Thursday, December 20, 2007

'HORROR BAGS' Bats TV advert

Well at long last I have managed to locate one of the Horror Bags Television adverts from the 1970's. I was almost beginning to doubt my mind that I had actually saw one when I was a child, but this here confirms that there were adverts for the Smith's snacks. I don't think this is the one I saw all those years ago, if it isn't then there are obviously more than one that were made; which I suppose is likely has Horror bags had been in production from 1974 up untill the early 1980's. This particular advert is as you can see from the screen shots one for the last of the range of horror bags 'Bats'. Frank Thornton who plays the vampire/Dracula is great fun whom has an assistant which I think is a Ygor/frankenstein monster character. Here we also see a shot of one of the actual Bat shaped corn snacks and the packet.

Untill I can work out how to put the advert here in The Cobwebbed room please enjoy these screen shots. I am hoping that some more will turn up sometime, I wonder how many more adverts of 'The snacks that go crunch in the night' there were?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


There have been a number of these shaped spagetti foods over the years, the most popular and well known being Alphabetti spagetti [I think thats right]. Quite a lot of the ones being made now are based on TV or films such as Scooby Doo, Teletubbies. The ones featured here 'Haunted house' first came out I think during the 1980's. The one of the left in the picture is from the 1980's, not sure the exact date, the other is from the 1990's. What I really like about them is not the shapes which were usually quite crude, but the actual artwork featured on the tins. I don't belive these are made anymore, certainly haven't seen them in quite awhile. Also in the picture is a Heinz Haunted house badge. I think I have a Haunted house Frieze too which has glow-in-the-dark removable stickers to stick on it, there may of been other promotional items over the years.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


The Horror colouring book I wrote about on the 8th November 2007 features on the cover images of Peter Cushing from Tales from the Crypt, Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's monster, Dracula, Lon Chaney as The Wolfman, a female vampire from Scars of Dracula?, and a scene from House on haunted hill, unfortunatly none of these images appear in the colouring book. I have picked out a few pictures that seemed to be based on images from British horror films, other pictures in the book are either from American horror films or altered pictures from a film, or are made up pictures.

The ones I have included here that are based on British horror films are as follows:

From top to bottom
'Twins of evil' - Victim of Gustav Weil [Cushing] and his men
'The Vampire Lovers' - Ingrid Pitt as Carmilla
'The Skull' - Peter Cushing
'Dr.Phibes' - Vincent Price

Saturday, December 08, 2007

'BONE SHAKER' candy and coffin

The bone shaped sweets/candy that were contained in these little plastic coffins were hard and chalky with not much taste; the bone shaped peices could be fitted together like a jigsaw puzzle to make a one armed, one legged skeleton [of which there is a diagram inside of the coffin lid]. Why on earth the skeleton only had one arm and one leg is a little strange. On top of the lid of the little coloured coffins was the name of the product 'BONE SHAKER' and underneath Candy BonBons. I think that most kids would of bought Bone Shakers essentially just for the coffin. These small shapely coffins came in a number of different colours, Red, orange, blue, green, and yellow [see pic, sorry its not very good] there may of been other colours, but I think these were the only ones. 'Bone Shaker' came out sometime during the 1980's and were made by Swizzels Matlow Ltd of Stockport. Anyone know of any magazine ads for Bone Shaker?

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Well seeing as its that time of year here is a couple of Fleetway covers for the Xmas period. 'Monster Fun' from 1975 featuring Frankie-Stein and Kid Kong, and the Whoopee issue featuring Frankie Stein as Father Christmas. I really love these covers, they are really vibrant.

Usually the stories inside would have a Christmas type storyline too.

Thanks to Rich for the Whoopee cover.

