Local legend Sammy Terry continues to haunt Hoosiers

Posted at 6:58 AM, Oct 18, 2018
and last updated 2019-10-15 11:52:39-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- His sinister laugh echoed in living rooms throughout Indiana for decades.

Sammy Terry, as in cemetery, was the green-faced host of Friday night scary movie showings on WTTV-TV.

The man behind the paint was Bob Carter.

Carter began working at channel 4 in 1962. By day, he worked at his family’s music store. By night, he transformed into Sammy Terry, the host of Nightmare Theater, a weekly series that ran through 1989.

Carter made a rare appearance outside of character with former Channel 6 reporter Greg Todd in 1982.

Carter reflected on the show’s ever-growing audience,

“Now it’s gotten to the point that, ‘Oh, that’s the man that grandmother used to watch,’ and boy does that make you feel old,” he said.

Additionally, Carter said his show was popular with many age groups.

“Everybody from about 2 to 92. Amazingly, everybody thinks of it as a kids show, but the majority are adults,” Carter said.

Carter shared some stories from the set of Nightmare Theater.

“One night I fell asleep, so the crew closed the lid and carried me out," he said. "I opened up the lid, now this was about 2 o’clock in the morning, I was out in the middle of Bluff Road, which at that time was the highway and here came a semi trailer truck. And can you imagine what that driver thought? Seeing this creature coming up out of a coffin in the middle of the highway.”  

Reporter Greg Todd asked Carter how long he thought he would keep up the Sammy Terry act. Carter responded, “The rest of my life.”

Bob Carter’s son, Mark Carter took over Sammy Terry duties in 2010.

Bob Carter died June 30, 2013.

Sammy Terry continues to haunt viewers on Facebook Liveand YouTube Live.