Saturday, October 31, 2020


For me, outside of Bobby "Boris" Pickett's "Monster Mash", "It's Halloween!" exemplifies the holiday more than any other, mainly because of it's minor-key, slightly creepy tune and one that was played on a turntable (yes, an actual turntable) when I was in elementary school in the early 1960's. I recall the recording was sung by a man, the melody, and some of the lyrics -- the rest is just a fading, pleasant and nostalgic memory.

The song seems to have survived as a perennial favorite for kids as I have seen references from people on forums who mention hearing it in school as late as the 1990's.

The lyrics were written by Harry Behn and the music was by Milton Kaye. "Halloween" is included in the songbook, "Music Now and Long Ago", published in 1956.

Here is Behn's bio from the Library of Congress:

Harry Behn was born September 24, 1898, in Yavapai County, Arizona. He graduated from Harvard University with an S.B. in 1922. He worked as a scenario writer for motion pictures and was chiefly associated with King Vidor’s films. Behn taught writing at the University of Arizona from 1938 to 1947 and founded the University of Arizona Press in 1960. He published his first book of poetry, Siesta, in 1931, and, at the urging of his children, began writing children’s books. In 1949, he published The Little Hill, a book of poetry for children. Behn wrote and translated poetry for children, especially haiku, and drew on the poetic heritage of Robert Louis Stevenson in his use of the “child’s voice,” as well as on what critics called “a thread of transcendentalism.” He also wrote fiction for older children and young adults, including The Faraway Lurs (1963). Behn illustrated many of his works and received several graphic arts- awards for his artwork. He died on September 6, 1973.

These are the lyrics, as accurately as I can ascertain:

It's Halloween!
by Harry Behn

Tonight is the night
When dead leaves fly
Like witches on switches
Across the sky,
When elf and sprite
Flit through the night
On a moony sheen.
It's Halloween!

Tonight is the night
When leaves make a sound
Like a gnome in his home
Under the ground,
When spooks and trolls
Creep out of holes
Mossy and green.
It's Halloween!

Tonight is the night
When pumpkins stare
Through sheaves and leaves
When ghouls and ghost
And goblin host
Dance round their queen.
It's Halloween!

If you want to play it yourself, here is a sample of the sheet music from

And here is the song performed by Dany Rosevear on YouTube, who looks like a kindly old schoolteacher! There are other versions of the melody out there, but this one is from the original songbook.

BONUS! Here is another Halloween poem by Behn that I came across on the web (punctuation mine):

by Harry Behn

A cold and starry darkness moans
And settles wide and still,
Over a jumble of tumbles stones,
Dark on a darker hill.

An owl among those shadowy walls,
Gray against gray,
Of ruins an brittle weeds, calls
And a soundless swoops away

Rustling over scattered stones,
Dancers hover and sway,
Drifting among their own bones
Like the webs of the Milky Way.


Friday, October 30, 2020


My introduction to this terrific ghost story series by Dell Comics was with issue #10, April-June 1965. Since it wasn't real easy to obtain back issues those days, I had to satisfy myself by finding the new issues as they came out. There was always a couple of pretty good stories in each issue and they are well worth a few minutes reading time.

Now, presented here for your Halloween Eve pleasure, is the first issue, with stories by the lauded John Stanley and art by one of my favorite underrated artists, Gerald McCann.

Vol. 1 No. 1
September-November, 1962
Dell Publishing Co., Inc.
Editor: Don Arneson
Cover: ?
Cover price: 12 cents

"The Shade at the Window. . ."
Script: John Stanley
Art: Gerald McCann

"The Monster of Dread End. . ."
Script: John Stanley
Art: Ed Robbins

"The Werewolf Wasp"
Script: ?
Art: ?

"The Door. . ."
Script: John Stanley
Art: ?

"The Black Stallion"
Script: John Stanley
Art: Gerald McCann

"Beyond Science"
Script: John Stanley
Art: Gerald McCann

NOTE: All the stories from this issue were reprinted in GHOST STORIES #21, October 1968. "The Black Stallion" was reprinted in UNIVERSAL PICTURES PRESENTS DRACULA, THE MUMMY AND OTHER STORIES #1, September-November 1963.


Actress Veronica Lake (born Constance Frances Marie Ockelman; November 14, 1922 – July 7, 1973) was known as the "Peek-A-Boo Girl" after the way she wore her long, blonde hair that covered one eye. She is most remembered for her numerous sultry roles in film noir moves of the 1940's.

The beautiful Miss Lake is known to us genre fans for her role in I MARRIED A WITCH (1942) opposite Fredric "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" March. She was also in a 1952 episode of the TV series, TALES OF TOMORROW. Her last film role was as Dr. Elaine Frederick in the embarrassing FLESH FEAST (1970).

The image below is a personality poster issued by Paramount pictures in 1944 and was painted by master artist, Robert Soubie. Following are more photos of the angelic Veronica Lake.

Image by the famous portrait photographer George Hurrell.

Various promotional photos by Paramount.

Pages from SHOWMAN'S TRADE REVIEW October 24, 1952.

A one-page feature from MODERN SCREEN August, 1941.

An article from MODERN SCREEN May, 1941.