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Ghastly ReflectionsCrestwood House Monster Books
POSTED BY TERENCE NUZUM, September 2, 2014    Share

What horror kid post 1970 didn't grow up with those orange mystifying amazing Crestwood House Monster books?! These like your first crush, losing a tooth, and riding a bike were a important and formative aspect of your childhood. I can remember the first time I grabbed these at the library at the wee age of probably about 5 or 6 and being transported to a world of mad scientists,wolfmen, and giant apes. It didn't matter that the pictures were black and white, it didn't matter so much about the text, it was the presentation and the awesome full page pictures of Dracula, Frankenstein etc. and of course King Kong in full arm stretch on the back cover with a list of all the books to find. And find them I did. I made sure next time to check them all out at once from the library. I never actually owned any but I always kept coming back to them. The fact that I was a child of the colorful 80's had no effect on the fact that these films the books were covering were already 50 years old. In fact it made them more mysterious.

Crestwood's first line were the all orange and black and white series which included Dracula, Frankenstein,King Kong, Godzilla, The Wolfman and Mad Scientists. They then released more titles in the late 70's that included sci-fi films that were horror themed like The Blob and Deadly Mantis. It was the 1985 series that I really fell in love with though. Like usual this run was my favorite because it explored films that weren't the popular titles. Werewolf of London and Tarantula for instance hooked me instantly as did the more subpar adaptations like The Raven and House of Seven Gables. The 1985 series were subtitled Movie Monsters and used a purple and orange design instead of the classic orange and black. They were also smaller in size and easier to hold and carry and as a pre-teen they seemed more like a little novel and less like a kids book. It was this series that I found out that The Creature had his Revenge and that Dracula had a Daughter!

Crestwood didn't make anymore after this to my knowledge but they will not be forgotten as they are without a doubt me and many a monster kid's first introduction to Universal Monsters and their other horror films. While I often forget or cite other things that led me to horror, I now can, in retrospect, pay Crestwood the respect it deserves for influencing me toward a world of classic black and white horror!

"Ghastly Reflections" is ©2014 by Terence Nuzum. All contents of Crazed Fanboy are ©2014 by Nolan B. Canova and Terence Nuzum.

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