Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s 1962 classic “Monster Mash” hogs all the Halloween airtime, but John Zacherle, named by Dick Clark as “The Cool Ghoul”, had a top ten hit four years before that: “Dinner with Drac,” also a novelty song, which clearly influenced “Monster Mash.”

“For dessert there was bat-wing confetti, and the veins of a mummy named Betty”

Vampira was the first TV horror host, but Zacherle was the template that all the others copied, and that was his career: hosting cheesy horror movies on late-night TV–he was a fixture in NYC and Philadelphia.   He got an impressive obit in in the NY Times, when he died, two years ago, at 89-years old, on Oct. 27th… just days before Halloween.