When I was a kid my mom used to decorate the house for Halloween in such a way that some kids didn’t dare come up the driveway. She had special effects and large dangling spiders and, eventually, my step-father hiding in a pauper’s coffin next to the front porch to scare the trick-or-treaters.
What I remember most, or I should say terrified/thrilled me the most, was this Ghostly Sounds album on the Peter Pan record label that came out in 1975. My mom acquired this LP, most likely at Peaches (remember Peaches?), and it became the go-to soundtrack of every Halloween at our house for a solid seven years until I aged out of begging for candy.
Mostly what terrified me was the elaborate art on the cover, the inside and the back. Done by a former Disney animator named George Peed, the Ghostly Sounds artwork looks nothing like all the other gentle covers he illustrated for Peter Pan records. If anything, it looks downright demented even by 1970′s standards (remember this is the same era with that freaky psychedelic Wonkamobile sequence in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory).
Hence, in the smallest font possible, directly below the freakiest image on the cover, are these words: NOT FOR THE VERY YOUNG.
I am living testimony that those five words were absolutely true. I would have been 4-turning-5 years old the first time I heard Ghostly Sounds while looking between my fingers at a very sinister vampire with long hair and a top hat, sporting ears that look like fish fins, seemingly returning home from Noir Leather in Royal Oak, having enslaved an inexplicably happy and very green humanoid (goblin?), who is wearing a metal lock collar and chains running like leashes back to a skeleton army. It’s nothing if not creepy and it definitely gave me a nightmare or two as a kindergartner with a runaway imagination.
As for the record itself, it is a gem from start to finish. Highly recommend it.