When I was a kid I would get so excited from October through December. That was when all my favorite Halloween and holiday specials would be on. Today I’m going to take a look at six of my childhood Halloween-time favorites that aren’t on much or at all anymore. Maybe some of you have seen them and remember them.
(***warning spoilers ahead***)
1. Mr. Boogedy
Mr. Boogedy was a 1986 made for TV special that aired as “The Disney Sunday Movie.” It was about a joke/gag store sales man named Carlton Davis (Richard Masur) who moved his family to Lucifer Falls, New England (yeah..nothing would happen there) in order to open a new store. His wife was named Eloise (Mimi Kennedy) and they had three children: Jennifer (Kristy Swanson), Corwin (Davis Faustino), and Aurie (Benjamin Gregory.)
When they arrive at the house old man Witherspoon (John Astin) tells them a tale about how the house is haunted by Mr. Boogedy (Howard Witt) and a woman named Widow Marion(Katherine Kelly Lang) and her son Jonathan (Jaimie McEnnan). The Widow Marion wants to be with her son but Boogedy is keeping them apart. Apparently Mr. Boogedy was once Mr. William Hanover, and he was in love with Marion, but she didn’t return his affections so what’s a man to do? Sell his soul to the Devil for a magical cloak of course. But as we know from Once Upon a Time, all magic “comes with a price” and when Hanover tried to cast a spell he blew up his house with him, Marion, and Jonathon in it, so now they are all ghosts haunting the spot where the house once stood.
The parents don’t believe the house is haunted, but Jennifer sees Mr. Boogedy, who’s face looks like a “grilled cheese sandwich.” Eventually the parents realize something is up and Eloise even comes face to face with Marion and has a chat with her. This is how they learn how to defeat him–remove his cloak.
Mr. Boogedy shows up and stops everyone, except for Aurie, who uses a gag vacuum cleaner to shoot balls at him. This leads to a chase and Aurie hiding behind him. Then the vacuum sucks up the cloak. Powerless, Boogedy disappears and Marion and Jonathan are reunited.
2. Bride of Boogedy
Mr. Boogedy left off with a tease of a potential sequel when Carlton mentioned the house wasn’t haunted anymore and Mr. Boogedy could be heard saying “Wanna bet?” In 1987 the second Mr. Boogedy special was released with mostly the same cast. Jennifer (Tammy Laurnen,) Aurie (Joshua Rudoy,) Jonathan, and Mr. Witherspoon (Leonard Frey) were replaced, and some new characters were added.
This special takes place about a year after the original film. The Davis family has settled in and get along with most people, except for the General Store Owner, Tom Lynch (Eugene Levy.) It’s a bit of a rivalry and a touch of jealousy on Mr. Lynch’s part. Carlton has been named the honorary mayor of Lucifest and Tom Lynch doesn’t like it because he was always honorary mayor of the festival.
Everything seems fine, but then the kids start to sense Mr. Boogedy again and he’s now in their dreams. The parents blow it off. I mean, of course they did. They’re just kids with overactive imaginations and it isn’t like the children were right about hauntings before. Even the local fortune teller Madeleinska (Karen Kondazain) tries to warn Mr. and Mrs. Davis, but they refuse to heed the warnings. To calm the kids fears the duo even stage a “fake seance” to prove them all wrong. And afterwards Mr. Boogedy shows up and possesses Carlton because he wants his cloak back.
Now Boogedy, inside Carlton, decides Eloise is Marion and gives her a colonial dress to wear for the event. When she puts it on he reveals he’s Mr. Boogedy. The family calls in Madeleinska and learns that Mr. Boogedy is trapped between worlds, but is controlling Mr. Davis because he wants something in the house–yeah the cloak.
