Count Gregore Still Scary After All These Years

Thursday, October 29th 2009, 2:50 pm
By: News 9

By Darren Brown,

What if you dressed up for Halloween one year, and everyone demanded that you wear the same costume for the next 50 Halloweens ?  Well that's what happened to John Ferguson, sort of.

Ferguson started his broadcast career in Muskogee back in 1954.  He's quick to point out that he's been fortunate to always be in the right place at the right time.

"By fate, providence, whatever," Ferguson said.  "Along the way, all those people involved in my life as John Ferguson have been an influence on whatever I've done."

From Muskogee, Ferguson moved to Oklahoma City for even more broadcasting opportunities.  He hit the jackpot when he snagged a spot on the old "3D Danny" show alongside local media legend Danny Williams.  There he created a villainous character called the "Duke of Mukeden." 

In 1958, a package of old horror movies was made available to TV stations across America.  It was called "Shock Theatre," and required a local horror host to introduce the movies.  Hosts with names like "Vampira," "Jeepers Creepers," and "Chilly Billy" popped up all over the place, but in Oklahoma City, Count Gregore reigned supreme.

For the next 30 years, Ferguson made the rounds at almost all of Oklahoma City's TV stations, re-creating his now-famous "Count Gregore" in all sorts of incarnations of the old "Shock Theatre."

He's inspired countless imitators, but maybe none like Brian Young.  

Young grew up watching "Count Gregore," and haunts the airwaves of Northwest Oklahoma these days as "Dr. Fear." 

Along with his assistants "Trinka" and "Grimley," Young's alter ego plots world domination and general chaos inbetween introducing cheesey horror movies on Pegasys, Enid's community access station.

A few years ago, Young met "Count Gregore" at a horror enthusiast event, and they've been friends ever since.  The Count has even made several appearances on "The Mysterious Lab of Dr. Fear."

"It just hits me, and I think 'Wow. Count Gregore, he's like a friend of ours," Young said.  "I can call him up and say Hi."  

Young hopes that Dr. Fear achieves even a small portion of Gregore's success.  He believes that if he plays his cards right, he and the crew will eventually produce 500 shows, although he admits that's a "scary" thought. 

As for the Count, Ferguson claims that he's as busy as ever these days, thanks to the internet.  It seems Gregore's presence, along with other classic horror hosts, has found a new worldwide audience.