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The Haunting Hour

"Mystery at its Best" solves psychological mysteries, "whodunit" thrillers and crime crusades with a cast of network stars. Update: additional 10 episodes

36 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 15 hours, 9 min)
available in the following formats:

1 MP3 CD
or
18 Audio CDs


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"Uptown Express"



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About this Old Time Radio Show

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2018 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

Listen to Radio's Newest Chiller Thriller 'The Haunting Hour' every thursday night at 9.30pm KECA sponsored by your neighborhood THIFTY DRUG STORE
Mystery-horror anthology (1944 -46)

"No... No... stay where you are. Do not break the stillness of this moment.
For this is a time of mystery. A time when imagination is free, and
moves forward swiftly, silently.... This is -- The Haunting Hour!"

Real Ghost

This old time radio show was billed as "Mystery at its Best" solves psychological mysterie, "whodunit" thrillers and crime crusades with a cast of network stars.

The Haunting Hour is a very mysterious show. First, let's note that the Haunting Half-Hour would actually be correct, but an odd title for the show. So Haunting Hour it was.

The second mystery is that, like so many of the great radio talents who labored in the background, unseen and unheralded, this show made for transcription has receded into the ethers of old time radio without a history. That is, the Magister Ludi of Old Time Radio himself, John Dunning, succinctly states in "On the Air, The Encyclopedia of Old Time Radio,""There were no credits, so casts and production crews are unknown."

Scream

Vanished without a trace? Were they really there, making real radio? The answer is yes, and the following set of shows proves it. Perhaps you, the kind listeners, might give us a clue to the talents involved. Or were we all just imagining it? It sounds like a plot for another Haunting Hour.

The shows are classic chills from the old school, with creepy organ, overwrought women and over the top men. Perhaps not the highest of melodrama, but obsessively workmanlike. After all, they might have known they were a skeleton staff toiling relentlessly without a ghost of a chance of fame. Thanks to transcription, these unknowns are still with us.

The great comedy varieties where huge money-makers for the networks during the Golden Age of Radio. Music programs of all sorts were a natural source of programming. Kids would hurry to finish their homework, so they would not miss their favorite after-school children's shows, taking over the radio from Mom who spent most of the afternoon crying over her Soaps while doing her housework. Escapist adventure dramas and hard-boiled detectives helped Dad to unwind after a hard day at work, while educational and news programming gave the commercial networks the appearance of serving the public interest.

This resulted in a huge variety of programming, and because it was commercial, in general, it was very well done. However, what radio did best, perhaps better than any other medium including cinema, was Horror. All forms of drama depend on the "willing suspension of disbelief" to a greater or lesser extent. Radio facilitates this suspension even better than cinema and the images formed in the listener's mind have an even greater chance to expand and intensify, especially when said listener is in a dark bedroom with the sheets pulled tightly over their head!

One of the better-produced horror/thriller programs was NBC's The Haunting Hour. Never mind that The Haunting Hour was really just a "Haunting 30-minutes", the show had some of the highest production values possible during the mid- to late-Forties. Usually, this level of quality would only be possible with a big-budget sponsor, but The Haunting Hour was produced for the speculative network syndication market.

The business model for most programs in the Golden Age was for a single sponsor to be responsible for a show. The network would provide more or less production assistance, but essentially what they sold to the sponsor was air time. The networks mandated live broadcasts, not so much because live is better, in fact, live broadcast presents all sorts of predictable but usually unavoidable problems. The producers of Amos 'n' Andy tried to deal with these problems with a pre-recording scheme as early as the Twenties, but recording and replay technology were so unreliable during the early years of OTR that the problems of live broadcasting were more than worth dealing with.

Seeing the success ZIV Syndications had with The Weird Circle from 1943, NBC directed their Radio Recording Division to come up with something similar. The NBCRRD began as an in-house network service to record live network programming for internal use. When the network began to realize that their local affiliates had a need for content beyond the premium network fare, the Division began producing short programs on disc which affiliates could sell to local and regional sponsors. By 1945, the Division touted itself as "America's No. 1 source of recorded programs."

Like CBS Radio Mystery Theater would during the Seventies, The Haunting Hour did not limit itself to a narrow definition of horror and explored a wide range of themes. Since they were part of the network, the producers had no trouble hiring the most talented Radio Row players to act on the program. One casualty of syndication, however, was acting credits. The script of a live network program had the announcer reading the cast and production credits near the end of the broadcast, but the syndicated discs would be shipped with production notes for the local announcer to read along with local sponsor messages. Since the sponsor messages were paying the bills, cast credit was often ignored.

