New Haven’s Charles F. Rosenay!!! may be best known in the state as the producer of the Connecticut Beatles conventions and festivals for over four decades, or as a pro DJ/MC/Entertainer for as many years. Along with musical events, he published a magazine on The Beatles called Good Day Sunshine for 25 years and, since 1983, he has organized and hosted the Beatles Tours to Liverpool for fans. For as long as he can remember, he has been asked to write a book on The Beatles, or on his adventures through the years as a DJ or Beatles aficionado, expert, and promoter. He has just published his first book, but it’s not exactly a Beatles book, nor is it a memoir of his experiences.
Instead, it is a pop culture book titled The Book of Top 10 Horror Lists, which collects lists of favorite monster movies, actors, and other themes from 100 celebrities. Charles will be doing an area book signing on Monday, December 6 at 6pm in New Haven’s Mitchell Library on 37 Harrison Street between Whalley Avenue and Fountain Street in Westville.
Along with the Beatles-themed tours, Rosenay!!! is the creator and organizer of the annual Dracula Tour to Transylvania, a “vampire vacation” that brings fans to the land of Vlad the Impaler and Dracula. That spun off the GHOSTours to Europe, week-long travel experiences for lovers of the supernatural. Rosenay!!! has acted in several horror films and shorts and was also the founder of Connecticut’s largest and scariest indoor haunted attraction, “Fright Haven,” which still operates in Stratford. More recently, he co-produced CT’s first-ever paranormal convention, and has been co-hosting paranormal investigations with Norwalk’s Nick Grossmann of “Ghost Storm.” So, it isn’t such a stretch that horror turned out to be the theme of his book.
How exactly did this unique book come to be? For a few years, Rosenay!!! wrote an online newsletter called “National Horror Happenings,” which was read by thousands worldwide. A special feature of that column was an occasional Top 10 List from a celebrity. Rosenay!!! would invite well-known and not-so-well-known notables, many of whom were his friends, to contribute a list. In most cases it was their favorite monster movies. Others, however, contributed their lists of favorite genre actors, scariest scenes in horror films, funniest scary movies, sexiest scenes in horror, and so many other interesting themes. Within a short time, there were memorable lists from actors, rock stars, authors, athletes, horror icons, directors, producers, scream queens, radio and TV personalities, and other pop culture luminaries.
When the pandemic hit, all of what Rosenay!!! did, he could no longer do. With a little extra time on his hands during quarantine, Charles started to assemble, edit, and write introductions for all those Top 10 Lists. He called on a friend, Janet Davis, from Stamford, to proofread what he had written and accumulated. Davis became his Assistant Editor, and the book came together. He realized that there were about 80 or 90 lists in the can, and his goal was to reach 100, which he did in just a few more months’ time.
More than just lists, every submission was a list plus additional comments as to why the choices were made. Often hilarious, sometimes thought-provoking, but always fascinating, the lists run the gamut from fan-based opinions straight through to thesis-worthy chapters on the horror aspects of Shakespeare’s work.
There are lists from a Beatle, from a McCartney, from a Lennon (sister), from a Karloff, from one of The Monkees, from a Munster, from a Woodstock legend, from a Baseball Hall of Famer, from four Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, and from many famous names one would never know were “monster mavens.”
Just a few of the pop culture icons featured in the book include William (Star Trek) Shatner, singer Gary Puckett, Butch (Eddie Munster) Patrick, Ruth (Laugh-In) Buzzi, baseball great Dave Winfield, the late actor Ed Asner, Bill (Lost in Space) Mumy, Jane Wiedlin of The Go-Gos, actor Corbin Bernsen, Micky Dolenz of The Monkees, and so many others.
Rosenay!!! has always been a fan of horror, pop culture, and Top 10 Lists, commenting, “Who doesn’t love a Top 10 List? They’re short, they’re fun, and we always want to see if our choices match. In this book, 100 celebrities reveal their Top 10 favorite monster movies and themes.” He adds, “You won’t believe the actors, singers, musicians, horror figures, writers, film-makers, artists, composers, disco divas, sports figures, and others who are horror buffs and “monster mavens!” Rosenay!!! asks, “Will your favorite horror films show up on any of their lists?”
At over 300 pages including photos and illustrations, The Book of Top 10 Horror Lists is published in hardcover and trade softcover by BearManor Media. It is available on Amazon, and signed copies are can be obtained from the website www.BookOfTop10HorrorLists.com.
Charles Rosenay!!! has been making guest appearances at conventions, libraries and other locations to meet friends and sign copies of his book and will continue to do so through the new year. To get an autographed copy by mail, call (203) 795-4737 or email BookOfTop10HorrorLists@gmail.com.