Tuesday, December 09, 2008


On December 4th of this year Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy fans have lost the most influential person within the genre, Forrest J Ackerman. Also known as Uncle Forry, Mr.Sci-Fi, Mr.Monster, 4E, FJA, Dr.Acula, etc. For those not familiar with the name [shame on you] Forrest Ackerman had been a life long fan, editor, writer, agent, archivist, actor, collector, etc, etc of all things horror, science fiction and fantasy. He saw is first fantasy film 'One Glorious Day' when he was 6 year old and began collecting fantastic memorabilia soon after which he continued untill the end. Through out his incredible life he has seen just about every genre film including the now lost Lon Chaney snr film 'London after Midnight' [Forry also had the Beaver hat and the teeth that Chaney wore in the film, as well has owning Chaney's make-up kit]. Forry discovered Ray Bradbury, was friends with Lon Chaney, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, Angus Scrimm, Robert Bloch, Peter Jackson, Steven Speilberg, Joe Dante, Ray Harryhausen, Tobe Hooper, Ed Wood jnr, Elsa Lanchester the list goes on and on. Many of these famous actors, directers, make-up people were inspired to become what they are by reading a monster magazine that came out in 1958. This the first of it's kind was called 'Famous Monsters of Filmland' and was edited by Forrest Ackerman and published by James Warren. The magazine in its original run lasted for 191 issues of which Forry edited 190 issues. The magazine was aimed at the 11 to 13 age group and the magazine was full of fasinating articles and photos from the great monster films, most of the stills seen in Famous Monsters were from Forry's collection. Forry's freindly approach to the magazine with his puns, humour was a hit with the kids, but the magazine also had its serious side too with wonderful features on wonderful horror/monster films as well as on the actors, directers, make-up men, writers, etc. A section called The Graveyard Examiner would feature horror/monster fans writing about their collections, monster make-ups, or super 8 film making. Forry made monsters fun, interesting and made fans of the genre realise that there is no harm in liking monsters. As well has editing Famous Monsters, Forry also edited 'Monster World', 'Spacemen', 'Monsterland', 'Wonderama', etc. He invented the Vampirella comic character also published by Jim Warren, coined the term 'Sci-Fi', appeared in films such as 'Amazon Women on the Moon, Schlock, Innocent Blood, Brain Dead, Return of the Living Dead pt2, Michael Jackson's Thriller, Beverley Hills cop 3, Mausoleum, Dracula vs Frankenstein etc, etc.

Forry's vast collection of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Monster memorabilia was housed in his 17 room 3 garage residence which was termed The Ackermansion. The incredible collection included over 50,000 books, tens of thousand stills, one of Bela Lugosi's Dracula capes, Lugosi's dracula ring, Boris Karloff's Mummy ring, Dinosaur models made by Ray Harryhausen, Original head of The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Don Post masks, thousands of pulp magazines, over 250 different editions of Dracula and Frankenstein, model kits, autographs from the likes of Lugosi, Karloff, Chaney, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Vincent Price, in fact probally all of those involved within the genre of Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy, original props, models etc from films and Television such as King Kong, Gremlins, Frankenstein, War of the Worlds, Picture of Dorian Gray, The Outer Limits, Forbidden Planet, etc etc. Then there are original paintings by Bok, Virgil Finley, Basil Gogos and many others, I could go on and on. Anyway you can probally understand why Forrest Ackerman was and is still a very important man for what he did for the genre in so many ways as well has being a wonderful, kind, funny, inteligent man. R.I.P.

The first and only time I met Forrest Ackerman was March 1991 at the Scala Cinema in London, he was guest at a small event called 'The Famous Monsters of Filmland Festival', also there that day were Ray Harryhausen and Johnny Legend. I was in total awe of Forry, I at last was meeting the man I read so much about and read so much about his collection, He was very likable, who shook your hand, smiled and signed any books, issues of Famous Monsters etc. He always had so much time for fans and enjoyed talking about the genre and had so many interesting stories to tell about his life, the people he met, the films he appeared in, his collection etc. Forry was wearing the famous Bela Lugosi Dracula ring and the Boris Karloff Mummy ring and behind him was sat the Horror Hall of Fame Grim Reaper statue that he was presented with. I chatted with Forry and showed him some photos of my collection of Horror memorabilia and photos of Bram Stoker's urn at Golders Green in London, I said that he could have any of the photos to keep if he wanted and he chose one of me when I was much younger holding a copy of House Of Hammer magazine and rubber bats hanging from my ears, a year or 2 later my picture was included in 'Wanted more readers like...' in 'Monsterama' no.2. I feel so honoured to have met such an amazing person, my regret was that I never got to see the Ackermansion in Hollywood. Thank goodness there are many photos and footage of the Ackermansion and Forry to enjoy.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

'JAWS 3D SCENES' - Weetabix 1983ish

A good freind of mine let me borrow these 2 'Jaws 3-d' scenes from the backs of Weetabix to put here in The Cobwebbed Room'. I can't actually remember seeing these when they came out but I do remember seeing the film at the cinema, not a great plot but I always enjoy watching a 3-D film. The first one I saw was 'Friday the 13th 3-D', I then later saw 'Amityville 3' and 'Spacehunter'. I really like all these opitical type pictures, films etc such as Viewmaster slides, Holograms, 3-D images etc. The 2 images you see here were 2 of 4 that could be collected from Weetabix packets, 2 were featured on the 18 biscuit packs and 2 on the 27 packs. Would love to see the other 2 if anyone has them and would like to share them here it would be much appricated.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

'Palladium Cellars' - screen captures from Norwegian film

Well I never thought I would actually see any footage of 'The Palladium Cellars' but thanks to Henrick from Norway who told me about a film from his homeland that featured the cellars, I must admit I did have my doubts, well you wouldn't expect it from any film let alone one from Norway, but it was true and I am so pleased that he let me know. Now because I had never visited the Palladium Cellars this was the next best thing to see this wonderful place that a few people had told me about and which is now long gone. The pictures you see here are from the film and shows the entrance with pictures and posters from the cellars, next we have screen captures of some of the actual exhibits featured in the film, here are Christina from The Phantom of the Opera, Dr. Frankenstein and Monster, and Dracula with victim. Wonderful stuff but unfortunatly not long enough, I was hoping to see the Curse of the Werewolf exhibit too, but beggars can't be choosers, the footage I have seen has been fantastic. Other exhibits featured in the short scene include, Keystone Cops, Bogart, John Wayne, Lee Van Cleef, and part of the Saturn 3 set. The films title 'Olsenbanden Gir Seg Aldri' is 1 of a series of comedy films featuring 2 of Norwegians top comedy actors. Great film by the way.

Thanks to Henrick.

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Anybody that read 'Scream' comic (1984) will know that the editor Ghastly McNasty's face was never revealed. Each week you could send in your drawings of what you thought Ghastly's face looked like. It wasn't untill Scream Holiday Special in 1986 that Ghastly's face was revealed and here it is for those who never saw it. Is it has horrible as you thought?

HORROR BAGS 'CLAWS' packet - Horror Grippers offer

Well here at last is a couple of scans of the 'CLAWS' Horror Bags packet that featured the Horror Grippers offer, as you can see there were 3 to collect Claws, Bones, and Mr.Horror Bags himself. Nice little set these, still have yet to find any or anyone who has a set or at least one of them would be nice to see. Still looking for the Dracula hand puppet and any other interesting pictures connected to the Horror Bag range.
Thanks to Darren

Sunday, September 28, 2008


These 2 books by Carousel with their similiar looking covers are great for the younger readers looking for brief descriptions to some of the famous monsters seen on the silver screeen[Monsters of the movies] or for wanting to turn into a monster for Halloween etc [Horror costumes and disguises]. Both volumes are a little larger than the average paperback but are slim volumes with a page count of just over 100 pages. 'Monsters of the Movies' by Denis Gifford was first published in 1977, the book's contents basically are a whos who of some of the famous and not so famous movie monsters, each monster has a page which tells the reader about that monster in the form of a introduction based on the film in which the monster appears in. The monster introductions are illustrated by a black and white photo of them from the film. There are the more familiar screen monsters here such as The Bride of Frankenstein, Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde, Dracula, Frankenstein, King Kong etc, then there are unusual ones such as The Blood Beast terror, The Electric Man from 'Man made Monster', The Manster, The Raven [Boris Karloff as Bateman from 'The Raven' (1935), Zaroff etc. All in all 46 monsters are covered.

