.

The Late Show: New Halloween Costumes

David Letterman gives out some tasteless treats to kids wearing unlikely costumes.

Watch on YouTube.







2009 Part 1:

2009 Part 2:

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Roseanne: Halloween the Final Chapter (1995)

Originally aired October 31, 1995. Roseanne is "Queen of the Gypsies, consort of wizards and seer of souls" on Halloween. An Ouija board sends a message and foretells an unexpected event...a new baby. (Synopsis from

Roseanne: Skeleton in the Closet (1994)

Originally aired October 26, 1994. Leon hosts a Halloween party at the Lunch Box for the staff and a few of his gay friends, many of whom seem to know his boyfriend Fred very well. (Synopsis from

Roseanne: Trick Me Up, Trick Me Down (1991)

Originally aired October 29, 1991. Roseanne is worried that her uptight neighbour Kathy Bowman will take revenge for the Halloween joke she played on her; Jackie flirts with a moose at the Lodge costume party who turns out to be her former boyfriend Booker. (Synopsis from

Roseanne: Halloween V (1993)

Originally aired October 26, 1993. Roseanne falls for several jokes played on her by her family. She tries to get Dan to play a joke on her friend Nancy who is convinced that Dan doesn't like her, and Roseanne discovers that Darlene and David are dating. (Synopsis from

Ray Parker: Ghostbusters (1984)

Disney's Halloween Treat - Remastered (1982)

You've never seen "Disney's Halloween Treat" quite like this! A Disney fan created a remastered version (or "close to it," he says) of the TV special that originally aired on October 30, 1982, editing together remastered footage from various DVDs to match the original program. I think he did a great job. Even the "pumpkin host" footage looks great, thanks to a pristine VHS tape from the 1984 release. In lieu of an official DVD release of this special from Disney, this is likely the only remastered version we'll see. (Embedding was disabled on parts 6 and 7, so I provided links to YouTube.) If you prefer the old, unremastered version, it is available here.

Part 6
Part 7

Disney's Halloween Treat at Wikipedia

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Major Dad: There's No Place Like Farlow (1992)

Originally aired October 30, 1992. While Casey (Chelsea Hertford) is home sick on Halloween, she dreams that everyone is a frightening monster. With Gerald McRaney and Shanna Reed. (Synopsis from

Bewitched: Twitch or Treat (1966)

Originally aired October 27, 1966. Darrin is incensed when Endora makes a house appear on a vacant lot near the Stephens home for a Halloween party. (Synopsis from

Hunter: Killer in a Halloween Mask (1985)

Originally aired October 26, 1985. Hunter and McCall become involved in a string of bizarre murders when they're assigned as technical advisers for a television show. (Synopsis from

ALF: Some Enchanted Evening (1987)

Originally aired October 26, 1987. ALF becomes the star attraction at the Tanners' Halloween party. (Synopsis from

The Jetsons: Haunted Halloween (1985)

Originally aired March 16, 1985. The curator of a museum takes a special interest in Orbitty, wanting to make him his special project in time for Halloween. Will the Jetsons lose their pet alien to the curator's scheme? (Synopsis from

Charles in Charge: Trick or Treat (1984)

Originally aired November 28, 1984. Buddy is afraid he won't be able to mask his nervousness with his date for the Halloween Ball, and he asks Charles for help. But when Gwendolyn spies Charles and the girl together, the guys must come up with some clever tricks to set the matter straight. (Synopsis from

Greatest American Hero: Resurrection of Carlini (1982)

Originally aired November 19, 1982. Hinkley finds himself involved in a bizarre and nightmarish escapade when he investigates murder attempts on three well known magicians who are planning on performing three of the late great Carlini's tricks at the Magic Castle on Halloween. (Synopsis from

Saturday, August 21, 2010

American Scary (2006)

Documentary about TV horror hosts.

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Night Flight intro to "Night of the Living Dead" from the late 80s:


Shindig Halloween Special (1965)

Originally aired October 30, 1965. A portion of the episode footage was lost, including a segment with Boris Karloff singing "Monster Mash."

Here is a fan reconstruction of what the missing footage might have looked like, using actual audio from the program.

