Traumafession:: Father Merren on the Wonders of Homemade Holy Water And More

Hey guys, thanks for the great website. It is part of my daily webcrawl. I have commented a few times as “Father Merren”.

Yes, I am a Catholic priest and a dyed in the wool horror fan from a young age. The older boys who lived next door to my grandparents liked to tell me ‘scary stories’ which got me hooked on vampires, werewolves, and ghost from an early age. Aside from “Scooby Do” during its first run, the first video horror I remember seeing was “Night Gallery“. “Green Fingers” with Elsa Lancaster gave me a major freak out which resulted in my viewing habits being curtailed for a few months. Lesson learned: never tell mom that something scared me. (It took me years to work up the courage to watch it again. At first because I was afraid of being scared, then I was afraid of being disappointed. It still holds up.)

Later, cable TV came to Salt Lake and I experienced Hammer Films and other movies both good and cheesy through the good offices of Bob Wilkins’ “Creature Feature” out of the bay area. It was on “Creature Feature” that I saw, on the same night, trailers for both “Star Wars” and “The Omen“. We moved and the Cable was cut off when I entered junior high, so I had to content myself with broadcast offerings (this was before home VCRs).

Good thing we had TV movies like “Devil Dog: Hound From Hell” and network broadcasts of “The Omen“, “The Legend of Hell House“, and “The Exorcist“, which was unfortunately followed the next night with “The Exorcist II“. I am still terrified by tap-dancing. The high point of it all came in second grade when I tricked my grandparents into letting me watch “The Nightstalker“, which I still think is the best vampire movie ever. When I became a priest my friends joked that it was so I could fight demons and vampires. Not true! However, the ability to make my own holy water is a plus, just in case.

Now, can you help me identify two things. The first was on network TV in 1973-74. It involved a heart donor coming back from the grave and taking the heart of the transplant surgeon in trade. The other came from a badly dubbed Euro-horror show on “Creature Freature” I think it was set in the Mediterranean. In one scene, a couple of cave divers surfaced in a cave with coffins and were attacked by vampires. Any clue on what these are?

UNK SEZ:: Thanks Father Merren! I’m sure our readers can get to the bottom of those Name That Truma’s! BTW kids, That fine KOLCHAK image up top is by artist JOE JUSKO and you can watch THE NIGHT GALLERY episode Father Merren mentioned “Green Fingers” HERE!

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Jami JoAnne Russell
11 years ago

I have to say it – a priest who likes horror movies. There’s a horror movie in that idea somewhere.

11 years ago

I am not very good at these identification things, but could that first one be a segment from the Tales From the Crypt Movie? I seem to remember one of them involving hearts.

Alan Howell
11 years ago

This is a late response, but I just recently saw “Green Fingers” for the first time. It’s one of my favorite Night Gallery episodes (right up there with “A Question of Fear,” “The Cemetery,” and “The Little Black Bag,” among others). Cameron Mitchell delivers a great performance as, first, the merciless developer and, later, as the almost-Mark-Twain-esque nutcase. Great stuff.