Before the internet superhighway was jammed with “cam girls,” 1-900 numbers were the best way to take advantage of lonely men’s pocket books. While those numbers promising “stimulating conversation” advertised during the late-night second feature on USA Up All Night were strictly adults only, nobody wanted youngsters to feel left out of the premium-rate telephone game. Usually during syndicated weekday afternoon cartoons, commercials advertised the biggest stars of the day, just waiting to hear from you! Fans could dial up to hear (with parental permission of course) pre-recorded messages from such teen idols as The Coreys, Paula Abdul, Al Grandpa Munster, and number one ’80s heartthrob Freddy Krueger.
Yes, for $2 for the first minute and 45 cents for each additional minute, the man of your dreams would share his favorite “deadtime stories” with anyone brave enough to dial 1-900-909-FRED. What a perfect way to reach out and kill someone. Thankfully, Dwayne Cathey (composer of GLOW: The Story Of The Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling) uploaded 45 minutes of Freddy stories, fresh from his boiler room to you. The stories on the Soundcloud account are basically two-minute campfire tales that wouldn’t feel out of place in Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark. The recordings feature mostly unknown voice-over artists, but this writer is pretty sure he heard “movie voice-over guy” Don LaFontaine on a few of them. Much like the syndicated Freddy’s Nightmares, Freddy doesn’t necessarily appear in the Springwood stores, but rather provides the intro and outro for the terrifying tales, providing some signature puns, and reminding listeners to stick around to hear the beginning of the story if they missed it… for an additional 45 cents.
According to Blumhouse, a young man by the name of Taylor Basinger recorded his calls to Freddy’s hotline when he was 14 using his Darth Vader speakerphone. With 45 minutes of scary stories, with each tale averaging about two minutes, at the rate of $2 and 45 cents per story, this Great Job, Internet cost Mr. and Mrs. Basinger about $55. Thanks, Mr. and Mrs. Basinger. We’re sure that phone bill was a nightmare.