Friends, the Sun is starting to set here at the Pop Culture Retrorama Vault, allowing the leaves of the trees to glow a bright and cheerful tint of orange and red. As this is the Season for all manner of things spooky, I felt that we should enjoy some old time radio, in this case an episode of the iconic Suspense series. Our Retro Radio Memories offering this evening is an excellent adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Dunwich Horror.
“Yes, but do you think boards will hold it? Don’t you realize, man… it hasn’t been fed? It hasn’t had blood since the 18th of September!”
The Dunwich Horror is possibly one of H.P. Lovecraft’s more commonly known stories – in addition to being a tale that has been adapted multiple times in film as well as audio productions. Originally written in 1928, to Lovecraft’s delight it was purchased by Weird Tales, even though the author highly doubted that it’s subject matter would make it past Farnsworth Wright, the editor of the magazine at that time. It was printed in the April 1929 issue of Weird Tales – although the cover was devoted to Seabury Quinn’s The Devil’s Rosary – a very popular continuing series detailing the adventures of the supernatural detective, Jules de Grandin.
Adapted for radio by the esteemed William Spier, who was a powerhouse in both radio as well as television, garnering three Peabody Awards in addition to the Writers Guild of America award for his two-part teleplay for The Untouchables in ’62. The Dunwich Horror features Academy Award winner Ronald Colman (The Lost Horizon, A Double Life) as Dr. Henry Armitage of Miskatonic University – who is broadcasting from his laboratory near Dunwich, Massachusetts on Halloween night. Along with Armitage is Dr. Rice and as the episode opens we learn that for three days and nights, the dogs around Dunwich have been barking and howling uncontrollably. The good Doctors as it turns out, are preparing themselves to face down an almost mind-shattering horror – one that has originated at the Whateley farmhouse.
So turn down the lights if you are able and prepare to learn of The Dunwich Horror – courtesy of Suspense!