One last quick recommendation for great Halloween fun: Old-Time Radio!
If you go to www.otr.net, you will find a vast archive of old radio plays. There you will find many season-appropriate spookfests, and to me, the best one of them all is the Mercury Theater production of The Hitch Hiker.
The Mercury Theater was Orson Welles and John Houseman’s acting troupe, which eventually culminated in Citizen Kane, among other landmark creative works, but whose most notorious achievement was the Halloween 1938 broadcast of H.G. Wells’ The War Of The Worlds, which was so effective at the time that it sent the entire country into a temporary panic.
That’s the power of story – with nothing but the written word and a convincing voice to tell it in, a storyteller can chill their audience down to their souls. It’s one of the oldest arts in the world. (John Houseman at the end of his career reminded us of the joy of a good scare with his appearance at the beginning of John Carpenter’s The Fog, by far the best part of that movie.)
With The Hitch Hiker, you have Orson Welles narrating and the great Bernard Herrmann (North By Northwest, Psycho, Taxi Driver) providing the score.
It’s about a man who is driving across the country. He sees a man hitching for a ride at the side of the road. He doesn’t stop. A couple states later, he sees the same man. It seems like a coincidence, possibly even explainable at first. But then the hitch hiker appears again. And again. It begins to become eerie, then escalates to terrifying.
What happens next, I won’t ruin. Click that link to find out! A happy and safe Halloween to all…