People Who Make Halloween

There have been a lot of other people in various media who have also made major contributions to the multi-faceted cultural phenomenon we call Halloween.  However, this list cites those who have made a sustained effort throughout their respective careers to develop and sustain interest in what Halloween is all about.  Note that some names are marked with an asterisk because these individuals have done work in more than one area.



Music

Dr. Demento - Host of his own radio show (now podcast) spotlighting and keeping alive many obscure novelty songs recorded over the years.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Demento

Bobby "Boris" Pickett - Co-wrote and performed the hit song/Halloween anthem The Monster Mash (1962).  Over the years he did several other Halloween/monster-themed versions/sequels to his original song.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_%22Boris%22_Pickett

Richard O'Brien* - Best known as performing Riff Raff in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), most folks who aren't Rocky fans don't know he also wrote the show and all its music.  He has written/performed in other musicals such as Mephistopheles Smith and acted in other movies such as Flash Gordon (1980), Dark City (1998), and Elvira's Haunted Hills (2001).  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_O%27Brien

Rob Zombie* - Both as a solo artist and in his band White Zombie before that, Rob drew upon themes and imagery from sci-fi/horror B-movies.  He also branched out into writing and directing, having made the Halloween remake (2007; based on John Carpenter's film) plus a sequel and other movies such as House of 1000 Corpses (2003) and The Devil's Rejects (2005).  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob_Zombie

Alice Cooper - More than just a singer, he's an entertainer.  As Wikipedia put it: "With a stage show that features guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, boa constrictors and baby dolls, Cooper has drawn equally from horror movies, vaudeville, and garage rock to pioneer a grandly theatrical and violent brand of heavy metal designed to shock."  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_Cooper

The Misfits - Though the line-up has changed countless times (well, I've lost count) over the years, the Misfits brand must still be credited with inventing Horror Punk as a genre, and their songs have consistently used horror and sci-fi movies for their inspiration, no matter which phase of the band we're talking about.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misfits_%28band%29

The Cramps - Even if they had only invented psychobilly and stopped there, that would have cemented their place in Halloween music forever, what with all the Halloween-themed psychobilly bands that followed.  But they had a great look, great sound, and such hilariously hip songs that you can't help but laugh as you work your way through their discography to make your Halloween party playlist.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cramps

Danny Elfman - The lyricist/composer/singing voice of Jack Skellington in The Nightmare Before Christmas, he has composed the soundtrack to very nearly everything Tim Burton has directed.  Notable films/scores include Beetlejuice (1988), Batman (1989), Edward Scissorhands (1990), The Frighteners (1996), Men in Black (1997), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Corpse Bride (2005), and the remake of The Wolfman (2010).  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Elfman

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Directors

James Whale - Although he had a long and extensive career, Whale's reputation is cemented for having directed the original Frankenstein film (1931) and its sequel, The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) as well as The Invisible Man (1933).  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Whale

William Castle - He directed a number of sci-fi and horror B-movies including House on Haunted Hill (1959) and 13 Ghosts (1960), but he is best remembered for his movie-house gimmicks too numerous and elaborate to fully list here that included inflatable skeletons on zip lines and phony nurses in theater lobbies to assist patrons who "needed to recover" from the "shock" of experiencing his films.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Castle

Roger Corman - The IMDb credits him as the producer of nearly 400 titles and director of more than 50.  He is the master of B-movies with many stand-out titles that have gone on to be famous and remade with budgets that dwarf what he worked under.  Noteworthy films include Death Race 2000 (1975), Piranha (1978), and Little Shop of Horrors (1960) as well as adaptations of a number of Edgar Allan Poe works.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Corman

George Romero - He'll always be known as "that zombie movie guy," and he doesn't seem concerned with diversifying his work to diminish the association.  Following the original trilogy of Night of the Living Dead (1968), Dawn of the Dead (1978), and Day of the Dead (1985), he continued to make undead movies like Land of the Dead (2005), Diary of the Dead (2008), and Survival of the Dead (2009).  He also worked with Stephen King quite a bit including Creepshow (1982), Monkey Shines (1988), and The Dark Half (1993).  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Romero

