I’m not the first person to do a collection of “Spooky” commercials during the Halloween season, and I won’t be the last. There’s a couple here that I have to explain why they are spooky, and others are obviously spooky and/or Halloween themed. If the VHS tapes you ripped weren’t recorded in October, you have to be “creative” with the way you interpret something as “spooky”.
UFO Report Sightings / Fox Promo (1991)
I was a teenager in 1991, but these “Alien” shows would give me nightmares. I recall several dreams where I look up at the sky and see several UFOs about ready to land. I would wake up before anything happened. But, shows like this only made things worse. Just the commercial itself would be enough to make my imagination go wild. Fox used to show these alien-type shows pretty often. They had an alien autopsy as well. I think these came about after the popularity of the UFO segments on Unsolved Mysteries. They would capitalize on the Alien Craze.
Last Picture Show / KPLR 11 (1982)
If I saw this, I knew it was pretty late. You see here in St. Louis, our independent station was Channel 11 (KPLR). That’s where I could find cartoons before and after school. It’s where I watched Transformers, He-Man, Go-Bots, Voltron, GI Joe, etc. It’s also the channel that would play movies late at night. Many times these movies were scary movies. Back in ’82 I was way young for scary movies, I couldn’t handle them yet. So, even a promo like this would give me a warning that I should change the channel, because some monster may come on the screen. However, the music in this promo seems more “Adult” than scary.
Crest / Cavity Creeps (1982)
Back when I was a small child the dentist was a scary place. I believe the first time I went to the dentist, I never stopped crying. I mean, think about it. There’s a strange person sticking these weird metal tools in your mouth. Then they’re squirting water & air and that super suction straw is a nightmare. I’m happy to say that I’ve gotten over the fear of the dentist several years ago. This commercial reminds me of the scary propaganda that the dental industry would use to make young children brush their teeth. I know it looks pretty tame now by todays standards, but imagine a mind of a little kid. These scary monsters with drills just attacking your teeth. This is downright terrifying.
Frosted Flakes / Haunted House (1984)
Tony the tiger and a kid decide, lets go to a haunted house to eat some cereal. When they walk in, there’s already a table set. Does Tony carry his secret formula with him everywhere he goes? I’m a little confused. But, a common trope in cereal commercials were someone trying to “steal” the formula. This shows a guy dressed right out of a Shakespeare play trying to steal the formula. By the way, isn’t the formula for Frosted Flakes just Sugar? The guy puts a sheet over himself to scare Tony and the kid. His plan is foiled pretty easy, but there’s someone else in the house… DUN DUN DUN!!… We need a sequel to this commercial. WHO’S IN THE ATTIC?!
Tornado Watch / KMOX 4 (1982)
I don’t know why, but when I was a kid, anytime the news interrupted the show you were watching made my hear jump out of my chest. I guess I was a pretty sheltered kid. As an adult, this type thing just pisses me off more than anything. Anyway, I guess being a kid I though the world was going to end when they had to break into a show. Usually it was just a Weather alert like this one. Five year old me thought my house was going to blow away. This video is from the local CBS affiliate from St. Louis. You can see how technology has really changed from 1982.
Well, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed these “spooky” videos from the past.