The Scary Classic You’ve Never Heard

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?

October Recycling Project

When I worked in radio, I used to have file folders for each month of the year. I also had folders labeled with the major holidays and seasons. In those folders were jokes, topics, contests, and such that I would recycle every year. I went back and looked at some of my early blogs and for new readers, I thought I’d post links to them for you to revisit.

Do you have a “must see” Halloween movie? Here is a good list:

Halloween brings loads of treats! However, all kids know what candy needs to be pitched in the trash after going through their haul …

It is a wonder more kids weren’t hurt in the 70’s and 80’s because of the way costumes were made.

Spooky audio productions? Yeah, I wrote about some …

I love Autumn in Michigan, and shared some personal highlights from the October of 2020.

Rob Zombie just did a Munsters prequel (which sucked from what I heard). In the 60’s monsters and spooky families were a huge hit on TV.

When Covid was causing issues everywhere, we were still able to have a fun fall weekend…

I’m looking forward to the Fall colors and hopefully at least one bonfire before a snowfall…

Friday Photo Flashback

For this week’s edition of the Friday Photo Flashback, we go back to Spring Break of 1989. I had graduated high school, was working at my first radio job, and my high school band was heading to Florida to perform at Disney World. My brother was still in band at the time and my parents and I tagged along on the trip as chaperones.

My grandmother and aunt had moved to Florida. At some point on the trip, my grandmother met up with us. If my memory serves me correctly, my friend Steve also came on this trip, and we were hanging out together. I wish I had spent a little more time with my grandma on this trip, but you know how 19 year old kids are …

I love this picture of my mom and my grandma. They both would be diagnosed with breast cancer and their lives would be cut short by it. In this picture, they are both healthy. This is the way I will always remember my grandma. She always seemed to wear her hair that way. It was the late 80’s, so both her and mom have those big round lenses on their glasses. I can see the watch that she always wore, too.

My mom is wearing a T-Shirt with the Kiss-FM logo. That was my first radio job, and I am sure I was still working there when this was taken. What I wouldn’t give to have one of those shirts today! Blonde was not my mother’s natural hair color, but I always loved when she wore it that color. Her hair seems to be a bit short in this picture, too.

The more I look at this photo, the more I think that this was taken just before we all loaded up the busses to head back home, or maybe before my grandma was heading home. Mom is holding shopping bags, so we had probably all just come back from one last trek to buy souvenirs. It is hard to say.

I don’t think this was the same trip (mom’s hair looks longer), but it could be.

When I found out my grandma had cancer, I avoided seeing her. I regret this. A lot. It is one of those things that comes up a lot in my mind. If I could turn back the clock, I would. I didn’t want to see her sick. I remember someone had taken some pictures of her after she had gone through some chemotherapy or radiation and she was a shell of her former self.

Those pictures sort of assured me that I was doing the right thing by not seeing her. Well, at least I thought so. I know now it was not. I should have seen her. I should have called her. I should have held her hand and said I love you. I should have had the chance to say goodbye. In Sinatra’s “My Way,” he says, “Regrets. I’ve had a few…” This is one of my biggest regrets. The only good thing about my not seeing her sick is that when I think of her, she is just as she was in these photos.

I think of these two brave women every October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I miss them both very much.