Tobe Hooper - Most famous for The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) and the even nuttier Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986), but he also helmed Salem's Lot (1979), Poltergeist (1982), Lifeforce (1985), and the Invaders from Mars remake (1986).  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobe_Hooper

Wes Craven - His early career features great titles such as The Last House on the Left (1972), The Hills Have Eyes (1977), Swamp Thing (1982), but his name will forever be associated with the two series he launched: The Freddy movies beginning with A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and Scream (1996) kicked off several sequels (with a tv series in the works as well).  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wes_Craven

John Carpenter* -
Now this is a guy who is prolific.  Writer, director, and soundtrack composer.  He has worked almost exclusively in the sci-fi/horror genres and even made a film worthy of being called Halloween (1978).  Stand-out titles include The Fog (1980), The Thing (1982), Christine (1983), Starman (1983), Prince of Darkness (1987), They Live (1988), and In the Mouth of Madness (1995).  
Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Carpenter

David Cronenberg - An underrated director who made many, many films either within the horror genre or drawing from elements that defined it.  Nearly every film from the middle of his career is essential viewing: The Brood (1979), Scanners (1981), Videodrome (1983), The Dead Zone (1983), The Fly (1986), Dead Ringers (1988), Naked Lunch (1991), Crash (1996), eXistenZ (1999), and so on.  He has even had cameos in Clive Barker's Nightbreed and the Friday the 13th sequel Jason X.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Cronenberg

Don Coscarelli -
He isn't as prolific or as well-known as most others on this list, but Don gets my recognition as writer-director of Phantasm (1979), one of my all-time favorite horror movies.  He made several sequels to the original and also made The Beastmaster (1982) and Bubba Ho-Tep (2002).  
Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Coscarelli

Tim Burton - He has at times stooped to doing entirely too many remakes in his career, but this is the man who gave us Beetlejuice (1988), Edward Scissorhands (1990), and The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993).  Nearly all of his films have a distinct madcap look and titles like Batman (1989), Ed Wood (1994), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Corpse Bride (2005), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), or Dark Shadows (2012) would play well at any Halloween movie party.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Burton

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Sci-fi/Horror Movie Hosts

This is a unique category, as no other genre of film has an equivalent sub-profession as this.  Wikipedia entry:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horror_host

Elvira - Probably the best-known horror host of them all, and with good reason.  She pretty much perfected the format based on personality alone, and the image of her is a Halloween staple.  She made several movies: her Mistress of the Dark (1988) and Elvira's Haunted Hills (2001), the latter being a tribute to the Hammer Horror films.  Additionally, she has released a number of compilation records of Halloween-related songs, including a few originals she recorded herself.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassandra_Peterson

Vampira - The original horror host, she was the one who set the standard most others have since followed, particularly Elvira, who took her idea and arguably made it her own (The courts will never decide; Elvira was sued but the case never made it before a judge).  She's probably best remembered for her role in Ed Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959).  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maila_Nurmi and about her show: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Vampira_Show

Svengoolie - Perhaps the longest-running horror host (since 1979, albeit with a lengthy hiatus), he's also probably the best in the business.  I always describe him as the Robert Osborne of horror hosting.  He fills the show with a good mix of movie history and trivia while at the same time adding comedy.  However, there's a reverence for films and their history unlike that exhibited by any other host in the genre.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svengoolie

Morgus the Magnificent - Most people outside of the New Orleans area have probably never heard of Morgus (though he also hosted in Detroit briefly), but his show was a blend of mad scientist sketch comedy with local humor and really, really bad sci-fi/horror movies (for the most part).  I grew up watching the revived series in the late '80s and still remember a lot of the films they showed. 
Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgus_the_Magnificent

Zacherley - Though he is best known as a horror film host (primarily during the '50s and '60s), Zacherley also recorded the hit song Dinner with Drac and released other albums of music and sound effects as well as occasional appearances in movies.  He was one of the original hosts and is probably my favorite for his ability to throw himself into the moment and improvise on a shoestring budget.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Zacherle

MST3K - This show successfully brought viewers around to watching a lot of forgotten almost-classics by bringing the viewing experience into the post-modern era.  No other "hosted" show managed to incorporate hosting into the viewing experience as this one.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MST3K

