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Everything Action Theater: Secrets of the Cryptkeeper’s Haunted House

By Zach

It’s easy to forget sometimes these days but Tales from the Crypt and The Cryptkeeper himself were pop culture juggernauts throughout the 90s.  Despite the adult nature of the HBO series, there was a concerted effort to get kids interested in the franchise, with The Cryptkeeper showing up on toys and books, getting his own Halloween rap jam, appearing in animated form and, perhaps most strangely, co-hosting a Saturday morning game show on CBS.  Secrets of the Cryptkeeper’s Haunted House started in September 1996 and ran until August 1997 for one season and featured John Kassir back as The Cryptkeeper, who was mostly an announcer and also commented on events in pre-recorded, generic one-liners.  The host of the show was Steven Saunders, who didn’t really do much of anything else and kind of felt like a knock-off Mike O’Malley from Nickelodeon GUTS.  The show would pit two teams of kids against each other in various events and the big gimmick of the series is that the events were presented with tons of CGI that made it seem like the kids were fending off fireballs above a pit of magma or hanging off a cliff above a bottomless pit and there was also a CGI skeleton head named Digger that would be a frequent opponent to the teams.  The game culminated in the kids getting to run through an actual set of the Cryptkeeper’s Haunted House and search for skulls hidden around its many rooms.  The show was shot on location at Universal Studios Florida and was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Game Show, but lost to The Price is Right.  You can check out an entire episode of the show below.

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