Inside the St. Joseph public Arena, previous child actor Butch Patrick and also his wife, Leila Lilley, have set up their booth in a far edge of the key floor, just beyond the VIP bathrooms. It is a brutally warm Friday in mid-July, and several hundred of the weekend"s very first visitors — part spattered in fake blood and dressed together their favorite slasher film characters — lazily make their means among the stalls that the horror-themed Crypticon.

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Patrick, that played Eddie on The Munsters, do the two-hour drive through Leila indigenous their house in northern Missouri the job before, hauling plastic tubs of merchandise and also a pair the replica Munster hot rods inside a trailer decorated with a protruding dragon head.

Now standing at their table are a towering, moustache fan and also his wife, wearing equivalent T-shirts that bear the name of a haunted house in the much suburbs that Kansas City. The T-shirts room the sort of point Patrick notices. He instantly wants come know an ext about the business.

"Do you very own it?" he asks.

In fact, castle do.

"Do you ever before have celebrities?"

That"s other the man, Jeremy Toynbee, had not yes, really considered. Organization has been solid — he first opened in his garage and was successful enough to relocate and expand the procedure to a barn and two acre in the little town that Gardner, Kansas — yet a celebrity figure wasn"t yes, really on his radar. Within moments, though, Patrick is laying out the basics that a strategy where he could visit Toynbee"s house of Horrors on, say, a Wednesday, and also then string together two or 3 appearances at Kansas City auto dealerships and also shops over numerous days, dividing his fee among all the parties.

"I figure out how to obtain to my bottom line from four various ways, and also nobody needs to pay also heavy," he describes to Toynbee.

Before they"re done, Patrick has sold the haunted residence proprietor a $30 autographed photo and generated a potential company lead that leaves both guys happy.

"One of the points I choose doing is working with civilization who"ve never had actually a celebrity event and showing castle the ropes," he says later, adding, "I do know the haunt business."


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photo BY DOYLE MURPHY former child star Butch Patrick in ~ 64.

Patrick is a master at this sort of transaction making. A self-described "hustler" all his life, year after dropping the end of Hollywood and beating drug addiction, Butch Patrick (legal name: Patrick Lilley) has constructed a well life as a former child star. From his basic in Missouri, he functions his means through tiny and mid-sized towns across the heartland, visiting twenty come thirty car shows, conventions and festivals every year.

Finding new opportunities amongst the constant churn needs the ear of a salesman and also a particular amount that humility. The conventions room in many ways the absence of glamor because that celebrity guests. Because that hours, castle sit in plastic urgently chairs and hawk autographed picture of their younger, more-employable selves in hotel ballrooms and re-purposed gymnasiums.

Some celebrities loathe together events, yet Patrick watch them together a perfect pleasant means to do a living.

"The world are constantly happy," he says. "It"s a happy exchange, which makes it easy to do."

The show, which ran 1964 come 1966, was filmed earlier before anyone anticipated long-running syndication. So while The Munsters found new audiences in generation after ~ generation of rerun-watching fans, residuals because that its stars were minimal at best. Yet Patrick deserve to still do money off of events and also merchandise.

On the weekend of the St. Joseph trip, that is much less than three weeks indigenous his 64th birthday. He costume casually in shorts, black color leather lining Taylors and also a environment-friendly flannel through Frankenstein"s face printed throughout the back. The attributes that made the an unforgettable small monster on TV were mainly Hollywood props. Stripped the his widow"s height wig and also pointy ear tips, that looks disarmingly normal. He has wavy brown hair the rises native a relatively straight horizon over his forehead. The stands a perfect average five feet seven. You can still view the boyishness in his face, and without the environment-friendly makeup that provided him a pallid look in black and white, he shows up tanned and also relaxed.

His Munster occasions season boils down to around to around five months a year, Patrick says, and he collection fees that $2,000 to $5,000 per event. It adds up. Prices for travel and bills such together upkeep top top his Munster warm rods eat a healthy chunk the the revenues, but he is still able to make what he will explain only as a "comfortable" life that permits him to invest his winters by the beach in Florida.

At Crypticon, he has actually two tables complete of merchandise. Because that sale space eight-by-ten image of a preteen Patrick together Eddie Munster, sporting the small velvet fit he wore on The Munsters. There space "Team Eddie" T-shirts, Munsters wallets, "Coffin Table" books, Munsters crucial chains, Munsters dolls, Munsters stickers and also even pouches that Munsters-themed dark roast coffee.

"Deadly Grounds — coffee to dice for," Patrick says, delivering the slogan with all the music of a radio pitchman.

Even convention-goers who aren"t Munsters fans draw closer to view the eighteen-foot-long Munster Koach and gold-painted Dragula hot rods parked behind the tables. Leila, who tireless attention to information is the mystery weapon of the business, states they began with T-shirts and also photos. Now, they have actually a full online store at Munsters.com, wherein they likewise advertise ease of access for every manner the events, from date of birth parties to corporate gatherings.

"We strive to give them miscellaneous personal," Patrick says. "It"s not some william Shatner point where friend wait in line and pay $100 for 2 minutes."

And if he end up doing organization in the future v one or two of the human being he meets, all the better.


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