Your Top 10 Radio Horror Shows
What were your favorite episodes of all time?
E-mail me your list (subject heading: OTR top 10)
Please follow these easy guidelines when listing your favorite horror or sci-fi episodes:
1. Please stick to horror or science fiction related radio shows, since that's our theme.
2. You don't have to list ten shows, it can be less. But try not to go over ten.
3. Include the series that the episode was featured on if you know it. They can be recent productions as well.
4. Give a brief discription of what the show was about and/or what you liked about it. (Especially if you can't remember the titles of the episode or series. We might be able to figure out the title with proper plot details.)
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Remember, you can also vote for your favorite five radio hosts on another page.
1) Quiet Please - The Thing On the Fourble Board. This makes everyone's list! One of the most original and truly terrifying stories I've encountered in any medium. Manages to cast everything from the sounds of kittens and small children to marriage in a sinister light.
2) Quiet Please - And Jeannie Dreams of Me. I first heard it around age 12 or so, and every time I've heard it since I notice something new. Cooper rises to the level of true literature here. The word "haunting" definitely applies. Also one of the most brilliantly understated closing lines in all OTR.
3) Suspense - Zero Hour. No one captures what mysterious, unknowable and potentially menacing creatures children are quite like Ray Bradbury. He should design a few "Precious Moments" figurines! This one has that great early Cold War, "it's happening right under our noses," paranoia to it also
4) Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Lonely Sleep. When I was nine or so I was deliciously creeped out by seeing a dumpster full of disassembled manikin parts in the basement of a neighborhood yarn shop. This might help explain my love for this tale of a murderous window dresser and his cadaverous mattress display. It gives chills despite the ridiculous plot improbabilities so common to Himan Brown's noirish nocturnes.
5) Suspense - The Hitchiker. Wonderful tale of the eerie in commonplace settings. Great ending.
6) Theater 10:30 - The Wendygo. Great tale with a truly original and tantalizingly nebulous creature.
7) Suspense - August Heat. Ronald Coleman's wonderful. The story is magical. With the Khalil Gibran passage in it, it's one of the few OTR tales that can truly be called spiritual.
8) Light's Out - The Hungry One. The voice of the hungry head is wonderfully creepy.
9) Suspense - The Whole Town Sleeping. Another Bradbury gem. William Conrad intoning, "I'm the lonely one, I'm the lonely one, I kill people" is memorable. Great ending too.
10)Lights Out - The Dark. Funny how concepts that are rather laughable can be horrifying with the light off. Especially in the hands of Arch Oboler!
I could easily list at least 10 more. Thanks, this was fun.
1) Quiet Please - The Thing on the Fourble Board. This one’s on everybody’s list! One of the most original and terrifying tales I’ve ever encountered in any medium. It manages to make everything from the sounds of kittens and children to marriage seem disturbing.
2) CBS Radio Workshop – Nightmare. A masterpiece by Elliott Lewis. It evokes the eeriness and absurdity of the dream state better than anything I’ve found.
3) Suspense – Zero Hour. No one captures how mysterious and potentially menacing children can be quite like Ray Bradbury. He should design some Precious Moments figurines! This one has that great early Cold War, “It’s happening right under our noses”, paranoid quality to it also.
4) Quiet Please - And Jeannie Dreams of Me. I first heard this when I was about twelve, and I’ve noticed new things with every listening since. Cooper reaches the level of true literature here. The word “haunting” definitely applies. It has one of the most brilliantly understated closing lines in all OTR also.
5) Suspense – August Heat. A wonderful supernatural tale, with a great performance by Ronald Coleman. With the Khalil Gibran passage, it’s one of the only OTR dramas that can truly be called spiritual.
6) Theater 10:30 – The Wendygo. A great eerie story with an intriguingly nebulous creature.
7) Lights Out – The Hungry One. A terrific, unsettling tale. The voice of the hungry head is nice and scary.
