October 05, 2017

HALLOWEEN TAPE REVIEW #5: Haunted Horror Sounds


Haunted Horror Sounds
Manufacturer: Forum Novelties
Year: 1993
Total Runtime: 30 min (the CD version is 60 min)
Repeats on both sides: No
Stories: No
Music: The album opens with a theme followed by recurring organ music. Occasional synth notes, chimes, and piano chords.
Narration: No
Distinct Audio: It’s drenched in organ music.
Review: If I traveled with a carnival, and operated my own semi-trailer spook house, there’s a good chance that I’d blast this album over my PA system. It’s well produced, it’s consistent, and it features a densely layered soundscape made up of a variety of effects, so it never feels too repetitive. If I’m taking tickets in front of my dark ride for hours on end, this is important. Haunted Horror Sounds contains no detracting dialogue, or oddball effects so it never demands too much attention. It can blend into the atmosphere, enhancing the masterfully painted scenes of terror on the side panels of my dark ride.

The Gothic church organ is one of the most misused features of Halloween tapes. Volume slider abuse is all too common, so is tossing in a public domain recording of ‘Toccata and Fugue in D minor.’ On Haunted Horror Sounds the music sounds intentional, and may have been recorded specifically for this album! If organ music isn’t your thing, then steer clear of this one. But in this case it keeps the energy up, even for those standing in the long and profitable line to get inside my haunted attraction.

One reason this recording stands above many of the others is because it was produced by the capable hands of Forum Novelties.They’ve been around since the 1980s and are still operational today. It’s possible that they had more resources than the standard fly-by-night Halloween tape makers. One of the company’s biggest assets was the anonymous artist that created the eye-grabbing red-cloaked ghoul on the package. I think a business whose livelihood depends on selling gorilla suits, pranks, and gag gifts is going to have an inherent understanding of what makes a solid Halloween tape. These things may seem unrelated on the surface, but they are connected on a level that’s beyond what the human mind can grasp.
Rating: 4 of 5

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