John Zacherle, aka Zacherley, one of the first and most famous of the classic TV horror hosts (he was on at least two separate Famous Monsters covers, is responsible for the classic tune “Dinner With Drac” and was my foray into horror host fandom with his Horrible Horror VHS compilation), is in the hospital. He (age 96!) suffered a fall in his NYC apartment, and is currently recuperating. The Facebook page B Movie Mania! is compiling the comments on this post as get well wishes for him, and will be printing them out to deliver to the Cool Ghoul with a card. Take a couple minutes to wish him the best!


(Robert W. Kelley. 1958)

Note: Google has changed the way you can browse the images in the Life Archives. So I’ve been finding some interesting shots. Their search function, however, is still really broken.

Horror Host Retrospective: Zacherley

Throughout the month, will feature a daily retrospective on an American tradition… The Horror Host

A horror host is a particular type of television presenter, often tasked with presenting low-grade films to television audiences. This tradition is primarily American, though there have been a few international hosts over the years.

And now for…


Real name: John Zacherle

Years active: 1957-1967, Pennsylvania, later New York

What a long strange trip it has been through the electric corridors of television’s cathode tube-lined hallway. We have come to the end of the list. I had no set order when I started this project. I’m not saying Elvira is better than Seymour, or that Dr. Gangrene lords over Big Chuck and Lil’ John. I mostly made the list to salute the men and women who guided viewers through some scary movies, or at least some really bad ones. However, we’ve reached the last horror host of 2012, and I could not think of anyone more qualified to end the list with than with the cool ghoul himself, Zacherley.


Happy Birthday (belated) to horror host Zacherley who turned 93 years young yesterday.

Here’s a rare clip of Zacherley appearing on the Mike Douglas Show circa 1975.