31 October 2011

Mother Father Son

What's on the other side of that door? It's a classic start to any horror story. Mother Father Son is a darkly comic tale starring two of Scotland's best loved actors, Ann Scott-Jones and Peter Kelly. This play won the Arches theatre award 2007 for its writer Hugo Plowden and director Rosie Kellagher. It's hands down one of the creepiest audio dramas I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. 

Goodnight, if you can.


Hallowe'en in a Suburb

30 October 2011

Lovecraft: Weird Tales

"Weird Tales: The Strange Life of H P Lovecraft (2006) examines the strange life and terrifying world of the man hailed as America's greatest horror writer since Poe. During his life Lovecraft's work was confined to lurid pulp magazines and he died in penury in 1937. Today, however, his writings are considered modern classics and published in prestigious editions. Among the writers considering his legacy are Neil Gaiman, S.T. Joshi, Kelly Link, Peter Straub and China Mieville.

Lovecraft: The Young Man of Providence

The Young Man of Providence. This dramatized documentary from 1981 delves deep into the authors tortured genius. Suitably eerie soundscapes accompany readings from various letters and classic stories from the Lovecraft canon. I found this recently on t'Internets and thought it was worth posting as a companion piece to the above post, which comes direct from the t_ape archives. The audio quality is not of the highest, but it is quite listenable and the programme itself is first rate.

"Cthulhu lies dreaming"

Lovecraft's The Tomb

The obsessive Jervas Dudley reveals how he came to be incarcerated in an asylum. H.P. Lovecraft's chilling tale is read by Ryan McCluskey.


28 October 2011

Late Night Story No.2

Tom Baker tells the twisted tale of Sredni Vashtar from that master of the short story format Hector Hugh Munro, aka Saki.

27 October 2011

Carnivorous Lunar Activities

An American Werewolf in London (1997) adapted for Big British Castle Radio Station No.1 by Dirk Maggs and what a fine job he did too.
"How does a werewolf get onto the Yorkshire Moors? Why do the citizens of a remote village allow two American backpackers to walk to their doom? What is it like to be undead? John Landis' 1981 movie remains an unforgettable cinema experience. In this expanded version some twenty minutes of new story has been added, leading up to the violent and emotional climax on the streets of London. Reprising their roles from the movie, Jenny Agutter, Brian Glover and John Woodvine are reunited in this audio movie.

 "Have you ever tried talking to a corpse? It's boring!"

Hellooo nurse!
dl link fixed!

No.27 - Staking A Vampire (3 Mallet Blows)

BBC Sound Effects No.27 - Even More Death and Horror. The son of the bride of a classic amongst sound effects records.


26 October 2011

The Strange Case Of Edgar Allan Poe

The Strange Case Of Edgar Allan Poe (1988). Detective Auguste Dupin (John Moffatt), one of Poe's (Kerry Shale) own creations, investigates the bizarre death of the writer. Not your usual by the numbers dramatic biog, Christopher Cook's play draws from Poe's own literary voice to present lurid vignettes from the author's life, linked by narration and analysis from Detective Dupin.

Portrait of Poe by Sirxlem.

25 October 2011

The Pit and the Pendulum

Three tales of mystery and imagination: The Pit and the Pendulum, The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar and The Cask of Amontillado. Each short story is expertly read by the great Bill Wallis. The music is by British jazz musician Colin Purbrook.

21 October 2011

Philip K. Dick

Two beautifully read creepy short stories with a common theme from the late, great Philip K. Dick

Of Withered Apples - As a beautiful woman picks its last withered apple, a dying ancient tree is determined to survive. Read by William Hootkins.

The Cookie Lady - Beware the plate of tasty treats. Read by Liza Ross.

20 October 2011

Creepiest. Doll. Ever.

Powered by Satan, no batteries required.

19 October 2011

"For no mere mortal can resist"

Back to the t_ape archives for spooky thrills from the old school with Vincent Price in The Night Of The Wolf, a horror story written specially for radio by Victor Pemberton and originally broadcast in 1984. Apparently the Saturday Night theatre feature was originally devised as a vehicle for James Stewart. After listening however, you'll find it hard to imagine anybody else in the role other than Price. Many more hours of Vincent Price radio are available here.


16 October 2011

No. 21 - Electronic Heartbeats

BBC Sound Effects No. 21 - More Death And Horror. The bride of a classic amongst sound effects records. I have fond memories of a school music lesson around this time of year, when our teacher played the whole record to us on a cassette, pausing the tape and introducing each cue in turn. Afterwards we drew pictures of our favourite bits. She was a really cool music teacher.


