The Secrets of “Monster Mash” Song
Every DJ worth their salt will play Bobby "Boris" Pickett's song classic "Monster Mash" on Halloween. I know...I did this morning!
I read up a little about this 1962 perennial hit. Back in the day sound effects were pretty crude and the producer of the song wanted three specific sounds in the song, mostly at the very beginning. He wanted a bunch of chains to rattle, a witch's cauldron to boil away, and he wanted the sound of a coffin being opened.
If you listen closely to the opening of the song you can hear all three of these sounds. The chain sound was simple. A technician just dropped a set of chains on a tile floor. For the boiling cauldron they put a microphone up close to a person blowing bubbles through a straw into a glass of water. The coffin opening...well, that was a bit trickier.
Finally they nailed it. Literally. The sound of the coffin opening at the beginning of "Monster Mash" was achieved by putting a microphone real close to a rusty nail slowly being pulled out of a piece of wood.
And...voila! A Halloween classic was born.