- TARANTULA GHOUL *
- (Suzanne Waldron)
- Discover House of Horrors (The Tarantula Ghoul Show) among the "Local Programs" pages
on the Yesterday's KPTV website, a wonderful tribute to this show and many others that aired
from 1952-2002 on KPTV in Portland, Oregan.
The House of Horrors page includes interesting info, a ghoulicious bunch of photos and print ads, and even downloadable MP3s of both sides of
Tarantula Ghoul's 45 rpm record!
- House of Horror
- Wednesday at 10:30 pm, then 10:00 pm, then 10:30 pm again
- KPTV, Channel 12 (Portland, Oregon)
- October 9, 1957 - November 26, 1958
- Elena Watson's Television Horror Movie Hosts reference:
mentioned in Ch. 3, "Invasion of the Ghost Hosts," pp. 24-25.
- Magazine references:
- Suzanne Waldron pictured in and out of character
show and personal life discussed on two-thirds page (40) of
feature article "TV's Nightmares"
in February 1959 issue of TV Star Parade, pp. 39-42.
Click sidebar image to see scan of original.
- Picture in issue #6 (February 1960)
of Famous Monsters of Filmland, p. 21.
- Mentioned in feature "The Horror of Them All!"
in issue #13 (December 1988) of Filmfax, pp. 28-32.
- Discussed, with cartoon likeness in group drawing, in feature
"Monster Mania '57" by Greg Theakston
in issue #3
(March-April 1991) of
Pure Images, pp. 2-11, 25-28.
- The TV Star Parade feature cited above (click sidebar image to see scan of original) provides a wealth of information:
TARANTULA GHOUL pokes morbid fun at everything within range of Portland's KPTV
Nobody, but nobody, is safe from the witty but acid tongue of
Tarantula Ghoul, a cross between the Charles Addams woman and a
"road company" Tallulah Bankhead, who welcomes viewers to her
House of Horror in Portland, Ore., on Wednesdays
(10:30 P.M., KPTV).
She attacks the Highway Commission for removing the few decent
death traps left, assails the City Zoo Commission for not exhibiting
prehistoric animals, kids the D.A.R. with her own organization,
the D.S.W.T. (Daughters of the Salem Witchcraft Trials).
She's active in the Black Cross, lectures on Second Aid and
keeps her finger in the political pie through her party,
The Cemeterians (which boasts more ex-presidents than any other
With an occasional assist from Milton, a retired grave-robber
turned gardener, Suzanne Waldron clowns up the Tarantula role
enough to win family acceptance for the show.
Taranch, as she's known off camera, introduces the films either
with a special set or from her "home" -- a weirdly-decorated
room overlooking a run-down cemetery (which she refers to as the
neighborhood) and a patio where she an Milton "plant things."
For Frankenstein pictures the lab was recreated for her
entrance from the operating table. For the Mummy films
she made her entrance from a mummy case.
For Murders in the Rue Morgue she did the show
in French with English sub-titles.
King Kong was presented as a satire on This Is Your Life
with a large studio audience of costumed monsters paying tribute
to a live chimp, Kenya, an alleged great, great grandson of Kong.
A native of Portland, Suzanne describes herself as having been
"depressingly tall, thin and shy" during high school.
But at Highland University in Las Vegas, New Mexico (sic?),
she discovered the value of individualism -- which she had.
Ironically, her first dramatic appearance was as one of the witches
After college, stock and touring shows, she returned to Portland
to do radio commercials.
Since the horror show started in October, 1957,
Suzanne's been carted around in coffins, appeared with gorillas,
held press parties in cemeteries, etc.
Her most embarassing moment -- she fell asleep in a coffin
and did NOT arise as scheduled for half-time ceremonies of
a nationally-telecast football game.
Her most frightening time -- appearing on stage with an 11-foot boa
constrictor which, at the last minute replaced the smaller, less
active snake she was used to.
In her free time Suzanne reads and listens to hi-fi in an
appartment she shares with an overly-friendly Great Dane
She likes people, all kinds of music (she made
two R 'n' R records -- "King Kong" and "Graveyard Rock"),
dancing, art, skiing, riding, and surf-swimming.
She still does commercials and spoofs the Movie of the Month,
looking ahead to the day the horror craze joins Davy Crockett,
but the way things look now, that may be a long way off.
- E-gorespondent EEA71AE@aol.com notes that on
Tarantula Ghoul's Halloween rocker
"Graveyard Rock" she was backed by the Cryptkickers.
hostess of House
of Horror, KPTV,
Channel 12 in
from TV Star
cited at left. Click
to see complete
scan of original.