When I was a kid I loved monsters.
As soon as I was able I filled my bedroom with them.
Posters, models, toys, comics, key rings, books: if it was monstrous it went in.
What I can't remember is when it all started and when it ended. I don't have a single photograph of my creature-featured sleeping quarters so it's hard to date the period.
You can get an idea of what it looked like in the film Salem's Lot. Mark, the young hero, is also a horror hound.
Here he is in that oft-assumed defensive pose of the monster nut as he's regaled by his Father for being an oddball with "Why do you waste your time with monsters son!" or something similar, a tirade I'm pleased to say I only had once from my Dad until he gave in and accepted the grue.
Salem's Lot is set in the Seventies. Stephen King published the novel in 1975. the film was made in 1979. My own monster craze began years before this though, in the late Sixties I would guess. I would have been 9 or 10 years old. Maybe earlier. Its hard to say.
The Seventies scene above feels quite late in the horror craze. At least from my own experience. Certainly my beastly bedroom was done and dusted by 1977 when my Dad sold up and I got a flat. Only the Aurora Witch survived the move.
The longevity of the monster fad on film is even starker in the flick Super 8. Set in the summer of 1979 the Spielberg/ Abrams movie is basically an homage to monster-filled childhoods everywhere and a nostalgic epitaph to one of the greatest crazes ever.
The film's hero Joe, like Mark in Salem's Lot, is chastised by his straitlaced Dad for messing with plastic fiends like the Hunchback he so lovingly cares for.
So this is 1979 in America. At least on film. I was 18 by this point and have no idea what 10 year olds where into back then. My monsters were gone and my life was filled with the more banal gremlins of early adulthood.
Just how long did the monster craze last and when was yours readers?