Shortwave radio halloween

You may recall last year at Halloween, we invited you to listen to the original broadcast of  “A Witch’s tale” If you have not heard that one yet, add it to your list. It’s a fantastic piece of radio drama history!

This Halloween, celebrate the spooky…..  Turn your lights down low, light a candle and listen to this spooky 1938 radio production of the H. G. Wells’ classic sci-fi novel, The War of the Worlds.

The broadcast begins as a simulation of a regular evening radio broadcast featuring a weather report and music by “Ramon Raquello and his Orchestra” live from a downtown New York hotel ballroom, reminiscent of broadcasts at that time.

Suddenly, a couple of minutes int the broadcast, the music is interrupted by an emergency news flash as reports come in of strange explosions on Mars! 

The music performance continues before there is another interruption- A Princeton based astronomy professor Richard Pierson is questioned about these “gas explosions” on Mars, but dismisses them. The music continues until news hits of a strange meteorite landing in “Grovers Mill, New Jersey”

This particular broadcast is said to have caught many radio listeners off guard, those tuning between program breaks on other channels, stumbling across this “breaking news” style of storytelling used during the first part of the show were incredibly alarmed on all Hallows Eve that year! Partly because this was a tense period of time just prior to World War II when radio was the main source of media and information.

Widespread outrage was expressed in the media,  leading to an outcry against the broadcasters and calls for regulation by the FCC. 

The very next morning a news conference was called, at which 23 year old Welles apologised.

The broadcast and subsequent publicity brought the 23-year-old Welles to the attention of the general public and gave him the reputation of an innovative storyteller and “trickster”

halloween radio

Do you remember the story of the War of The Worlds? We recommend listening to the broadcast, but also imagine it is 1938, you are tuning channels and you come across this broadcast! You couldn’t have pulled off this trick with the internet or TV, the fact that it was over airwaves made it all the more real. 

 Click here to listen to the original broadcast  HERE  

Courtesy of Internet archives.

Another interesting pastime that we have noted on Youtube in recent years, is people searching for pirate radio stations on Halloween, a time popular for receiving these signals, which kind of adds to the creepiness of some of these pirate stations. 

If you are in a neighbourhood that has many kids, be warned, Halloween is gaining popularity these days. You may just get some mini ghosts and ghouls at your door looking for lollies! 

Little mischief minded kiddos are ready to play a trick if they receive no treat. If you do want to participate in Halloween and you have kids in the neighbourhood, be sure to add some orange streamers or an orange balloon to the front of your house and have your treats on hand.


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