Bobby Gammonster is the host of his own Internet-based horror host show called Monster Movie Night, which links movies from the Internet to his Monster Museum website and his group on Facebook. Showing all types of classic horror movies from John Carpenter’s Halloween to the Universal Monsters, Bobby is also a collector of classic monster memorabilia, and has his own museum in his home, Gargoyle Manor. Naturally, when we heard about him, we all had to meet him, so today all the MonsterGrrls are doing the Attack Of The Horror Hosts with Bobby Gammonster!
Frankie: Welcome to the Thir13en For Halloween, Mr. Gammonster! Please tell us about yourself and what you do!
Bobby: My name is Bobby Gammonster, Internet Horror Host of Monster Movie Night on The Monster Museum. I feature classic monster movie links that can be seen (hopefully) after my show is over by clicking the link in the information box on the screen usually below my video. I bring my audience into my home, Gargoyle Manor--the monster museum, and with the aid of my artifacts and memorabilia that I have on display I tell about the movie and the connection that it has to the object in the museum. I try to be entertaining and somewhat educational as well as respectful of the monster movie that I link to. My family and I live "the monster culture,” in that as I have said our home which is called Gargoyle Manor is a monster museum.
Harriet: Dude, I am loving that cool hearse outside! Tell us about that!
Bobby: Thank you! Our family car is a ‘96 Caddy Hearse, one of two that we own. The other is a Buick LeSabre Hearse, unfortunately it is out of commission, but we use it as a sort of sign for our business.
Bethany: You do live the monster lifestyle in the grand manner, darling.
Bobby: Yes. My wife and I sleep in coffins, no lids, with a foam mattress. We both are "witches" of what I call our family tradition to be "Halloween Witches," because our traditions use the ornaments of Halloween and the idea of respect for our dead ancestors included with our rituals and ceremonies.
Bethany: Full marks, then. I tried that whole coffin thing for awhile, but I’m afraid I love my old four-poster with heavy curtains too much.
Punkin: Mr. Gammonster, you got a partner on your show, name of Boris the Buzzard. Can you tell us about him?
Bobby: Yes, Boris the Buzzard is my partner and sometimes guardian of the Manor (laughs). He sometimes will speak, but for the most part he is usually silent with some attitude. He helps me keep on task when I have forgotten what we were supposed to do by giving me a nudge or a look. He also helps me around the place, doing little odd jobs like making sure there aren’t any pieces of raw meat lying about.
Frankie: Cool! It’s always nice to have a pet. But what inspired the creation of Monster Movie Night and Monster-Piece Theatre?
Bobby: I have been in business since 1988 when I opened my home up as The Monster Museum and Novelty Shop. My daughter was also born in this year as well. Years down the road and many changes later, my wife Melissa and I moved the store out of the house and named it Gothic Charms, which is in a building right next to Gargoyle Manor. We still on occasion do tours by appointment, but our main focus of income is the store. So this past spring around April we decided to have a Free Admission Monster Movie Night for our customers, friends and family in way of saying thanks for all the support throughout the years. We decided to do it once a month through October.
We had been attending the Monster Bash in Pennsylvania for the past three years both as guests and vendor. We met so many wonderful people of all ages that share the love of monsters like we do, plus we met Horror Hosts such as Penny Dreadful and Garou.
Punkin: Yeah! I interviewed her last year. She’s good witchly folk.
Bobby: Yes. We also met a cool fellow named David "The Rock" Nelson who titles himself the Ed Wood of the 21st century. He basically makes "monster movies" anywhere and everywhere, using friends and strangers as well as his plastic spiders and dinosaurs. He just seemed to be having such a great time doing this, as was everyone else at the Monster Bash. So I decided, what do I have to lose? I have always wanted to be a Horror Host since reading about Vampira and Zacherley in Famous Monsters and other monster mags when I was a kid. So I decided to do a Monster Movie Night version online for my friends that couldn’t come to our real live version, and also decided to do it every week because it was so much fun.
Bethany: And you called yourself an “Internet” horror host?
Bobby: Yes. I hadn’t met any other "internet" Horror Hosts at the time, so I figured I would call myself “Internet Horror Host" to be distinguished from what I thought at the time were the "professionals" like Elvira and all the ones I had read about, to show respect for these people who have paid their dues as actors and devoted years to this kind of work. I didn’t want anyone to think that I was coming in making myself out to be "bigger" than I am. Well, was I in for a surprise and education (laughs)! I had no idea just how many "Internet Horror Hosts' were out there, a lot of them I have chatted with and call friend since then. It is like finding a place where I belong and people that have grown up with similar experiences that I have had. I only wish I had gotten my nerve up years ago and done this.
Harriet: Well, it’s better late than never! Dude, you’re really cool, and we hope you have a lot of success with it!
Bobby: Thank you. Everyone has been so helpful; both beginners and long time veterans such as Penny Dreadful and her gang and Count Gore De Vol, who is credited with being the first "Internet Horror Host" and whom I met at Monster Fest on October 1st, 2011.
Frankie: So how did Monster-Piece Theatre get started?
Bobby: After about middle way into the summer my audience was getting confused as to which Monster Movie Night I was talking about when I advertised. I decided that for our last monster movie night for the year here at Gargoyle Manor I would change the name to "Monster-Piece Theatre" and will continue calling it that next April when we start up showing movies here at home once a month, so there shouldn't be any confusion. Monster Movie Night will continue weekly or bi-weekly online, hopefully for a long time.
