Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween State of Mind

I'm starting to get into that Halloween state of mind. I'm not decorating for it; I'm down to fifteen dollars for the rest of the month. I should make it through okay--I have a full pantry and a mostly full gas tank--but I have no money for luxuries right now.

Luckily I'm on vacation for the next couple of days, so I can sit around the house and listen to spooky radio stories on Internet Archive. I'll post a few here so you can listen yourself, and I may even visit the Secret Lab by the end of the week. We'll see.

In Danse Macabre, Stephen King talks about Lights Out being one of the scariest shows on radio. Arch Oboler wrote them, and he achieves some really creepy effects. I haven't found one that really clicks on all cylinders, though. Some are over-earnest, like "The Visitor from Hades." Some are pretentious, full of stream-of-consciousness rantings, like "Kill" (imitating Oboler's adaptation of "Johnny Got His Gun" from 1940). Some are both, like "The Ugliest Man in the World."

But other episodes seem to take sadistic glee in the way they torture both the characters and the listener, like the extended death scenes in "Murder Castle" and "The Fast One." And then there this...

Then there are the silly ones, like "The Chicken Heart" or "The Author and the Thing," in which Arch Oboler encounters a horrible gibbering creature formed from his own evil imagination. For pure hilarity, though, this one made me laugh louder than any (although I don't think the hilarity was entirely intentional)

You can hear all the others I've named at Internet Archive. More to come soon.

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