Sunday, July 29, 2012
Macabre Mansion: A Place to Free the Imagination
Interestingly enough, a generous amount of dark fantasy, horror and sci-fi apparently made its way onto the airwaves during both radio's golden age and later attempts to revitalize that time period. You can imagine my excitement then when, two or three years ago, a friend made me aware of a website called Macabre Mansion. It's a place from which many of the darker radio programs of times past are streamed 24/7 over the net. It's a place that once again allows our imaginations to run wild.
In the mansion's archives lies an impressive selection of original horror programming. Some productions, such as those broadcast over the CBS Mystery Theater, a program hosted by E.G. Marshall, were fairly popular. Others however, have fallen much deeper into obscurity. Included among these are a program called The Weird Circle, which aired from 1943 to 1945 and a show heralding from South Africa called The Creaking Door. It's believed that the latter hit the airwaves some time around 1950. Other horror and sci-fi productions streamed from the mansion include The Inner Sanctum, The Haunting Hour and Lights Out, a program which focused on the supernatural.
The folks at Macabre Mansion have also done a couple of their own productions, which include Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher and Charles Dickson's A Christmas Carol. Both are available for download or can be purchased on CD. According to the website, work has started on a third production.
It goes without saying though, that most of the programming heard at the mansion is quite old. The vernacular and style of delivery are somewhat dated. Still, the good folks behind this project present the listener with an opportunity to let his dark imagination run free at any time of the day or night. I recommend nighttime listening for obvious reasons.
As I look at what's currently playing, I see that it's an episode of Dark Fantasy entitled, The Thing From the Sea. It might be a good time to turn off the lights, fire up a candle or two and listen in.
Here's another link to the Macabre Mansion website.
Photo is from the mansion website.