What is the anthem of Halloween? This question is normally followed by the answer The Monster Mash, known as the song of Halloween. It’s catchy, kooky, and a little bit spooky… kind of like your costume and the house on the corner handing out candy.
However, the UK’s BBC didn’t share the same enthusiasm for this Halloween classic when the song was released in 1962. The BBC banned it from the airwaves on the grounds that the song was “too morbid,” or so the organization claims in a story last year. And this coming from the country that brought sex, nudity, and gore to horror movies with the gothic Hammer Films series released from the mid-1950s thru the 1970s. At that time, anyone who was bored with Bela Lugosi’s interpretation of Count Dracula stood up and took notice when Sir Christopher Lee took on the role in 1958, plus it was in TECHNICOLOR… all the better to see a little blood.
Nonetheless, the ban was established and The Monster Mash climbed to the top of the Billboard charts before Halloween (in the US) in 1962, and staying on the charts for 14 weeks. In 1973, 11 years after the song was released… the ban in the UK was finally reversed. That year, it went to #3 on the UK charts, and #10 on the Billboard charts again. Fitting for such a graveyard smash.