Easily the scariest Horror Host I’ve come across is The Shroud of WFFT-TV’s “Nightmare Theatre”. Dressed head to toe in black over which draped a floor-length black cape, this would nearly make him like any other host of horrors—the exception that took him visually to the next level was the black hood covering his face leaving only eye slits through which to connect to this enigma of a host.
Add to that executioners appearance the deep, ragged voice, almost inhuman, that introduced viewers to the film and you have a frightening combination for the kiddies. They’d either have to be brave or too afraid to turn the channel to watch “Nightmare Theatre”! Hell, he had to be much scarier than the features he ran.
To illustrate this, here’s an audio recording of The Shroud’s introduction to the original “The Thing”:
The Shroud was deadly serious in his delivery—no jokes, no yucks, no zany antics. This added to the darker tone and more adult audience this fellow probably aimed his show at. Sadly, like a lot of these shows, there is no video of the fellow hosting his show.
The Shroud was around from 1979-1983 on Fort Wayne’s Channel 55 WFFT and was portrayed by Don Paris (aka Chris Blake). After which the channel replaced “Nightmare Theatre” with another horror show without a host—and eventually with another host. These shows didn’t last either. Eventually they went with the syndicated Elvira show.
There is a Shroud on Facebook—not sure it’s actually HIM, but they seem to know him or of him very well…
And there was a Don Paris who passed away January 26, 2012, a native of Fort Wayne, was this The Shroud?
Nobody seems to know…
Another mysterious ending for a mysterious Horror Host. But there is another thing we do know about The Shroud—when he signed off at the end of each episode he would say the following sentence:
“Until next time—goodnight and pleasant dreams!”
The sources for tonight’s Horror Host are the following and probably a few more sites:
Now go have some milk with a mummy!