THE TWILIGHT ZONE Carousel Opens in Rod Serling’s Hometown
“There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.” – The Twilight Zone first season opening narration
William Shatner in “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”
Artist Cortland Hull is the ultimate Monster Kid. Growing up obsessed with classic movie monsters, he was lucky enough to actually be related to one. Henry Hull, who portrayed Hollywood’s first werewolf in WEREWOLF OF LONDON in 1935, was Cortland’s great uncle. Cortland grew up to be a filmmaker, artist and sculptor who has specialized in the monsters. He has created elaborately detailed life-size sculptures of Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolfman, The Fly, and others that are on display during the Halloween season at The Witch’s Dungeon, a monster movie museum in Bristol, Connecticut. Many of the figures are made from actual life casts of the actors Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi, and other screen legends. Cortlandt began construction of the Witch’s Dungeon 45 years ago in a cottage behind his parent’s house. After nearly a half century in existence, the Witch’s Dungeon is more popular than ever and many of the actors and filmmakers commemorated in the museum have come to visit. During the off-season, Cortland travels the country displaying his figures at horror movie conventions. A close friend of Vincent Price during the last twenty years of Price’s life, Cortland sculpted two figures of the actor. His Dr. Phibes and Professor Jerrod from HOUSE OF WAX (wearing the actual costume Price wore in the 1953 film) were recently on display in St. Louis at the Vincentennial, the Legacy of Vincent Price exhibit at The Sheldon Art Galleries as part of the Vincent Price 100th Birthday Celebration in Price’s home town. Cortlandt has produced documentaries on the history of classic horror films as well as ones on the Witch’s Dungeon and the Aurora monster models (another of his life-long passions).
Novelist, screenwriter and TV producer Rod Serling will always be best known for hosting the ’50s anthology TV series The Twilight Zone. Serling was born in 1924 and grew up in Binghamton, New York. As a child, he would often ride the nearby Rec Park Carousel, a 60-horse wooden attraction. Built in 1925, Serling held such strong memories of the carousel that a similar one was used in the Twilight Zone episode Walking Distance. The city of Binghamton recently moved to restore the Rec Park carousel and hired Cortland Hull to paint, on the panels above the horses, images from some of The Twilight Zone‘s most famous episodes. Cortland painted these in the style he calls ‘Fairground Art’ (“like vintage circus posters, but very detailed”).
The grand reopening of the Rec Park Carousel took place last Monday, August 30th. The mayor of Binghamton was on hand and Cortland spoke to the crowd. As you can see from these images, he did an outstanding job with this unique project and you gotta admire the way he’s taken his love of art and monsters into the next dimension.
Big thanks to Cortland Hull for letting us post these images of his artwork. His Witch’s Dungeon website can be found HERE
Richard Kiel in “To Serve Man”
Bill Mumy in “It’s A Good Life”
Gig Young in “Walking Distance”
Rod Serling portrait with a bit of “A Stop at Willoughby” in the background
Burgess Meredith in “Time Enough at Last”
John Carradine and Robin Hughes in “The Howling Man”
Telly Savalas in “Living Doll”
Cortland Hull speaking at the Carousel’s grand re-opening and Rod Serling’s grave in nearby Lake View Cemetery (photos by Hannah Squires)
Victoria Price visiting the life-size figures of her father Vincent Price at the Vincentennial exhibit in St. Louis and Sara Karloff with Cortland’s figures of her father Boris Karloff
More of Cortland’s life-size monsters including ‘Uncle Henry’ as THE WEREWOLF OF LONDON (images provided by Cortland Hull)