Monday, December 03, 2007

'Count Dracula's secret' Lolly - Trace - a - Face sticks

Here is the Trace-a-face lolly sticks that came with the Count Dracula's Secret ice-lolly from about 1976. These are the six that could be collected:

From top to bottom -







I am not sure how you traced the face in order because they don't seem to be any numbers or indication on what goes where.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Run by John Raven, 'The Count Dracula Fan Club' was one of many horror themed fan clubs that came out during the 70's and 80's. The great thing about fan clubs is that they of course cater for the fan who wants to read and learn about a particular subject, actor, film, book, charactor, etc. Once becoming a member they receive such things as a membership card, newsletters or magazine in which they can read about their favorite subject, contribute artwork, stories, articles etc. The fan club is a great way of bringing like-minded people together, forming freindships, and bringing out your creative side.

I have been a member of a few fanclubs/societies and have always found them to be freindly, fun, and informative about the subject. When I sent my money off to join 'The Count Dracula fan club' back in the early 1980's, I received a letter from John Raven saying that the club had finished, which was a little disapointing;but he said that he still had the 4 issues of the official fan club magazine 'The Vampire' which I could buy also a number of books etc that were available to members to purchase via Halloween enterprises, the clubs mailorder service. So I bought what I could afford at the time [I was still at school] which included 3 masks, a few books, a Dracula cloak and some photos. He was selling them off cheap because of the fan club closing down.

The official magazine of The Count Dracula Fan Club' The Vampire was a large format magazine that had photocopied pages[ but on good paper] apart from the covers. The magazine was also only printed on one side, but you expect this with fan produced magazines. Most of the articles, stories, reviews, and art work were by John Raven and Sharon Raven. What was great about the magazine was that it covered a lot of the latest horror books, theatre productions, audio tapes, etc that came out at the time here in England. The reviews covered such items as 'I am the doorway and 'One for the road' audio tape read by Ed Bishop, 'Dracula' audio tape read by Anthony Valentine, More Death and horror sound effects, 'The Reluctant Vampire' by Eric Morcambe, Theatre production of 'Sweeny Todd' starring Brian Murphy and Liz Frazer, 'Bats out of hell' by Guy N. Smith, Waddington's Game of Dracula, The Vampire bedside companion, The Beaver book of horror, and other books, tapes etc. The magazine featured articles on actors that have played Dracula, Bram Stoker, Highgate cemetary, Borley rectory, stories, jokes, Dracula in the media, fanclub/society reviews, amoung many other items.

All in all 'The Count Dracula Fan Club' seemed to be a freindly and fun fanclub to become a member of. The pictures show the 4 'The Vampire' magazines and a flyer explaining what the fanclub is all about.

Friday, November 23, 2007

'HORROR BAGS" Bones wrapper

Here is an empty Smith's Horror Bags 'Bones' wrapper that I missed out on ebay not so long ago. The back of the wrapper shows that you could send away for a Horror bags mask featuring the Top hatted vampire by enclosing 6 of either Bones or Fangs wrappers, how cool that would of been. You can just make out a picture of the mask in the peice about Horror bags from 'World of Horror' magazine that is featured here on this blog. [March 07]. Also you will notice that the main Smiths office was Richmond in Surry and to send for the promotional items Erith in Kent. I wonder if the place in Kent was the place where they produced all of these Horror bags promotional items or maybe they were made by different companies and then shipped by this company in Kent, I'm not really sure how it works.

The closing date for the mask promotion here is 30th November 1974, which would mean that this particular wrapper would of been one of the earliest of the Horror bag range, because they didn't actually begin untill sometime during 1974.

Thanks to darren.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Here are a few more horror/monster sweet wrappers, the Fryer's 'Eyeballs' pack and the Dobsons 'Phantom fruits' are both from the 1980's I belive, and the Monster Chewits from 1999. I forget what the 'Eyeballs' were actually like, I think they were either like the white shelled chocolate eggs or some sort of gobstopper type sweets. 'Phantom Fruits' would be like a chewy sweet which were rectangle, and Monster Chewits were well Chewits, these I belive were only out for a short time. I really like the artwork on all of these especially the Monster Chewits. The Eyeballs remind me of the type of artwork you would get on the early type of gory horror videos during the 80's. The Phantom Fruits kind of have an old look about them.

