Monster Magazines of the 1950s-1960s
Back in the 1960s, kids didn't have to wait until October to celebrate Halloween. With the onslaught of classic black & white horror movies being sold to TV in the 1950s, and a glut of monster magazines in the 1960s, Michigan kids were treated to Halloween all year long.
There was a package of old 1930s-1940s Universal Horror movies that were sold to television stations under the name “Shock Theatre”. Soon, cities in every state were showing their versions of “Shock Theatre” with their own personal horror movie host. WXYZ-TV in Detroit had “Shock” on at 11:30 Friday nights hosted by Mr. X. The show became so popular, that for a brief period of time WXYZ followed it up at 1am with “Super Shock!”
Kids couldn't get enough. Seeing the writing on the wall – and obviously wanting to make a quick buck – various publishers began putting out their own monster magazines. These magazines featured photos & stills of the classic monsters going all the way back into the silent era, with backstories, actor biographies, and more. Just about any Michigan party store, sweet shop, drug store, news stand, or book shop.....any place that sold books & magazines.....were where you'd find monster magazines. We would go down to the local sweet shop and get ours. We'd stand there and look through the whole magazine before deciding to buy it.
The slew of monster mags kicked off with America's first monster magazine, “Famous Monsters of Filmland” in 1958. From there, publications came hard and fast. Some lasted for a few issues, some only one, with Famous Monsters lasting well into the 1980s. It is still published to this day under a new editor and publisher.
Below is a gallery of EVERY monster magazine title from the 50s and 60s. The exceptions are “Creepy” and “Eerie” which were not monster magazines, but rather horror tales done in comic book style.
This was usually found advertised in the back of monster magazines. It was a one-shot, hardcover book.
CASTLE OF FRANKENSTEIN
Feb. 1962 - June 1975
CHILLING MONSTER TALES
1954 – 1999
This was NOT a monster magazine, but it was the issue that inspired James Warren to come up with the idea for America's first monster mag, “Famous Monsters of Filmland”.
Not an official “monster” magazine, but it warrants a mention.
CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN/HORROR OF DRACULA
Not an official “monster” magazine, but it deserves a nod.
FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND
February 1958 - March 1983
FANTASTIC MONSTERS OF THE FILMS
1962 – 1963
FOR MONSTERS ONLY
Nov. 1965 - June 1972
1961 – 1964
HORROR OF PARTY BEACH
JOURNAL OF FRANKENSTEIN
1961 – 1965
April - Oct. 1966
MONSTER MAKE-UP HAND BOOK
Oct. 1966 - April 1967
Sep. 1958 - March 1959
This particular magazine was aimed toward the 'adult' market.
Nov. 1964 - Sep. 1966
MONSTERS AND HEROES
1967 – 1970
MONSTERS AND THINGS
Jan. 1959 - April 1959
MONSTERS TO LAUGH WITH
1964 – 1965
1965 – 1966
This title was a continuation of "Monsters To Laugh With".
May 1965 - Winter 1967
July 1961 - June 1964
WEREWOLVES AND VAMPIRES
WORLD FAMOUS CREATURES
1958 - Feb. 1959
.....and the show that started it all, "Shock Theatre"!