Thursday, March 19, 2015

Old Time Horror Radio Stories Much Resemble The Vintage Gothic

I'd like to introduce you to an Old Time Radio Horror show:  The Witch's Tale.

Honestly, I'll admit, I have never heard of horror-related radio shows until today.  I was meandering through some gothic romance themed videos on youtube, when suddenly this gem of a story popped up.  Of course...anything vintage really pulls my heartstrings, including the classic movies (and now the radio shows, of course) so I hit the play button.

I've since listened to several of these old shows today and I'm delighted to have found such a thing exists.  And, wouldn't you know, many of them read just like a good ole Gothic Romance.  I've also heard these shows referred to as 'pulp fiction.'  Which leads me to wonder if the original vintage gothic-type story was also referred to as pulp fiction.  I highly doubt it, considering that mostly just the magazines were considered 'pulp' for their cheap paper and the the quick rate for which issues were printed.

According to my research, radio shows hit the airways around 1934 and thrived as the more popular forms of entertainment well into the 1950's (when I'm sure the television became an American household object, and eventually TV shows completely replaced Radio Shows).

Here's what Vintage Library says about the show:

Alonzo Deen Cole, creator of The Witch's Tale, once said, "People like to be scared, just as they like to eat candy." From the depths of his imagination he conjured Old Nancy (played by Adelaide Fitz-Allen, Martha Wentworth and 13-year-old Miriam Wolfe) and her black cat, Satan. This "Witch of Salem" urges listeners to "draw up to the fire and gaze in to the embers…gaze into 'em deep!"

Once she has your rapt attention, she begins to tell you - with a gleeful cackle - her tales of ghosts, devils, and curses. The narratives she weaves convey countless examples of how jealousy, revenge, greed and ambition can result in circumstances as frightening as any caused by supernatural beings.
This episode is titled 'Hairy Monster.'   I chuckled a little at the title, but found myself drawn into the story nonetheless.  I love the fine-tuned details of the meowing cat and the cackling laugh of the witch.  The story was pretty creepy and fun as well.  I could totally envision  families back then:   turning the lights down low, and gathering around the sofa in the living room with their tea/coffee, gazing into the fire as they giddily awaited the current episode!  Sounds like such a cozy time!

Anyway, have a listen and see what you think.  I know I'm already hooked and am considering buying the recordings on CD.

And turn the lights down as you listen, if you dare!


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