Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Days Die(cut)ssected

Welcome to Day 31, and you know what that means. It's Halloween! Every year when I post my first Countdown, I can't imagine how I'll come up with a post for every day, but here we are. I hope I've added a little to the spirit of the season.

Growing up, my love of both Halloween and television blended in the month of October with the Halloween specials of my favorite shows. Back then, it seemed every show paid their respect to the season with injections of orange and black and ghosts and goblins.

One of my favorites is the 1974 "Haunted" episode of "Happy Days". I make it a point to re-watch it every year.

During this year's viewing, I took special notice of the decorations used in the show. Although the show is set in the 1950's, popular Halloween decorations of the early 1970's from companies such as Beistle and Peck are used. I decided to freeze frame scenes in the episode and identify as many as I could.

There are a number of large posters shown hanging on the walls of "Arnold's Drive-in".  Some of these appear to be based on Besitle images, but I've never seen these available anywhere.  These may have been made for the show.

While Ralph, Potsie and Richie discuss this year's Halloween party at the Simpson place, reputedly haunted, we see hanging to the left and above Richie's head this Beistle Scarecrow I have.

In between Joanie and Richie can be seen a Beistle Witch. I couldn't find an example of this on the internet. The Jack O' Lantern just out of scene in the upper left is a Beistle.

This Beistle skull has been modified with the addition of two red light bulbs poked through the eyes and originally looked like this green version.

As the waitress Marcia endures the gauntlet of water balloons and chalk bags, we see other decorations.

This Beistle witch die cut can be seen hanging behind and above Marcia's head with a poster version to her right.

 Fonzie vandalizes another Beistle Skull

Two Beistle skeleton hang on the wall. The large is the 55" version.

Above Fonzie hangs "Mommies lil' stinker" of the Peck "Witches Party", seen at the right in the package below.

To the left of Fonzie's elbow is a die cut from "13 Black Cats" set I found and blogged about this year, specifically the die cut in the right corner below.

 Fonzie vandalizes the Beistle skeleton

Richie, having witnessed something disturbing while scoping out the Simpson house, is on edge. Richie's sister Joanie scares him while he watches a late-night horror movie.  She's supposed to be wearing werewolf hands, but they look more like gorilla hands.  I haven't been able to identify these.

Joanie's friends join her as they prepare to go Trick of Treating.  One of her friends has destroyed this Tico light-up blow mold to fashion a mask. I have this one.

Incidentally, the witch is played by producer Garry Marshall's daughter Kathleen.

Garry Marshall and daughter Kathleen

While manning the door, Howard greets an unappreciative Trick or Treater played by Gary Marshall's son Scott. Pasted on his Trick or Treat bag is another Peck "13 Black Cat".

Gary Marshall and son Scott

The final Trick or Treater of the episode is this princess, played by another of Marshall's daughters, Lori. On her bag is yet another Peck "13 Black Cat" with a Peck Jack O' Lantern pasted below it.

 "You broke my cookie, you big ox."

Gary Marhsall and daughter Lori

Arriving with his date at the haunted house the episode centers around, many of the same die cuts have been reused with a few new ones.  I haven't been able to identify the owl and bat die cuts seen in these shots, but they could be made by Peck or Eureka.

The spider seen hanging from the chandelier is a Beistle which I currently have hanging from my kitchen light.

Potsie totally cheats at apple bobbing

The Beistle Jack O' Lantern makes a complete appearance.

Some more black cats and a Peck Jack O' Lantern are seen in the background above.

They got a lot of mileage out of those Peck cats and Witches

In the climactic scene, Richie confronts his fears despite Ralph's and Bags' best efforts.

Behind both headless torsos of Magnolia Simpson is the final appearance from the "13 Black Cats" set.

It's just "Bags"...

and The Demons!

The party goes on with Richie as the hero of the night. On the shelf to the left is that plastic blow mold that was used for a mask in the earlier scene.

While going through the night's loot with her mother, Joanie is taught a very '70's lesson about not eating unwrapped candy. This would have never happened in the '50's. Sitting on the chair is the werewolf mask Joanie presumably wore, but we never see her in it. I'd love to get a better look at it.  It could be the same one Potsie dons in another episode, but it looks darker on the cheeks.

From the episode "Give the Band a Hand"

If I haven't ruined it for you, and you'd like to watch the whole episode (well, in 3 parts), watch below.

And that's wraps up this year's "Stranger Finds". Have a safe and Happy Halloween. If you don't stick around for the rest of the year, be sure to swing by next Halloween!


  1. Thanks Tom - Happy Halloween to you too - we had many of these cut outs hanging in our house in the 1970's - wish i still had them.

    1. You're welcome, Lady M, and Happy Halloween once again!

  2. wow, this is an amazing piece of sleuthing. i had forgotten all about this episode -- but it's clear you had not. : )

    so, how's the yard decorating for this year? i'm assuming you set up your usual level of incredibleness...

    1. I'm wrapping up decorations today (I know, always running behind). I'll post some pictures soon.

    2. Thanks, I had a good time tracking these decorations down.

    3. i look forward to seeing pix!

  3. I am going to have to rewatch just to look for all the Halloween decorations throughout! It is a classic show and this is a great Halloween episode. Thanks for all the fun posts all month long, I definitely looked forward to them. 🎃👻🦇 Happy Halloween! 🎃👻🦇

  4. Wow what a labor of love you poured into this post! I love it! I love the memories this brought back of having some of those decorations hanging up when I was a child. Plus I still love Happy Days.

    1. Sometimes I get obsessed with these things. But I enjoyed tracking the decorations down.

  5. Great post and kudos on the work put into it!

    1. Thanks, Dex. Hope you had a great Halloween!

  6. I love this episode, as a kid it scared the hell out of me. mostly the scary music.


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