Behind The 'Monster Swim' and Other Halloween Tracks You Never Knew Existed

By Jacob Shelton


Bobby 'Boris' Pickett performs the 'Monster Swim' on American Bandstand. Source: YouTube

When Bobby “Boris” Pickett and his group of Halloween-mad studio musicians laid down the “Monster Mash” in 1962 they were just trying to cash in on teen dance crazes like the Mashed Potato, the Frug, and the Watusi. In their bid for pop stardom with an irreverent novelty song, they created an entire mini-genre of horror-themed surf rock and dance songs. Released in 1962, "Monster Mash" is the unofficial Halloween party anthem, but what about the songs that followed in Pickett’s shambling footsteps?

These are the tales of mad monster parties, drive-in make out sessions, and an odd obsession with Doctor Frankenstein’s assistant Igor. 

As horrifying as vampires and undead monsters can be, real terror is the possibility that all success is fleeting; that popular pieces of art are simply the product of throwing something against the wall to see if it sticks. Bobby “Boris” Pickett lived this nightmare after the success of the “Monster Mash” as he attempted to follow up his surprise hit with monster themed rock tunes to increasingly diminishing returns.

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