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.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Well I haven't come across any pictures for 'Cadburys Monsters' cholate bars yet, but here is a picture of a promotional badge, just to confirm that my freind was right about what he remembered. I wonder how many more were in the set?

I did come across this website that has a similiar product by Cadburys called 'Monster Bar', the site has information about them as well as pictures of the wrappers and advertisements.

Thanks to darren for the badge picture.

Saturday, November 03, 2007


I got these screen captures sent to me from an advert for 'Trebor Mummies' from 1980, is there anyone that remembers these or has any magazine adverts from them?

A freind of mine was on about a chocalate bar he remembers called 'Monsters' which featured on each wrapper a different monster such as King Kong, Dracula, Mummy etc. Anyone remember these too?

Also he remembers a Tudor crisps send away promotion for Wear-em Scare-ems, which were metal pendants of monster type characters I think. Any ads for these or scans/pictures of the Wear-em Scare-ems would be great to see too.

Thanks to Rich for the screen captures.

Friday, November 02, 2007

'HORROR BAGS' - Super horrid picture cards

The first post I did about these cards was that it featured only one of the six cards, now with kindness of Gutter from http://annexxed.blogspot.com/ who has let me use the image from his site we can now see the rest of the cards in the set and see the completed picture they form.

Thanks again Gutter.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

'HORROR BAGS' - Ribs and Bones packets

Here is another 2 items to the growing Horror bags archive, this time it is empty wrappers of Vampire vinegar flavour Ribs and Salt and Vinegar flavour Bones. Thank goodness for somebody hanging onto these, as normally unless you are a collector of such items they would be normally thrown away and lost for posterity.

Thanks to steve C. for the pictures.

'HORROR BAGS' - Vinyl swimming bag

Well at last after probally 30 years I have now got a photo of the Horror bags swimming bag, here in the photo you can see that it is called 'HORROR BAG'. It is not how I seem to remember it when my freind had one, but it was a long time ago and I didn't have much chance to look at it properley. Now looking at this bag I think it is a great item and the picture on the front is wonderful and nicely detailed and I certainly would be proud to carry it around with me.

Thank you so much Steve C for the pic and reasurring my memory