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Horror Show Hosts 


 "Greetings, My hokey hucksters of horror"

  -- Dr. Shock, Mad Theatre

In the 1950s the new medium of television created such a demand for programming that it wasn't long before the movie studios (who first thought TV a threat to them) began selling the broadcast rights to hundreds of films just sitting in their storage vaults. One such package of films (syndicated by Screen Gems in 1957) was called "Shock!" and included such old horror flicks as the Universal Studio productions of Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), Son of Frankenstein (1939), Son of Dracula (1943), Dead Man's Eyes (1944), Weird Woman (1944), and Night Monster (1942). A by-product of all these horror film offerings was the invention of a spooky TV horror show host who visited our living rooms around the Witching Hour on Friday and Saturday nights dressed in all sorts of creepy costumes (monsters, hunchbacks, witches, vampires, werewolves and mad scientists.) Their job was to encourage viewers to come back week after week to watch scary movies and hopefully in doing so raise some advertising revenue from local merchants who chose to sponsor the shows. And for a time, from the late 1950s through the 1980s, the late night cackles and moans of horror show hosts were quite a success in all the major cities in the country. The following section is a summary of the prominent horror show hosts (both male and female) to have graced the old TV tube since the fifties. This web page also contains a "Horror Show Hosts at a Glance" section which quickly identifies many of the horror show hosts seen across America as well as the actor behind the make-up and when and where the program aired. "Unpleasant Dreams!"

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