Dr. Vollin, MD surprised my royally when he sent along this wonderful original promotion flyer for Francisco's Mid-Nite Spook Frolic, tucked in-between the pages of an issue of Movie Collector's World. The issue was among a bunch he had mailed to me, so I could catch up on his many How to Collect a Monster articles. I can't explain why spook shows are the cat's meow for just about every monsterkid, including me, but maybe it has to do with nostalgia, simple frights that aren't too frightful, and the creepy cool atmosphere of schlock and art delivered through movie and magic and monster antics that makes it so endearing.
"Francisco (real name unknown...and no first name of San) was one of the first from the earlier days of the ghost show craze to have huge success. He also was one of the few who continued to do his so-named "Midnight Spook Frolic" through most of the decades these live shows were the most popular--while keeping it relatively free of the gore and sexuality others started using later. He mostly played up the spiritualism aspects that legendary Houdini and Thurston did a decade or two earlier in their own similar shows. A lot of that involved the old floating table routine, mind-reading tricks and the famous cabinet where a fake séance takes place as the magician sits with his hands tied while the audience sees objects being thrown around the area. Francisco did incorporate a little horror in his shows (within reason) by using a well-known illusion of a skeleton who removes his head that then conveniently floats over the supposedly goosebumped audience. This segment used the process of black art that these shows relied on for most of the best effects." (The History of the Midnight Spook Show, Greg Brian, Yahoo Voices)