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Breaking Walls

250 EpisodesProduced by James ScullyWebsite

Breaking Walls: The Podcast on the History of American Network Radio.


BW - EP84: The Simple Art of Macabre—Mystery, Suspense, and Horror from Radio’s Best (1931 - 1982)

In Breaking Walls Episode 84, it’s the Simple Art of Macabre, to your ears from the mouths of some of the best who ever produced radio’s stuff of nightmares.


• Why Do We Like To Be Scared?

• What pre-dated the radio horror program in the United States of America?

• The Witch’s Tale
• Cooper, Oboler, and Lights Out

• Orson Welles, Himan Brown, and Bill Spier

• Macabre Programming during World War II

• How Transcription Advanced the radio mystery program

• Escape, The Saint, and Vincent Price

• ABC and The Clock

• Quiet Please and Crime Classics

• The Decline of the American audio drama in the 1950s

• Attempts at horror revivals

• Where we are today

The WallBreakers:
Subscribe to Breaking Walls everywhere you get your podcasts.

To support the show:

Special thanks to our Sponsors: 

• Twelve Chimes, It’s Midnight

• The Fireside Mystery Theatre

• The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society

The reading material used in today’s episode was:

• The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio - by John Dunning
• The Witch's Tale: Stories of Gothic Horror from the Golden Age of Radio - by Alonzo Dean Cole
• The CBS Radio Mystery Theater Handbook by Martin Grams Jr’s and Gordon Payton
• Forecast: Is there a Sponsor in a House by Martin Grams Jr.
• The Museum of Broadcast Communications Encyclopedia of Radio - by Christopher H. Sterling

Today’s episode of Breaking Walls could not have been done without the interviews by Dick Bertel, Ed Corcoran, John Dunning, SPERDVAC, and Chuck Schaden.

• The Society To Preserve and Encourage Radio Drama, Variety and Comedy will be having their next convention this coming November 1st through 3rd at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at 3131 Bristol St. in Costa Mesa, CA. For more information, please go to

• Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran’s Golden Age of Radio programs can be found at

• John Dunning’s Interviews can be found through the Old-Time Radio Researcher’s Library at

• Chuck Schaden’s interviews can be found at his site,

Selected Music featured in today’s Episode was:
• Seance on a Wet Afternoon composed by John Barry and rerecorded by Nic Raine
* I’ve Got You Under My Skin - by Frank Sinatra

A Special Thank you to:
Ron Baron
Ryan Kramer
Christian Neuhaus
Aimee Pavy
Rebecca Shield

WallBreakers Links:
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Social Media - @TheWallBreakers
Online Store -

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