A freind was asking me if I remember something called 'Action Spookies', he said they came in a smallish box that contained a peice of chewing gum; the action spookie was like a creepy face that when you squeezed it the eyes and tongue would stick out. Anyone remember these?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

'LOOK-IN' Monster cover 1981

One of the most popular and long running children's magazines was the slim but informative and fun weekly 'Look-in' [junior TV Times] which ran from 1971 up untill 1994. The magazine covered anything from a TV series, films, pop stars, sport stars, jokes, competitions, comicstrips of popular TV series of the time, etc. I think certainly the 1970's was the best period for the magazine, because of the wonderful painted covers, quality comicstrips, and because I am biased towards that decade as I belive the programmes were better and certainly more memorable and had good storylines and good character actors, which I don't think you get so much these days; but this is of course my own opinion.

Anyway here is an issue of Look-in from the week ending 30 May 1981, which as you can see has a monster themed cover featuring Star Wars Chewbacci, Frankenstein's monster, Sweetums from the Muppet show, and Vincent Price from The Monster Club. 1981 was the year that Amicus films realeased The Monster Club, another of their popular series of films featuring 3 or 4 different short films with a wrap around story in-between. This particular film was aimed at the older children. Featuring a wonderful cast such as Vincent Price, John Carradine, Britt Eckland, Donald Pleasance, Patrick Magee, among many other classic stars. Music was provided by The Pretty Things, B.A.Robinson, UB40, etc. I am hoping to do a bigger feature on some of The Monster Club collectables sometime, so I shall tell you a little more about the contents of this issue of Look-in relevant to The Cobwebbed Room. First up there is a 4 page feature called 'Enough to make you scream' which talks about horror films in general and The Monster Club, and there was a fantastic competition to win one of the actual masks used in the nightclub scenes of The Monster Club. 6 masks were up to grabs and you just had to answer 5 monster based questions. I wonder if these are still around?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

'Monster/horror crisp packets'

Anyone remember these that came out during the late 80's/1990's? Here we have a packet of 'Jaws 2' barbecue beef corn snacks by Sooner Foods [don't think I have seen other brands from them before] that were around in 1987. I forget what shape 'the snack that bites back' were like, nice image on the pack though. Next up is 'The Real Ghostbusters' salt and vinegar snacks, I forget which company produced these as I don't have the packet to hand. These were from 1988 and as you can see you could send for free real ghostbusters glow-in-the-dark stickers. The next two packs are for 'Supernatural ghouls' and 'Supernatural Spectres'. Here the Ghouls were Terrifying Tomato and the Spectres were Shocking salt and vinegar flavour. These I think were from sometime during the 1990's and in the same sort of cheap corn snacks product as Space Raiders that we have now.

I have some 'Goosebumps' ones I will show you in the next few days.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

'RADIO TIMES' covers

Horror/supernatural themes seem to be an almost negleted genre to be featured on the cover of the first and best of the TV guides. Now science fiction, well thats a different matter; just look at the amount of Doctor Who covers there have been lately.

Well here are a few issues that feature a horror/supernatural theme, I am not really sure what genre covers TV Times featured. I have seen a couple from the ABC television series 'Mystery and Imagination'. I am sure there must be many more, anybody know of any?
Issues are as follows:
Haunting ground (1975)
Horror double bill (1980) features article about horror films
Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde (1980) David Hemmings
Ghost Watch (1992) the spoof fly-on the wall one off programme
Horror special (1994) Features on Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Kate O'Mara, Stephen King.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


The ads you see here are all from the backs of Horror bags packets, of course advertising two of the products Bones and Fangs and the horror bags tagline 'Snacks that go crunch in the night'. I think that Bones and Fangs were the first of the 4 product line. I still have yet to see a packet of Fangs and Bats that I could put here in The Cobwebbed room. Surely you would think that their is some sort of archive that Smith's crisps has of all their products, including packet designs, advertising, promotional items etc. Certainly on the net their doesn't seem to be anything, maybe someone knows differently that could share it here.

Thanks to Steve C.

