Classic Horrors Club – The Sound of Silents

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After months of visiting the drive-in, traveling back to the past for some early 70s fall previews, guests and 50th episode celebrations, it’s time for Jeff Owens and I get back to the basics. In episode 51, we return to our usual format of reviewing three films as we take a look at three of the earliest horror films.

First up is The Golem (1920), followed by The Phantom Carriage (1921) and, finally, The Man Who Laughs (1928). And don’t forget to watch the companion episode with all kinds of highlights and bonus features on the Classic Horrors YouTube channel. If you like what you hear, you’re going to love what you see! Check it out and give us some feedback… both on the podcast and the video. Let’s call the meeting to order…

Call us at (616) 649-2582 (CLUB) or email at classichorrorsclub@gmail.com!

Join us in our clubhouse at https://www.facebook.com/groups/classichorrors.club/!

We’d also appreciate if you’d give us an honest rating on Apple Podcasts or SoundCloud. And we’re now also on Amazon Music! Thank you!

You can find Jeff at:

Come back in December for episode 52 as we’ll take a look at three of Barbara Steele’s movies while also talking about her career, including a little love for Dark Shadows!

Day 31 – Mercury Theatre on the Air: Dracula (1938)

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For 31 days, we’ve been making our way through a journey of old time radio classics. So, it’s only fitting that on this final day in the 2020 31 Days of Halloween, we present a tale of one of the oldest horror stories that has been adapted countless times over the years on stage and screen…Brahm Stoker’s Dracula.

Orson Welles had emerged on the world of radio in the summer of 1937 with his adaptation of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. Then, in the fall of that year, he brought the character of Lamont Cranston, otherwise known as The Shadow, to life in a total of 52 episodes. While he was working through his final episodes of that show in the summer of 1938, CBS offered him an opportunity for a 13-week limited series to be called Mercury Theatre on the Air. His Mercury Theatre players would bring to life classic literary works every week with music composed or arranged by the another legend in the making, Bernard Herrmann. 

Of course, everyone knows of the October 30 presentation of War of the Worlds. It was that broadcast that caught the attention of a national sponsor, the Campbell Soup Company. The final episode of Mercury Theatre on the Air would be broadcast on December 4 and the first episode of The Campbell Playhouse aired just five days later. Welles remained with the show for the first two seasons, during which the two most memorable adaptations of A Christmas Carol were brought to life.

On July 11, 1938, the very first episode of Mercury Theatre on the Air brought the story of Dracula to life, a tale that was perhaps more fitting for the Halloween season than a mid-summer night. However, the presentation is, in my opinion, the best Dracula adaptation from the golden age of radio. Orson Welles stars as Dr. John Seward and Dracula while sharp ears might recognize the voice of Agnes Moorehead as Mina Harker.

Don’t forget to check out the playlist on my YouTube channel. You can now go to one location for all of the radio shows that have been part of this year’s 31 Days of Halloween!

Now, turn out the lights and let the theatre of the mind take you back across the decades as you listen to a program I first discovered in 1980. I’ve listened to it almost every year since and it never fails to entertain. Happy Halloween!!

Day 30 – Mercury Theatre on the Air: War of the Worlds (1938)

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On the night before Halloween in October 1938, Orson Welles presented another episode of his ongoing series, Mercury Theatre on the Air. It was a unique adaptation of HG Wells’ classic, War of the Worlds. Everyone knows the tale of how some people thought it was a real invasion from Mars. Panic turned to outrage and Orson Welles was in the hot seat. The furor eventually died down, leaving Orson Welles a modern-day legend. It would be recreated numerous times, first on a Spanish-language radio station in 1949, and in later years in New York and even on National Public Radio in 1988. It also inspired a 1975 movie called The Night That Panicked America.

Don’t forget to check out the playlist on my YouTube channel. You can now go to one location for all of the radio shows that will be part of this year’s 31 Days of Halloween!

Now, turn out the lights, fire up the radio and remember…it’s only a radio show!