That night the family follows him and he goes to the basement and opens a secret door and regains his magic cloak. He chases the family upstairs and has them cornered, but then their friend Elmer shows up in a gorilla suit and the laughter casts Mr. Boogedy out (yes, I’m serious.) The cloak is left behind and is “safe” until Mr. Lynch decides to steal it and show up at Lucifest with it. And of course he becomes “Boogedyized” and brings the cloak to Mr. Boogedy’s grave and releases him.
Mr. Boogedy then wreaks havoc on the festival and takes Eloise Which leaves the rest of the family no choice but to hold a seance and summon Jonathan, who tells them to use the key on Boogedy’s grave to open a portal and return him to the underworld. At the broken statue they open the portal and Jennifer dresses up as Marion to trick Mr. Boogedy into releasing Eloise. He does and then he gets sucked back to the underworld.
You can see the full film on Youtube
3. The Watcher In the Woods
The Watcher in the Woods was a 1980 film created at Pinewood Studios in England. It was originally released in theaters in 1980 and then pulled and re-released again in 1981 with a new ending. We did a previous story that talks about it here.
Americans, Helen (Carroll Baker) and Paul Curtis (David McCallum) bring their two daughters Jan (Lynn-Holly Johnson) and Ellie (Kylie Richards) to live in an English manor being rented out by Mrs. Aylwood (Bette Davis.) Mrs. Aylwood is very picky and lives in a small cottage on the property. When the family arrives she takes and interest in Jan and later tells whatever is out there that “she’s going to stay.”
Strange things start happening. Jan looks in a mirror and instead of her reflection she sees a blindfolded girl mouthing the words “help me.” Then it falls and breaks. The window also breaks into the shape of a triangle, cutting her finger. Her sister starts sleep talking and walking and hearing voices.
She and her sister adopt a dog and the name her sister spells in a window is NAREK, but from the outside it reads “KAREN.” It turns out Karen is Mrs. Aylwood’s daughter that disappeared 30 years ago. She was doing some kind of ritualistic initiation ceremony in a church with John Keller (Ian Bannen), Tom Colley (Richard Pasco), and Mary Flemming (Frances Cuka), when the church caught fire and the bell fell where she was standing. Tom Colley insists that when the bell fell she was gone.
Different suspenseful events occur and then during the eclipse Jan and the original three from 30 years ago reenact the ritual to try and bring Karen back. I’m not going to spoil this one anymore as there is a re-make version coming to Lifetime on October 21st. It looks a lot different and a lot scarier than the original.
This is the trailer for the new version coming to Lifetime next Saturday.
4. Child of Glass
The Child of Glass is a movie from 1978, based on the book The Ghost Belonged to Me. This film was produced by Disney as part of the Wonderful World of Disney show.
Again, another family moving into a haunted location story. I’m sensing a pattern here. This time the boy is Alexander Armsworth (Steve Shaw). He and his parents, Emily (Barbara Barry) and Joe (Biff McGuire) and his older sister Connie Sue (Denise Nickerson) move into an old Louisiana mansion. It’s been his mother’s dream to restore one of the old southern plantations homes and they set out to fix up the former home of river pirate Jacques Dumaine (David Hurst.)
Shortly after moving in Alexander finds a loft in the barn and notices a little dog and then meets a ghost girl named Inez Dumaine (Olivia Barash), the niece of Jacques Dumaine. She tells him that she can’t reunite with her parents because her uncle cursed her to wander the Earth because she wouldn’t tell him where her parent’s hid their treasure. She asks Alexander to solve a riddle and break her curse. But they only have a short amount of time to do so.
“Sleeping lies the murdered lass, vainly cries the child of glass. When the two shall be as one, the spirit’s journey will be done.”
Alexander, along with his friend Blossom (Katy Kurtzman) set out to solve the mystery of Inez’s curse and the missing family treasure. They discover Inez died by falling in a well, most likely because she was running from or hiding from her uncle. They find her tomb in the cemetery to solve the first part of the riddle. “Sleeping Lies the Murdered Lass.”
