Ghoul Mourning , Maniacs !!
I recently found this on a certain auction site and I got it immediately! I had this phenomenal book over three decades ago, never dreaming that I would find it again. I couldn’t remember the name of this book. I spotted it on a lark . When I saw it, my head did its best Linda Blair imitation !
Monsters: Fiendish Facts, Quivery Quizzes and Other Grisly Goings-On, is the (pant) name of the book. Wait… that title (pant) took all of my breath
(pant) Hold on … Ok! Much better.
This book was written by Donald F. Glut and illustrated by Carole Jean Boerke. It is full of monster activities and quizzes, games, trivia, along with brief rundowns of the monsters we know and love to death.
My first encounter with Mr. Glut’s book, was in the McCrory’s store at the Summit Park Mall, in 1977. I can remember the book rack (sticker books, coloring books, activity books) as it sat near the entrance for the store’s attached diner/ice cream parlor. You’d come from the restaurant, turn left and SHAZAM! there was the book rack against the wall and following a left side alcove of housewares, was the toy section. I can still smell the french fries and burgers.
I’m not sure if I was there with my mom and our neighbors with their kids, or a different combination. My dad? Grandparents? Not sure. I do know that my mom was friends with Mrs. McKinnon and Mrs. Fazzolari and they’d drive us to the mall for lunch and shopping. Mom didn’t drive – she never learned how. Either way, it was one of these combos.
After getting the book and arriving home, I recall pouring through it at a feverish pace, while reclining on the bear skin rug we had . Not sure where we got it, but we had the bottom half. Ugh, not the best out of the deal. Is this relevant? I’d say yes, as all of these recall images flashed back to me, while reading this odd treasure.
I did the puzzles, took the quizzes, read the trivia and monster descriptions. I even attempted cutting out the make-it-yourself Frankenstein paper puppet. There is an activity in the book, that I really wanted to try as a little monster. It was in a chapter on magic tricks. The trick was Frankenstein’s Finger. You needed shredded cotton balls, red paint or Mercurochrome, a small box with a hole cut into it, and a grease pencil. I don’t think I had a clue about Mercurochrome or grease pencils. Not many seven-year olds do. I’m certain that we either didn’t have cotton balls or paint, or was told to forget about it. Either way, that’s holy water under the bridge.
As I’m getting reacquainted with this book, I’ve stumbled upon the illustrations and have had waves of recollections with each one, no matter how large or small. A chapter on Voodoo Terrors has a few simple drawings that creeped me out. I think it was due to Carole J. Boerke not using pupils on the drawings of eyes. At that time, to me , it symbolized evil. It’s silly and simple, yet I would be sure to place the book on my shelf, not wanting to see it when it got dark out. Oh, what a brave little seven-year old horror fan! Is it strange that I could watch and be engulfed by the movie monsters, enjoying every drop of blood, every rampaging creature with a fervor, but have my own reservations at night? I don’t know.
Now that I’ve re read the book and had the nostalgic rush come over me, I’m looking forward to engaging in some of the activities within, with my little monsters. Heck, we even have Mercurochrome and cotton balls! I think I’ll set the book on top of my book shelf, out of sight. After all, it is getting dark out and that Voodoo chapter is within reach…