October 09, 2017
HALLOWEEN TAPE REVIEW #9: Horrible Sounds of Halloween
Title: Horrible Sounds of Halloween (Black letter variant)
Manufacturer: Tony (U.S.A.) Inc.
Total Runtime: 30 Min
Repeats on both sides: Yes (and it repeats over four times on each side)
Music: Funeral march
Distinct Audio: See below
Review: Like a recurring nightmare, or an unrelenting stalker, or the monster at the end of the horror movie, this collection of effects keeps coming back. From what I gather, the recording on Horrible Sounds of Halloween was not only sampled on Chamber of Horrors, it was bootlegged for Scary Cassette: Sons Affreux and stolen again for Thriller/Chiller Sound Effects. (Thanks for the info Nostalgiakidd125.)
The redeeming factor is that Horrible Sounds is the source material— the mother lode from which the other cassettes were spawned. (I'm referring to the sequence of effects. The individual sounds date back to the 1974's Halloween Horrors, review to come.)
Having listened to this sequence about four dozen times this month, it is now obvious to me what’s going on. It’s a story of revenge. Use the audio link at the end of this post to listen along as I explain...
On a dark, dark night the wind grumbled as a storm took over the sparsely populated township. The sounds of the night were momentarily pierced by maniacal laughter coming from a small cabin at the edge of the woods. A man with rain-soaked hair sat by the fireplace, gleefully recounting the atrocity he had just committed.
The wildlife was restless, but it wasn't the storm, or the man's outburst that put the animals on edge— it was the witch. She followed her black cat through the open window at the back of the man's cabin, crushing the tip of her cone-shaped hat in the process. Standing behind the murderer, the witch surprised him with a shrill cackle. He whipped around, but before he could strike, her spell took effect and his innards felt ablaze. His guard dogs, unfortunate for him, were still chained to his shed. The howls of both beast and master meshed indistinguishably in the cold air.
The victorious witch slowly forced open the rotting front door with the aid of an unseen evil. She screeched with emotion as images from earlier that night flashed in her tormented mind: the joyous new litter of black kittens....hours later, the evidence of an intruder in her cave.... a found bucket of rat poison.... and the most ghastly discovery— the furry black stillness that surrounded her whining mama cat.
The funeral procession saw no mourners, only the shell-shocked mortician behind the horse's reins, and his moronic, torch-bearing assistant who guided them through the fog. There was nobody to notice the moaning spirit exit through the walls of the casket and leave the carriage. The ghost found a new home in the nearest available body. The assistant doubled over in pain, dropping his torch as he lost his free will. Nearby wolves echoed his snarls of agony. The ghost, now in full control of his new vessel, turned his attention to the mortician. He laughed at his newfound strength as he put a painful end to the witness.
Back at the witch's cave a cauldron simmered unattended. The possessed man had entered undetected, but as his giddy anticipation grew, so did his breathing. The sound of his fiendish excitement revealed his presence. For the second time that night he felt the ire of the witch. From the shadows she had pierced his body with a tree branch covered in otherworldly thorns. He might have escaped with his life were it not for the empty bucket that tangled his feet, ensuring his second death. As he lay gasping on the stone floor, he heard the impossible sound of a big city ambulance coming to his rescue. Alas, it was an auditory manifestation of the searing, supernatural pain that enveloped him.
As the witch dragged the fresh body back out into the storm the mama cat called out to her, paralyzed by a feeling of unexplained fear. Her master continued out of earshot as the cat called, and called, and called.
"Boo!" said the ghost of the murderer.
For some reason I feel compelled to list out all of the elements found on this brief, yet seminal recording. (The names are my own as opposed to their official titles on the track listing of Halloween Horrors.) They appear as follows...
Man in agony
A howl that sounds like “Eeeeeeee!”
Low guttural noises with growl
High pitched growls
Thunder and trickling water
Man laughing as someone sounds like they’re in pain
High pitched sounds of agony mixed with a high howl
Pained man possibly running
The sounds of an empty bucket
Meowing cat x5
“Boo!” followed by laughter
Rating: 2 of 5