Now that it is October, many bloggers (and folks on social media) are posting their favorite scary books or favorite scary movies as a tie in to Halloween. I thought I would offer up something better.
Think about books versus movies for just a second. To me, the book is always going to be scarier than the movie. The reason for this is that the book requires you to use your imagination. You and I can read the same description of a monster or alien an each have a very different picture of them in our minds. Now, with that in mind, I offer you up one of the greatest and scariest things I have ever heard …
Old time radio was full of great shows with wonderful stories. Those shows included The Mysterious Traveler, Lights Out, Inner Sanctum, and Suspense. On December 5, 1946 Suspense aired an episode that is consistently referred to as one of the most terrifying programs broadcast during the “golden age” of radio. The program was entitled “The House in Cypress Canyon.”
The episode was written by Robert L. Richards and produced by William Spear. Wikipedia offers the entire story, but for this blog I will only offer up a tease as to not give it away. I will also present a link so that you can listen to the show in its entirety.
From Wikipedia: The plot is presented as a story within a story framed by a meeting between detective Sam (played by Howard Duff) and a friend who has discovered the manuscript regarding the mysterious house. After a brief introduction, the narrative shifts to the story presented in the manuscript.
The story begins a few days before Christmas. James (Robert Taylor) and Ellen (Cathy Lewis), married seven years and having recently relocated to California for the husband’s engineering job, move into a hastily finished rental house in a development that was started before the war. Dusty furniture and creaky hinges seem to be the only problems with the place at first glance. But the very night they move in, the two hear inhuman cries in the night, and find blood oozing out from under a closet door they can’t open.
My dad introduced us to old radio shows. He would buy them on cassette or rent them from the public library. Before they started airing them on a local radio station at night, we’d grab our cassette layer and listen to them. I remember my dad, my brother and I sitting on the floor with pillows and blankets when we first heard The House in Cypress Canyon. Thankfully, we listened to it one afternoon during a weekend. Of course, the show played over and over in my mind that night at bedtime! It creeped me out!
To this day, it remains the ONE radio show that freaked me out and still does. Set aside a half hour. Grab your headphones, turn down the lights, and enjoy the episode that only aired once, but was enough to rank as one of the scariest shows to ever air on radio.
Here is The House in Cypress Canyon:
Let me know what you thought of the show?