Tales from the Crypt was a bi-monthly horror comic anthology series published by EC Comics from 1950 to 1955, producing 27 issues. (The first issue with the title was #20, previously having been International Comics; International Crime Patrol; Crime Patrol and The Crypt of Terror for a total of 46 issues in the series. Along with its sister titles, The Haunt of Fear and The Vault of Horror, Tales from the Crypt was popular, but in the late 1940s and early 1950s comic books came under attack from parents, clergymen, schoolteachers and others who believed the books contributed to illiteracy and juvenile delinquency. In April and June 1954, highly publicized Congressional subcommittee hearings on the effects of comic books upon children left the industry shaken. With the subsequent imposition of a highly restrictive Comics Code, EC Comics publisher Bill Gaines cancelled Tales from the Crypt and its two companion horror titles, along with the company's remaining crime and science fiction series in September 1954. All EC titles have been reprinted at various times since their demise, and stories from the horror series have been adapted for television and film.
The Crypt-Keeper was the primary host of Tales from the Crypt. He was introduced to the public in Crime Patrol #15, and he continued with that magazine through its changes in title and format. He was a frightening presence in those early issues, a sinister hermit sitting framed in the lightless crypt's half-open door, his face all but hidden by the double curtain of his long white hair. But he soon evolved into a more comedic horror host, delivering an irreverent and pun-filled commentary to lighten the horrific tone of the stories he introduced.
The Crypt-Keeper's duties were not limited to hosting. He would occasionally appear as a character as well, and these appearances give the reader a glimpse of his biography."While the Cat's Away" (The Vault of Horror #34) conducts a tour of his house above and below ground.
The Crypt-Keeper also served as the host of EC's 3-D comic book, Three Dimensional Tales from the Crypt of Terror.
Publishers were forbidden from using the words "terror" and "horror" in titles, for example, and forbidden from depicting zombies, werewolves, and other gruesome characters.
The final issue of Tales from the Crypt, was published on February/March 1955.
Tales from the Crypt has been reprinted on numerous occasions.
The magazine was fully collected in a series of five black-and-white hardbacks by publisher Russ Cochran as part of The Complete EC Library in 1979. Cochran (in association with Gladstone Publishing and solo) reprinted a handful of single color issues in 1990/91.
Three volumes (of a projected five) were published before Gemstone's financial troubles left the project in limbo. The project was then revived under a new publisher, Dark Horse Comics, which has resumed it with the release of Tales from the Crypt Volume 4 in October 2013 and Tales from the Crypt Volume 5 in November 2014.
As of today, there have been a total of 13 issues (9 graphic novels) published by Papercutz, with the last issue being published September 28, 2010.
•The 1972 film from Amicus Productions features five stories from various EC comics.
•In 1989, the book was adapted into the HBO TV series Tales from the Crypt
•In 1993, Tales from the Crypt was adapted into a Saturday morning cartoon series entitled Tales from the Cryptkeeper
•In 1994, Ace Novelty released a board game based on Tales from the Cryptkeeper called Tales from the Cryptkeeper Search for the lost Tales
•In 1996, a Saturday morning game show called Secrets of the Cryptkeeper's Haunted House
•Two films by Universal Studios, Demon Knight (1995) and Bordello of Blood (1996), were based on the series
•In early 2016, it was announced M. Night Shyamalan is producing a reboot of the 1989 TV series as part of TNT's new horror block.