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Writers

Edgar Allan Poe - The master of the macabre had a number of tales adapted, and he continues to be famous for other stories such as The Black CatThe Murders in the Rue Morgue, and The Tell-Tale Heart as well as his poem, The Raven.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Allan_Poe

H.P. Lovecraft - His work has inspired countless monster horrors including the Re-Animator series.  Cthulhu in particular has become fixture of popular culture.  More important: The stories are incredible and interwoven with cross-linking references that serve to establish a believable universe now known as the Cthulhu Mythos.  Expect more adaptations of his works in the years to come, hopefully with budgets commensurate with level of treatment they deserve and the visual effects they demand.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HP_Lovecraft

Robert Bloch -
He began as a young pen pal of established author H.P. Lovecraft, and developed as a writer under his influence.  (He and Lovecraft even wrote one another into their respective stories).  He is most famous as the author of the novel Psycho, on which the Hitchcock film was based.  He wrote many other novels and short stories and several scripts for movies and tv series (including the original Star Trek and Alfred Hitchcock Presents), either original or based on his own stories.  After his death many more of his stories have been adapted.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Bloch

Stephen King -
Probably the most prolific author of the last fifty years, and certainly one of the most successful of all time.  It would take far too long to list all of his works that have become household names, never mind the proportion that have been adapted for films or tv.  I'm not a huge fan of his work at all, but I can't deny that I've experienced a lot of his stories through movies and tv in addition to the handful of novels/collections I've read.  
Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_King

Clive Barker* - In addition to writing the novella and then directing the film version of Hellraiser, he has also directed a couple other horror movies and written quite a few more novels, many of which are as much urban fantasy as horror, which is fine by me.  At one time he was my favorite author, as much for his style as his subject matter.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clive_Barker

Ray Bradbury - The author of countless short stories plus novels such as Something Wicked This Way Comes and The Halloween Tree as well as the screenwriter of It Came from Outer Space and even an episode of The Twilight Zone.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Bradbury

Rod Serling - As a writer, he set the precedent for a darker, more ironic version of the O. Henry twist.  The Twilight Zone has an on-going legacy, having been in re-runs continuously since it first went into syndication and brought back in his mold numerous times and different forms (e.g., additional tv incarnations, a movie, comic books), and his follow-up series, Night Gallery, continued where he left off.  He also wrote the original Planet of the Apes movie, as is evident in its final scene.  Sadly, Serling was only 50 when he died, else who knows how many more stories he would have told.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Serling

R.L. Stine - He has been called the "Stephen King of children's literature," and with good reason, since he has actually out-sold King, at least in terms of the number of copies in print.  He's the creator of the Goosebumps and Fear Street book series, among others, introducing kids to reading horror and supernatural novels.  As of this writing, I'm experiencing his works with my son, and they're terrific fun for pre-schoolers (provided they don't scare easily) on up.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._L._Stine

Forrest J Ackerman - His best-remembered creation will always be his Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine which Ackerman wrote for extensively as well as editing.  He wrote quite a few short stories and non-fiction and brought many authors to the public's attention, most notably Ray Bradbury.  He also coined the shorted name "sci-fi" which caught on so well that it's the standard term for the genre. 
He generously shared his legendary collection of movie memorabilia with anyone who wanted to visit his home, the famous Ackermansion.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forrest_J._Ackerman

Bob Burns - The biggest, most enthusiastic fanboy since the Ackermonster.  Bob has a huge collection of sci-fi and horror memorabilia from the history of cinema: literally a truckload of costumes, creatures, and props from the original Alien, the armature used in King Kong, loads of model spaceships, etc.  And best of all, he loves sharing his collection with everyone!  I'm sort of shoehorning him into this category with the rationalization that he's written a couple of books about movies, but that's the least of his contribution as a historian.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Burns_III

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Actors

Lon Chaney - The original "Man of a Thousand Faces" was behind The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) and The Phantom of the Opera (1925), among the first characters of what would become the Universal Monsters pantheon.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lon_Chaney,_Sr.

