Ever since watching the quintessential horror host documentary, AMERICAN SCARY, a couple of years ago I’ve been enthralled with Stella Desire. Most people site Elvira as the bawdiest (and bustiest) of the 80’s hostesses but, just as The Mistress of the Dark was the irrefutable “Queen of Camp” on the West Coast, there was another who would dominate the East.
While Vampira & Zacherley are often thought of as the “mother and father” of all horror hosts, many prominent Midwestern hosts can credit their true lineage to Cleveland’s Ghoulardi. Never taking himself nor his film presentations seriously, radio announcer/disc jockey Ernie Anderson would create an irreverent template of wit and sarcasm many hosts still use today.
Since delving into the world of horror hosting, I have come across many diverse points of view. Debates regarding who is worthy of the title of “horror host,” who’s the better and most original host, or whether or not true hosts even exist in a post local TV world often come up. This is not surprising since hosts and their fans are, above all else, human beings. Despite all these varying opinions, I was surprised to discover that there was one thing just about everyone agreed on –
Horror hostess, Penny Dreadful is the one to watch!