Nightmares Near New Paltz

Tracy Conrad and Eddy Eder, a.k.a. Mr. Skullboy have a show.
Tracy Conrad and Eddy Eder, a.k.a. Mr. Skullboy have a show.

Eddy Eder is a 46 year-old Highland resident who has many faces. He is an occupational therapy assistant, third degree black belt and Mr. Skullboy, a horror show host.

Mr. Skullboy is an “otherworldly supernatural carnival ringleader who travels the world searching for monsters to be in his show,” said Eder. He is dressed in black and his face is made up to look like a skeleton. The character of Mr. Skullboy is inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead and other famous people in the entertainment field such as William Castle, P.T. Barnum, John Zacherly and Robert L. Ripley.

Mr. Skullboy is the ringleader and host of The Grand Guignol Horror Society’s events, a group that celebrates the genre of horror expressed through the arts. Each event has a pre-show display and a main movie attraction. The displays consist of scientific machines and demonstrations acted out by society members. Past demonstrations include the proper way to kill a zombie and how to use a Violet Ray Generator.

“My favorite demonstration was definitely the Tesla Technology with all of the antique electrical equipment,” said fourth-year history major Matthew O’Connell. “Real Frankenstein’s lab type-stuff.”

The society’s main event is the classic horror movie showing. The movies are shown in a drive-in outdoor setting at Yummie’s Ice Cream and Mini-Golf on the last Saturday of every month between May and October at 8 p.m.

“We wanted to create an outdoor environment which lends itself to capture the feel of the nostalgic heyday of the classic horror movies,” said Eder. “There is just something about ice cream parlors and horror movies that works well together.”

The movies chosen were made prior to the 1970s, so no profanity is used.

“It gives families a hands-on interactive experience out of the norm versus spectating,” said Tracy Conrad, a receptionist at the Gardner Animal Hospital and full-time member of the society.

The Grand Guignol Horror Society got its name from a horror theater in France, the English translation being, “The Theater of the Big Puppet.” The members were looking for a universal title that would not tie them to a location.

The society began three years ago starting from a small setting in the Elting Library and has now held 18 events. Next season they are introducing a series of contests including ones for short story writing and film. Another aspect of their evolution is their goal of hosting a horror fair.

Information can be found through flyers posted at local businesses, information through e-mail subscriptions, word of mouth and event listings on social networking outlets such as Facebook.

The next event will be held at Yummie’s on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. They will be showing Night of the Demon with a pre-show and introduction. All are welcome and there is no charge, however donations are greatly appreciated.