Bela Lugosi - Perhaps the best known to this day for his role as the original Dracula (1931), he was also in an adaptation of Poe's Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932) and The Raven (1935), and was Igor in Son of Frankenstein (1939) as well as White Zombie (1932) with Karloff.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bela_Lugosi

Boris Karloff - He's best known for playing Frankenstein's monster in the first three films of that series: Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), and Son of Frankenstein (1939), but Karloff was also in the The Black Cat (1934), The Raven (1935), and The Body Snatcher (1945).  However, even if you aren't a fan of the Universal Monsters, he was also Dr. Seuss' most famous monster: The Grinch (and the narrator) in the animated version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)!  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boris_Karloff

Dwight Frye - Kind of the "forgotten one" who deserves to be included on this list/page, he was the versatile character actor who played Renfield in Dracula (1931) and the sadistic hunchback lab assistant named Fritz (who everyone assumes is named Igor) in Frankenstein (1931).  These stand-out, now-classic performances unfortunately typecast him, but he acted in many other similar roles in B-movies of his day.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwight_Frye

Claude Rains - Of course he was Captain Renault in Casablanca (1942), but he is best remembered as the The Invisible Man (1933) (There's even a line mentioing him in Rocky Horror Picture Show.)  He was also the title character's father in The Wolf Man (1941) and was the Phantom in the remake: Phantom of the Opera (1943).  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Rains

Vincent Price -
He has been in everything from The Fly (1958) to Edward Scissorhands
(1990).  He was the go-to guy for Edgar Allan Poe adaptations like The House of Usher (1960), The Pit and the Pendulum (1961), Tales of Terror (1962), The Raven (1963), and The Masque of the Red Death (1964) as well as other Hammer productions such as The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971) and its sequel (1972), and movies like The House on Haunted Hill (1959) and House of Wax (1953) among others.  Finally, no one can forget his role in the best-selling record of all time: Michael Jackson's Thriller.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_Price

Lon Chaney, Jr. - Though his career wasn't limited to monster movies by any means, Chaney is most famous for his role in the original Wolf Man film (1941) and its sequels and spin-offs (as well as being fathered by the Man of a Thousand Faces).  He also played the Mummy in three pictures as well as Frankenstein and even Dracula (or at least the "son of Dracula").  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lon_Chaney,_Jr.

Peter Cushing - Future generations beginning with mine will likely best remember him as Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars (1977), but Cushing was most frequently associated with the roles of Dr. Frankenstein and the vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing in the Hammer films.  Additionally, he played both Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Who in the two theatrical movies spun off from the latter series (so far).  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Cushing

Christopher Lee - He is the actor most associated with the role of Dracula after Bela Lugosi.  He has also played Frankenstein and the Mummy in the Hammer films.  In his later career he also played Saruman in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Count Dooku in the Star Wars prequels, as well as a number of characters in Tim Burton productions: the Burgomaster in Sleepy Hollow, Pastor Galswells in Corpse Bride, a bit part in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as Willy Wonka's father, and in Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Lee

David Warner - He played Evil personified in Time Bandits (1981) as well as appearing in The Omen (1976) and Tron (1982).  He's been in several Lovecraft projects/adaptations: Cast a Deadly Spell (1991), The Unnamable II (1992), Necronomicon: Book of Dead (1993), and In the Mouth of Madness (1994).  He works plenty on tv as well, having done episodes of Tales from the Crypt, Scooby Doo, and Dr. Who (on more than one occasion, in fact).  He was even slated to be Freddy Kruger in Nightmare on Elm St. (1984), but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.  However, he went through the makeup tests and everything.  Most recently he's been Van Helsing on Penny Dreadful.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Warner_%28actor%29

Jeffery Combs - He has been labeled "the first Lovecraftian actor" since he has been the lead in so many adaptions based on Lovecraft's works: Re-Animator (1985) (plus sequels Bride of Re-Animator (1989) and Beyond Re-Animator (2003)), From Beyond (1986), Pulse Pounders (1988) (which contained a segment based on an HPL story), Necronomicon: Book of Dead (1993) (playing HPL himself!), Lurking Fear (1994), Castle Freak (1995 Video), and The Dunwich Horror (2009 TV Movie).  He even played a parody of Lovecraft named H.P. Hatecraft in a couple episodes of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated.  He even portrayed Edgar Allan Poe in an episode of Masters of Horror (2007) and has also been in countless horror and sci-fi movies and even several sci-fi series (including three Trek series!).  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_Combs

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Artists and designers: Effects, Make-up, and Painters

