10 Spooky Commercials Starring Vincent Price

Actor Vincent Price at London's Thames TV studios in July 1970.
Actor Vincent Price at London's Thames TV studios in July 1970.
Frank Barratt, Keystone/Getty Images

From the 1930s through the 1980s, Vincent Price was an incredibly prolific actor who was best known for his distinctively spooky voice and his performances in a range of classic (and not-so-classic) horror movies.

Price—who was born on May 27, 1911—appeared in everything from the original versions of House of Wax (1953), The Fly (1958), and House on Haunted Hill(1959) to 1959’s campy The Tingler, a novelty 3D movie in which theatergoers’ seats vibrated at scary moments throughout the film. His final on-film performance was in Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands (1990).

But the horror legend didn’t just appear in movies; Price was also a prolific commercial actor. In the 1970s and 1980s, Price lent his image or voice to ads for wine coolers, board games, candy bars, and even the American Dairy Association. Full of haunted mansions, spooky music, and terrifying wordplay (“prices that won’t scare you!”), most of the commercials put Price’s horror pedigree front and center. Check out 10 of our favorites.

1. Tilex

“It’s alive!” The mildew, that is. Fortunately, Vincent Price has the solution: Tilex instant mildew remover! It’ll rid your haunted mansion of even the most resilient mildews.

2. The Antique Guild

This 1979 ad for antique furniture packs an impressive number of spooky jokes into just 30 seconds of airtime.

3. Stay Alive

Price plays up the creepiness for this 1978 spot for a Milton Bradley board game called Stay Alive. Sitting in a spooky castle on a dark and stormy night, Price warns viewers that the game can be “quite deadly.”

4. Polaroid videocassettes

Another haunted house commercial from 1984—this time for a hauntingly old-school product: videocassettes that clean your VCR as they play.

5. Peter Paul's Peanut Butter With No Jelly

The all-peanut butter “Peanut Butter With No Jelly” candy bar improved upon the classic PB&J by removing extraneous ingredients like bread and jelly.

6. Sun Country Wine Coolers

In 1985, a company called Sun Country inexplicably decided to put Vincent Price in a polar bear costume and then play some old-fashioned haunted house music to sell their wine coolers.

7. The Enchanted World

Once again appearing in a spooky mansion, with spooky music in the background, Price advertises a not-particularly-spooky series of myths and legends for Time Life Books in this 1985 commercial.

8. Easter Seals Halloween coupons

The “safe,” “fun” alternative to giving out actual candy on Halloween, the coupons are a worried parent’s dream.

9. Chips Ahoy

Price lent his voice to this mysterious cookie commercial.

10. The American Dairy Association

Price appeared in this dairy commercial in 1982, warning consumers against “false” dairy products, and reminding them to look for the official “American Dairy Association” seal.

Updated for 2019.

Target Has Launched a Harry Potter Line of Clothing, Accessories, and Home Goods

Target
Target

No more blending in with the mediocre Muggles—now wizards can decorate and accessorize like the magical creatures they are with Target's brand-new line of Harry Potter clothing and home goods.

Target shoppers will feel like they’ve stepped through Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station as they wander the Harry Potter-stuffed aisles. Popsugar reports that Target will carry more than 500 Harry Potter-themed items, including socks, lanterns, pillows, dolls and much more.

You’ll be able to wake up in your Hogwarts sheets, have your morning coffee in a Slytherin mug, and take a ride on a foam Nimbus 2000 replica while rocking a Potter t-shirt. Not sure what house you’re in? No sweat! Target is even carrying a real-life sorting hat.

Whether you need a gift for the kiddos, or just want to treat your inner witch, Target is sure to have the perfect find in its Wizarding World line.

House Boasting a ‘Harry Potter Room’ Under the Stairs Hits the Market in San Diego

Cupboard under the stairs featured on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter in London.
Cupboard under the stairs featured on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter in London.
Matt Robinson, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

When Harry Potter fans dream of living like the boy wizard, they may picture Harry's cozy quarters in the Gryffindor dormitory at Hogwarts. One home owner in San Diego, California is trying to spin one of Harry's much less idyllic living situations as a magical feature. As The San Diego Union-Tribune reports, a listing of a three-bedroom house for sale in the city's Logan Heights neighborhood boasts a "Harry Potter room"—a.k.a storage room under the stairs.

In the Harry Potter books, the cupboard under the stairs of the Dursley residence served as Harry's bedroom before he enrolled in Hogwarts. Harry was eager to escape the cramped, dusty space, but thanks to the series' massive success, a similar feature in a real-world home may be a selling point for Harry Potter fans.

Kristin Rye, the seller of the San Diego house, told The Union-Tribune she would read Harry Potter books to her son, though she wouldn't describe herself as a super fan. As for why she characterized her closet as a “large ‘Harry Potter’ storage room underneath stairs" in her real estate listing, she said it was the most accurate description she could think of. “It’s just this closet under the stairs that goes back and is pretty much like a Harry Potter room. I don’t know how else to describe it," she told the newspaper.

Beyond the cupboard under the stairs, Rye's listing doesn't bear much resemblance to the cookie-cutter, suburban home of 4 Privet Drive. Nearly a century old, the San Diego house has the same cobwebs and a musty smells you might expect from the Hogwarts dungeons, the newspaper reports. But there are some perks, including a parking spot and backyard space for a garden or pull-up bar. The 1322-square-foot home is listed at $425,000—cheaper than the median price of $620,000 for a resale single-family home in the area.

If you want to live like a wizard, you don't necessarily need to start by moving under a staircase. In North Yorkshire, England, a cottage modeled after Hagrid's Hut is available to rent on a nightly basis.

[h/t The San Diego Union-Tribune]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER