Sammy Terry

Legendary TV horror host Terry
to appear at Ohio Theater

Event is a fundraiser for
Big Brother, Big Sisters organization

By Konnie McCollum
Staff Writer

(October 2008) – During the 1960s and ‘70s, children and adults throughout Indiana would excitedly tune in to Indianapolis’ WTTV Channel 4 on Friday nights to hear “Good Eeeeeevening… I am Sammy Terry.” Then Terry, a ghoulish figure with a green face and black vampire cape, would unleash his bone-chilling signature laugh to the delight of his television audiences.

Sammy Terry

Photo provided

Indianapolis’ legendary
TV horror movie host
Sammy Terry was
played by Bob Carter,
now 78 and retired.

Although Terry has long retired from the air, his followers have not forgotten him. The legendary horror host is scheduled to appear in Madison, Ind., at 7 p.m. on Oct. 18 at the Ohio Theater. Terry will take the stage prior to a showing of the classic 1960 William Castle film, “Thirteen Ghosts.” The film will be shown in “Illusion-O,” a variation of 3-D, where the audience looks through “ghost viewers” at certain points in the film to see “ghosts.”
The event is a fundraiser for the Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Jefferson County. Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased in advance at JoeyG’s Restaurant and Nightclub, Madison City Hall, and River Valley Financial Bank, or on the day of the event at the theater.
Event organizer Dave Adams, clerk-treasurer for the City of Madison, has been active in Big Brothers, Big Sisters for several years. Adams has organized other Halloween film events for the organization in the past. This summer, local artist Patty Cooper Wells, a huge fan of Sammy Terry, approached Adams with the idea to bring Terry to Madison. Adams thought it would be a fun addition to the annual Halloween event. “I am glad Wells joined in this year with her love of Halloween and Sammy Terry,” he said. “Sammy Terry will be fun for both the kids and those adults who want to recapture a bit of their youth.” He said children attending the event can dress up in costumes.
After the film, Terry will travel to JoeyG’s Restaurant and Nightclub, 218 E. Main, for an autograph signing session for ticketholders. A special group art exhibit, “Pleasant Nightmares: An art exhibit “Dead-icated” to Terry is on display at the club from Oct. 2-Nov. 5. Wells curates an art wall at the club, which has displayed an annual Halloween-theme exhibit since 2001. Several of the pieces at the exhibit will be Wells’ own work.
Bob Carter, an Indiana resident, plays the character of Sammy Terry. Carter, 78, often puts in appearances at charity fundraisers and events as Terry. “Making personal appearances is still fun after all this time,” he said in a recent telephone interview from his home in Indianapolis. “Kids seem to love Sammy Terry, and “older kids” that watched the show still have a ball when he visits.”

Patty Cooper Wells Painting

Photo provided

This painting, by artist
Patty Cooper Wells, is in the
Halloween exhibit at JoeyG’s.

The ghoulish Terry was host of “Nightmare Theater” an Indianapolis-based WTTV Channel 4 from 1962 through 1976, and then again in the middle-to-late 1980s. In those days, many local television channels had their own horror movie host. Terry stood out as being one of the spookiest, yet he managed to include an element of comedy in his show.
Carter said he is “pleased and delighted” that after all this time people still clamor for his attention. “I will go to a restaurant somewhere, and people still come up and ask if I am Sammy Terry,” he said.
Since leaving the show, Carter owned and operated Family Music in Indianapolis. “I am a ‘wannabe musician’,” laughed Carter. “I am passionate about the importance of music education for each child, so that is why I opened my music store.”
Carter is also working on a book about his life and adventures as Sammy Terry. “He (Sammy Terry) is writing the book,” said Carter, who added that over the years, Terry’s character and he have “grown together.”
Carter, who used to make regular visits to town to watch the Madison Regatta, said he loves the beautiful historic town. “I am looking forward to my visit to Madison,” he said. “I love the Lanier Mansion and its wonderful grounds, and I love the atmosphere of the town.”
He said he also can’t wait to meet Wells because he has a painting she did of Terry hanging in his home. “She seems like a great representative of how kind Madison people can be.”
Wells, an ardent Terry fan, said, “It is a dream come true for me to help bring Sammy Terry to Madison.”

• For more information about the event, contact Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Jefferson County at (812) 273-0797.

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