Jack Pierce - The original make-up artist who worked on many of the classic Universal Monster films, doing Boris Karloff's make-up in Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and Son of Frankenstein (1939), modifying Lugosi's look (including adding the widow's peak) in White Zombie, and making up Lon Chaney, Jr. in The Wolf Man (1941) as well as three sequels and three Mummy films.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Pierce_%28makeup_artist%29

Ray Harryhausen - He's a legend for his animation work in the Sinbad movies (1958, 1973, 1977; which he also helped write, incidentally!) and Clash of the Titans (1981).  He also worked on a number of other sci-fi and monster movies like the skeletons in Jason and the Argonauts (1963), First Men in the Moon (1964), Mighty Joe Young (1949), It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955), and Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956).  
Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Harryhausen

Dick Smith - Although he isn't as famous in the horror community as some other names on this list, Smith is probably best-known for his work on The Exorcist (1973).  Not just on the possessed Regan, but on the priest/title character played by Max Von Sydow who looked in 1973 what the actor looks in 2013!  He also transformed Marlon Brando into The Godfather.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Smith_%28make-up_artist%29

Stan Winston -
He's most f
amous for working on Jurassic Park (1993) with Spielberg as well as James Cameron's The Terminator (1984/91) and Aliens (1986).  He also worked on Edward Scissorhands (1990), The Monster Squad (1987), and even did the Wookiee costumes for the craptacular Star Wars Holiday Special (1978).  Fun fact: My kid is named equally for Stan Winston and Marvel Comics' Stan Lee.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stan_Winston

Rick Baker - He looks like he's part werewolf, so it makes sense he did the makeup effects in An American Werewolf in London (1981) and The Howling (1981) as well as Michael Jackson's Thriller (1983).  Oh, and The Wolfman (2010) too.  All that plus Vincent in Beauty and the Beast (1987-89) and crazy fun stuff like Videodrome (1983), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), and Hellboy (2004).  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Baker_%28makeup_artist%29

Tom Savini - Not only has he done makeup effects for Dawn of the Dead (1978), Friday the 13th (1980) and one of the sequels, both Creepshow (1982/7) films, Day of the Dead (1985), and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986), he has also acted in a number of movies including From Dusk till Dawn (1996), the Dawn of the Dead remake (2004), and Grindhouse (2007).  He also directed several episodes of Tales from the Darkside and the remake of Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1990).  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Savini

H.R. Giger - He won an Academy Award for Best Achievement for Visual Effects for his design work on the film Alien (1979; i.e., the Alien itself, the Space Jockey, and spaceship interiors), but has also worked on other films such as designs for the unproduced Alejandro Jodorowsky adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune that David Lynch ultimately made, as well as Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986) and the alien Sil from Species (1995).  Many of his designs for Alien were revisited for Prometheus (2012), including work that didn't make it into the original film.  His visual artwork is a continuing source of inspiration.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._R._Giger

Charles Addams - Cartoonist most famous for the creation of an assortment of characters who would go on to collectively be known as the Addams Family.  His cartoons mainly appeared in The New Yorker magazine and featured plenty other strange scenarios: witch doctors, murderous spouses, etc.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Addams

Edward Gorey - Illustrator famous for his bleak and dreary style which was used in the introduction to the PBS series Mystery! (which Vincent Price originally hosted) as well as doing designs for the 1977 Broadway production of Dracula, for which he won a Tony Award for Best Costume Design and was nominated for Best Scenic Design.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Gorey

Gustave Doré - Artist who illustrated a number of literary works from his day, but is especially known for several with horror themes: Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Dante's Inferno, and Poe's The Raven.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_Dore


Basil Gogos - The painter did many (about 40) of the covers on Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine.  His distinct style of using a mix of vivid colors made his covers a signature feature of the publication during his time working for Ackerman.  He has gone on to do album covers for the likes of Rob Zombie, The Misfits, and Electric Frankenstein.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basil_Gogos

James Bama -
Although it was far from his only pieces, the artist did the now-iconic box cover paintings for the classic Aurora monster model kits.  Many of those images have shown up repeatedly in other places since then.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Bama

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Studios and other media entities

Universal Studios - Most famous for putting out monster movies from the '20s though the '50s with all the classics: Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The MummyThe Creature from the Black Lagoon, and multiple sequels/spin-offs to these films.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Monsters

