Sunday, October 18, 2015


Old Time Radio for Halloween
By: Jason White

Every day of the year is Halloween for me.  You've probably heard this or similar so much that it's becoming cliche.  The lot of us reading and writing this blog are horror geeks, after all.  Despite this, I can't help but get excited during the month of October.  It's a great time to read classic horror by the likes of Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, and M.R. James.  Turner Classic Movies always plays tons of classic horror movies.  AMC always plays one of the big slasher franchises, usually Friday the 13th.  Social Media on the Internet is alive with spooks and frights, especially cute cat themed Halloween memes.
            But what about radio?
            What?  Radio?
            Yes, I said radio.
            There was a time before the Internet and television where families would gather around the radio after dinner to listen to radio drama.  If you're unfamiliar, these were skits played by actors, usually lasting a half-hour or so.  The most famous of these is the practical joke that turned into a nation wide panic on October 30, 1938.  You can listen to this episode below:

Back in those days, there were radio shows that produced horrific dramatic material regularly, sans nation-wide panic.  The ones listed below are the ones I listened to the most.  You can find these told time radio shows everywhere on the Internet.  You can also find podcasts dedicated to reproducing these on iTunes and Stitcher.
            A few years ago I became hooked to listening to these podcasts around Halloween time.  And although that habit has since waned to listening to other types of podcasts, I remember them fondly and enjoy coming back to them every so often.  If you do become an addict, like I was, you will find gems within the archives, both Internet or iTunes alike.  Old Time Radio episodes starring the likes of Vincent Price or Borks Karloff are not that rare and are fun to listen to.  And the best part is that they are all free to subscribe, download, and listen.
            I highly recommend the horror fan to take a moment and peruse through the links below.

Internet Archives of some of the most popular shows:
Lights Out is one of the earliest of the radio horror programs, dating from 1934 to 1947 and predating Suspense and Inner Sanctum.  The show was created by Wyllis Cooper but was taken over by Arch Oboler.  Lights Out aired on different networks at different times.

Suspense appeared on CBS radio and ran from 1942 to 1962.  According to Wikipedia, Alfred Hitchcock directed its audition show, an adaptation of the movie 'The Lodger.'  In earlier episodes, "The Man in Black" hosted Suspense.  Mystery writer, John Dickson Carr, wrote many of the episodes.

Inner Sanctum ran from 1941 to 1952 and was created by Himan Brown.  They ran a total of 526 episodes and was hosted by Raymond Edward Johnson in the early years, and then Paul McGrath.

Podcasts that reproduce some of the best of these and more:

About the author:
Jason White has been listening to podcasts for over six years now.  He claims that it really is an addiction.  So much so that he hosts and produces his own show, The Darkness Dwells Podcast.  He's also a writer with a collection of short stories titled Isolation which you can find at Amazon.  He has a new collection of stories due out early 2016.  He lives in Ontario, Canada with his wife and son.

About the books:

Genre: Horror, Short Stories, Anthology
Publisher: Darkly Horrific Books
Publication date: 4.6.2012
Pages: 182

From the twisted mind of Jason White are nine previously uncollected stories of isolation, desperation, horror absolute, and despair.  Within these pages you will meet a man who becomes obsessed with a room that whoever enters does not come out; a woman learns from a demon how to protect herself from the man who's been haunting her; a man who has lost his family to a house fire finds that there are creatures living inside the ruins of what was once his house.  Within you will also find a young couple who see a poster advertising a heavy metal concert and decides to go, but find that the musicians and fans are from the deepest pits of Hell; a woman suffering the loss of her husband in the Afghanistan war finds that her family cottage is haunted with a darkness that looks all too familiar to her own soul; a young janitor creates a new drug by accidentally mixing cleaning chemicals, and when he goes to destroy it, his fellow users are not so enthusiastic to get clean.
            Enter these strange and eldritch worlds populated with people you will care about and creatures that will make your skin crawl.  Maybe you will find something of yourself breathing within the pages.

Room 118
Genre: Horror, Short Stories, Anthology
Publisher: Darkly Horrific Books
Publication date: 12.17.2011
Pages: 53

From the twisted mind of new horror writer, Jason White, comes 3 short stories.

In "Room 118," a young man just graduated from university finds himself working nights as a janitor at his hometown's gymnasium.  He works with a cast of weird characters and a room everyone's obsessed about.

In "Chemical Burn," Alex accidentally creates a new drug by mixing chemicals at work.  He shares it with his co-workers, but when he discovers how dangerous the drug is, will he be strong enough to overcome its hallucinatory and addictive effects?

In "Divorce and the Black Cat," Nick's wife wants a divorce, but he is still in love with her.  He's also been unable to control his behavior, lately.  It's as though someone or something is taking control of his mind, leaving him a helpless passenger to a life that is going completely insane.

Enter these strange and eldritch worlds populated with people you will care about and creatures that will make your skin crawl.  Maybe you will find something of yourself breathing within...

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