Sunday, October 9, 2011

Countdown to Halloween - The Spook Show

The Spook Show was an offspring of the growing interest in the supernatural and the contacting of the dead through mediums. The mediums were largely phonies that used the grief of people over lost loved ones as a way to fill their pockets. The mediums all developed tricks that could be performed in the absolute darkness they needed to contact the dead...and hide the wires, fishing poles and accomplices needed to produce the "spirits".
In the 1920's as the vaudville age began to draw to a close, stage magicians in desperation to continue their income began to play on the public's renewed interest in the supernatural. Using their established magic tricks and some new slight of hand tricks to summon the "spirits". These "Spirit Shows" were put on at theaters with the most popular held at the witching hour, midnight.

Spook Shows continued into the 1950s and1960s were they began to merge into "Monster Shows" where monster movies were screened, a supernatural magic act was performed and actors in monster costumes would run loose in the audience, usually in pitch darkness. The popularity of these shows waned as the 1970s began until they all but vanished...

Until a recent trend in new revival Spook Shows began. In Atlanta fans can see the Silver Scream Spook Show held at plaza Theatre where host Morte runs a cross between a Horror Movie Host show and a traditional Spook Show. Dr Scream runs a travelling Spook Show Revival Show throughout the Midwest. A little digging online my lead you to a Spook Show in your own town. As for your humble host here, the malevolent Monterfink,I live in a town with three MAJOR colleges and a community college....think I'm gonna start looking for a theatre to rent and some public domain B-Movie goodness and have me a Spook Show of my own.




Check out some of the Spook Show trailers here then go look up The Silver Scream Spook Show and The Spook Show Revival


  1. There's a guy in the Boston area who goes by "J Cannibal" that does an annual Feast of Flesh where they have a live band, some horror-inspired burlesque (blood n bewbs), a zombie costume contest and a horror movie.
    Last year he did an event called Spookadelica which was pretty much the same as the above but it was more Spook Show inspired. They showed Monsters Crash the Pajama Party and had "monsters" run into the audience. There was a girl planted in the audience that the went after and eventually carried off. They even had little waivers printed up.
    There's a great book about Spook Shows called Ghostmasters.

  2. Excellent post. I love the Spookshow scene. I really need to see where the closest one is to me.

  3. Fantastic post!

    Tom, if you end up renting out that theatre, then give me a shout...maybe we can contact the Projectionist to be your sidekick?


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