Boris Karloff was hiding under my bed…

Tales of Mystery from Memory…

In October of 1962, Gold Key Comics produced a companion comic book for Boris Karloff’s hit TV show, BORIS KARLOFF THRILLER. Only the first two issues bore the same name as the TV show, the tilted was changed to BORIS KARLOFF TALES of MYSTERY as of Issue Number 3. The comic book series of 96 issues ran from 1962 to 1980, which was much longer than the original TV show which only ran from 1960 to 1962.

The beautifully-painted spooky covers, the scary titles, and good old Mr. Karloff’s picture loured me in every time, and I gladly spent my 15 cents to get a peek at the terrifying wonders hidden inside. I kept my comics in a box under my bed so the all the monsters who lived under there would have something to read during the day when I was at school.

The stories inside were written by many different authors like Dick Wood, Leo Dorfman, Arnold Drake, and Paul S. Newman, and illustrated by a host of different artists like Joe Certa, Ray Bailey, Alex Toth, Mike Sekowsky, Win Mortimer, and many others.

The teaser titles on the covers were macabre and bizarre, and promised terror, thrills, and chills…

They ran for their lives into– the Monster of the Moors!
The Experiment Worked – But its side effect was shattering!
His Friend – A Killer Monster
Sealed up for eternity a monster of fury emerges!
For both man and monster – it’s been a hard day’s work!
They scorned the frog man — then decided he must die!

The art work inside was superb and done in the classic old-school four-color horror-comic style. The stories were about haunted houses, space monsters, creeping jungles, vengeful ghosts, weird wizards, summoned demons, ancient curses, and deadly scientific marvels, and all manner of ghoulish delights designed to terrify a young reader like myself.

The page depicted above is a story I remember very well called THE GROTESQUE ONE – A Gothic Tale of terror. It was about a kindly ugly old man whose job was attending to the maintenance of the stone gargoyles that perched atop the town cathedral. He loved them and talked to them, like they were his friends as he cleaned and cared for them everyday.
One night, the poor man was falsely accused of murder and theft and the towns folk decided he was to be beheaded without a trial at noon the following day. As the executioner readied his axe and the crowd was shouting for blood, the stone gargoyles came to life and flew down to rescue the poor unfortunate man. They then revealed the true criminals to the towns people to prove the innocence of their friend and keeper.
At the end of the story the man becomes a stone gargoyles himself and happily joins his friends atop the cathedral to watch over the town forever.

How cool is that, my fearless readers?

That’s me and Mr. Karlof’s star at the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. It was an awesome day and I had so much fun visiting all my favorite horror stars.