Midnight Ghost Shows

Spookytown! Midnight Spook Shows

Since I can remember, I’ve been intrigued by Midnight Spook Shows. When I was a kid, I wanted to create my own, but the closest I ever got to it, was a poorly designed haunted house made out of cardboard boxes, that basically melted in the rain. I was so looking forward to scaring the neighbourhood kids. Was that why I was labelled a weirdo so early on in life? Not that it matters, as I wear that label proudly. Now back to Midnight Spook Shows.

What was a Midnight Spook Show aka Midnight Ghost Show? Elwin-Charles Peck (who performed as El-Wyn) created what was known as the first version of a Spook Show/Ghost Show. In this iteration (from the late 1920s and into the 1930s) it was mostly based around magic and spiritualism. During his performances he would try to contact the spirit world. Objects would appear and disappear. Strange noises would happen throughout the theatre and things would fly over the audience members heads. In many cases leading the audiences to scream in fright. This would all take place during what seemed to be a seance.

Eventually, spiritualism would fall out of popularity and the midnight spook shows also began to fade away… that was until horror movies became popular. During the 1930s to the 1950s movie theatre owners were trying to find ways to get audiences into the building, especially the younger generation, especially teenagers. Midnight Spook Shows seemed to be the answer. Similar to its predecessor, shows would have magic, special effects and creatures moving about the audience. In many cases, the troupe putting on the show would travel to several theatres. It was profitable for both the theatre owner and the the groups putting on the shows and would be a weekly highlight for the audience.

Here is a link to an amazing article that gets more in depth, especially about the origins, along with a few other articles you might find spooktacular. https://www.denofgeek.com/movies/midnight-spook-shows-a-brief-history/


Here is a great video that gives you a great explanation.

I have attended a few modern day attempts at a Midnight Spook Show, but they have never fit into my fantasy of what it should be. Then again, I romanticize about a time of silent cinema and Flappers on a regular basis, so it would be hard for modern day anything to live up to my expectations.

Welcome to Spookytown! A weekly blog post about, you guessed it… all things spooky. Ghost stories, books, hauntings, movies, music, history and so much more!

Day 21

Day 21. Doing it even when I didn’t feel like it today.

This morning, I woke up feeling depression creeping in paired with the beginnings of a headache. Yesterday once again showed me the awfulness of the human race. How vile and horrible they can be. During yoga today I tried to let it all go, but it’s hard. Every single day I wish that we could become a kinder and more compassionate society. I begin to see that happening and then the horridness of how humans can be, bulldozes its way back in again.

Through yoga, I’m learning to breathe again. With each breath out I am trying to release the negativity. I just wish people could take a moment to do the same before they speak or do.

Because of the way I am feeling, I wasn’t going to share a happy thing. Then I reminded myself, happy things are what keep me on this side of the darkness.

Spook Show, Midnight Spook Show, Spook Party, and Midnight Ghost Shows are a few names given to a popular form of entertainment from the 1930s. (another reason I love the 30s) What is a Spook Show you ask? “These mixed-media shows, held in movie theaters, utilized magic, special effects, and horror films to appeal to teenagers in the years before television.” (quote from The 13th Floor)

Oh, how I would love to get into a time machine and go back just so I could witness an original Spook Show. I know I have a few friends who would join me. In recent years a few artists I know have tried to revive the Spook Show and I have even considered putting one on myself (when I ran my cabaret), but nothing will ever compare to the original.

To learn more about Spook Shows, here are some links.