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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

TV horror hearse or look-alike?

Is it the original creepy hearse used in a popular Memphis TV show in the 1960s and 1970s or just a nearly identical look-alike? That’s the question hearse owner Joe Willis hasn’t been able to answer about his piece of morbid memorabilia. Retirees Joe and Merrill Willis own and operate the Yoknapatawpha Heritage Museum on Highway 30 in Lafayette County and a hearse in their possession for the past 20 years, has recently come under question as to whether it may be the authentic item used in Sivad’s “Fantastic Features” and at the Memphis Malco Theaters. (June 4, 2010, Page 1A)

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    One Response to “TV horror hearse or look-alike?”

    1. Vincent Astor says:

      I attended “Sivads of March” and looked closely at photographs of the original Sivad Hearse. It had no glass when Malco owned it and there are also details of the carving which are different. Also, it had carved draperies in parts of the side windows and the doors. After much use and an accident, the remains of the Sivad hearse were stored outside behind the Malco/Orpheum theatre in the seventies when I worked there. I once scavenged some of the carved ornament and cannot find the pieces now. The hearse at the Brooks event was not the same one–that hearse is much more elaborate than Sivad’s (I said so when I spoke to the owners–they really have a nicer one). The restoration is beautiful but it didn’t belong to Sivad. When I last saw Sivad’s hearse it was in many pieces and later was discarded when the buildings next door were torn down. However, the second hearse was a great enhancement to Watson Davis’ tribute.

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