"Shock Theater" (aka as "Shock Theatre) was a hosted horror movie show with Jerry Sandford as "Ronald" screening at 11:30pm on Friday nights for WVEC Channel 13, Norfolk-Hampton, Virginia. The show ran from 13 November 1959 to 1964 ending its weekly run. Halloween specials continued through till 1968. In the early years, Ronald was assisted by Maurice played by Frank Van, who wore a ghoulish mask. Other regulars included "The Cool Ghoul," wearing a beret, with a goatee, un-dead hip cat with a beatnik sensibility; and Vicki McKee. Movies shown included "Son Of Dracula", "Bride Of Frankenstein", "The Wolf Man", "Beast With A Million Eyes", "Trauma", "From Hell It Came", "King Kong, "Son Of Kong", "The Thing That Couldn't Die" and "Beast With a Million Eyes".

Sandford was born in Petersburg in 1931, and passed away on 11 February 2020. Sandford served as a Navy officer before taking a job as a radio announcer at WVEC in 1957. After retiring as Bungles the Clown (a live, afternoon television show) of 13 years and as "Ronald, The Ghoul" (on the late-night Friday show "Shock Theater.") of 9 years, he went on to become director of community relations and clerk of the Hampton School board for 23 years. He also spent 11 years working in the communications department at Newport News Public Schools.

Portrait of "Ronald the Ghoul" by Bradley Beard.
"Ronald the Ghoul" - biography (taken from Bradley Beard's Facebook page)"
"Good evening, friends!" he bid the audience when he first arose from his coffin on November 13, 1959. Today I present Ronald the Ghoul, host of Shock Theatre on WVEC-TV Channel 13 in Norfolk, Virginia, which ran from 1959 to 1964. Jerry Sandford, the actor who portrayed Ronald, initially conceived him to be Roland's southern doppleganger. He would invite you into his domain for a little bedtime story. One time before the show, Ronald's coffin went missing. Earlier in the day, the studio had had the floors waxed and all the furniture had been moved to the parking lot. When show time rolled around, the coffin was nowhere to be seen. The TV station staff ran frantically throughout the neighborhood streets searching for it. Eventually it was found in a grocery store parking lot and teenagers were selling a chance to sit in Ronald's coffin for 25c. The coffin was taken back to the studio and the show went on.

There is no known footage of Sandford as "Ronald The Ghoul".

The following is a commentary on Jerry Sandford as "Bungles the Clown":

"Bungles the Clown" - commentary from The Professor's Scary Clips on Vimeo.


Internet Movie Data Base
"Shock Theater"

13 News Now
"Bungles the Clown"

Internet Movie Data Base
"Jerry Sandford"

Facebook: Bradley Beard - Horror Host Artist
"Ronald the Ghoul"

E-gors Chamber of TV Horror Hosts

Internet Movie Data Base
"Frank Van"

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Last modified: March 2023