Searching for certain Halloween filmstrip
October 31, 2008 12:28 AM   Subscribe

When I was a kid in first grade (around 1972 or so), for Halloween we saw a filmstrip that had no words to it, only what I remember to be classical music. The film strip itself started out with scenes of dead trees, against the night sky -- then a bell tower rang out 12 times, and on the 12th time the music started, and ghosts rose out of the graves to dance around. By the end of the filmstrip, the sun starts to come up, and by daybreak all the ghosts go back into the graves. I believe that all the illustrations for it were done in watercolor, but they might've been some other type of painting -- I don't think they were drawing. Might anybody have any idea what that filmstrip was?
posted by eener to Education (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
First I thought you might you be remembering "Skeleton Dance," from Disney's wonderful Silly Symphonies?

Skeleton Dance:

But then I considered you must be thinking of the Chernabog/Chernobog scene from Fantasia!

Chernobog Scene:

Hopefully I'm right. :)
posted by empyrean at 12:52 AM on October 31, 2008

Night on Bald Mountain from Disney's Fantasia.
posted by headnsouth at 2:07 AM on October 31, 2008

I have no idea where the filmstrip would be but could it have been Danse Macabre?
(link goes to song with old illustration slideshow)
posted by codswallop at 2:36 AM on October 31, 2008

It was definitely Danse Macabre; I remember my music teacher (around 1998 or so) mentioning the name.
posted by wtdoor at 4:19 AM on October 31, 2008

We watched a Danse Macabre filmstrip in grade school as well, probably around 1985. It was pretty standard, not too scary Halloween fare.
posted by electroboy at 6:25 AM on October 31, 2008

codswallop, i'm not sure if you answered the OP's question, but you've solved a mystery in MY life for some years now!

i always thought that piece of music was from "faust" but i've never been able to track it down.

i was unwittingly encourged to this belief by the movie "tombstone," when dana delaney's character plays the devil in a short version of the "faust" storyline, but which was set to the music you linked to.

eener, i *totally* remember a filmstrip just as you described.

blessed samhain to all! and thanks again for the trip (stumble) down memory lane.
posted by CitizenD at 9:09 AM on October 31, 2008

Yeah, this sounds just like the Danse Macabre filmstrip I saw as a kid in the mid-80s. CitizenD, I believe this is the music. It's based on a hymn that has had a shit-ton of other musical settings, though, including Night on Bald Mountain, which is famously part of the Fantasia soundtrack.
posted by clavicle at 9:34 AM on October 31, 2008

Yep, Saint-Saens. Shown in St. Paul, MN, in the mid-80s, too. Must have been a government program. :7)
posted by wenestvedt at 11:08 AM on October 31, 2008

My response to eener on his question to "Searching for certain Halloween filmstrip" on October 31, 2008. I am wondering if we are thinking of the same filmstrip ?? I saw this filmstrip around October of 1968 in music class when I was in the first grade, the thing I remember most is skeletons dancing also, classical music with no voice audio ( there might have been words on the filmstrip video). From the responses you got, I do remember seeing most of what they posted , however, none of them were what I remembered.
To clue everyone in, the filmstrip was on a roll of film that was maybe a little larger than the film that went in a 35mm camera. the filmstrip was put in a projector that shown it on a portable white screen that you placed 10 feet or so from the projector, or you could have shown it on a white wall. The music or audio was on a 33 or possibly 78RPM record of roughly 10 inch diameter. Each frame of the filmstrip was turned by hand after you heard a beep on the record. Hopefully someone might figure this out, especially someone who taught school during the 1960's (this filmstrip may have been made well before 1968). Also, maybe this filmstrip was made by the Scholastic Company, which was a company based in New York that dealt in educational material such as books, films, etc.
posted by kohlerrokon at 7:25 PM on October 16, 2009

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