Tom Shellenberger, Baltimore’s Dracula

Readers, viewers, listeners, I am a Mayor obsessed: With vintage clips from Evening Magazine. I’ve been scouring the Interwebs for Baltimore’s wholesome human interest pieces that ran daily(? I think) from 1977 to 1990. It’s so great! I’ll be uploaded these treats to our Youtube Channel (and subscribe!) semiregularly to our “Baltimore Ephemera” playlist, so enjoy today’s selection.

The year: 1982. The man, Tom Shellenberger. For some reason, he occasionally dressed up like Dracula and walked around Dundalk. He was the founding member of the Maryland Count Dracula Society. Even though the Society was dedicated to horror movie fandom and Tom was not actually a vampire, Evening Magazine had a segment to produce so here’s what we get! Big shout out to Tom’s exquisite Baltimore accent and some sweet sweet vintage Donna Hamilton.

4 thoughts on “Tom Shellenberger, Baltimore’s Dracula

  1. Myself, siblings, and friends were members of the Dracula Society of Maryland. He and his girlfriend moved out of state. If you know what became of them, please let us know. thanx

  2. I just discovered your website. I hope you’re still keeping up with who contacts you. I was a close friend of Thomas Schellenberger. He, unfortunately, passed away in July 2019 on or near my birthday which is the 17th. When he didn’t show up for a meeting at my home I kept
    trying to contact him for about 3 days. I had to contact one of my tenants who lived at the same apartment building I owned where Tom resided. I had him go knock on his door several times that day. We both decided to contact the police. We both had a bad feeling about what happened to him. My tenant told me the last time he talked to him 3 days prior that Tom told him someone was kept coming into the yard during the night and making noises. He was afraid to go outside. He said he hadn’t seen Tom go in or out the gate since that time. I just knew Tom would never have failed to show up at my home unless it was impossible for him to stop by. We told the police what we knew and they tried knocking but received no response. With my permission they knocked the door down. They discovered Tom had passed away. They had people from the coroner’s office come pick him up. It turned out that he passed away from heart failure. I’m not positive if he had a heart attack or not. Tom left all of his writings to me in a will (2 book manuscripts and numerous articles plus a couple of dozen diaries) for me to publish. I was a small press publisher for 20 years. I’m currently in the process of putting it altogether plus my own chapters regarding Tom’s life to publish. He was involved with horror, vampire, and comic fandoms all of his life. He was published by a variety of publications such as Forrest J. Ackerman’s Famous Monsters, and he wrote for Baker Street Publications, Full Moon Publications, Midnight Zines Cafe Press, etc. He also worked as a reporter back in the 1970s and early 1980s for a few Baltimore weekly newspapers plus he headed a Maryland historical society and sang for the local opera in Baltimore. After he turned 34 he relocated to New Orleans. When he passed in mid-July 2019 he was 68 years old. They weren’t sure exactly what day he passed due to the condition of his body. He could have passed as early as 3 days before they found him. I had spoken to him the Saturday before he passed, and my tenant spoke to him on Monday. However, he didn’t see him on Tuesday or Wednesday. I can’t remember if we were there when the police found him on Wednesday or Thursday late afternoon or early evening. It was still daylight. Thank goodness he didn’t encounter any criminal attempting to break in as we feared. All we can hope is that he didn’t suffer much. I can tell you this much he came to me in a dream twice since then to warn me someone was attempting to break in at the same building. I rushed over there and discovered evidence of the attempted break-ins on both occasions. Since then I sold the building along with 2 other buildings and I relocated out-of-town. That episode plus several other incidents in New Orleans was enough to make me want to leave for good. If you want to keep in touch I’ll be sure to let you know when Tom’s books will be available. It could take several months more to a year. It’s a lot of work to put together. Editing, though, has always be my strong point so you can be sure the books will be well worth the wait. Tom wrote a book about his involvement in various fandoms, about Baltimore and New Orleans. He also wrote a 12 story collection of a vampire series. I’m also publishing many of his articles and excerpts from his diaries. There will be some reprints of his collection of celebrity autographs plus letters he received from some celebrities as well as some photographs with celebrities.

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