Monday, November 12, 2007


'Monster Munch has been around for quite some time now, late 1970's I think. These monster shape snacks are still has popular as when they first hit the market. There has of course been many changes regarding the packets, I always like the pictures of the monsters on the front, the same ones that you saw on the TV adverts during the 70's/80's. What was also great was the advertising you get on the wrappers to send for wonderful Monster Munch things, such as toys, badges, t-shirts, and to win games etc. What has happened to Monster Munch now? The packets are just horrible, the snacks themselves may be the same, but the packet design is just too plain and boring, what happened to the fun looking packs, after all they are really aimed at children. Anyway enough moaning, as you can see here is a selection of Monster Munch packets, the earliest of these is late 80's and goes onto the 1990's.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


I am quite sure that when we were all children we had colouring books of some kind, usually full of animals, birds, cars, landscapes etc, etc. Then there were the colouring books based on a TV series, film or cartoon with action type scenes featuring familiar characters. Here's a horror colouring book for the young artistic monster fan, there was another one in the same series simply called 'Monsters', I'll try and put a pic of this on sometime.


The familiar image we have of Frankenstein's monster as played by Boris Karloff in 'Frankenstein' (1931) as been used so many times in TV and magazine adverts selling all manner of products and services etc. Here is one such advert that appeared in TV Times (18-31 December 1971) advertising Grandee cigars.

Anyone else have Frankenstein or any other classic monster magazine ads?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

'HORROR BAGS' - Pastiche

John a regular contibuter to The Cobwebbed Room sent me this wonderful inspired peice of artwork based on the Horror bag range. I was so impressed by it that I told him that you could almost be mistaken that it was an original Horror bags design that never went into production. You can almost imagine the actual packet and what type of skull shape the actual snacks would look like. I bet John could of become one of the designers of the original range during their heyday.

Anyway I'll let John explain his inspiration and the process behind the art:

'It's an entirely amateur affair which stemmed from sheer enthusiasm and an idea that just wouldn't go away! (That deleted scene from 'The Return of the King' with the avalanche of skulls in the caves probably had something to do with it.)

Apart from that, extrapolation seems to be about pinching the main elements of a concept and just asking yourself: 'What's left?' Well, in the case of Horror Bags, not a lot! Apart from 'Skulls' there's only 'Knees & Elbows' that haven't been turned into crisps! As far as I can remember 'Fangs' had a red background and I seem to recall a green packet of 'Bats' from wherever. That only left blue as an obvious but less garish background scheme than that of typical packaging design where every product has to appear more dazzling than the one next to it on the shelves but they tend to look hideous, individually!

I'm quite pleased with the feel of 'Skulls' anyway but if anyone with computer colouring skills could polish the blues and reds it would look a lot better - felt tips seem to have gone out in the early 80's as well!"

Thanks John.

Lets hope this will inspire others to put on their creative heads and come up with some more inspired Horror Bags designs. All for entertainment purposes of course.

'LEMFIZZ' Slabs of sweet

These tangerine or lime chalky slabs of sweet were another sweet item that came out [1980's?] that made you wonder why they decided on having monsters on the wrapper which had no real reason to, apart from monsters sell. When you think of monsters do you think of half inch think chalky sour sweets? Anyway these wrappers are pretty cool, I can't remember if there were other non-monster designs for Lemfizz.

Monday, November 05, 2007


I remember this box for sale on ebay some months ago and I was going to bid for it but it was a little too much for me at the time, but I suppose you would expect something as obscure as this to be not cheap, I think it was about 25 pounds. I had nether heard of Bats in the Horror bag range before and I haven't seen any pictures of the packets either, maybe someone knows something about them. The picture shows the side and front of the box.

Thanks to Darren for the scan

'COUNT DRACULA's SECRET' Lolly wrapper

Here is a wrapper from 'Count Dracula's secret' Ice lolly. The sticks of the lollies had different shapes in them which you traced onto paper to create a different monster character face [Trace-a-face]. On the back of the wrapper was a competition to win a horror film and film projecter.

Thanks to steve C. for the scans.