It’s October and Sammy Terry time. Terry, that spooktacular entertainer who captivated Hoosier television viewers every weekend in the 60s,70s and 80s, is getting restless. He’s ready for some new “frightmares” – and his search is bringing him to Rushville Saturday for The Corner Restaurant Halloween Street Fest.
The event – scheduled from 4 to 8 p.m. – will be deliciously frightful and delightful, according to organizers, who say that they may even have a hamburger named after Sammy. Vendors, a hayride and bounce house will be part of the fun as well. Sammy will conclude his night meeting and greet fans at Eaton’s Old Orchard Haunted Trail in Spiceland from 9 to 11 p.m.
The history of the corner restaurant is as delicious as the food itself. It was once a jewelry store, then it was called Sandy’s Sandwich Shop and later the Frosty Corner. In 1972 it became The Corner Restaurant.
The Corner Restaurant is a family oriented place with home-style cooking. On “Crazy Fridays” they serve delicatessen-like novelty items along with their traditional steak and shrimp.
“The Corner Restaurant has been a popular ‘haunt’ and worn many different faces over the years,” Sammy said. “I’m looking forward to their deliciously frightful and delightful menu that features such unique menu choices as frog legs, lobster oysters and alligator turkey nuts. As I understand, they’re even going to feature the web in their decorations, just for me – the good old-fashioned kind that has nothing to do with computers.”
The Hoosier horror legend will revive chills and thrills from a bygone era as he meets and greets those who attend and invite them to get his autograph, pose for pictures or check out his latest merchandise.
Long before Freddie Krueger made living on Elm Street a nightmare and Jason Vorhees donned hockey masks in Friday the 13th movies, Sammy created screams and made his fans jump in a purer way, without the graphic effects common into today’s horror films.
“One of the things that made Sammy so unique was that when he was speaking, you felt as if he could be in the very same room or just outside your window,” said Indianapolis-area resident Melodie Donovan. “You almost wet your pants and you end up laughing. That is when horror is fun.”
After rising from his crypt following a long slumber, Sammy Terry seems energized by a fan base that won’t let his legacy die. Successful shows in the past couple of years at places like New Castle, Muncie and the Indiana State Fair have caused Sammy to get “dead serious” about reliving his past.
Sammy’s dungeon has been reconstructed inside the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. All of his artifacts and the coffin from his dungeon have been loaned for the exhibit, which will be on display through November. Sammy will tape his annual WTTV 4 Television Halloween show from inside the museum. He will host the horror classic “Night of the Living Dead.”
There is a display of Sammy Terry memorabilia in the Indianapolis Central Library downtown in anticipation of doing a book signing on the soon to be released “Sammy Terry 50th anniversary book” early in 2014.
The Rushville event is one of six planned in October.
Sunday, Oct. 13 -- Fountain Square Brewery, 1301 Barth Ave., Indianapolis, 7 to 11 p.m. autographs and season premier party for “The Walking Dead.” Info: (317) 493-1410
Friday, Oct. 18 -- Skyline Drive-In, 3986 E. Michigan Road, Shelbyville, from 5:30-9:30 p.m. featuring a modified stage show with a Sammy Terry movie on big screen followed with premier of “Carrie.” Info: (317) 398-6150
Saturday, Oct. 19 – Indiana Theater, Terre Haute, South 1st Street and Dresser Drive, featuring a modified stage show. Info: (812) 232-2727
Sunday, Oct. 20 – Panzarotti’s Restaurant, Shelbyville, 132 W. Washington St.; intimate dining and an “up close and personal” time with Sammy Terry. Info: (317) 392-7700
Saturday Oct. 26 – M.E.L.S. at the Starlite Drive-In Theatre, Thorntown, 8721 N. State Road 39; modified stage show.
It all culminates 10 p.m. Halloween night when Sammy hosts a television special on WTTV, Channel 4. Sammy will host the original “Night of the Living Dead.” That film is Volume 1 on the Sammy Terry Nightmare Theater DVD Library available for purchase at www.sammyterrynightmares.com