Horror Host Retrospective: Sir Graves Ghastly

Sir Graves Ghastly

Real name: Lawson J. Deming
Years active: 1967 to 1982, Michigan

Many horror hosts had their start doing local television programming. Sir Graves Ghastly was no expectation. A puppeteer on the show Woodrow the Woodsmen, actor Lawson J. Deming went along with the show when it was picked up by WJBK-2 in Detroit, Michigan. When the station had dropped Morgus the Magnificent, station owners approached Deming about creating a horror host for their afternoon movie block.

Along with his wife Mary Rita, Deming created the character of Sir Graves Ghastly, an over the top parody of a vampire count. Along with a host of other characters, many of them played by Deming himself, Sir Graves was a hit not only with children, but adults as well.

The show would last a total of fifteen seasons until station owners decided to cancel local programming in favor of televised events. Despite being syndicated in several markets in the 1970s, Sir Graves never quite reached the level of popularity in markets outside of Michigan. He was still very popular in Michigan and in parts of Canada, and has a fan website.

Sir Graves’ Big Show ran on WJBK-2 from 1967 to 1982. The show’s name was later changed to just Sir Graves Ghastly. Mr. Deming passed away in 2007.

“Happy Haunting”