Silent Halloween at the Indiana Landmarks Center (2015)

After last year’s festivities, I returned to the beautifully renovated Methodist church to enjoy another night of Halloween entertainment and silent films.

Mark Herman, world-renown organist, was back. He played before and during the films, initially introducing our non-film entertainment for the evening, Sammy Terry.

Sammy Terry? Apparently he is an Indianapolis-area icon, hosting horror films since 1962. Lots of people in the audience seemed to know him from their youths. He emceed the raffles, pulled audience members to the stage for a men-vs.-women trivia contest, and used his guillotine on yet another audience member.

The highlight for me was the silent films. I was treated to a Buster Keaton flick (The Haunted House) that I had never seen. It was great seeing his antics larger than life and to hear audience members who were being introduced to Keaton for the first time laughing at his expressions and pratfalls.

Next up was Lon Chaney’s classic The Phantom of the Opera. Unfamiliar with the tale or the book the movie is based on, the film was a delight to see. On occasions the quirks of exaggerated physical expressions and movement elicited laughter.

I spend another delightful evening at the Indiana Landmark Center celebrating Halloween with others by watching silent classics. What will they play next year?

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