(LINTON) - Although public fundraising efforts to raise his appearance fee fell short, TV horror show host Sammy Terry will return Saturday evening, visiting his familiar Linton haunts for a second straight year.
Mark Stalcup, of the Greene County Daily World reports, the effort only stood a ghost of a chance, however, after a private backer stepped up.
"We found a private financier who was willing to loan us the money to get us through til after the event," Frightmares Haunted House organizer Kegan Inman said.
That loan enabled the return appearance of Terry, whose appearance fee doubled from $1,000 to $2,000 over the past year thanks to nostalgia and high demand for the TV host.
"He books up his calendar all through October," Inman said earlier in September. "A lot of people want to come see Sammy Terry."
Last year, the charity effort raised around $3,000 for the Greene County Humane Society. Inman hopes to double attendance and donations for the humane society this year.
Terry will appear from 8 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, signing autographs and posing for photos in the west shelterhouse of Humphreys Park.
There won't be any charge for autographs or photos, Inman said, beyond the ticket price for admission.
"He doesn't charge to give autographs or take photographs, but he does have a wide selection of merchandise -- T-shirts hoodies DVDs, VHS tapes, and photographs -- just a whole lot of goodies for sale," Inman said.
"He's going to be doing the same autographs and photographs that he did last year, but we've added a custom backdrop so people can have pictures taken with Sammy. It resembles his castle, or dungeon."
Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for kids under 11 -- the same price as the usual admission to Frightmares, also being held Saturday at 688 A St. NW, "in the same suite complex as Inman Motors, across the highway from Pizza Villa," Inman said.
Revelers can either come see Sammy Terry first -- where the lines are likely to be long -- or else attend Frightmares, then visit the famed ghoul.
"They can arrive either at Sammy Terry or at Frightmares and their ticket is good for either. ... They can also save their Frightmares ticket for a less busy night," Inman added. "Last year we had a problem with a long line going through the haunted house, so we tried to address that this year."
Inman's not concerned about enough money being raised to repay the loan.
"I'm not worried about that at all," he said. "I think that will probably be our busiest night of the season."
Past numbers bear him out: Of Frightmares' 5,000 visitors during October 2011, its inaugural year, fully 10 percent of them came out to see Sammy Terry.
The second-generation TV celebrity will help kick off opening weekend for Frightmares Haunted House, a fundraising effort coupled with a spookshow.
Frightmares itself opens Friday, with ticket sales beginning at 7:30 p.m. and the event itself running from 8 to 11 p.m.
The haunted house will be every Friday and Saturday, as well as Tuesday, Oct. 30, and Wednesday, Oct. 31.
The 2012 season's called "In The Movies," and is inspired by -- but does not feature -- the scares from many famous horror movies.
"We used a lot of movie-inspired themes, but I'd prefer not to say what they are," Inman explained. "We're not allowed to use any characters or names from the movies, because they're really cracking down on copyright violations these days, but all our themes have been inspired by those movies."
Inman's crew also promises "an innovative entrance design and will travel through a series of nightmares that stimulate all of the guest's senses and bring out fears that may have been suppressed since childhood" adding scary scenes may double from 16 last year to 30 this year.
"Our guests want a longer experience and that is what we are giving them," Inman said.
Sammy Terry - his very name a play on "cemetery" - is in real life Mark Carter, the son of longtime Indianapolis television personality Bob Carter, who made the character famous across decades hosting horror movies on the Indianapolis station.
The elder Carter, a veteran broadcaster, has retired as the character he originated in 1962 and continued until his WTTV show ended 1989, with intermittent appearances thereafter.
The younger Carter assumed the role in 2011 from his elderly dad.
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