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Radio Horror Revival: Larry Fessenden's Tales From Beyond the Pale. In retrospect, the most remarkable thing about Orson Welles’ radio broadcast of War of the Worlds in 1938 wasn’t the mass hysteria and panic it caused, but the fact that anyone cared about a radio drama in the first place.

Radio Horror Revival: Larry Fessenden's Tales From Beyond the Pale

These days, radio drama is as dead as disco, kept on life support mostly by the BBC. But it shouldn’t be this way. Sound has a way of slithering into our ears and burrowing deep down into the folds and wrinkles of our brains in ways that sight does not. Seeing is believing, the saying goes, but hearing is far less certain. Sight is public, social, and definite. Radio drama was the medium of the masses in the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s, but TV and movies rendered radio drama pretty much dead by 1960, and by the ’90s radio itself wasn’t feeling too good. Headphones short-circuit your mind by destroying your sense of sound localization. Going retro has its charms, but a handful of these episodes push the state of the art to the next level.


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