Veteran Suspense announcer Berry Kroeger was tapped with announcing duties for most of the episodes. Bret Morrison also appeared in multiple episodes. Rosa Rio's organ playing talents helped to set the mood. According to Variety Magazine, in 1947 there were 99 stations carrying The Haunting Hour. At $150 (reduced to $100) per episode in larger markets, it was a highly profitable show for NBC.

See also the some of the classics of thrills and horror: Suspense, Inner Sanctum, Lights Out, Mysterious Traveler, The Whistler, Witch's Tale, Escape and I Love a Mystery. Also recommended are the Dark Fantasy, Mystery in the Air, Hall of Fantasy, Unexpected, Weird Circle, Strange Dr. Weird, and the many detectives and operatives whose lives are littered with clues and corpses.

"From shadows and stillness, mystery weaves a spell of
strangest fascination, charging the mind with doubts and fears.
For mystery is a strange companion, a living memory in The Haunting Hour."

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2018 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

These classic recordings are available in the following formats:
  • MP3 CDs are delivered by mail. These archival quality MP3 CDs are playable in your computer and many MP3 player devices.



    36 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $5.00
    total playtime 15 hours, 9 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      36 shows - total playtime 15 hours 9 minutes
      1. Haunting Hour 450000 Sixth Button.mp3
      2. Haunting Hour 450324 01 Murder Wears A Strange Mask.mp3
      3. Haunting Hour 450331 02 Bird Of Death.mp3
      4. Haunting Hour 450407 03 Old Old Man.mp3
      5. Haunting Hour 450414 04 Ptolomeys Grave.mp3
      6. Haunting Hour 450421 05 A Corpse There Was.mp3
      7. Haunting Hour 450428 06 If Shoe Fits.mp3
      8. Haunting Hour 450505 07 Breakdown.mp3
      9. Haunting Hour 450512 08 Case Lonesome Corpse.mp3
      10. Haunting Hour 450519 09 Hands Of Mr Smith.mp3
      11. Haunting Hour 450527 10 Homicide House.mp3
      12. Haunting Hour 450603 11 Date In Dark.mp3
      13. Haunting Hour 450610 12 Thought.mp3
      14. Haunting Hour 450617 13 Uptown Express.mp3
      15. Haunting Hour 450728 14 Unidentified Body.mp3
      16. Haunting Hour 450803 15 Second Chance.mp3
      17. Haunting Hour 450810 16 Revenge.mp3
      18. Haunting Hour 450817 17 People In House.mp3
      19. Haunting Hour 450824 18 Occupation Murder.mp3
      20. Haunting Hour 450901 19 No Escape.mp3
      21. Haunting Hour 450908 20 Death By Request.mp3
      22. Haunting Hour 450915 21 Nocturne.mp3
      23. Haunting Hour 450922 22 Skyscraper Mystery.mp3
      24. Haunting Hour 450929 23 Southern Star.mp3
      25. Haunting Hour 451006 24 Murder Is My Business.mp3
      26. Haunting Hour 451013 25 Cat Man.mp3
      27. Haunting Hour 451020 26 Devils Deep.mp3
      28. Haunting Hour 460110 37 Tale Of Darkness.mp3
      29. Haunting Hour 460202 41 Destination Unknown.mp3
      30. Haunting Hour 460209 42 Two Mr. Brandts.mp3
      31. Haunting Hour 490523 39 Assignment Death.mp3
      32. Haunting Hour Keeping His Promise.mp3
      33. Haunting Hour Music Piece.mp3
      34. Haunting Hour Northern Star.mp3
      35. Haunting Hour Out Of Night.mp3
      36. Haunting Hour Tapping On Window.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    36 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $5.00
    total playtime 15 hours, 9 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      36 shows - total playtime 15 hours 9 minutes
      1. Haunting Hour 450000 Sixth Button.mp3
      2. Haunting Hour 450324 01 Murder Wears A Strange Mask.mp3
      3. Haunting Hour 450331 02 Bird Of Death.mp3
      4. Haunting Hour 450407 03 Old Old Man.mp3
      5. Haunting Hour 450414 04 Ptolomeys Grave.mp3
      6. Haunting Hour 450421 05 A Corpse There Was.mp3
      7. Haunting Hour 450428 06 If Shoe Fits.mp3
      8. Haunting Hour 450505 07 Breakdown.mp3
      9. Haunting Hour 450512 08 Case Lonesome Corpse.mp3
      10. Haunting Hour 450519 09 Hands Of Mr Smith.mp3
      11. Haunting Hour 450527 10 Homicide House.mp3
      12. Haunting Hour 450603 11 Date In Dark.mp3
      13. Haunting Hour 450610 12 Thought.mp3
      14. Haunting Hour 450617 13 Uptown Express.mp3
      15. Haunting Hour 450728 14 Unidentified Body.mp3
      16. Haunting Hour 450803 15 Second Chance.mp3
      17. Haunting Hour 450810 16 Revenge.mp3
      18. Haunting Hour 450817 17 People In House.mp3
      19. Haunting Hour 450824 18 Occupation Murder.mp3
      20. Haunting Hour 450901 19 No Escape.mp3
      21. Haunting Hour 450908 20 Death By Request.mp3
      22. Haunting Hour 450915 21 Nocturne.mp3
      23. Haunting Hour 450922 22 Skyscraper Mystery.mp3
      24. Haunting Hour 450929 23 Southern Star.mp3
      25. Haunting Hour 451006 24 Murder Is My Business.mp3
      26. Haunting Hour 451013 25 Cat Man.mp3
      27. Haunting Hour 451020 26 Devils Deep.mp3
      28. Haunting Hour 460110 37 Tale Of Darkness.mp3
      29. Haunting Hour 460202 41 Destination Unknown.mp3
      30. Haunting Hour 460209 42 Two Mr. Brandts.mp3
      31. Haunting Hour 490523 39 Assignment Death.mp3
      32. Haunting Hour Keeping His Promise.mp3
      33. Haunting Hour Music Piece.mp3
      34. Haunting Hour Northern Star.mp3
      35. Haunting Hour Out Of Night.mp3
      36. Haunting Hour Tapping On Window.mp3
  • Standard Audio CDs are delivered by mail on archival quality media with up to 60 minutes on each CD and play in all CD players