8) Suspense – The Whole Town Sleeping. Another Bradbury gem. A fine performance by Jeanette Nolan, and William Conrad intoning, “I’m the lonely one, I’m the lonely one, I kill people,” adds menace. A daringly disturbing ending too.
9) Inner Sanctum Mysteries – The Lonely Sleep. When I was about twelve, I was deliciously creeped out by seeing a dumpster full of disassembled manikin parts in the basement of a neighborhood yarn shop. Maybe that explains my fondness for this tale of a homicidal window dresser and his cadaverous mattress display. This one chills, despite the ridiculous plot improbabilities and questionable character motivations so common to Himan Brown’s noirish little nocturnes.
10) Escape - The Abominable Snowman. Just a great, gripping, surprisingly believable action adventure tale with an exotic location. I guess I also wanted to include an entry from this quality series.
1) Lights Out, The Dream. Boris Karloff plays a man who never dreams, until a woman appears to him at night, instructing him to kill. The woman's laugh/scream will chill your spine!
2) Lights Out, Death Robbery. Again, Karloff is in this one. He brings his dead wife back to life, minus one important thing.
3) Lights Out, Oxychloride X. A student creates a solvent that keeps eating through anything, including the Earth!
4) Lights Out, The Day Sinatra Got Fat. Arch Oboler excels in putting human beings in odd situations, and seeing how they handle it.
5) QuietPlease, The Thing on the Fourble Board. Weird, weird episode with a great ending!
6) Suspense, Three Skeleton Key. Great performance by Vincent Price.
7) Crime Does Not Pay, Gasoline Cocktail. Bela Lugosi stars as a pyromaniac. Great, great performance.
Guilty Pleasures (non-horror but just as fun)
Duffy's Tavern, Archie Has His Tonsils Out. One of the funniest shows I've ever heard. Archie thinks he will die from having his tonsils out. Actor's Club. Vincent Price gives a comedic performance that will make your ribs hurt!! Archie Meets Jesus. One of the most poignant radio shows I have ever heard. I never tire of hearing this one.
1. "Three Skeleton Key" from Escape. This writing is wonderful, the acting great, and the situation (a group of men trapped in a lightout surrounded by hungry rats) is pretty gripping! The Suspense version with Vincent Price is good too, but I like the Escape version better because the actor is more dynamic than Price. Price seems to shout most his lines, the other actor whispers at times and goes through a full range of emotion. Plus, he's not famous and doesn't carry all the baggage that Price does in the role.
2. "Thing On The Fourble Board" from Quite Please. Ernest Chappel is great in this story of a man driven somewhat insane by an invisible creature from the depths of the Earth.
3. "House On Cypress Canyon" from Suspense. It's not only a haunted house story, it's also a werewolf story all rolled into one. Plus it has the Sam Spade cameo, which is just icing on the cake!
4. "Mars Is Heaven" on Dimension X. A wonderful story about the first trip to Mars where they discover all their dead loved ones live in peace. Or do they? This story appeared on other series as well, including Escape, but the Dimension X version remains my favorite.
5. "The Fox In The Forest" from Bradbury 13. A classic Ray Bradbury story of time travel and cat and mouse pursuit. This may have appeared on earlier OTR shows, but the modern version is really superb.
7. "Flesh Peddler" from Suspense. It's a twisted version from Dead Of Night, but the atmosphere is eerier and Deforest Kelly is great as the lead.
8. "Pollak and the Porrah Man" from Escape. Based on the classic short story by Kipling (or was it Wells?) about an Englishman who kills a witch doctor and has to deal with... the curse. Delightful.
9. "Lost And Found" from Mystery Playhouse. Sound designer and lead Tommy Smeltzer deserves the lion's share of the credit for this triumph. Recorded circa 1988, its a creepy tale about a hustler who steals a suitcase from the airport and discovers some terrifying contents. He tries to get rid of it, but its not as easy as he thought...
10. "The Knock" from X Minus One. This is a science fiction about the last man and woman on Earth... kept alive as specimens in a zoo by alien conquerors. But despite the serious set up, there's also a lot of comedy.
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