15 October 2011

DJ Format & The Simonsound - Paris DJs Mix

Another superb mix landed in my podcast feed today courtesy of Paris DJs, this time from DJ Format and Simon James of The Simonsound. Chock full of rare global psych, Moog breaks and funky electronics all mixed to perfection. Get it here and give your ears a treat.

Tracklisting :
01. The Simonsound - Intro
02. Klaus Weiss - Jumping Balls (Germany)
03. Triangle - Ponction Binaire(France)
04. Voyage - Outre Tombe(France)
05. Peter Thomas - Coordinates Meeting (Germany)
06. Kids With Guns Skit (Germany)
07. Unity - O Wa Nou Me Nou Ma (France)
08. Equipe 84 - Ladro (Spain)
09. The 31st Of February - A Nickel's Worth Of Benny's Help (USA)
10. Coley - Dirty Jo (UK)
11. Danish Bacon (Denmark)
12. A Bad Trip to the Docteur (France)
13. The Electric Piano Playground - Psychedelic Piano Playground (USA)
14. The Parasites Of The Western World - A Rare Case Of The Blues (USA)
15. Mind Blowing Skit (USA)
16. Krzysztof Klenczon - Nie Przejdziemy Do Historii (Poland)
17. Chrysalis - April Grove (USA)
18. Sam Gopal - Angry Faces (UK)
19. Linn County - Suspended (USA)
20. Phluph - Love Eyes (USA)
21. George & Beatovens - Kde Ticho Umira (Czech Republic)
22. Andre Popp - Piccolo Et Saxo A Music City (France)
23. Rebecca And The Sunny Brook Farmers - Better Dead Than Red (USA)
24. The Split Level - Looking At The Rose Through World Colored Glasses (USA)
25. The Happenings - Imagine (USA)
Total time : 58mn36s

A Warning

A Warning To The Furious. It should come as no surprise that tonight's contemporary tale of  unknown terror takes it's inspiration from M.R. James' famous ghost story A Warning To The Curious. Smartly written and performed - it is to be applauded when radio dramas record on location like this, it makes all the difference in the world - the whole thing builds to a suitably unnerving climax. 
"A feminist film-maker and her crew visit the Suffolk coast to make a documentary about ghost story writer M.R. James. They hope to discover how an outwardly respectable bachelor could produce such disturbing horrors.

A scene from A Warning To The Curious (BBC 1972)

14 October 2011

The Hex

The M.R. James story Casting The Runes has been adapted for radio, television and film quite a few times in the 100 years since its publication. The most well known, the film Night Of The Demon is widely regarded as a horror classic. The Hex a 1981 BBC production, like Night Of The Demon, is a loose adaptation of the original James tale, but remains faithful to it's spirit, not to mention a jolly good listen on a dark autumnal evening...
"Like one that on a lonesome road doth walk in fear and dread, and having once turned round walks on, and turns no more his head; because he knows a frightful fiend doth close behind him tread. 
Professor James Montague has recently published a book on witch trials and now he's suddenly an authority on the occult. Cranks queue up to interview him though the book is a work of social history. One rainy evening, while visiting his old friends Dr. John Rhodes and his wife, Laura, Montague tells them something that has been bothering him. Recently, he gave an interview on radio to what he was told would be an eminent authority in his own field. Instead, it was a five-star crackpot by the name of Dr. S. M. Gardini. 
Montague became so irritated by Gardini that he called him crazy during the broadcast. This infuriated Gardini so much that he threatened to curse him, but oddly enough, a few days after the recording Gardini came around to Montague's to apologise. Before he left, Gardini gave James a book - a book that James would later come to realise masked a strange and inexorable curse: he has been 'hexed'. 
That was a week ago. Since then, James has had trouble sleeping and having nightmares - the type of nightmares he hasn't had since he was a child. Told not to worry too much about it, Montague leaves to go home, though it's still pouring rain outside. But while walking home, James senses someone or something following him... 

Night Of The Demon aka Curse Of The Demon (US)
1957 d. Jacques Tourneur

8 October 2011

"The Innsmouth look"

"Thus I began my systematic though half-bewildered tour of Innsmouth's narrow, shadow-blighted ways." Now playing on BBC Radio 4 Extra: The Shadow Over Innsmouth by H.P. Lovecraft.

No.13 - Assorted Creepy Creaks

BBC Sound Effects Vol.13 - Death & Horror. A classic amongst sound effects records.


