Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Horror Novel Month: Creatures of the Night We Loved So Well by James Fetters

Jeepers Creepers Theater in 1962 ignited a love of horror hosts that was the beginning of a life-long addiction for many fans. But as much as the audience loved the shows, they never knew the horror that occurred off-screen — live adult stage performances, lawsuits and cutthroat competition. What started off as risqué and sexy by 1954 standards ended as risqué sexy by 1984 standards. Horror hosts affected 30 years of television history… a phenomenon that is not known by today’s generation but well remembered by the Baby Boomers and now chronicled for future generations.

Much of this 365-page book is packed with detailed reference material that has been sadly lacking on the subject. In Creatures of the Night That We Loved So Well, you will find: Little-known trivia, Over 250 photos, ads and images–many never seen before movie listings by date, actual scripts, interviews with hosts and writers, and identities revealed for the first time.

Read an excerpt!

Jeepers put out a 45rpm record in 1963. I never knew about it until research on the internet led me to George ‘E-gor’ Chastain, the Web Master for ‘TV Horror Hosts’ site. The precious information was there. Which, of course, sent me on a quest to find this little part of Jeepers History! And I did find it! For the most amazing part of this record… the background music and sound effects were written and performed by a very young and unknown Frank Zappa! Two Gods performing together!

Jim Sullivan was also part of the Jeepers – Frank Zappa collaboration. In fact, Frank wanted Jim to produce his ‘Captain Beefheart and the Grunt People’ film. To quote Jim Sullivan…

“Frank did the music gratis. He was a very talented musician but also could have been a very great film maker. I also have an original script by Frank Zappa that he wanted me to produce at the time. It is called ‘Captain Beefheart and the Grunt People’. Frank even had the sets built (he did them himself) in the wine storage warehouse in Cucamonga, unfortunately, he built them all so small two actors couldn’t squeeze in them, much less lights and cameras. It never went anywhere but it sure didn’t hurt Frank’s career.”

This was in early 1963 and Frank Zappa was a complete unknown! It was another 4 more years before The Mother’s of Invention ‘Freak Out’ album was released and he hit the road to fame.

To be a part of something so unique! Not only to have created Jeepers' Creepers Theater, along with Bob Guy, but to have been in association with Lietta Harvey, Fred Stuthman and The Creeper along with being a part of the beginning of Frank Zappas' career!

Read the reviews!

"I grew up in San Diego the same time as the author (he grew up in the SD suburb of Lemon Grove, I grew up in Chula Vista) and we are about the same age, so for that crop of dudes out there just like us who loved all of the horror hosts, Aurora monster models, Famous Monsters magazine, watching Lon Chaney Jr. go through the moonlight change, and toughed-out the creakiest moments of the Universal classics (you get the idea, but you can't count yourself among the crop unless you stuck it out watching 'The Mummy' with Karloff and 'Dracula' with Lugosi, again and again, and again... as well as enjoyed those cheesy 'Pizza Man' commercials that ran at 2 a.m.) this book is a treasure.

I am half way through it and loving it. There are loads of informational surprises and I give James huge credit for the research. I never, never thought I'd get to the bottom of who played Ghoulita, find out anything about her or the show (which I thought ran forever but, alas, it only lasted a few months); and Larry "Seymour" Vincent was a god to my brother and I during all three incarnations of his series (with all 3 different stations).

If you're a self-professed and proud horror geek like the rest of us, buy it without question, Fringies. Great work, James."

--Amazon Review by M. E. Graves

"I see that this book is also offered in a Kindle e-version. That might be OK for casual reading, but I'd recommend getting the printed version. Much of this 365-page book is packed with detailed reference material that has been sadly lacking in earlier volumes on the subject.

People interested in Southern California and National Horror Hosts from their very beginnings in the early 1950's to today, will love this book. It is a MUST for monsterkids and scary movie rugrats who delighted in staying up late in the 50's and 60's to watch the classic Universal monsters lumbering accross their flickering B&W TV screens.

The Horror Hosts and Hostesses are presented here with numerous photographic illustrations, bits of scripts, movie playlists, TV Guide display ads - even court transcripts (Remember when Ottola Nesmith was sued by Frankenstein actress Mae Clarke?).


--Amazon Review by Adam Love

"There is a wealth of information not previously known about these icons of Television history. A great read that I would highly recommend to anyone with a thirst for the Macabre."

--Barnes and Noble Review by Leslie Bruce


In the late 1950's, Jim's mom turned him onto horror movies by letting him stay up late to watch 'The Mummy's Hand' with her. This led Jim into becoming a horror film fanatic. By 1962 Jim found Jeepers' Creepers Theatre on channel 13 KCOP... a horror movie every Saturday night! And hosted by Jim's new addiction... 'Jeepers'! No matter what the situation was... Jim had to be home and planted in front of the tv every Saturday night at 10:00... forget what movie was showing... he tuned in to watch 'Jeepers'. Soon he was recording every show on a reel to reel tape recorder. Horror Hosts were Jim's only interest. Jeepers, Ghoulita, Jeepers' Keeper.... they all found a place in Jim's heart.

Finding those reel to reel tapes of Jeepers in 1998 inspired him to start a website, which led to contact from directors, script writers, actors, and the creators of the programs he so enjoyed. He's also written articles and worked as webmaster for Scary Monsters Magazine. Currently he lives in Boise, Idaho and spends his time writing and dreaming when he's not acquiring history from nationally shown TV horror hosts.

Visit Jim online at

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