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

Sunday, October 28, 2012

What Price Gory? ... Ain't Nothin' But a Hearse Party This Halloween as I Salute My Favorite Horror Ham!

 53 YEARS 


House on 
Haunted Hill 

remains my
all time favorite
horror movie.

Directed by William Castle...
a master of tongue-in-cheek horror...

House on Haunted Hill starred my favorite
spook flick actor, Vincent Price.

The movie provided
an ideal showcase
for Price's priceless,
campy acting style.

With crackling dialogue and snappy one-liners...

House on Haunted Hill prompted
as many chuckles as screams.

Everybody sing along!

Oh, they're hangin' from the ceiling

they're screamin' on the floor!

Hairy paws are comin' through the door.

Gurl, you need to bust some moves

If you don't your life you'll lose

Ain't nothin' but a party, baby

Ain't nothin' but a hearse party!

Meet Watson Prichard...

a drunken sot
who rambles on
and on about
severed heads
and ghosts.

Is it demon rum doing the talking?
Or would we be wise to take Prichard seriously?

Very seriously!

 Frederick Loren: It's almost time to lock up the house 
 and then your party will really begin. 

 I wonder how it will end... 

 Frederick Loren: 
 Remember the fun we had when you poisoned me? 

 Annabelle Loren: (laughs) 
 “Something you ate,” the doctor said. 

 Frederick Loren: Yes...arsenic on the rocks! 

 Frederick Loren: 
 Don't let the ghosts and the ghouls disturb you, darling. 

 Annabelle: Darling, the only ghoul in the house is you! 

 Watson Pritchard: 
 These (guns) are no good against the dead. Only the living. 

    Pritchard: Six hours…six of us. Time enough. 

 Rooms? Guns? I tell ya, it doesn’t make any difference. 
 They aren’t through with us yet. 

At last you've got it all...


I had... 

even my life.

But you're not 

going to live to enjoy it!

Come with me, murderess...


A promotional genius, director William Castle turned his low budget B movies into box office hits by using a variety of gimmicks. The publicity package for House on Haunted Hill, for example, asserted that the picture was filmed using a technique called Emergo. To transform the movie into an interactive experience, Castle distributed a promotional kit
to theaters screening the movie. The kit included a creepy, inflatable glow-in-the-dark skeleton.

During the movie's terrifying climax a skeleton emerges from an acid-filled wine vat to exact revenge on wife/villainess Annabelle Loren. Simultaneously, the skeleton in the theater was rigged to spring from the stage and sail on a wire above the audience. As word spread about the movie's bare bones special effects, rambunctious teenagers couldn't resist the urge to pelt the poor skeleton with candy boxes, cups and anything else they could get their hands on. It was not the audience reaction Castle had anticipated. It was, neverthe-
less, an encouraging sign that a good time was had by all.

 Good night, doctor. Good night, Annabelle. 

 The crime you two planned was indeed perfect; 
 only the victim is alive and the murderers are not. 

 It’s a pity you didn’t know when you 
 started your game of murder… 

 that I was playing, too. 



Have a Shady day!

Monday, October 22, 2012

... and after

Dear friends, in my previous post I showed you pictures of the Shady Dell's barn, garage and dance hall. Most of the photos were taken between 2008 and the spring of 2012.
I made reference to recent events that brought tears to the eyes of Dell rats but was not at liberty to go into specifics.

Today, for the first time, I am able to reveal in plain English the reason for our upset and show you pictures of those same three buildings as they appeared a few weeks ago.
The Dell's new owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, inspected the aging structures, determined them to be in a dangerous state of disrepair and unsalvageable. From late September through early October the Dell barn, the garage
and the dance hall were all demolished. In remarks provided exclusively to Shady Dell Music & Memories, the new owner commented on the legendary Dell dance hall saying, "It was just not structurally sound. We had to take it down but the dance floor will remain." The owner went on to say that he
is building a garage where the dance hall once stood.


As I did in my previous post I ask that you click on the video below and let the mood music play in the background as you scroll down the page and look at the pictures in sequence. The song runs  1:53  so you won't need to scroll as rapidly as you did previously, but don't linger too long on any single picture or stop to enlarge any of them until you have first experienced the entire presentation from beginning to end as a "movie montage." You can do this by spending   seconds on each picture with a  half second   scroll in between. At that rate the song will come to an end just as you get to the last image. It might take a couple of tries before you get the timing perfect but I hope you will persist until you get it to work at least once so you will be able to feel the full impact as I did when I put it together.

Thank you, dear friend.

Shady Dell Barn and Garage

Our Dance Hall (below)

Fellow Dell rats, this is certainly not the outcome we were hoping for, but it's not our place to pass judgement on the new owner. Think about it. The Dell was on the market for years. It would have been nice if one of us, an original Dell rat, had been able to buy it; but sometimes in life you just don't get a storybook ending.

This gentleman is the one who came up with the money to buy the Dell and we have no right to dictate what he can and can't do on the property. The new owner had his reasons for demolishing those old buildings. He has the safety of children and dogs to consider and he did what he thought was best. Those of us who insist that the buildings could have been saved through repair and restoration need to realize the tens of thousands of dollars that would have required. Who among us would have been able and willing to help him bear that tremendous expense?

Believe me, friends, the new owner has read my previous post and he will read this one. He is well aware of our love for the Dell and he understands how we feel. What's done
is done and there's no use ranting and raving about it.

At a time like this we need to remember our leader, a great, wise, even tempered, fair minded and peace loving man by the name of John Ettline. Ask yourself how John would have handled a situation like this. What would John have done? The answer should be obvious to you. Show respect. I urge you to give the Shady Dell's new First Family the respect, the space and the privacy they deserve. Thank you.

No matter what they take from me
They can't take away my dignity

The end.