Vampire Blood!

This was sort of a forbidden fruit for kids growing up in the early 1970s.

Dr. Shock & BubblesMuch like the poisoned Halloween candy stories that have been circulating for decades, I remember a story going around that there was something wrong with the practical joke/prank product aimed at kids known as Vampire Blood. It was either tainted or meant only for external use and kids were swallowing it with allegedly catastrophic results. I seem to recall that Philadelphia horror movie host and broadcast legend Dr. Shock stepped out of character to issue a dire warning about the dangers of the little vials of fake blood being sold. I tried looking it up on the internet, but I couldn’t really find anything about the story. Whether the story was true or not, it was all the evidence a Mom would need to ban the product for life. It may as well have been radioactive in their minds. Wanted to be Christopher Lee for Halloween complete with dripping blood? Sorry. You’d have to settle on Bela Lugosi!

Below is the full ad which promises that it’s safe to put Vampire Blood at the corners of your mouth:

Nope. Mom wasn’t having it! Besides, you should be ashamed of yourself for trying to elicit sympathy from unsuspecting Good Samaritans!

The Vampire Blood ad appeared in The Many Ghosts of Doctor Graves No. 32 published by Charlton Comics in 1972. I probably bought it for the wonderfully colored cover.
Many Ghosts of Doctor GravesThe comic was a horror anthology and featured three stories the middle of which was by the Amazing Steve Ditko and was titled The Borgia Stone!

It was the story about an antique ring which granted the wearer strange and sinister powers. When I was perusing the comic I was astonished to find this panel that somehow slipped by the censors at the Comics Code Authority.

Steve Ditko's Single Digit SaluteYears later, I found and purchased a tube of lifelike Vampire Blood, and I’m sad to say, that it wouldn’t fool anybody. It sort of looks like magenta ink and was fairly runny. Oh, well

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