"Making Horror costumes and Disguises' with words and pictures by Malcolm Carrick was first published in 1978 is a fun guide for the child who wants to scare their freinds, neighbours etc with their ghoulish make-up and costume creations. The book simply explains what is needed for your costume or disguise and how to make or create it by easy to understand text and drawings. There are some interesting ideas that can be done by using just ordianary things found in the home. Here the book shows you how to make a false head, wigs, noses, teeth, blood, wrinkles etc, sounds like a do it yourself Dr.Frankenstein guide doesn't it? Character costumes and make-up include Dracula, Skeleton, Freakystein, Ghoul, Mummy, Werewolf, Nasty Gnome, Headless ghost, Rasputin, Zombie etc. Here's a good one... what about Mad Mushroom. Yes the book has it all. There are 2 other books in this Carousel series - Science Experiments and Making Magic both by Malcolm Carrick.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

'GHOUL' magazine 1976 - New English Library

The dissapointing thing about 'Ghoul' magazine was that there was only the first issue published, which is such a shame as it could of been something really great. It reminds me somewhat of the other 1970's horror magazine 'World of Horror', both have a similar feel and style.

As well has the usual horror film features and reviews, 'Ghoul' would have a lighter side with the section Ghoul Gazette which was in the style of a newspaper which contained funny ghoulish stories, adverts and pictures. The cover of the magazine is a close-up of Dracula from the New English Library novel 'Dracula Returns' by Robert Lory and inside is a centre spread of the full picture which was the wraparound painting on the novel, the poster here printed minus the wording. Contents of 'Ghoul' are as follows:

'Beyond Terror' - Staff members telling what phobias, fears, nightmares they have.

'I meet the great Indestructible - Exclusive interview with Count Dracula' by Hans Clutcher - Spoof interview with the Count.

'Things aren't what they used to be!' by Denis Gifford - Horror films of the 1940's

'Horror-Scope' - Monster horoscopes with the birthsigns Suckdritus the Vampire, Fangus the Werewolf, Gnawus the Slime-Beast, and Crushem the Golen.

Christopher Lee - brief description about the actor illustrated with film stills

'Ghoul at Large' by R.Chetwynd-Hayes - Short story by the horror writer

'On the Prowl' - Chilling news from the scream scene.

'Kiss me quick' - funny captions to monsters kissing in films stills.

'Ghoul Gazette' - Spoof 2 page newspaper.

'Masters of Horror - 1.Edgar Alan Poe' by Walter Gillings - Profile of the master horror writer.

'Some new pleasures prove' - by Charles Birkin - Short story

'Celluloid Screams' - Gallery of 4 horror film posters

'Preymate of the month' - in which the readers were invited to send in their ghoulish monster creations, the one featured in this issue was called Octopus Man.

Also featured in this 1st issue were adverts for 'Science Fiction Monthly' magazine and 'The Monster Club' by R.Chetwynd-Hayes and also a competion to win a Mettoy Vampire kite. The back cover as shown above is an advertisement for a number of New English Library Horror titles.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

'SCREAM' Comic

Before the release of 'Scream' comic in 1984, horror/monster fans hadn't had a children's comic [in the Fleetway style format] that catered for their macabre tastes. There were 2 similiar themed comics aimed at the female readers 'Misty' and 'Spellbound'. There were also the 2 funny horror/monster themed comics 'Monster Fun' and 'Shiver and Shake', but none of these would give the horror fan the serious and sometimes grisly stories and artwork that 'Scream' would provide. Issue 1 of 'Scream' came out on monday 24th march 1984 and with this first issue came a free gift of a pair of plastic fangs, the 2nd issue came with a free plastic spider. Issue 2 also saw the start of a 6 part poster with each section of poster featured on the back of the issue. 'Scream was edited by a sinister cowled figure called Ghastly McNasty whos face was hidden by a hood, a competition was held with a 50 pounds prize for anyone that could draw what they thought Ghastly's face may look like. A number of these attempts were printed in the procceding run of the comic. It wasn't untill the 'Scream Holiday special' in 1986 that Ghastly's face was revealed.

The editorial had 2 fun sections in which the reader could say who they would like to see as Dracula[Dracula Spectacular], which was basically a photo of whom ever they chose with added fangs and widow's peak and the other section was who the reader would like to see chained up in a dungeon [The London Dungeon] this time the person's face and cartoon body in dungeon.