Day 29 – Lights Out: It Happened (1938)

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The 2020 31 Days of Halloween is almost at an end. However, we still have a few great programs to listen to and today’s is one of my personal favorites…It Happened from Lights Out

Lights Out was originally created by Willis Cooper in the fall of 1933 as a serialized late night program. The stories would be rather graphic for the day, something unheard of at that time in radio programming. It debuted on WENR in Chicago in January 1934. By 1935, it was airing nationally on NBC and, in June 1936, Arch Oboler took over the program. Over the years, the show would have various runs and was an inspiration for later programs, such as Inner Sanctum and Suspense. It even transitioned to television in 1946 as a series of specials before having a nice run of weekly shows from 1949 – 1952, including appearances from Boris Karloff and Vincent Price.

It Happened originally aired on May 11, 1938, and is one of the creepiest radio programs I’ve ever heard. It’s a perfect show to listen to in the dark and to help you get in the mood for Halloween, if the last 28 days haven’t already.

Don’t forget to check out the playlist on my YouTube channel. You can now go to one location for all of the radio shows that will be part of this year’s 31 Days of Halloween!

Day 28 – Classic Horrors Club Podcast Episode 50: Halloween Extravaganza!

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On this 28th day of the 31 Days of Halloween, you’re invited to join Jeff Owens and I as we celebrate not only Halloween, but also our 50th episode of the Classic Horrors Club Podcast and the launch of our YouTube companion show!

We’ll talk about our favorite Halloween memories, annual traditions and what we’ll be doing this year. Plus, there will be a number of surprise guests that ring our doorbell for Halloween. We promise no tricks, only treats. Don’t take your seats for this meeting because we’ll enter and exit dancing…

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Call us at (616) 649-2582 (CLUB)

or email at classichorrorsclub@gmail.com

or join us in our clubhouse at https://www.facebook.com/groups/classichorrors.club/

We’d also appreciate if you’d give us an honest rating on Apple Podcasts or SoundCloud. And we’re now also on Amazon Music! Thank you!

You can find Jeff at:

​Special thanks to:

Day 27 – Hall of Fantasy: The Shadow People (1952)

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On day 27 of the 31 Days of Halloween, it’s time for one more episode of the Hall of Fantasy. It was originally aired on September 9, 1952 and is called The Shadow People. It’s a chilling tale and one of my personal favorites.

Don’t forget to check out the playlist on my YouTube channel. You can now go to one location for all of the radio shows that will be part of this year’s 31 Days of Halloween!

Day 26 – Suspense: Three Skeleton Key (1956)

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As we inch our way to the big day, we have one more episode from Suspense to offer up on this, the 26th day in our 31 Days of Halloween. French author Georges-Gustave Toudouze wrote the short story, Three Skeleton Key, in 1927 and it was first published in English in Esquire magazine in January 1937. The tale of rats storming a secluded lighthouse was seemingly made for old time radio, so it’s no surprise that it was adapted no less than five times between 1949 and 1958. 

William Conrad starred in the first version for Escape in 1949, with Vincent Price appearing in 1950 and Paul Frees in 1953. Price returned again for two more performances for Suspense, the first in 1956 and for the last time in 1958. Our version is the November 11, 1956, presentation and it is indeed a classic.

Don’t forget to check out the playlist on my YouTube channel. You can now go to one location for all of the radio shows that will be part of this year’s 31 Days of Halloween!

Now, turn out the lights and embrace the fear you can hear for another tale well calculated to keep you in…Suspense!

Day 24 – CBS Radio Mystery Theater: The Demon Spirit (1974)

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On day 24 of the 31 Days of Halloween, it’s time for another tale from the CBS Radio Mystery Theater! Today’s episode, The Demon Spirit, originally aired on Oct. 31, 1974. It’s based on the classic S. Ansky play The Dybbuk and stars Mason Adams. 

Don’t forget to check out the playlist on my YouTube channel. You can now go to one location for all of the radio shows that will be part of this year’s 31 Days of Halloween!

Day 23 – Hall of Fantasy: Black Figurine of Death (1953)

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On this 23rd day in the 31 Days of Halloween, let’s take another trip down the Hall of Fantasy. Today’s episode, Black Figurine of Death, was originally aired on December 28, 1953. With a title like that, I have a suspicion we might have some death lurking in the shadows.

Don’t forget to check out the playlist on my YouTube channel. You can now go to one location for all of the radio shows that will be part of this year’s 31 Days of Halloween!