Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cincinnati's Cool Ghoul

It's Saturday night and when I was a kid that meant SCREAM IN with Cincinnati's own horror host, The Cool Ghoul. Dick Von Hoene created the Ghoul for the first area commercial UHF channel, WXIX, soon after it went on the air in 1968. Hattie the Witch, seen below, was the biggest star on WXIX, Channel 19, prior to the Ghoul's rising from his coffin. 

His schtick was the usual monster puns and comedy bits, done up in an ever-so-slightly more mod version than many of his contemporaries. 

Cool, as he was called, became a major local presence at Reds games, amusement parks (where I met him when I was 12!) and civic events, doing his part for worthy causes like giving blood.

He even put out an album, now a much sought after collectible!

SCREAM IN lasted only a few years but The Cool Ghoul was trotted out on a regular basis on TV and even radio, even taking his act to North Carolina for a while before returning to The Queen City to take up a regular long-running role as a news anchorman for Northern Kentucky's cable channel from the eighties onward. The Ghoul became a Halloween fixture locally. When Von Hoene died, a memorial documentary was aired about his alter ego.

In 2007, I met his daughter and told her how much I had enjoyed her dad over the years.

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