7 October 2011

"Here Beginneth Doctor Faustus"

In Search Of Faust:
"The story of Faust, who sold his immortal soul to the devil in exchange for ultimate knowledge, has been re-imagined in a thousand different ways by writers, painters, film-makers and composers. Poet and singer Twm Morys investigates why we have been fascinated by this unlikely hero for the last five centuries.

6 October 2011

Ghost Chase

The League Of Gentlemen's Ghost Chase:
"For the first time in over five years The League of Gentlemen comedy team reunite for a real life paranormal adventure spending the night in one of Britain's most haunted houses. Although this quartet of comedy writers and performers has been influenced by horror in book, stage and screen, they all remain sceptical concerning the existence of ghosts. By carrying out their own investigation they will either challenge or confirm their beliefs. Reece Shearsmith hosts the evening as he takes the team to Gloucestershire to visit The Ancient Ram Inn, a favourite location among ghost hunting groups.
The League of Gentlemen explore the reputedly haunted rooms of the house and take part in their very first ouija board session. Meeting a spirit medium, a psychic investigator and working with scientific equipment they examine the House's reputation and invite the spirits to appear - but would the spooks show up?

5 October 2011


Just stepping outside the month of horrific things for a moment to wax nostalgic with a new book celebrating the packaging surrounding items often to be found in my grandparent's pantry - Own Label by Jonny Trunk (FUEL). Fab.

Black Belt Against Black Magic

"Spectacular! The First Kung Fu Horror Soundtrack Album"

The Legend Of The 7 Golden Vampires (1974) We join the late great Peter Cushing as Prof. Lawrence Van helsing battling diabolical hopping vampires of the Orient. Help on the narration duties comes from  David De Keyser and Pik-Sen Lim. The tracks flow together so I ripped this as two whole sides for easier listening.


3 October 2011

Haunted House

Reece Shearsmith's Haunted House. The League Of Gentlemen member and resident of Psychoville hosts two energetic and witty discussions on horror, before an audience inside the reputedly haunted Sutton House in Hackney. He is joined by horror enthusiasts Mark Gatiss, Vic Reeves and Yvette Fielding.

Part 1 - An Appointment With Fear: Reece examines some classic scary moments from British radio and television and explores the ingredients for a classic horror story.

Part 2 - Films, Fangs and Frightening Fellas: Reece examines classic scary moments from the movies and looks back at some of the great horror actors.

2 October 2011

Vampires vs Zombies

Who will win? There's only one way to find out...
"The Vampire is dead, long live the Zombie. Natalie Haynes investigates our contemporary obsession with Vampires and Zombies from Buffy to the Walking Dead. She examines the various anxieties they express about food, addiction, sex and disease and talks to writers who've found themselves depicting these creatures in fiction. What happens when you put a vampire family in a semi in bradford? Do zombies know they are zombies? Why is an American High School the perfect setting for a Vampire slayer? The answer to all these and more as Natalie Haynes pits Vampires against Zombies.

The Gorbals Vampire

A fascinating tale of graveyards, urban panic, tabloid scapegoats and censorship.

"Glasgow's Southern Necropolis is an eerie place at the best of times but when two local policemen answered a call there in September 1954 they encountered a bizarre sight. Hundreds of local children, ranging in ages from 4 to 14, were crammed inside, roaming between the crypts. They were armed with sharpened sticks, knives stolen from home and stakes. They said they were hunting down "A Vampire with Iron Teeth" that had kidnapped and eaten two local boys.
The policemen dispersed the crowd, but they came back at sundown the next night and the next. The local press got hold of the story and it soon went national. There were no missing boys in Glasgow at that time, and press and politicians cast around for an explanation. They soon found one in the wave of American Horror comics with names like "Astounding Stories" and "Tales from the Crypt" which had recently flooded into the West of Scotland. Academics pointed out that none of the comics featured a vampire with iron teeth, though there was a monster with iron teeth in the bible (Daniel 7.7) and in a poem taught in local schools. Their voices were drowned out in a full-blown moral panic about the effect that terrifying comics were having on children. Soon the case of the "Gorbals Vampire" was international news.
The British Press raged against the "terrifying, corrupt," comics and after a heated debate in the House of Commons where the case of Gorbals Vampire was cited, Britain passed the Children and Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act 1955 which, for the first time, specifically banned the sale of magazines and comics portraying "incidents of a repulsive or horrible nature" to minors.
Writer Louise Welsh explores how the Gorbals Vampire helped bring the censorship of comic books onto the statute books.