Monday, October 27, 2008 Halloween Countdown: Ghost Stories

Growing up in the Seventies, my brother and I loved listening to the CBS Radio Mystery Theater. Normally, we were only allowed to do so during the summer months, as the program began at 10:30 PM, well after our bedtime during the school year. And while we rarely managed to stay awake all the way to the end of the program, we still fondly remember that distinctive opening - the creaking door, the ominous musical sting, and the warm and oh-so-slightly sinister greeting from host E.G. Marshall. CBSRMT is probably the single greatest cause of my lifelong love of audio drama and OTR.

One story in particular scared the bejeezus out of my brother and, along with Spirits of the Dead, helped him foster a phobia of creepy little blond girls. I present for your Halloween pleasure that tale, "A Ring of Roses".

CBSRMT Fan Site and Internet Radio Station
Another Fan Site
The CBS Radio Mystery Theater at the Internet Archive


Montague Rhodes James is widely regarded as the greatest author of ghost stories Great Britain has yet produced. His prose inspired writers such as H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King, and adaptations of his stories have become something of a Christmas tradition for the BBC. I'm offering several Jamesian treats as part of today's Halloween Countdown.

First up is a collection of tales from James' Ghost Stories of an Antiquary in pdf format. Included in this selection is "Casting the Runes", the story that was the basis for Jacques Tourneur's classic film, Night of the Demon. Right-click on the link to save the file to your hard drive.

M.R. James at Christmas is five-part series broadcast last year on BBC Radio 4. These are short (under fifteen minute) adaptations of some of James' best-loved stories. Click on the link to be taken to the RapidShare download page for the file.

Finally, British television personality and author Muriel Gray profiles James as part of BBC Radio's Great Lives, a biography series in which a noted figure discusses someone he or she feels has lead a remarkable life. The episode on James traces his career as a Cambridge scholar as well as an author, and attempts to offer some insights into the man behind the spooks. Again, the link will take you to the Rapidshare download for the program.

Look out, Tony!

Thanks to Mp3 Story Daily and Munseys for help providing today's treats.