High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Saturday, October 16, 2010

From Dell It Came! Four Decades of Halloweens at the Shady Dell


You will scream with terror.
You will beg for release
But there will be no escaping.
For there is no release
from...The Dellhouse!

This Halloween...
who will dare to face the challenge of the Dellhouse?
Who is mad enough to enter that world of darkness?

How about you, sir?...or you, madam?

The Legend of Dell House goes back 65 years to 1945!
Every Halloween at the witching hour the music played and the rats danced. Come with me now...back in time. Let's peek through the keyhole and behold the changing face of horror through the decades and the changing sound of music on the that place called...the Dellhouse!

Halloween 1951

It's hard to believe, but our rat ancestors were already celebrating Halloween at the Shady Dell in 1951 when the future Marshal Matt Dillon was still nothin' but a glorified super carrot from outer space!
By the way the skies!

While you're doing that please listen to this little known and seldom heard original Tommy Edwards recording of "It's All
in the Game" released as a single seven years before his updated version became one of the biggest hits of the 50's!

Halloween 1960

Dell Rats observing Halloween in 1960 were living the
new normal in America...where everybody came down with a bad case of the jitters every time they took a shower. Mother!!! What have you done?

In October of 1960 doo-woppn' Dell rats paired off on the dance floor and swayed blissfully to "Diamonds and Pearls,"
a gem of the jukebox by the Paradons.

Halloween 1961

Yo mate, how are ya fixed for blades?

Gothic castles, dense fog on the moor, shapely damsels in distress, sinister madmen, fiery finishes...Edgar Allan Poe's tales of terror were brought to the screen in fine fashion by legendary no-budget director Roger Corman, and more often than not they starred my favorite horror actor Vincent Price.

Meanwhile, Troy Shondell was burning up the boss lines and burning down the barn with his October 1961 hit "This Time."

Halloween 1968

Mamma Mia! Something started happening in the late 60s. Horror movies became darker. Evil reigned supreme. Taboos were shattered. Attacks by flying saucers didn't scare us nearly as much as the concept of the demon within.

They're coming to get you, Barbra! In 1968, a few months after the release of Rosemary's Baby, director George A. Romero offered proof that little or nothing was off limits in modern horror movies including nude zombies, close-ups of zombies devouring the internal organs of their victims, and a little girl zombie slicing and dicing mommy with a spade. The first time I saw Night of the Living Dead was Halloween 1968 at York's Stoney Brook Drive-In. As I watched in disbelief
I remember asking myself "can they do that?" I also found myself nervously glancing out of every window of my car
and checking the rear view mirror to make sure there were no incoming flesh eaters!

Meanwhile, Peggy Scott & Jo Jo Benson were up on Violet Hill "Pickin' Wild Mountain Berries."

Halloween 1973

As Dell rats danced the night away on Halloween 1973,
post-production was nearing completion on a film with a December 26th release date. The Exorcist was an intense, highly disturbing motion picture that would take the horror genre to the next level, make heads spin, stomachs turn,
and decimate sales of pea soup around the world.

...and the Soul Train gang along with Dellers and other fellers were gettin' busy on the floor to "Keep on Truckin'" by Eddie Kendricks.

Halloween 1975

In 1960 Alfred Hitchcock shocked America with a classic horror film sequence showing blood-tinged water circling the shower drain. Fifteen years later, Steven Spielberg's Jaws gave a whole new meaning to the term crimson tide and popularized movie quotes like "this is no boating accident" and "we're gonna need a bigger boat."

...and at the Dell the blues were gone in 60 when Tavares sang "It Only Takes a Minute."

I gotta get out of this place
I'll go runnin' in outer space

I gotta get out of here
Mom and dad got me drinkin' beer

When our journey into darkness continues next time we will arrive at the Dawn of Decadence...the Decline of Western Civilization...

the Hard Rockin' Heavy Metal 80's at the Shady Dell!

To give you an idea of what you can expect in the days ahead, here's what Dell rats of the 80's played when they waxed nostalgic and wanted to hear oldies but goodies.

"Iron Man" - Black Sabbath (Halloween 1970)

"Eighteen" - Alice Cooper (single charted spring 1971)

"Deuce" - Kiss (record date: Halloween 1973, release date: April 1974)

"T.N.T." - AC/DC (December 1975)

"Dream On" - Aerosmith (1971, rerelease 1976)

So join me next time if you dare when I proudly present
Shady Dell: The Metal Years!

For those about to rock...

We salute you!

Have a Shady day!


  1. I can't listen to the music until tomorrow, but I thought I'd comment on the movies.

    James Arness!! That surprised me.
    My mother! took me to see Psycho and it terrified me. And yes, I was afraid to take a shower for a long time.
    Pit and the Pendulum - loved it. I used to watch horror movies on TV every Saturday night.
    Rosemary's baby- I was pregnant at the time and didn't like the movie.
    Jaws - read the book, loved the movie. Didn't see any of the others.
    I love how you set up this blog.

  2. My Pick to Click is the still the oldest movie of the bunch, The Thing, a sci-fi classic that was way ahead of its time in terms of intelligent writing and Howard Hawks' use of overlapping dialogue, a technique that added tremendously to the realism of the picture. The chilling 1982 remake of The Thing is also one of my favorites of the genre. Thank you very much for your comment, Belle!

  3. I just adore "It's All in the Game." So romantic.

    I'd never heard the rest of the songs, but I liked "It Only Takes A Minute."

  4. "Romantic" is the key word, Belle. The vast majority of pop songs used to be romantic. They were simple rhymes set to music. Generations learned the basics of dignity and respect from songs like these. They might be hopelessly old school but they are sorely missed in today's jaded society.


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