    36 recordings on 18 Audio CDs
    total playtime 15 hours, 9 min

    Haunting Hour Disc A001

    1. Haunting Hour Keeping His Promise
    2. Haunting Hour Music Piece

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Haunting Hour Disc A002

    1. Haunting Hour Northern Star
    2. Haunting Hour Out Of Night

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Haunting Hour Disc A003

    1. Haunting Hour Tapping On Window
    2. Haunting Hour 450000 Sixth Button
    3. Haunting Hour 450324 01 Murder Wears A Strange Mask

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Haunting Hour Disc A004

    1. Haunting Hour 450331 02 Bird Of Death
    2. Haunting Hour 450407 03 Old Old Man

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Haunting Hour Disc A005

    1. Haunting Hour 450414 04 Ptolomeys Grave
    2. Haunting Hour 450421 05 A Corpse There Was

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Haunting Hour Disc A006

    1. Haunting Hour 450428 06 If Shoe Fits
    2. Haunting Hour 450505 07 Breakdown

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Haunting Hour Disc A007

    1. Haunting Hour 450512 08 Case Lonesome Corpse
    2. Haunting Hour 450519 09 Hands Of Mr Smith

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Haunting Hour Disc A008

    1. Haunting Hour 450527 10 Homicide House
    2. Haunting Hour 450603 11 Date In Dark

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Haunting Hour Disc A009

    1. Haunting Hour 450610 12 Thought
    2. Haunting Hour 450617 13 Uptown Express

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Haunting Hour Disc A010

    1. Haunting Hour 450728 14 Unidentified Body
    2. Haunting Hour 450803 15 Second Chance

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Haunting Hour Disc A011

    1. Haunting Hour 450810 16 Revenge
    2. Haunting Hour 450817 17 People In House

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Haunting Hour Disc A012

    1. Haunting Hour 450824 18 Occupation Murder
    2. Haunting Hour 450901 19 No Escape

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Haunting Hour Disc A013

    1. Haunting Hour 450908 20 Death By Request
    2. Haunting Hour 450915 21 Nocturne

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Haunting Hour Disc A014

    1. Haunting Hour 450922 22 Skyscraper Mystery
    2. Haunting Hour 450929 23 Southern Star

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Haunting Hour Disc A015

    1. Haunting Hour 451006 24 Murder Is My Business
    2. Haunting Hour 451013 25 Cat Man

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Haunting Hour Disc A016

    1. Haunting Hour 451020 26 Devils Deep
    2. Haunting Hour 460110 37 Tale Of Darkness

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Haunting Hour Disc A017

    1. Haunting Hour 460202 41 Destination Unknown
    2. Haunting Hour 460209 42 Two Mr. Brandts

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Haunting Hour Disc A018

    1. Haunting Hour 490523 39 Assignment Death

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00

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