Sammy Terry fans line up to pay respects to Indiana’s host of horror

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Hundreds of Sammy Terry fans lined up to pay their respects Friday.

As a kid Joey Langston had to be sneaky to watch Sammy Terry.

“Doing everything I could do, sneaking out of bed in the middle of the night to trick mom,” said Langston.  “She was making us go to bed way earlier than that, but you had to get up and see Sammy.”

Langston, along with hundreds of others, stood in line outside the funeral home to pay their respects to Bob Carter. Carter was the man who brought to life a character among the un-dead.

“He is as much a part of Indianapolis as the Circle is. He is Indianapolis,” said Langston. “If you grew up here, Sammy was it.”

That iconic laugh was his terrifying trademark. For almost 30 years Carter was the host of horror. It’s not his make-up, his skull cap and his pet spider named “George” that people like Joey will remember, though. It was the way he treated the people who watched.

“If you ever had the chance to meet the man, you could not have asked for a kinder, gentler person. He went out of his way every time to make sure every fan felt like they were the most important thing,” said Langston.

“He was always gentle, always kind.  He was always very loving and supportive of us,” said granddaughter Caitlin Smith.  “He was the funniest man you would ever meet, always making everyone around him smile.”

Carter’s ability to “flip the switch” into character still amazes Smith.

“When I was little I remember him doing his laugh for us, then when I would say, ‘Grandpa, that is really scary,’ he would say, ‘It is still just grandpa,'” said Smith.

Bob Carter had the unique ability to scare viewers and in some strange way comfort them at the same time.  It is what diehard fans, like Langston will miss the most.

“There is never going to be another Sammy Terry,” said Langston.  “He is totally an Indiana original.”

Fans of Bob Carter were encouraged to stop by the funeral home to pay their final respects on July 5. A private service is set for Saturday, July 6.