Hammer Films - Picked up where Universal left off, producing further Dracula and Frankenstein films, re-inventing the characters, as well as many new gothic stories.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hammer_Film_Productions

EC Comics - Though by no means the only horror comics publisher of the day, they produced several influential classic horror titles during the 1950s, including Tales from the Crypt, that was later spun off as the HBO franchise of a series and a couple of theatrical films.  Several films have featured stories from or inspired by these books.  The comics have been reprinted numerous times over the years since.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EC_Comics

Aurora Models - Even though they made far more than monsters, they're best remembered for their classic monster models that cashed in on the monster craze of the early '60s with Frankenstein, Mr. Hyde, the Forgotten Prisoner, and so on.  The box artwork alone was good enough to frame!  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora_Plastics_Corporation  Very informative overview: http://www.professorplastik.com/monster_site/proscenium/kits/auroramonsterkithistory.htm

General Mills' monster cereals -
These are a fixture of Halloween.  I think everyone grew up eating Frankenberry, Count Chocula, and Boo Berry.  The latter brand is only available around Halloween, thus making it a treat unto itself.  The characters themselves are impressions of Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, and Peter Lorre, respectively.  Fun Fact: There was also Fruity Yummy Mummy and Fruit Brute, though both have been permanently discontinued (with the exception of around Halloween 2013).  
Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Mills_monster-themed_breakfast_cereals

The toy makers: Sideshow Collectibles, NECA, and McFarlane - Whereas plenty of toy companies produce licensed movie merchandise, these three toy companies have kept retro properties available for modern collectors and even reworked classic monsters in some cases.

Don Post Masks - The founder of the company has been called the Godfather of Halloween for his role in popularizing latex masks.  Their productions are now collectors' items, but they also inspired generations of kids to pretend and make their own monster movies.  Masks are fun even when it isn't Halloween!
Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Post

Beistle - Maker of Halloween decorations since at least the '40s, usually die-cut paperboard decorations or paperboard figures with "accordion" or "honeycomb" limbs.  And I think everyone owned a big 48" jointed skeleton from them.  Run a search on eBay for Beistle Halloween decorations, and you'll see plenty familiar pieces.  See also Dennison and C. A. Reed who made similar decorations over the years.

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Notable properties

These can't be credited to any single individual, but these media entities have continued to inspire and return in various form over the years, thus embodying Halloween.

The Simpsons - Their Treehouse of Horror specials every year have drawn (no pun intended) upon the talents and works of many of the folks on this list and made this a Halloween tradition unto itself.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treehouse_of_Horror

The Munsters - The original series only lasted two seasons (though at 70 episodes, it feels like a lot more).  But there were also a couple movies with the original cast (well, not Eddie or Marilyn in the latter case).  And then there were the remakes.  It was also brought back as The Munsters Today from 1988 to 1991, and there's another revival looming on the horizon as I write this.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Munsters

The Addams Family - The characters originated in cartoons for the New Yorker and have gone on to star in both live action sitcoms and cartoons as well as movies.  There have even been cross-overs with Scooby Doo.  Tim Burton, appropriately enough, is supposedly at work on yet another incarnation of the characters.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Addams_Family

Ghostbusters - Granted, it's only been a couple movies and a cartoon.  There's been talk of a "Part III" for years that has never gotten to the filming stages yet.  However, their popularity has never waned, and there's not a Halloween that goes by without a Ghostbuster costume and numerous references to the film, including the theme song.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghostbusters_%28franchise%29

Scooby Doo - The show has never been out of production for more than a few years at a time since it premiered in 1969, and even then its reruns were in syndication during the intervening gaps.  This has been a series that pretty much consistently has shown there's nothing to fear but fear itself, and that monsters are imaginary.  There's nothing closer to the message of Halloween than that.  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scooby-Doo

Relevant pages on this site:

Apologies: I feel like this only scratches the surface.  There are so many other names in sci-fi in horror who really deserve mention for their contributions, but I'm trying to limit this list to just those who deserve lifetime achievement awards in their respective categories for consistently sticking with or at least regularly returning to Halloween-related projects.

   

Copyright 2011 the Ale[x]orcist (with suggestions from Leiann). Updated 2013-15.
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