Friday, May 21, 2010


I just read the most boffo socko article and interview of Ron "The Ghoul" Sweed ever! Detroit's Metro Times had a cover feature story by Anita Schmaltz on my favorite bearded maniac, The Ghoul! It briefly detailed the history of Detroit's love of all things Ghoul, then segued into an interview with Ron's mom, Ron himself and his current wife.

Here are some great quotes from Ron's mom Irene Barnard:

"Ron was very different right from the time he came out of the chute. It started out when he was about 3, maybe 4 years old. His grandfather took him downtown to see Santa Claus, and he was going to buy him one Christmas present, like maybe a football or a baseball or a catcher’s mitt. Ron picked out a hand puppet, and he couldn’t be dissuaded to give that up. As early as that, he wanted to entertain."

"He and a bunch of kids one day went to the neighboring show which was, oh, maybe a half hour’s distance from our house. And the matinee show should have been over maybe 4 o’clock, maybe 4:15, and I waited, and I waited, and I began to sorta worry, then, all of a sudden, I see this crowd of kids come walking down the street, and I knew ... Ron is in the middle of this crowd, and he was. What had happened ... this was some sort of a fright show at the Shore Theater in Euclid. Unbeknownst to me, he said this was tossed into the rubbish. It was a gorilla suit, and he wore it coming home. He said that it was just thrown out in the trash. I was very gullible. I believed that. That poor guy lost his gorilla suit. This is how he met Ernie Anderson"

Here is a great quote from Ron's wife Mary Terese Matousek:

"It’s just been amazing to me. The first time I saw him, he was at a small club (in Cleveland). It was like a Thursday so there weren’t a lot of people. But we went to Detroit, at the Magic Bag, the first time I saw him do a big live show. It was amazing to see how the people responded to him. I mean, literally, his foot hit the stage, and everybody in the whole place just got to their feet. It sent chills up and down my spine."

Here are some great quotes from Ron "The Ghoul" Sweed himself:

"My friends and I went to a afternoon matinee of [in a carnival barker’s tone] “Dr. Silkini and his live stage show of horrors, on stage in person, the Frankenstein monster, Dracula, King Kong and 45 horror movies,” you know, all in one afternoon. Well, hey, can’t pass that up. You know, that’s almost as good as Christmas. All the kids are screaming, throwing popcorn at the Frankenstein Monster. We weren’t very kind 13-year-olds … Then the show was over, so we took this short-cut home which was through a back alley. Silkini was loading up to go home. It was his misfortune to have left an open trunk with a gorilla suit there."

"I always had a fascination for gorilla suits. You know, The Three Stooges always had some gorilla in it, some of those old B-movies. Yeah, look around, there’s no Dr. Silkini, Hot damn! I got a gorilla suit. … We were walking from one street to another to get to our street just gathering more people, 'Hey, a gorilla! Look at that!' "

To read the entire Metro Times article on Ron Sweed  go to and tell 'em "Doc" Freak sent ya!

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