Chilling Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House

Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House

When it comes to Halloween, The Monster Mash may be the unofficial anthem, but Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House has served as the holiday’s soundtrack for nearly five decades. Released by Walt Disney Productions in 1964, this novelty record is beloved by millions of former kids for its spooky sound effects and campy skits, and has been played at countless Halloween parties over the years. Continue reading...

Ben Cooper

Ben Cooper

Halloween costumes are a cherished part of childhood, transforming ordinary kids into superheroes, monsters, and celebrities for that one special night at the end of October. While many constructed their own costumes out of old clothes and face makeup, the rest of us relied on a man named Ben Cooper, who offered an entire plethora of choices, each residing in a small cardboard box which contained a plastic mask and accompanying vinyl garment to be worn over street clothes (and winter coats, depending on where you lived). For a child growing up in decades past, picking out a Ben Cooper costume at the local store was one of the most anticipated shopping trips of the year. Continue reading...

Haunted Houses

Haunted Houses

In childhood, few things are as delightfully frightful as a spooky old home in the neighborhood that, according to legend, is inhabited by ghostly spirits. For decades, our entertainment has happily helped condition us to believe in the validity of such places, as evidenced by the overwhelming number of books, films, television shows, and attractions that not only convinced us, but painted a vivid image in our heads as to what a haunted house is supposed to look like. Continue reading...

Playgrounds

Playgrounds

Whenever the weather starts to warms up, playgrounds emerge from their wintery hibernation, filling up with the unmistakable sound of rambunctious kids laughing and screaming, just like they have for decades, if not centuries. There are swings and slides, merry-go-rounds and monkey bars, offering parents a well-deserved breather, while their kids burn off all of that pent-up energy. Playgrounds dot the landscape of every urban and suburban environment and are the source of many beloved childhood memories. Continue reading...

Dodgeball

Dodgeball

Dodgeball is a game that kids either love or hate. It all depended on whether you perceived it as chance to prove your superiority, or simply as a brutal hour of being mercilessly pursued by flying rubber projectiles. Either way, we can all agree that it was one of the most memorable parts of gym class. Continue reading...

Ditto Machine

Ditto Paper

Kids now-a-days don’t even know what they’re missing with their fancy Xerox and digital copy machines, but students of a bygone era can recall the bluish-purple print and unforgettable aroma of a freshly printed page of ditto paper (Perhaps "Ditto" wasn’t the name your school used; some called it a "spirit duplicator"). Once part of the daily scholastic routine, technology would eventually lead to the extinction of these fondly remembered machines and the paper they produced. Continue reading...

Trapper Keeper

Trapper Keeper

One of the keys to scholastic success is to stay organized. And, thanks to the folks at Mead, students from the 70s and 80s could count on a nifty little helper to keep all those notes and assignments in their proper place. Introduced in the late 70s, the Trapper Keeper quickly became the organizer of choice for millions of students, who still fondly remember filing away their school work into the confines of this handy device. Continue reading...

First Day of School

First Day of School

For millions of kids around the country, September traditionally marks the end of one of the most beloved traditions of childhood, summer vacation, and begins a new year - with new teachers, new desks, new lockers, and perhaps even new friends. It could be invigorating or traumatic, short or long, but there was no mistaking its significance - another year older and soon to be wiser. That's right, we're talking about the first day of school. Continue reading...