Scary Vintage Radio Plays and Podcast Episodes - Audio for your Halloween Listenin' Pleasure.....

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Pokemonquistador2

Electric Boogaloo
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We have a thread on scary movies and scary cartoons - so why not a thread on scary radio and podcast episodes? Radio dramas are an entertainment medium in a league of their own - having to tell a story AND scare the bejeebus out of someone using only words, music and sound effects. They're a great resource of short-form storytelling, (which is sadly lacking in our age of serialized, bingewatch television.) And nothing can conjure up scares quite like your own imagination!

This thread is for posting individual episodes only. There are dozens of Youtube channels devoted to scary content, but sometimes you have to really dig through a channel in order to find anything good. Not that channel links can't be posted WITH the episode, but I want this thread to be somewhat curated in terms of what it offers...


There are plenty of straight book readings of HP Lovecraft's works, but I find his stories work better in full on radio drama form. This is one of the better adaptations of one of his weaker stories:


As far as "What if?" stories go, when it comes to Sherlock Holmes, you're most likely to see him matching wits with Jack the Ripper. This 1981 BBC adaptation goes one further and pairs him up with Dracula. As strange as it might be to have the ultimate agnostic face down the Supernatural's most infamous monster, it actually works. The ending's kind of heartwarming too, as Watson explains to Dracula just why he'd risk life and limb to be Holmes' right hand man. (This is the clearest version of the audio I could find on Youtube.)


The Hall of Fantasy Radio show from the 1950s put out some good adaptations of familiar Edgar Allen Poe stories. This version of the Tell-Tale Heart is good at fleshing out the original story (which is extremely light on its background details,) but the HoF's version of The Cask of Amontillado really drives home what an asshole Fortunato is. By the time Montresor is walling him up in his family's crypt, you'll be cheering him on. (The whole thing has an EC Comics feel to it.)


The radio show "Suspense" was more of a "mystery thriller" show than a horror show, but it had it's moments. This episode features Charles Laughton's chilling portrayal as a serial poisoner, as ruthless as he is affable:


And you haven't entered Horror Radio Show Heaven until you're heard Peter Lorre maniacally hamming it up in a Mystery In The Air episode:

 

Inflatable Julay

Bing bing wahoo
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Awww yes, this is my shit here


For creepy old radio that isn't just cookie-cutter "eeeeek I'm being chased by ghosts" stories check out Quiet, Please. Excellent writing and legitimately interesting and unique stories for it's time. Very similar feel to The Twilight Zone but it predated that show by a decade or so. The Thing on the Fourble Board is generally considered the best episode, but I also recommend Northern Lights.


I also love Suspense, but that show was on for like twenty years so it's a little more hit and miss. The House in Cypress Canyon is more of a Christmas episode than a Halloween episode, but it is also one of the best examples of horror OTR.

e: Joke answer:

 

millais

The Yellow Rose of Victoria, Texas
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The HPLHS makes very good radio-play dramatizations of Lovecraft's short stories. The series is called "Dark Adventure Radio Theatre". Very high production quality, voice acting, and immersive sound design; they advertise it as "a movie you can watch with your eyes closed", and it's very much that. You don't even need a vivid visual imagination in order to get sucked in, and they really nail the period slang too. Each radioplay is about an hour or more in length.

You can torrent the whole series if you don't want to pay their outrageous price.
 

Buster O'Keefe

Enjoys offal
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Nice one OP. My personal favourite is
I've heard at least 3 different radio adaptions of this story, but this wins because Vincent Price.
Here is a really interesting dramatisation of HPL's 'The Case of Charles Dexter Ward' on the BBC Sounds service: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p06w8my0
I'm going to slightly derail by posting my favourite piece of radio drama here: X Minus One: The Cave of Night, sorry OP.
'Suspense' plots grate on me a bit, but it's amazing to hear huge Hollywood stars acting in wacky radio plays.
@The Shadow has an interest in this field if I recall.
I'll did up some links to other BBC stuff, Fear on Four is great but usually bleak and depressing in a very British way.
 

Commander X

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Apr 6, 2018
The 1980s is pretty vintage now, I'll say - and from the early 1980s we had CBC Radio's production Nightfall (1980-1983) which was something of a mixed bag but featured some episodes I consider real corkers, both original stories and some adaptions like Nat Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown", LaFanu's "Carmilla", Poe's "The Telltale Heart", Charles Dickens' "The SIgnalman" Anthony Boucher's "They Bite" and Robert Aickman's "Ringing the Changes".


They also produced shows based on original Canadian horror scripts as well as British and European dramas.

A couple find themselves stuck in their cabin, snowed in. The first episode I ever listened to.

A writer vacations at a small remote fishing village, where she discovers the town’s dark secret.

After a hazing goes very badly, the three fraternity brothers involved think they've covered it up.
 

Buster O'Keefe

Enjoys offal
True & Honest Fan
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Nov 2, 2018
The 1980s is pretty vintage now, I'll say - and from the early 1980s we had CBC Radio's production Nightfall (1980-1983) which was something of a mixed bag but featured some episodes I consider real corkers, both original stories and some adaptions like Nat Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown", LaFanu's "Carmilla", Poe's "The Telltale Heart", Charles Dickens' "The SIgnalman" Anthony Boucher's "They Bite" and Robert Aickman's "Ringing the Changes".


They also produced shows based on original Canadian horror scripts as well as British and European dramas.

A couple find themselves stuck in their cabin, snowed in. The first episode I ever listened to.

A writer vacations at a small remote fishing village, where she discovers the town’s dark secret.

After a hazing goes very badly, the three fraternity brothers involved think they've covered it up.
Aickman is underrated, but avoid the readings by Reece Shearsmith: possibly the shoddiest audio books I've ever heard.