I have a confession, I like kid's movies-- I liked them when I was a kid, and still like them today. When it comes to Halloween movies, I still like the kid's stuff. Some of my favorite kid's movies are Disney titles from the 1960's, as with most things, they were made better back in the day.
I can remember where and when I saw these movies, they made such an impression on me. I saw Disney's Blackbeard's Ghost in 1968 at the Circle Drive-In in Maple Shade NJ, it was a double feature with The Son of Flubber. I like both movies, but Blackbeard's Ghost had some great spooky gimmicks that fired up my young imagination.
The movies back then had a certain charm to them that you won't find in today's movies. Although the plots were hokey, I think the primitive special effects helped. Today, you never wonder how they achieved an effect, it's all computer generated. But in 1966 when the organ in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken played, with no one at the keyboard... wow, now how did they do that? I saw that at The Broadway Theatre in Palmyra, NJ.
Movies like The Ghost and Mr. Chicken didn't just throw a story at you, it pulled you in with a supporting cast of familiar faces, all those great character actors, from every 1960's TV show, people like Charles Lane, Rita Shaw, Dick Sargent, Hal Smith... then you put them all in a small town, that you feel like you've been to before, then put Don Knotts in a role that resembles Barney Fife, a haunted house, and you have a hit.
The Broadway Theatre building is still in Palmyra, but hasn't been a movie theatre for 45 years, the Circle Drive-In is long gone, and the casts of many of my favorite movies may now be real ghosts, but turn on the TV, and everything is safe and easy to understand again.
There are also TV shows from the 1960's that are also a lot of fun at this season, like the first TV families' of Halloween, The Addams Family and The Munsters. So which show was the best? If I had clear choice, I'm not sure I'd want to say, it's like the "dogs or cats" debate, no matter what you pick, you're going to tick-off a lot of people.
Another show that is required Halloween viewing is It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Did you know this was the third Charlie Brown special, it was proceeded by: A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) and Charlie Brown's All Stars! (1966) and it's been followed by 49 more outings for Charlie Brown.
Don't get me wrong, I have an appreciation for the new witches and wizards, like in the Harry Potter Movies, but my Top 13 List of Halloween Movies, might give you some suggestions that you have forgotten, or never heard of, so check it out, and have A Happy Halloween!
How would you like to attend a Halloween festival held at the the most iconic house in television history-- the home of the Munster family.
Charles and Sandra McKee have the ultimate Munsters collectible: A replica of the house on 1313 Mockingbird Lane. Except this house is locate in Waxahachie, Texas. And this isn't just a facade like the one at Universal Studios.
The house isn't just for show, it's a real house that the McKees live in, so it's not open to the public, except for their annual Halloween Charity Bash. The big bash, a family friendly event, is on October 18 & 19, 2013 (7PM - Midnight). For just $20 for adults, $12 for kids, you can get a tour of the house, meet Pat Priest who played Marilyn Munster from 1964-66 on the original series, there's food, midway games, a live band, and family friendly entertainment. You can get complete details on their official web site.
In December of 2001, Charles McKee McKee and his wife Sandra, started construction on their dream house, situated just thirty miles south of Dallas Fort-Worth on the outskirts of the small Texas town of Waxahachie, the instantly recognizable home of televisions most fiendishly funny and 'abnormal' monster family stands forebodingly. Owned and built by Sandra and Charles McKee, the Munster Mansion (as it is now known) is a 5,825-square-foot Victorian style house, with a shockingly accurate interior that matches the set used on the series, complete with a staircase that opens and a dungeon trap door in the living room.
The initial construction cost was estimated at $250,000 and completed in 2002. Contractor Steve Wilson said Universal Studios, which owns rights to the show, has been supportive. In fact it seems like Universal even appreciates the press coverage they've been getting.
1. Front doors for Herman to crash through. 2. Completed Foyer w/ Butch Patrick and Grandpa George 3. Foyer under construction 4. The real house in 1963 5. The replica under construction.
As the McKees keeping adding details to the house, it may never be complete, but in 2002 cast alumni Al Lewis and Butch Patrick appeared at the public grand opening. Lewis exclaimed, with tears in his eyes, "This brings back warm memories." The house comes equipped with a grand staircase (which opens up to reveal Spot), a rotating suit of armor, trap doors, secret passages, Grandpa's electric chair, a pipe organ, raven cuckoo clock, a crooked bat weather vane on the roof and even a dungeon complete with trap door.
The Munster's house shown under construction in March of 2002
The Munster Mansion Halloween Bash each year selects a local charity and donates proceeds from the event, The Salvation Army this year.
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