Then they use a crystal ball and learn that she was sent to live with her uncle because it was too dangerous in New Orleans. She is seen running away with a porcelain doll. And the doll is with her when she falls “Vainly cries the child of Glass.”
A bit later a disgruntled fired worker sets fire to the families barn. Alexander is inside and sees him do it. He get out and tries to hide in an old boarded up building and falls into a well. When the family locates him and Blossom crawls down to help him out, she sees something in the wall of the well and pulls it out, it’s the china doll.
Later that night, he and Blossom sneak out to return the doll to the crypt where Inez is. When they do Mr. Timmons, the fired hand, tries to capture the kids. Inez’s ghost shows up and scares him away.
They give he back her doll “Babette” and she is able to go to her eternal rest. She lays on the tomb with her dog and sinks into it. Babette levitates up out of the tomb and crashes down, breaking and revealing diamonds, the family treasure.
This is a hard one to find. They do make copies of it Print on Demand on Amazon. You can find it on Youtube, but the quality isn’t very good on most of them.
5. Disney’s Halloween Treat / A Disney Halloween
When I was a kid nothing was more exciting at Halloween-time than Disney’s Halloween Treat (It’s a Scream.) My siblings and I looked forward to this every year. There were two versions. The first one was called Disney’s Halloween Treat, narrated by a Jack-o-lantern puppet (Hal Douglas) and it was made up of various Disney shorts that were Halloween themed or considered “scary.” It premiered in 1982.
The second version was called A Disney Halloween and it combined Disney’s Halloween Treat and Disney’s Greatest Villains (1977.) It came out in 1983 and ran until the mid 90’s.
Some of the various segments were:
- Mad Madame Mim- The Sword in the Stone
- Chernabog –Night on Bald Mountain- Fantasia
- The Old Mill
- Donald Duck and The Gorilla
- Puss Cafe
- Heffalumps and Woozles – Winnie the Pooh
- Pluto’s Judgement- 3 shows put together
- Si and Am- Lady and the Tramp
- Peter Pan and Captain Hook
- Several more Villain segments
- 1937 Lonesome Ghosts with Mickey, Donald, and Goofy
My personal favorite (1952) Trick or Treat with Donald, Huey, Dewie, Louie, and Witch Hazel.
You can find places on Youtube with both versions. The original is harder to find.
Here is a clip of the intro (from Blaxus Movies on youtube)
6. Ichabod Crane
This one you still do see from time to time, but it’s not on as often as it used to be.
This classic Disney film was 1/2 of a set Disney did called The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949.) The first half was based on the 1908 book The Wind in the Willows and the second half, the half they would run during Halloween time, was based off of Washington Irving’s short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1820.) The story is still so popular that Disney rides the Headless Horseman through the Magic Kingdom before the Boo To You Parade during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and they had a special Headless Horseman meet and greet this year.
It’s the story of a school master named Ichabod Crane. He has his eyes set on the wealthy farmer’s daughter Katrina Van Tassel, for her beauty and her father’s money. Town hero Brom Bones also has his sights set on Katrina. During the Van Tassel Halloween party Brom notices how superstitious Ichabod is and deliberately acts out the scary story of the Headless Horseman. Talking about how he is after your head, but if you can cross the bridge he will disappear.
On his way home Ichabod keeps thinking about the story and is afraid of all the night time sounds around him. Just when he starts to realize he’s being silly the Headless Horseman shows up. He makes it across the bridge and Horseman throws his flaming Jack-o-lantern at him.
The next day all that’s found of Ichabod is his hat and a shattered pumpkin. Brom and Katrina get married and there are rumors that Ichabod escaped and married a rich widow, but the townspeople still think he was taken by the Headless Horseman.
It’s just a really fun story and a great Disney classic!
You can get a copy on Amazon. They offer disk and digital copies.
Do you remember any of these? All of these? Which was your favorite? Comment and let us know.
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