A few days ago, we received this previously unpublished, and frankly astonishing, account of the origin of the song “Monster Mash” from the estate of Bobby Pickett. We felt it had to be shared.
What Really Happened
By Bobby Pickett
Most people don’t know this, but when I wrote “Monster Mash” I wasn’t trying to make a perennial Halloween hit. I was trying to share a real-life supernatural event that happened to me.
I was still in college at the time, taking an advanced anatomy course. Well, one night I had to stay late in the lab to finish some research. Rule number one of going into the lab was to have your lab partner with you, and I should have known better than to break that rule. Maybe if I had given Jeff a call that night, I could have avoided the single most terrifying event of my life. But I didn’t call Jeff. Instead, I brazenly waltzed into that lab and paid dearly for my hubris.
So there I was, working in the lab late one night, when my eyes beheld an eerie sight. The cadaver the class had been working on began to rise. Naturally I panicked. I leapt behind my table, equipment flying everywhere. As I huddled behind my makeshift barrier, shaking and on the verge of tears, I slowly realized how ridiculous I was being. The body had only moved due to a buildup of gases, or maybe I had imagined the whole thing. I slowly began to raise my head over the side of the table. But as I peeked over, I saw something that will be burned into my brain for the rest of my life. I saw this dead man, a man we had cut wide open in class earlier that day, rise up and begin a macabre dance. A monster’s mash. The “Monster Mash.”
As I crouched there, petrified by this unnatural scene, things began to go from bad to worse, and the door to my left slowly began to creek open. Every child’s nightmare, every horror film demon, every ghoulish specter began to pour out of that door, and there was nothing I could do but pray to God that they didn’t see me.
As this crowd continued to appear, things began to reach a fever pitch, finally culminating with the appearance of a vocal group I later learned to be the The Crypt-Kicker Five. At their appearance, the undead crowd went wild, and the “Monster Mash” really began.
As this graveyard smash went on, I was left shivering under my lab table, counting the seconds until sunrise. Finally, hours later, the crowd departed and I was alone. I stumbled my way out of that lab, dropped the class, and never went into the Health building again.