Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Halloween Countdown Day 28 - The Yellow Wallpaper

Greetings once again, my atrocious audience. Your ol' pal Eerie Evan has a treat for you as we approach the witching season. This one is an oldie but a goodie called The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Stetson.

First published in 1892, this short story doesn't have any monsters, phantoms, werewolves or zombies in it. No axe wielding maniac, no homicidal clowns, just the boogie-men we make in our own heads. The best kind of boogie-men. The story details our fair narrator's descent into madness. As she is forcibly confined to recuperate from a 'bout of female hysteria' a room with nothing in it of note but a strange repeating wallpaper pattern, she begins to obsess over it.


To pull a quote: "It is the strangest yellow, that wall-paper! It makes me think of all the yellow things I ever saw – not beautiful ones like buttercups, but old foul, bad yellow things. But there is something else about that paper – the smell! ... The only thing I can think of that it is like is the color of the paper! A yellow smell."

The story is well and fine on its own, but when adapted to radio...then we've got quite a different beast on our hands. It was produced by Suspense whose usual fair was Suspense-Thriller type scripts which unlike a lot of other radio productions at the time, had Hollywood stars voice the characters. Anges Moorehead, for example, voices the unreliable narrator. Suspense scripts were tight productions with great special effects and excellent acting. This just happens to be my favorite episode by them, although a close second to this episode is their version of H.P. Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror which I also urge you to check out for yourself.

Suspense's adaption of the Yellow Wallpaper first aired in July 29th, 1948 and I daresay it is just as creepy to a modern audience than it was back then. So sit back, put your headphones on, turn the lights down low...and enjoy.


As always, until next time kiddies.

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