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Old Time Radio> Mystery-Horror
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 Weird Circle

2 MP3 CDs - 78 episodes

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Weird Circle (DISK 1 ONLY)
Weird Circle (DISK 2 ONLY)

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All text on OTRCAT.com are ©2015 OTRCAT INC - All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

Robert Louis Stevenson
Mystery / Horror (1943 - 47)

In this cave by the restless sea, we are met to call from out of past, stories strange and weird.
Bell keeper, toll the bell, so that all may know that we are gathered again in the Weird Circle!

Along with Mercury Theatre on the Air, Columbia Workshop, Great Scenes From Great Plays, Screen Guild Theater, and Lux Radio Theater, The Weird Circle brought to life the works of great authors in the history of letters in the English language.

Weird CircleThe program adapted several Edgar Allan Poe works, as well as great treasures from Robert Louis Stevenson,  Guy de Maupassant, Hans Christian Anderson, and Charles Dickens.  However, The Weird Circle had a particular niche, the adaptation of horror stories or other chilling tales of the paranormal or supernatural.

For this reason, it is more-commonly linked to programs in this genre, such as Suspense, Inner Sanctum, and Lights Out.

The Weird Circle took the air in July of 1943, where it would live (by telling stories of the dead and un-dead) until 1945, airing 78 episodes.

Weird Circle AdIts maiden episode adapted Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher" and began with the ominous words, "Can the dead return to life?  Listen to The Weird Circle."

Often, programs begin with sounds of howling winds or creepy moans.  The announcer's voice was often augmented with plenty of reverb. The stories get started right away, without mention of sponsorship or any superfluous buildup.  The actors just get into it.

While we don't have as complete a list of the actors that contributed to this cult classic, they do include Lawson Zerbe, Gladys Thornton, Walter Vaughn, and Arnold Moss.

What sets The Weird Circle apart from other programs airing horror and ghost stories, or similar sci-fi fare, is that it focused so heavily on the works of classic, highly-revered authors.  Ghost stories were not just the province of the modern-day, even if many young radio writers were interested in them.  The producers did a great job of culling the repertoires of authors one would not necessarily expect, finding creepy tales that together would make a coherent and consistent line of programming.

The stories sometimes involve a character's life veering onto an uncharted path when he or she is visited by an apparition or monster of some sort.  Sometimes, the everyday is affected by the supernatural, and many of the episodes involve murder.  For some examples, in "The Knightsbridge Mystery," a person who seems to be in two places at once commits (or doesn't commit) double murder; in "The House and the Brain," a family is haunted by an ancient spirit; in "The Strange Judgment," an evil son terrorizes his parents; in "The Shadow," a man is threatened by his shadow, which has come to life; in "The Doll," a doll comes to life and has a murderous appetite for jewels.  

Many of the stories are intended to relate to people's fears of the unknown, of a past coming back to haunt one, of misdeeds being repaid in unexpected ways.  They are about dark parts of our psyches, brought to life in the form of ghosts, and brought-to-life objects, and other spectres.  These themes would be explored throughout the twentieth century, and still are today.

This is a collection not to be missed, since the show is not as well-known or well-remembered as many of its counterparts.  It is of high-quality, though, in no small part due to the greatness of the works on which it bases the episodes.

See also Dark Fantasy, Escape, Inner Sanctum, Lights Out, Mysterious Traveler, Mystery in the Air, Suspense, and The Whistler.

Edgar Allen Poe

All text on OTRCAT.com are ©2015 OTRCAT INC - All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

Volume 1: 39 shows - total playtime 16 hours 58 minutes

Weird Circle 01 Fall Of House Of Usher
Weird Circle 02 House And Brain
Weird Circle 03 Vendetta
Weird Circle 04 Narrative Of Arthur Gordon Pym
Weird Circle 05 Declared Insane
Weird Circle 06 Terribly Strange Bed
Weird Circle 07 What Was It
Weird Circle 08 Knights Bridge Mystery
Weird Circle 09 Horla
Weird Circle 10 William Wilson
Weird Circle 11 Passion In Desert
Weird Circle 12 Mateo Falcone
Weird Circle 13 Man Without Country
Weird Circle 14 Dr Manettes Manuscript
Weird Circle 15 Great Plague
Weird Circle 16 Expectations Of An Heir
Weird Circle 17 Hand
Weird Circle 18 Jane Eyre
Weird Circle 19 Murders In Rue Morgue
Weird Circle 20 Lifted Veil
Weird Circle 21 415 Express
Weird Circle 22 Terrible Night
Weird Circle 23 Telltale Heart
Weird Circle 24 Niche Of Doom
Weird Circle 25 Heart Of Ethan Brand
Weird Circle 26 Frankenstein
Weird Circle 27 Feast Of Redgauntlet
Weird Circle 28 Murder Of Little Pig
Weird Circle 29 Spectre Of Tappington
Weird Circle 30 Strange Judgment
Weird Circle 31 Wuthering Heights
Weird Circle 32 Curse Of Mantle
Weird Circle 33the Cask Of Amontillado
Weird Circle 34 Rope Of Hair
Weird Circle 35 Falkland
Weird Circle 36 Trial For Murder
Weird Circle 37 Werewolf
Weird Circle 38 Old Nurses Story
Weird Circle 39 Middle Toe Of Right Foot

Volume 2: 39 shows - total playtime 16 hours 38 minutes

Weird Circle 40 Dream Woman
Weird Circle 41 Phantom Picture
Weird Circle 42 Ghost Touch
Weird Circle 43 Bell Tower
Weird Circle 44 Evil Eye
Weird Circle 45 Mark Of Plague
Weird Circle 46 Queer Client
Weird Circle 47 Burial Of Roger Malvin
Weird Circle 48 Love Potion
Weird Circle 49 Mad Monkton
Weird Circle 50 Returned
Weird Circle 51 Executioner
Weird Circle 52 Rappaccinis Daughter
Weird Circle 53 Wooden Ghost
Weird Circle 54 Last Days Of Condemned Man
Weird Circle 55 Warning
Weird Circle 56 Doll
Weird Circle 57 Diamond Lens
Weird Circle 58 History Of Dr John Faust
Weird Circle 59 Duel Without Honor
Weird Circle 60 Spectre Bride
Weird Circle 61 Tapestry Horse
Weird Circle 62 River Man
Weird Circle 63 Ancient Mariner
Weird Circle 64 The Oblong Box
Weird Circle 65 Mysterious Bride
Weird Circle 66 Thing In Tunnel
Weird Circle 67 Moonstone
Weird Circle 68 Pistol Shot
Weird Circle 69 Possessive Dead
Weird Circle 70 Goblet
Weird Circle 71 Case Of Monsieur Valdemar
Weird Circle 72 Shadow
Weird Circle 73 Bride Of Death
Weird Circle 74 Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde
Weird Circle 75 Red Hand
Weird Circle 76 Haunted Hotel
Weird Circle 77 Markheim
Weird Circle 78 Black Parchment



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