Monster Mash

Monster Mash
Monsters in Purple on the Dance Floor
By Michelle Anne Cope

The orange castle looks anything but scary. I mean, who could be afraid of a castle that’s the color of a basketball with turrets like unwrapped pink popsicles – you know the kind that taste like watermelon. Scary castles would be sapphire gray like rat fur with turrets like twirled sticks of black licorice.

But, be scared, be very scared, because deep inside this orange castle is a humongous laboratory with a steel silver slab table surrounded by ice blue electric lights and wires, lots and lots of wires. To you, these wires will make no sense even though they are different colors. Pretty colors. See, unless you have the code, you will never know that the yellow wires are for laughter and adventure, the red wires are for anger and trouble-making, the blue ones for tears and heartbreak, the white wires for love, dreams and hope, and the green wires – well, these wires are most special and very secret – creepy type top secret. The green wires are for music – pop music – and dancing.

A zillion of all these colored wires are connected to something, something that looks sort of human, but is it? It’s covered from its giant feet to a square shaped head in purple. And . . . on those bigger than just big feet are shoes, not just any shoes. They are . . . CRASH! BOOM! BANG! ZIP! ZAP!

What’s happening?! The laboratory is filled with flashes of light. Test tubes are shaking from deep rumbles of thunder and the windows are rattling from the clawing of tiny pairs of vampire bat feet that are skittering and scattering as they try to get in and away from the buckets of rain that are falling from the sky.

Silence. At last. I can finish my work. I connect the last wire, a green wire to the shoes; they are dancing shoes. SNIP! ZAAP! ZINK! It's alive!!!

Oh no! It can’t be . . . I shouldn’t look, but I do and I scream . . .

“When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
For my monster from his slab began to rise
And suddenly to my surprise . . .

He did the mash,
He did the monster mash.
The monster mash,
It was a graveyard smash.”

Monster Mash was recorded in 1962 and is one of the best known Halloween anthems. This song is attributed to Bobby “Boris” Pickett. Although he’s the musical talent, the song was co-written with Lenny Capizzi. However, it’s Pickett who gives the song life in a dead-on Boris Karloff impersonation. It’s the tale of a mad scientist and his monster creation who dances.

On October 20, 1962, Monster Mash reached number one on the Billboard charts. Here’s a ghoulish fact; that was only eight weeks after it was recorded! Just in time for Halloween.

This Halloween we will have the song, but not its singer. Sadly, Bobby “Boris” Pickett died April 25, 2007 from Leukemia. He was 69 years old. He is often noted in history as a one-hit wonder, but I think I will note him as giving us one of the most monstrously Halloween treats ever – Monster Mash.

You can buy Monster Mash from your favorite digital download service. I found it on Napster and iTunes!


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