Stories in the first issue were as follows and artists name in brackets : 'The Dracula File' [Eric Bradbury], 'Monster' [Heinzl, Redondo from 2 +], 'The Thirtheenth Floor' [Ortiz], 'Tales from the Grave' [Jim Watson], 'A Ghastly Tale' [artist ?], 'Fiends and Neighbours' which first appeared in?????????, 'Library of Death' [several artists during the comics run - Casanovas, M.Capaldi, Mike Dorey, Steve Dillion, B.McCarthy, J.Cooper, Cam Kennedy, Ron Smith, Vivas, T.Coleman, S.Parkhouse, and Boluda], 'The Terror of the Cats' [Gonzalez, J.Richardson]which finished with issue 6 and was replaced by 'The Nightcomers' [J.Richardson] from issue 7.

'Scream' unfortunatly would end after only 15 issues and would then merge with 'Eagle' comic on monday 1st September 1984 issue 128, this merger was also short lived. Only 2 stories from 'Scream' would be featured 'Monster' and 'The Thirteenth Floor'. Then in 1985 a Scream holiday special was published which would feature familar stories from the comics run such as 'The Dracula File', 'A Ghastly Tale', 'Fiends and Neighbours', 'The Thirteenth Floor' and Library of Death'. as well as the comicstrips there were photo features on Madam Tussards Chamber of Horrors and the London Dungeon, the holiday special also featured a quiz, jokes, Ghastly McNasty gallery, and a game 'Ghastly's House of Horrors'. The following year 1986 another holiday special was published. Some of the familiar stories were featured as well as new ones such as 'Castle of Death', 'The Scream Show', 'Demon of the Deep' etc. 2 more photo features covering Alton Tower's Doom & Sons Haunted House and Disney's Haunted Mansion. Revealed in this issue was the cover of the proposed issue 18 of 'Scream' [what happened to 16 and 17?]. 'Ghastly's Holiday Ghost Hunt was the featured game. One of the original stories 'Monster' would now be published in a story format rather than as a comicstrip. 1987's holiday special had some original and some new strips again, as well as photo features on Thorpe Park - Phantom Fantasia, and The York Dungeon. The game in this issue was called "The Great Escape'. The 'Scream holiday special' for 1988 as the usual mix of old and new comicstrips, no features this time, only a quiz and another game 'Hunt for Dracula'. In 1989 the Scream holiday special came under a different guise as 'Spinechillers Holiday Special', the Scream logo seen above title in small letters. This particular special issue was slimmer than usual and no original stories from Scream were featured, the 7 new stories were all hosted by a character called Ghoul, stories were kind of a similar format to Scream's 'A Ghastly Tale' hosted by Ghastly McNasty in the original comic. Also in this special issue was a photo feature on 'The London Dungeon'. This would be the last of anything more from the creators of this wonderful iconic and cult macabre comic. A dying shame.

Anyone remember the original television adverts for 'Scream'? I remember 1 of them which was quite good although its a bit vague, it shows a boy and girl [I think] sat on a sofa reading the comic and looking over their shoulder from behind are a few ghoulish characters, and spooky music or thunder and lightning are heard and the usual sinister voice over.

Take a look at this wonderful site all about 'Scream' - http://www.backfromthedepths.co.uk/

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I am sure there are quite a few of you out there that also used to or maybe still do drawings or paintings of monsters/Horror because of your love of the genre. I used to do quite a few when I had more time on my hands. I've decided to show you some of mine which I did nearly 20 years ago. These are all done in pencil and are drawings that I did from photos/stills from horror films. My favorite of the ones above is the one of Christopher lee as Mr.Blake from 'I Monster', this one came out better than my other attempts, possibly because of the better quality paper that I used, all the others were drawn on the same sort of paper that newspapers are printed on. Its been a long time since I did any artwork and its something that I have been meaning to start up again sometime. I sometimes used to do water colour pictures too, I never used the water colours like you normally do with them, I used to use the paint quite thickly. I did one of Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's Monster and one from the film 'Catpeople' (1982). I have always fancied having a go at a painting in the style of the covers of 'Famous Monsters' magazine, like the covers by Basil Gogos, using either oil or acylic paints.

