Sunday, October 20, 2013

Alfred Hitchcock Presents Ghost Stories for Young People

Hey Gang! Richard has very kindly written a guest post! About Hitchcock!

Sometime in the 1980s, everyone went Alfred Hitchcock crazy. Between films like Psycho and The Birds being on TV constantly, Psycho II making its television premiere, Psycho III in theaters, "Alfred Hitchock Presents" in syndication, AND "The New Afred Hitchcock Presents" on TV as well, you couldn't let out a secret fart without the ghost old Hitch catching a whiff of it. I too was swept up in all this madness. I remember very vividly watching Psycho and Psycho II on TV one night and being completely freaked out. I started dragging a chair into the bathroom whenever I had to shower. I would jam the back of the chair under doorknob to slow Mrs. Bates down a little.
My parents couldn't help but notice that I was into the "Master of Suspense" so they got me his record titled: "Alfred Hitchcock Presents Ghost Stories for Young People" either for my birthday or Christmas, I can't remember which. Where they had obtained a copy, I have no idea. All I know is that this album brought me so much joyful dread that very night. Side A scared me so badly that I didn't dare flip the record over. Instead, I waited until the following day. In fact, I started it beforenoon so that there was no chance that Side B would finish after dusk.

Revisiting this record now, for the first time in nearly 30 years, everything is all new and familiar to me which means I must have listened to this record A LOT. I am instantly transported back to my childhood bedroom bathed in the gloom of a cloudy afternoon. There are G.I. Joes in every available nook and cranny. There is a collection of secondhand (and unread by me) Hardy Boys books. What the fuck is up with those anyway? How come they were never as good as the cover art? 

"Ghost Stories for Young People" is just wonderful even though it is wildly hokey. Any ghost story that features the line: "And in the door came a squirrel as big as a... SHEEP DOG!" is silly as heck, to say the least. Give it a listen and maybe get a little peek into my childhood. More importantly, see if you get a little creeped out by some fun yet effective ghost stories.

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