Harriet: We hear you also have a large collection of cool monster stuff! Will you share with us about that?
Bobby: Yes, of course I will share; there is nothing I like better. I started when I was around five or six years old collecting, although at those times it was just keeping the kinds of toys and things that I liked, which happened to be monsters, Halloween and the like. My first Christmas toy was a tin lithograph Haunted House Bank with a glow in the dark hand that came out of the front door and took the coin back inside. Alas, I do not have that particular toy, but remember it like it was yesterday. However I did start keeping my monster magazines, models, books, etc., after that and still have them all plus many more.
Bethany: Now that is my kind of collector—someone who collects things of value to him and not to someone else. But why is your home called Gargoyle Manor, darling?
Bobby: Our home is called Gargoyle Manor not only because of all the gargoyle statues we have, but because of what a gargoyle represents. A gargoyle is a type of "monster" yet it has a protective and pure inner self. That is why sacred places used them: to make the "real" evil spirits think that the place was already inhabited and would be left alone. So my home is sort of like that--it may look like a monster of a place but has a inner quality that protects its occupants from the real terrors. At least two rooms of it were built by my uncle in the same year as I was born, 1961. A little two-room log cabin, which he, his wife and daughter lived in for a long time, then moved away. I took over the building as a kid and made my "playhouse" out of it, storing my monster models and magazines, my first coffin that my father helped me make, etc., in it until I moved out in 1980 to be married to my first wife. After about ten months I moved back home and fixed up the old house and have been there ever since. I have added on rooms, and now we have around nine rooms full of monster movies, books, magazines, toys, models, props, as well as Halloween, sci-fi and fantasy memorabilia and furnishings. You can see our home and links to all my Monster Movie Night shows online at www.themonstermuseum.com.
Harriet: Your own little Ackermansion! How utterly cool!
Frankie: You also have a store, Gothic Charms. Can you share?
Bobby: Gothic Charms--The Magic Store is what we call a magickal/Halloween mom-and-pop general pagan store. We sell Halloween and monster goods all year round when everyone else has put theirs away. We provide services such as Tarot and palm readings, and also Spells For Sale, which are bags made of ingredients that have been known to provide the customer with what they need in life or to enhance abilities that they already have within them. No spell is made to go on another person--it is only for the person buying the bag. We sell the ingredients only, the magick is free, and we don’t do harmful spells.
We also provide supplies for the magickal practitioner as well as books for the beginner. We show a positive side to the world of the magickal and monster culture.
Frankie: What is your favorite monster movie?
Bobby: I love all monster movies, good or bad, old or new. I don’t really think I could actually pinpoint just one movie and say that it’s the one I like best.
Bethany: What do you think about the new horror remakes?
Bobby: I like some of the remakes, especially if they use some of the original cast form the original movie to show respect. A good story sometimes will outclass even the best special effects.
Punkin: What does Halloween mean to you?
Bobby: I think by now you all probably know what Halloween means to me (laughs). But I will try and explain it a little more. Being a witch, both as a person and as my religion, Halloween is a time to give respect to those of our family that have gone on to wherever they believe themselves to go. It is also our New Year and a time to give thanks for the year that has gone and the one yet ahead. It is a time for family and friends to get together and celebrate the coming of winter and the harvests that we have had. To me as a person of the monster culture, it has always been the one time that I could feel like other people and be comfortable among others in the community wearing my black capes and clothing, fangs, etc. Halloween gave me the time to recharge my energies and howl at the moon. Without Halloween, monsters, witches, or people who are different in cultures that concern the dead or darker subjects would possibly be lost to history. Read Ray Bradbury's The Halloween Tree for a better understanding.
Bethany: We’ve all read it, and your opinions are very intriguing. Do describe a favorite Halloween memory.
Bobby: My best memory of Halloween was on my 13th year, when I stood outside under a full moon and vowed to build a place to protect the monster way of life and learn all that I could, and show others that you could be a "monster" but still live a good and happy way of life. I have kept that vow even when times were hard, and have never regretted it for even an instance.
Frankie: Wow, Mr. Gammonster, that’s great! It’s good to know we can call you a true friend of monsterkind! Thanks for doing this with us!
Bobby: Thank you for your interview and time, and "Keep Screaming!”
Bobby Gammonster’s show can be seen not only at his Monster Museum website, but also at his two groups on Facebook, The Monster Museum and Monster Movie Night, so if you use Facebook, be sure to join up for some monster-ous fun! For our readers in the Claudville, VA area, Gothic Charms is open daily from 12 P.M. until 8 P.M. Monday through Friday and 12 P.M. until 10 P.M. on Saturdays and Sundays. Gothic Charms is located on Dry Pond Hwy 103 in Claudville Virginia, 24076. Call 276-694-6756 or see it at http://www.gothic-charms.com.
Thanks for joining us, and be sure to be back soon for the next installment of The MonsterGrrls’ Thir13en For Halloween, because you never know what’s gonna happen next!
Francesca “Frankie” Franken, Bethany Ruthven, Petronella “Punkin” Nightshade and Harriet Von Lupin,The MonsterGrrls!!