If there is anyone that as any drawings or paintings of Monsters/ Horror and would be willing to show them, then please do.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Bassett's 'HOUSE OF HORROR' cards

I have already featured the 'House of Horror' cards from Bassett, but had only managed to include a few of the cards. Here at last is a picture of the full set of 50. This is a wonderful set of cards, the backs of the cards have a description of a character or scene featured on the card front.

Is there anyone that knows who did the art for them?

Thanks to James

Sunday, August 03, 2008

'HORROR' - Ian Allan Film Albums - 2

I was a bit uncertain to say whether this was a book or magazine, it certainly is the size of a magazine and it has a similar page count, and yet the cover and pages are a little thicker than a magazine. Anyway whatever it really is it is basically 54 pages of mainly black and white photos from the silent horror films up till photos from recent horror films of the time (1971), examples of pages shown above. There are some great pictures from the classic horror films and the descriptions to some of the photos are quite lengthy which helps to pad out the pages a little. The Ian Allan Horror Film album is compiled by Allen Eyles and published by Ian Allan of London. An interesting and entertaining publication which is a great introduction to images from the horror genre. Other film albums in the series included 'Westerns' and 'Cary Grant'.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Collector - 'Profits of Doom' Photostrip story

As you can see above this is not your usual photostrip story, usually these type of stories were in copies of teenage girls magazines and were nearly always about love and relationships, you know all very soppy stuff. So seeing a horror themed photostrip story was wonderful and a refreshing change, not that I read any of these teenage girls mags, honest! but I am sure that many of you will be familar to their concept. The above photo story appeared in a 1982 edition of 'Eagle' comic, one of the best boys comics around at the time. I have another 2 or 3 of these 'The Collector' photostrip stories if you would like to see somemore. I think they work really well and they are a nice edition to the comicstrip style of story telling. I like the use of drawings in this strip, a great way to show special effects in a style that would of been too costly for something like this. I bet these were great fun to be involved with, especially the expressions they had to do for them.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Here we have 2 wonderful horror film books by Alan Frank, the first one 'HORROR MOVIES - Tales of terror in the cinema' (1974), the second 'MONSTERS AND VAMPIRES - Spinechilling creatures of the cinema' (1976), and both published by Octopus books. Both books come with book jackets, 'Horror Movies' front cover has a scene from 'Dr.Terror's House of Horror' and the back is Christopher Lee from 'The Satanic rites of Dracula'. The 'Monsters and Vampires' front cover shows Christopher Lee as dracula and the back is from 'Frankenstein and the monster from hell'. The book themselves both have a black and white image from a film on the front and repeated on the back [see above]. Both books were later reprinted in softcover and had different cover photos.

These 2 horror film books are wonderfully written and informative as well as both illustrated with fantastic stills in colour and black and white. They are certainly up there with Denis Gifford's 'Pictorial history of horror films' has books that are a joy to read and browse through.

The 'Horror Movies' book chapters are as follows:


The Baron

The Count

Back from the dead

Metamorphoses and Masquerades

Meet the Ladies!

Madmen, Demented Doctors and Psychopath Scientists

All creatures great and small

Then there is Acknowlegments, Index of film titles, and General index.

The 'Monsters and Vampires' chapters are as follows:


The First Vampires

Dracula is born: Bela Lugosi

The Prince of Darkness: Christopher Lee

A Variety of Vampires

How to make a Monster

The Beauty and the Beast

Monstrous Changes

Terror from another world

And index. The chapter titles speak for themselves.

Monday, July 07, 2008


I am not sure when these mini horror scraperboards came out, but they are most likely from the 70's or early 80's at a guess. This originally was a 15 card pack of which only 6 were pictures, the other cards were blank scraperboards that you created your own pictures on. As you can see above is the cover and 4 of the pictures, not sure what the other 2 were. Here we have King Kong, Frankenstein's Monster, Werewolf, and Dracula. Anyone that is familiar with scraperboards will know that the idea was that you scraped off the lines of the picture to reveal the white underneath, as well as making the picture more clear and stand out more, it also was quite skillful in that you needed a good eye and steady hand to scratch off the details of the pictures. The cards above were already done by someone else, but as you can see you can get a good effect by just highlighting some of the picture. These cards measure 4 inches by 2 1/2 inches approx. I have seen a horror scraperboard not so long ago that features Frankenstein's Monster, Dracula, Wolfman etc on a 8 by 10 inch picture and when the outline is scraped away it glows in the dark.