More than music, more than sound effects, an entire sonic landscape. Using modern cinematic tools and techniques, Graveyard Tracks delivers the ultimate essence of ambient creep. Crafted from deep, rich, organic elements and recorded atmospherics, our soundscapes are hauntingly eerie and bone shatteringly intense, elevating the sonic landscape of your haunt.
Well, that's what the marketing guy said I should say.
I built my first haunt when I was 7. It was the first time my parents left me alone. Of course they were just across the hall playing bridge with the neighbors, but when you're 7, that's alone. Free from parental control, I immediately searched for a horror movie to watch. It was hard to watch anything scary when my dad was around as he would always say in his slight southern drawl 'That'll rot your mind, boy'. As deterred as Ralphie was after endlessly being warned 'You'll shoot your eye out kid', I flipped through channels until I found what I was looking for. 'The Wolf Man'. Not to be confused with Benicio del Toro's 'The Wolfman', this was old-skool Universal properties b&w, Lon Chaney monster movie delishishness. Being completely captivated by the scenes of foggy moonlit woods, I set out to scare my parents for their inevitable return. Gathering what materials I could find, I began creating my haunt as I watched Lon Chaney's predictable demise. Only slightly distracted by the forgettable second feature, I toiled away crafting the details of my scary scene, using every available material I could scrape up. With my haunt finished, I fought to stay awake for the scare to come. My plan was set, with only the dim light of the TV, I would emerge from the kitchen, growling and howling just like Lon, as my parents screamed and ran for safety through my finely crafted scene...
Or, look at me funny and ask me why I wasn't in bed yet. Turns out that three pieces of black construction paper weren't quite enough to transform a 300 sq. ft. living room into a dense, dark, creepy forest. But I was hooked. I managed to convince my friends that they liked building creepy places and scaring people, too. Mostly because they, unlike me, had basements that we could work in. I'm not sure that any of our scenes were that successful, but they sure were fun to play in.
Then one day one of my cohorts showed up with this -
and my entire world changed. The only thing more fun than building creepy basement haunts was sitting in them while listening to this record. I'm not quite sure how the adults upstairs put up with our deliberate and consistent attempts to wear the grooves off this record, but they did. After untold listenings, I became convinced that my failure to scare my parents that night had more to do with the lack of a soundtrack rather than only having 2 sq. ft. of material to work with. On a mission to rectify this egregious oversight, I stumbled upon the solution where most of the answers to the world's problems can be found––the back of a comic book -
Yes! Yes! I will use that 'rush coupon' to ensure that the next time, my parents will be terrified! As soon as I find a dollar. And an envelope. And yeah, a stamp. It was a good plan, but I couldn't ever convince my parents to let me send off for these terrifying sounds that could almost be seen. I'm not sure if it was because $1 was beyond my allowance, or if my parents had experience mail ordering from a comic book ad. Hell, it was probably my dad, saving me from 'rotting my mind'.
A few decades later while talking a girlfriend about Rubie's Spooky Sounds CD, I lamented about never getting to hear 'The Haunting'. She too had always wanted a copy but never found one. However, she had heard that the Johnson Smith Novelty Company's 'Horror Record' was probably the same recording just re-marketed -
Despite having little faith that a mere b&w ad could possibly represent what had become my Holy Grail of creepiness, this news at least doubled my chances of finding a copy. But alas, no such luck. That is until the modern re-invention of the back page comic book ad, The Internet. Now not only can you find a recording of the 'Horror Record', you can also find one with a great retro animation to go along with it. If I could have played this on the TV for my parents that fateful night, their reaction story would have been legend -
Or maybe not. I can't say I was that disappointed as the nostalgia factor alone kept me smiling, and after all, the ad did say 'Horrible Sound'. I mean, come on, it was a ninety-five cent record sold on the back of a comic book. At least my quest was behind me.
Or so I thought. My subconscious must have known all along that what I had found was not what I was looking for; the quest I thought I had put behind me bubbled up not that long ago. I searched for Gayle House 'The Haunting', and poof, the Grail appeared. Finally, resolution -
Yeah, so not the same recording, and yeah, even worse. Needless to say my subconscious is holding a grudge and not talking to me anymore. Can't blame him. I'm also not sure what was going on with all the Blood Banshees in the early seventies. Must have missed that meme.
At any rate, it was the absence of 'The Haunting' in my life that drove me to record, remix, and create my own Halloween soundtracks. Despite finding the grail I am hooked. It's a shame my parents didn't splurge for that $1 record, I probably would have done that engineering thing they were hoping for...