Thursday, October 30, 2008

War of the Worlds 70th Anniversary

Moment of Horror #3
Today marks the 70th anniversary of what was unquestionably the most successful Halloween prank of all times. Originally aired October 30, 1938, the Mercury Theatre On the Air with Orson Wells adaptation of H.G. Wells' novel War of the Worlds (radio script by Howard Koch) presented the story in a unique and realistic contemporary news report format which sent thousands of people into panic. Naturally by the time they get half way through the story, the Earth is in shambles and the play becomes a first person narrative, but by this time much of the audience had already left their radios and were running about the streets. Well we know it caused a great degree of fear and public concern at any rate, but there are questions about the accuracy of the news paper articles that claimed wide spread panic. Broadcast nationally on the CBS radio network it potentially reached millions of listeners drawing the greatest reactions in New York and New Jersey.

So please won't you share with me one of my personal and favourite Halloween traditions in listening to The War of the Worlds

G. Macabre

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