The Vampira Show (lost horror host TV show; 1954-1955)

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Vampira Show still.png

Still from the re-shot intro.

Status: Lost

The Vampira Show is an American television show hosted by Maila Nurmi, as Vampira, who is regarded as the first television horror host. The show aired for nearly a year, from April 30, 1954 until April 2, 1955 (though it's unknown if she hosted the last episode, having been replaced for the second to last episode.)[1], and became a cult classic, with her show well known through the world[2], though it only aired live in Los Angeles on KABC-TV. [3]

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

The show began each week showing Vampira slowly walking towards the camera, fog surrounding her, before stopping, and letting out a scream. She'd talk to the viewer, usually sitting on a Victorian era sofa that was decorated with skulls. She'd introduce the movie set to play, and would on occasion do such things like talk to off-screen ghosts, and drink a cocktail at her bar, along with "commercials" of horror related themes, such as a do-it yourself home guillotine.[4] The movie, which ranged from horror to crime related, would play for the rest of the time, with Vampira only appearing a small amount during the show. [5]

Status[edit | edit source]

The show, which only broadcasted to viewers in the Los Angeles area, aired live, and was not recorded on kinescopes. However, a kinescope did surface in the late 1990's, a promo from KABC-TV.[6] [7] The promo featured what is said to be re-shot segments from a previous episode, including the intro that would play at the start of each episode. This is the only surviving content from the Vampira Show, though it appears any of the actual show that aired each Saturday night is entirely lost.

There are rumors of surviving kinescopes, though are entirely unsourced and likely untrue. There are claims of one surviving kinescope in the hands of a private collector [8], and others that were destroyed in a court case[9] , though again, there are no solid proof of any of this.

There also exists a few segments of Maila Nurmi in character as Vampira from other shows from the time, such as The Red Skelton Hour, [10] and the infamous Plan 9 From Outer Space [11]. The movies broadcasted during the show all seem to still exist as well.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Videos[edit | edit source]

KABC-TV Promo, featuring the supposed re-shot segments from a previous episode.

Images[edit | edit source]

External Link[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]