October 16, 2017

HALLOWEEN TAPE REVIEW #16: Haunted House

 

Title: Haunted House 
Manufacturer: Haunted House Music Co. (Golden Circle Inc.) 
Year: 1985 
Total Runtime: 1 Hour 
Repeats on both sides: No 
Stories: No 
Music: Familiar spooky sounding instrumental on side one
Narration: No
Distinct Audio: Definitely the music 
Review: Haunted House is chintzy and samey, and I love it. What puts it high above the rest is the music. There is a constant ethereal droning that keeps the listener in a state of unease. Rather than the jarring storms and explosions commonly found on Halloween tapes, the eerie tones on Haunted House create a trance-like mood, carrying you helplessly through a nightmare.

The music feels so ridiculously familiar, but I can't confirm its source. The track is listed as "Music from the Fourth Dimension" and is available on side two independent from any sound effects. It may be Spencer Moore's Capital Hi-Q library music, similar to what is heard in both "Teenagers from Outer Space," and "Night of the Living Dead." Any more info would be appreciated.

EDIT: In a strange coincidence I just heard this music playing in an episode of the Western show "Trackdown"...



I was watching it because it coincidentally features a lying shyster named Trump that talks about building a wall, and suing people before trying to skip town with everyone's money. Snopes article here.

Haunted House is one of a series of three Halloween records that also includes Night in a Graveyard and The Ride of the Headless Horseman. Both were released in 1985 under the corporate pseudonym Haunted House Music Co. The real manufacturer, Golden Circle Inc., put out dozens of cassette compilations, many of them unofficial, and most of them bearing questionable (yet lovable) graphic design. The blurry print jobs did them no favors.

These are low-fidelity to the core, but this project seems wildly ambitious compared to the other Golden Circle releases. We're talking three original, long playing albums all released in the same year, all with original artwork. Maybe it's my imagination, but there's a sincerity surrounding these records that is uncommon. Is it possible that something more than money was motivating this undertaking? Whether that's true or not, Haunted House is a great example of Halloween magic on a budget from an unlikely source.
Rating: 5 of 5



Album art for the vinyl edition

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This tape scared the crap out of my Sister's and I. I just pulled it out tonight and I got goosebumps, my Wife thought it was funny, but I have serious PTSD from this tape.