Bewitched: Trick or Treat (1965)

Originally aired October 28, 1965. When Darrin defies Endora again by insisting Samantha remain at home during Halloween, Endora places a curse on Darrin that slowly begins transforming him into a werewolf. (Synopsis from

My So-Called Life: Halloween (1994)

Originally aired October 27, 1994. Angela finds herself in 1963 during a mystical Halloween experience. Graham and Patty create some magic of their own with the help of medieval Halloween costumes. (Synopsis from

The Mask: All Hallows Eve (1995)

Animated series based on the 1994 film with Jim Carrey. This episode originally aired October 28, 1995.

Blossom: All Hallows Eve (1992)

Originally aired October 26, 1992. Blossom and Six fear a crazed killer on Halloween. (Synopsis from

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

ABC Weekend Special: Red Room Riddle (1983)

Originally aired February 5, 1983. As part of a club initiation, Bill and Todd have to enter an old house haunted by the ghost of Jamie Bly. Soon the boys encounter a slew of ghosts, and they get trapped inside of a red, glowing room. (Synopsis from

ABC Weekend Special: The Trouble with Miss Switch (1980)

Originally aired February 16, 1980. When Rupert and his friend Amelia find the new substitute teacher doing odd things, they discover that she is actually a witch with a magical talking cat who sought them out in order to stop an evil coven of witches from destroying her. (Synopsis from

Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie (2005)

It's Halloween in the Hundred Acre Wood. Roo's best new pal, Lumpy, is excited to trick-or-treat for the first time. However, Tigger warns them about the dreaded Gobloon who'll turn them into Jaggedy Lanterns if he catches them. But if they catch the Gobloon before it catches them, they will be able to make a wish. With Roo by his side, Lumpy knows he can face anything. So when Pooh eats all the Halloween candy, Lumpy and Roo decide to be 'brave together, brave forever' and catch the Gobloon so they can wish for more. When Roo thinks Lumpy is turned into a pumpkin, Roo decides to wish for something more important. (Synopsis from ?)

The Real Ghostbusters: The Halloween Door (1989)

Originally aired October 29, 1989. When a mad scientist creates an Anti-Halloween Machine, he unknowingly breaks an ancient contract and unleashes evil upon the world. (Synopsis from

Donald's Halloween Scare (2000)

Donald scares his nephews to steal their candy, and they plot their revenge. This cartoon feels similar to the 1954 Donald Duck classic "Trick or Treat."

Jerry Seinfeld on Halloween

From his Broadway stand-up special, "I'm Telling You for the Last Time."

The Honeymooners: Halloween Party (1953)

Excerpt from a "lost" Honeymooners episode that originally aired October 31, 1953.

Watch on YouTube.

A Scooby-Doo Halloween (2002)

Originally aired May 24, 2002. The gang visits Velma's relatives during a Halloween festival headlined by KISS, but the festivities are interrupted by the ghost of the town's founder and a bevy of living scarecrows. (Synopsis from

Beverly Hills 90210: Halloween (1991)

Originally aired October 31, 1991. Brandon and Emily take her two young cousins trick-or-treaing but lose them along the way. David and Scott decide to take part in an annual egg fight, a Halloween tradition for the former best friends. Meanwhile, Kelly is sexually assaulted at a party. (Synopsis from

Pee-Wee Halloween Appearances on Late Night

Two Pee-Wee appearances on Late Night with David Letterman. Letterman is pretty much speechless throughout as his bizarre guest takes control of the show.

From 1983:

From 1984:

Roseanne: Halloween IV (1992)

Originally aired October 27, 1992. Roseanne is visited by the ghosts of Halloween past, present and future when she can't get into the spirit of things like usual. (Synopsis from

The Halloween Tree (1993)

Four children learn the origins of Halloween customs while trying to save the life of their friend. This Emmy-winning animated film is narrated by Ray Bradbury, who based the screenplay on his 1972 novel.

The Haunted History of Halloween (1997)

In this History of the Holidays segment, the History Channel examines Halloween. Discover the history of Halloween and how the Celts played a part in this popular holiday.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


This video was inspired by the many ghost hunter reality shows on TV. It was made last fall with my sister, brother-in-law, and a couple of friends.