Halloween On The Air

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What do you think when you think "old fashioned Halloween"? I was listening to a recording of "The Great Gildersleeves" From 1943, when one of the characters said "Let's have a real old-fashioned Halloween party". I thought about that. Here is a show about 75 years old. What would characters in their 40s consider old fashioned?

Turns out, it was mostly about pranks that were clever but harmless. Perhaps a sock filled with chalk powder for smacking people. Maybe two buckets of water on either side of the sidewalk with a tripwire between them. It was interesting and fun to hear them relate tales of Halloween pranks played at the turn of the century. I realized most of these were played in a world where electricity was a novelty. The streets at night were dark, and quiet. There would have been few sounds that were not natural. Electric streetlights would have been nonexistent in most of the country. Even when the story aired, television was unheard of, and parts of America were still without electric power. Of course, as illustrated by the examples I chose, common sense and self-reliance had not yet given way to mindless lawsuits in pursuit of easy money.

As novel as that was, I don't listen to the old stories for their "historical interest". I think the stories are just great! They rely on sound effects (A major influence if I ever build my invisible haunt) and narration. The range of topics is pretty amazing.

Ever hear of Adventures by Morse? Whether battling the cult of the Cobra in "French Indochina" or werewolves in South America, these adventures are fun and well done - and my kids love them! There are great spooky shows like The Whistler and fun shows like Gildersleeves - and even the funny ones have Halloween specials.

If you spend time listening to the radio, I heartily recommend you try downloading some of these shows for your listening pleasure. In between reruns of HauntCast, you can hear some horror, detective, sci-fi, or suspense to entertain and inspire you.

I think you will be entertained for a long time to come!

Here are some links to Old Time Radio shows - most are free, one sells MP3 CDs for a small fee. The possibilities are endless with the original "Theater of the Mind"!