The Bowman Body hosted horror movies on three different channels for more than 20 years in Virginia, but most people remember his Shock! Theatre days in the Richmond market on WXEX (now WRIC). His Friday night ratings even beat Johnny Carson and the Tonight Show's regional ratings.
The character, played by broadcasting veteran, Bill Bowman, first appeared in the summer of 1970 for a week long "Horror Film Festival" but was so popular that the show became a permanent fixture. It ran in Richmond through most of 1976 and was reborn as Cobweb Theatre in Charlottesville from 1977-78 when Bill Bowman took a job in with WNVC in Northern Virginia. From approximately 1982-1987, he appeared again in Monsterpiece Theatre.
Since then he's been the subject of two documentaries, hosted new episodes on DVD, made uncounted public appearances. Welcome to the site!
B&W photos courtesy of Charles Allen Sugg
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It's ALIVE (again)!
It's been almost 10 years since the Bowman Body documentary was released and now the feature length chronicle of the Bod's legacy is back on DVD. Get the full story from Bill's early days in radio and TV through his television career as the Bowman Body on Shock Theatre, Cobweb Theatre and finally Monsterpiece Theatre and his return to radio on WHAP.
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Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Bowman Body's Shock Theatre on the BIG 8, WXEX in Petersburg. This 100% cotton, high quality T-shirt is just the thing to tell the world you paid your dues with Bowman's horrible movies . . . er, horror movies. Designed by Propayne Graphics and retailed through a Virginia small business, this is a fan's shirt for sure.
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Bowman Family Medical Expense Fund
In 1970, Bill Bowman became the Bowman Body, he also married his beloved wife, Octavia. Over the course of the years, they continued to live in central Virginia the house they bought that year, saving every penny for retirement.
And then, Octavia fell victim to Alzheimer's, the "Devil's Disease."
Now, after seven years in expensive care, the family's resources have been drained and massive debts have accrued.
To relieve those burdens, the Bowman Body fans have an opportunity to give back to the man who gave so much to his fans and community. Please click on the Go-Fund-Me page, share and contribute if you can.
© 2021, Horse Archer Productions/Sean Kotz
Bill and his wife Octavia as he visits her in the nursing home. This was taken three years ago and she has declined profoundly since then.